Richmond filmmaker P.S. Henry dies
With his writing for the animated sitcom “Family Guy,” Patrick Sullivan Henry made millions laugh.
But few were aware that the successful filmmaker and video editor with the witty pen and infectious laugh knew for much of his life that he was living on borrowed time.
Plagued by numerous health ailments since childhood, Mr. Henry died in his hometown of Richmond Monday afternoon. He was 45.
“Patrick was always available, always there to give his opinion. He was thoughtful and he was a great friend to everyone. As a filmmaker, I consider him to be of the highest caliber,” said his brother Mike Henry, 51, one of his closest collaborators over the years.
Mr. Henry graduated from Collegiate School and attended James Madison University for two years before transferring to the Rhode Island School of Design, where he earned a bachelor’s of fine arts in film, video and animation.
“Patrick had a full scholarship,” said his mother, Barbara Sullivan Henry. “He was interested in filmmaking from the get-go.”
One of Mr. Henry’s first post-graduation projects was a documentary film about the Arthur Ashe statue on Monument Avenue.
Upon his move to New York City, he worked with his brother on several comedy projects. The pair produced a list of short films and the web series “Kicked in the Nuts,” a spoof on hidden camera shows.
Mike Henry praised his brother’s skills as a film editor who was more of an artist than a mere technician.
“He thought on many levels simultaneously, and he was very methodical to his approach to filmmaking,” Henry said. “As a collaborator, I wanted to get things done, but he wanted them to get done on the highest level.”
Mr. Henry moved to Los Angeles, where he made his splash on the national stage as a contributor to “Family Guy” and “The Cleveland Show.”
But he always found time to bring attention to causes that were dear to him. One of his final film projects was a documentary about Red Wiggler Community Farm in Montgomery County, Md., where people with and without developmental disabilities grow healthy food.
“He had wonderful footage; this was his passion,” his mother said. “He put his own money in there in going up there. That was the kind of person that he was.”
When he wasn’t behind the camera or the cutting board, Mr. Henry was a passionate follower of the Boston Red Sox.
He also had diverse tastes in music, although no artist touched his soul like Irish rock group U2.
“It was a joke among me and his friends how much into U2 he was. He would go to every show possible,” his brother said.
Mr. Henry had lived with diabetes since age 2. He moved back to Richmond three years ago to be closer to his family as his kidneys and liver began to fail.
“Patrick was personally limited by the cards he was dealt, but he really projected strength in a way that he saw things beyond his limitations,” his brother said. “He wanted to create things that would last longer than himself, things that would last hundreds of years.”
Mr. Henry is survived by his brother and mother.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, Jan. 13, at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 9505 Gayton Road in Henrico County.
A reception will follow at The Country Club of Virginia’s James River Clubhouse, and a brief graveside service will be held at 3 p.m. at Westhampton Memorial Cemetery.