Geoff Wonfor, Director of Beatles ‘Anthology,’ Dead at 73

Geoff Wonfor, Director of Beatles ‘Anthology,’ Dead at 73
(L–R) Members of the British band The Beatles Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison hold a press conference in Tokyo on June 29, 1966. (Jiji Press/AFP via Getty Images)

NEW YORK—Geoff Wonfor, a Grammy-winning British filmmaker who directed the Beatles’ “Anthology” documentary series and worked on the 1980s music program “The Tube” as well as several projects with Paul McCartney, has died at age 73.

His death was confirmed Tuesday by daughter Sam Wonfor, who said he died in Newcastle, where he grew up. Additional details were not immediately available.

Released in the mid-1990s, “The Beatles Anthology” was an authorized, multimedia project that included an eight-part documentary, three double albums and a coffee table book. Wonfor spent 4.5 years on the film, which combined archival footage with new interviews with the then-three surviving Beatles (McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison, who died in 2001). Wonfor’s challenges included weaving in commentary from John Lennon, who had been murdered in 1980.

Wonfor also directed the McCartney videos “In the World Tonight” and “Young Boy” and a McCartney concert video from the Cavern Club, the Liverpool venue where the Beatles played many of their early shows. He was on hand, too, for a Beatles “reunion” from the 1990s—a video of “Real Love,” a song left unfinished by Lennon that the remaining Beatles completed and recorded.

His other credits included “Band Aid 20,” a documentary about the anniversary re-recording of the British charity song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and “Sunday for Sammy,” a tribute to the late British actor Sammy Johnson.

Wonfor had been prominent in British entertainment since the 1980s, when he directed a handful of episodes of “The Tube” and made a documentary about “Shanghai Surprise,” a feature film produced by Harrison and starring Madonna and Sean Penn.

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