Mike Hopkins, 53, an Academy Award-winning sound editor who worked on the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, died Sunday in a rafting accident in New Zealand.
Hopkins drowned when his inflatable raft capsized during a flash flood in a river on New Zealand's North Island, police Senior Sgt. Carolyn Watson said. His wife, Nicci, survived.
The New Zealand Herald newspaper quoted "Rings" director Peter Jackson as saying many actors, directors and film crew members who were lucky enough to work with Hopkins would miss him deeply.
"Mike was a very genuine, caring and warm-hearted guy with a great sense of humor," Jackson said.
A native New Zealander, Hopkins shared Oscars with sound editing partner Ethan Van der Ryn in 2006 for "King Kong" and in 2003 for "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers." They were also nominated for 2007's "Transformers."
Hopkins was sound editor on the two other "Rings" films as well and had worked on earlier Jackson movies, including 1994's "Heavenly Creatures."
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