Sunday, June 16, 2024

Haskell Wexler, Two Time Oscar Winning Cinematographer and Filmmaker, Was 93


Jane Fonda Tweeted today about Haskell Wexler, the Academy Award winning and legendary cinematographer who has died at age 93: “The brilliant, beloved Oscar-winning cinematographer, Haskell Wexler has died. He was my friend. He filmed “Coming Home”and a documentary with me and Tom Hayden in North Vietnam in 1973. He was brave & gorgeous and I loved him.”

He won 2 Oscars, for Mike Nichols’ “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” in 1967, and Hal Ashby’s “Bound for Glory” in 1977. He was also nominated for “Blaze,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” and one of the most beautifully shot pictures ever, John Sayles’s “Matewan.” He shot another of Sayles’s classics, “The Secret of Roan Inish,” in 1999. (PS It’s time for some lifetime achievement awards for John Sayles.)

Wexler directed a slew of highly regarded documentaries, as well as his own famed feature, “Medium Cool,” in 1970. But he was known for making other directors’ films look great. Among his credits were “Coming Home” with Jane Fonda, “The Thomas Crown Affair,” and “In the Heat of the Night.” He’s uncredited on Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Conversation,” released in 1974.

Wexler’s real estate magnate brother, Jerrold, helped him produce “Medium Cool.” Jerrold Wexler was later the stepfather of Darryl Hannah.

Haskell Wexler leaves a rich and almost endless legacy in the film world. He will be sorely missed.



Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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