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Tragic movie news to report as we bid farewell to 2012:

Oscar-winning sound editor Michael Hopkins has been killed in a fatal rafting accident in his native New Zealand, according to reports. He was only 53 years old.

He won Oscars for the The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in 2003 and King Kong in 2006. He also worked on Blade Runner, Superman, Octopussy and Transformers.

Al Matthews in Aliens

Hopkins first worked with director Peter Jackson on his 1992 movie Braindead, and was also part of Jackson’s team for Heavenly Creatures and The Frighteners.


The accident that claimed the life of Hopkins happened in the Waiohine River on New Zealand’s North Island. His two rafting companions both survived.

Police Senior Sergeant Carolyn Watson said:

“Police would like to thank all those who assisted in the recovery of Mr. Hopkins and the rescue of his companions, particularly the jet boat operator who came to our aid.”

“At considerable risk to himself, [he] was able to rescue the female.”

“All three were wearing life jackets, wetsuits and helmets at the time and it appears that Mr. Hopkins got into trouble after they were ejected from the raft in a fast flowing eddy.”