Deborah Jane Fine
May 16, 1942 - December 2, 2019
On December 2nd, 2019, Deborah Fine passed away at the age of 77 at her residence in San Rafael, CA. She was born in Newton, MA to Muriel and Irving Fine. In 1951, her family moved to Bel Air to start their new life in sunny California. In 1960, Debbie enrolled at UCLA where she received a B.A. in English, after which she earned a graduate degree in Library Sciences from Simmons University in Boston.
Returning to L.A., Debbie first worked for the architect, Victor Gruen, and then discovered her passion for film research working for the Kellam de Forest Research Company. In 1973, she was hired by Francis Ford Coppola at American Zoetrope where she provided essential historical research for The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now, The Black Stallion, among other classic films. After working on More American Graffiti, she was hired by George Lucas at the Egg Company. Debbie moved to Northern California where she lead the creation of the Lucasfilm Research Library. Most notably, she did research on the blockbuster Star Wars and Indiana Jones series. In 1980, Debbie was named director of research at Lucasfilm. She encouraged the purchase of the Paramount Studios research library, which Lucas acquired in 1987. She managed the massive research behind the 3-season historical drama series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, as well as supervised the cataloguing and management of the LFL film archives. The Skywalker Ranch Research Library under Debbie’s supervision continued to grow and train future film researchers until her retirement in 1995.
In her retirement, Debbie studied painting, worked on her own novels, and continued her lifelong pursuit of learning. She always had a knack for games, Scrabble and Hearts being her favorites. She was smart as a whip and had a dry sense of humor. She was loved and admired by her friends, peers, and family. Debbie will be deeply missed. She is predeceased by her sister, Laura and survived by her nephew, Nick Eliafan.