R.I.P. “Exorcist” Cinematographer Owen Roizman


Warner Bros. Pictures, 20th Century Fox

Owen Roizman, one of the most famous cinematographers of the 1970s and 1980s, has died at the age of 86. No further details about his death are available at this time beyond his passing taking place whilst under hospice care at his home.

A representative for the American Society of Cinematographers, of which he was president for a period along with serving on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, confirmed the news to Variety.

Roizman broke through with his second film, lensing William Friedkin’s “The French Connection” which set the template for gritty crime dramas and remains considered greatest films ever made. Their second collaboration on “The Exorcist” was even more iconic and famed for its imagery.

He soon became Sydney Pollack’s go-to lenser, taking on the visuals of Pollack’s most famous works including “Three Days of the Condor,” “Tootsie,” “Absence of Malice,” “The Electric Horseman” and “Havana”.

He was also a go-to cinematographer for Lawrence Kasdan, first teaming on “I Love You to Death” before a trio of films including “Grand Canyon,” “French Kiss,” and the Kevin Costner-led epic western “Wyatt Earp”.

He scored one of his five Oscar nominations for his work with Sidney Lumet on the iconic satire “Network,” and an Emmy for his work on Bob Fosse’s telemovie “Liza with a Z”. Roizman won an honorary Oscar in 2017 for his contributions to the medium.

He also defined the amusingly macabre look of Barry Sonnenfeld’s “The Addams Family,” provided additional photography on the Bette Midler-led “The Rose,” and lensed the original “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three” and “The Stepford Wives” films.

Other works include Harold Becker’s “Taps” and “Vision Quest,” Ulu Grosbard’s “True Confessions” and “Straight Time,” John Huston’s “Independence,” Elaine May’s “The Heartbreak Kid,” Herbert Ross’ “Play It Again, Sam,” Irvin Kershner’s “The Return of a Man Called Horse” and more.



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