Edward Branigan died June 29, 2019 after a hard-fought battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Born and raised in Beloit, Wisconsin, Edward studied english literature at Brown University, interrupting his studies for two years to serve with the US Marine Corps in Vietnam. After graduating from Brown, Edward earned a JD and a PhD in film studies from the University of Wisconsin.
Edward joined the Film and Media Studies faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1984 where he taught until his retirement in 2012. His university courses ran the gamut from Alfred Hitchcock to French New Wave to Japanese Cinema. His deepest interests were film theory and aesthetics. He was a prolific scholar, authoring a number of groundbreaking books and articles, and an innovative leader, serving as chair of his department from 1989 to 1994 and later playing a pivotal role in the design and implementation of the doctoral program in Film and Media Studies. With UCSB colleague Charles Wolfe, he was general co-editor of the longstanding American Film Institute’s Film Readers series.
Edward was a legendary professor. He will be fondly remembered by the many students he taught and mentored for his unique teaching style, generosity with his time, encouragement, and playful sense of humor. He loved the north woods of Wisconsin, fishing, photography, reading philosophy, watching sports, and, of course, ceaselessly viewing films. Edward deeply loved his four sons and spoke with great pride about what they had made of their lives; he was also devoted to his parents and frequently visited them from out of state.
Edward is survived by his sons Alex, Evan, Liam, and Nicholas; his partner Ellen Rabinowich; his mother Evelyn Odell; his siblings Will, Carol, Alison, and Suzie Odell; his former wife Roberta Kimmel. He was predeceased by his second former wife Melinda Szaloky, his father Henry Odell, and his sisters Lorel Branigan and Laura Odell. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 4 in Denver.