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Born in Utah in 1929, Ashby was first employed in the movie business as a printing press operator, which led to editing films.
Two of Ashby’s three Oscar nominations are for his early editing, and his only win for Best Editing of 1967’s In the Heat of the Night. Hal dreamt of directing, and his first feature was 1970’s The Landlord; he shortly after made a lasting impression with Shampoo (’75), and was nominated for Best Director for Coming Home (’78).
Due to a troubling personality, Ashby’s later career fell short due to studio distrust. Hal Ashby died in 1988.