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Oscar-winning Owen Roizman ASC dies at 86

Jan 16, 2023

Owen Roizman ASC, who was nominated for multiple Oscars during a phenomenal career, passed away at the age of 86.

In 2017, Roizman was presented with an honorary Oscar for his achievements and contributions to the film industry, which included nine years of serving on the Academy’s Cinematographers Branch. Roizman also represented the branch on the Board of Governors and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the ASC in 1997.

Born in 1936 in Brooklyn, New York, Roizman’s father, Sol Roizman, was a cameraman and his uncle, Morrie Roizman, made the 1954 Oscar-nominated doc short, Rembrandt: A Self Portrait. Roizman worked in commercials before transitioning into film as a camera assistant on films such as Fail-Safe.

Roizman’s second feature film as a DP was William Friedkin‘s The French Connection in 1971, which earned him his first of five Oscar nominations. He’d go onto shoot such iconic films as Play It Again, Sam; Friedkin’s The Exorcist (for which he earned a second Oscar nomination), The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, The Stepford Wives, Three Days of the Condor, and Network in 1977.

Roizman’s work continued into the ’80s, shooting Tootsie in 1982, for which he received a fourth nomination. His fifth nomination came in 1994 for his work on the Western, Wyatt Earp.

In 1972, Roizman also received an Emmy nomination for his cinematography on Liza Minelli‘s variety special, Liza with a Z, which was shot on film.

In 1983, Roizman returned to commercials, starting the company Roizman & Associates, producing, directing and shooting hundreds of commercials.


Header image Copyright Los Angles Times via Getty Images

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