John Djahanshah Refoua, an Oscar-nominated film editor who worked on blockbuster movies such as Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water, has passed away at the age of 58. His wife, Serena Refoua, confirmed that he had been diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, a rare bile cancer.
In a Facebook post, Serena shared the news of her husband’s death, saying, “My brilliant, sweet, creative husband John Djahanshah Refoua passed away last night May 14 surrounded by family and friends who loved him.” She also revealed that John had been battling the rare form of cancer for 15 months.
Despite the pain and difficulties brought about by the disease, John continued to work and edit on James Cameron’s Avatar 3 right up to his final weeks. His wife praised his courage and grit in the face of such adversity.
John Djahanshah Refoua had an illustrious career in the film industry as a film editor. He had worked on various movie titles, including Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), The Magnificent Seven (2016), Southpaw (2015), The Equalizer (2014), Olympus Has Fallen (2013), 21 & Over (2013), Balls of Fury (2007), L.A. Twister (2004), Ghosts of the Abyss (2003), and Soul Food (2000).
He also lent his editing skills to several television shows, including Touched by an Angel (1994), Law & Order (1999), Ally McBeal (2002), Dark Angel (2000-2002), Reno 911! (2005-2007), CSI: Miami (2002-2011), Sleepy Hollow (2013), and The Whispers (2015). His earliest credit was as an assistant editor on two episodes of Twin Peaks (1990).
John was a creative and talented editor who had a unique touch that improved anything he worked on. He had a passion for music, movies, politics, traveling, vintage cars, science fiction, and his 4-year-old granddaughter, Avery Sophia. His wife expressed that they would miss his generosity and wisdom.
John Djahanshah Refoua was a respected and well-loved member of the film community, and his passing has left a void that will be felt for years to come.
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