One of Hollywood’s great cinematographers, William Fraker, succumbed to cancer Monday at age 86. While D.P.’s can be cranky, Fraker was known for his affability and exacting standards on sets, from Rosemary’s Baby, Bullitt, 1941, Close Encounters and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest to Tombstone and Heaven Can Wait. A Naval veteran of World War II, Fraker attended USC’s School of Cinema under the G.I. Bill. He grew into one of the defining film talents to emerge in the 60s and worked productively well into his 80s: his last film was 2002’s Waking Up in Reno.
UPDATE: Todd McCarthy remembers Fraker, who he interviewed for his doc Visions of Light. Here’s one obit from the LAT plus stories from Fraker’s contemporaries from the American Society of Cinematographers, whose president Michael Goi remembers Fraker in THR. The International Cinematographers Guild has more interviews. More links below.
Art School Rejects takes a look at Fraker’s oeuvre.