Mo Henry, Negative Cutter on ‘Jaws,’ ‘The Matrix’ and Hundreds of Other Films, Dies at 67

Maureen “Mo” Henry, the veteran negative cutter and a giant in the postproduction community, died Sunday of complications from liver failure in Los Angeles, her son, Logan, told The Hollywood Reporter. She was 67.

During her half-century in Hollywood, Henry cut negatives on hundreds of films, starting with Jaws (1975). She followed with such movies as Ghost (1990), Heat (1995), Casino (1995), Before Sunrise (1995), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), The Fifth Element (1997), Starship Troopers (1997), The Big Lebowski (1998), The Iron Giant (1999), The Sixth Sense (1999), My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), Million Dollar Baby (2004), Babel (2006), The Blind Side (2009) and Intersteller (2014) and entries in the Matrix, Dark Knight, Shrek and Spider-Man franchises.

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Hers was a family business, she explained in a 2020 interview for the Chicago Film Society.

“My family immigrated from Ireland, and my aunt was the oldest of several kids, she’s about 20 years older than my dad,” she said. “When they moved to Hollywood, she just walked up and down Sunset Boulevard looking into different businesses and asking for applications. She got a job in the early 1920s at Fox studios, which wound up being Deluxe Labs. She became a negative cutter, and then she gave my dad and his brothers jobs, and then my dad gave my older cousins jobs, and then finally my dad trained me. So that’s how I got in.”

After leaving Hollywood for a spell to work in real estate, she returned and was hired by negative cutter Donah Bassett at D. Bassett & Associates, then bought her business in 1995.

She noted her “most rewarding” project was Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002).

“I got to move to London and work there, which was fantastic!” she said. “It was so exciting because as you know, those books were so beloved, and it just felt great to be part of it.”

She also had fond memories of working on the groundbreaking The Matrix (1999).

“No one had seen anything like it ever before, and it was virtually all visual effects,” she said. “The Matrix was also one of the most difficult films I’ve worked on because visual effects are the very last thing to be filmed-out. They are always at the very last minute. And that was hundreds of shots that we had to put together at the very end.”

Henry recut Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979) for the expanded version known as Apocalypse Now: Redux — “that was terrifying,” she said — and helped put together Orson Welles’ long-lost The Other Side of the Wind, finally released in 2018.

Her son said he was “proud of the strength and poise she showed as she bravely fought her illness.”

Survivors also include her sister, Sue, and brother, Pat.

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