American film editor GERALDINE PERONI died at her New York home on Tuesday (03AUG04) after reportedly committing suicide. She was 51.

The city's medical examiner's office ruled the movie maker - who frequently worked with director ROBERT ALTMAN - had killed herself, however her family are disputing that finding.

Peroni was due to edit the new Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal film Brokeback Mountain later this year (04).

Peroni worked on eight Altman films, including VINCENT AND THEO, DR T AND The Women and The Company.

Altman says, "Her death is a big loss. She made my work so easy.

"She reads me better than anybody had ever read me, and, consequently, she did the work; I didn't have to. So it was a wonderful situation. But those things don't last."

During her 20 year film career, she has been nominated for an ACADEMY AWARD and BAFTAS.

09/08/2004 13:59