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(July 16, 1901-July 7, 1974)
Born in New York City, New York
Full name was Leonard Tolstoy Shamroy
Cinematographer on over 100 films
Won Oscars for Best Cinematography for 'The Black Swan' (1942), 'Wilson' (1944), 'Leave Her to Heaven' (1945), and 'Cleopatra' (1963)
Also nominated for 'The Young in Heart' (1938), 'Down Argentine Way' (1940), 'Ten Gentlemen from West Point' (1942), 'Prince of Foxes' (1949), 'David and Bathsheba' (1951), 'The Snows of Kilimanjaro' (1952), 'The Robe' (1953), 'The Egyptian' (1954), 'Love is a Many Spendored Thing' (1955), 'The King and I' (1956), 'South Pacific' (1958), 'Porgy and Bess' (1959), 'The Cardinal' (1963), and 'The Agony and the Ecstasy' (1965)
President for the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), from 1947 to 1948.
Why he might be annoying
He married three times.
He had a reputation as a harsh and short-tempered taskmaster.
He regularly clashed with directors Rouben Mamoulian, John M. Stahl, and Otto Preminger.
He admitted to having frittered his money away on whiskey and prostitutes at the time of his discovery by Paramount.
He spent his early career working on 'canine epic movies' (including one beauty that had dogs pretend to get shot called 'All Quiet on the Canine Front').
His opinion on Cinemascope 55? 'But those widescreen revolutions; oh my God! You got a stage play again, you put pictures back to the earliest sound day!'
He talked Joshua Logan into utilizing the disastrous 'color filters' for the film adaptation of 'South Pacific,' assuring him that the lighting changes would be subtle.
His perfectionism almost resulted in Linda Darnell getting killed when they were filming the Fire of London scene for 'Forever Amber.'
As the story goes he held the shot too long and only just pulled back with enough time for Linda to get out in time before the fiery roof collapsed. (Ironically, Darnell would die in a house fire decades later.)
He said 'Lee Garmes will never see the day that he's as good as I am, and that goes for anybody in the motion picture business' (now if he could only get a shot of self-confidence).
Why he might not be annoying
He was known as the 'camera man's camera man.'
He photographed Marilyn Monroe's first screen test.
He was the son of Russian immigrants (his family came to the US to join his revolutionary uncle who found work as a doctor).
He studied mechanical engineering and chemistry at Columbia University.
He began his career working with D.W. Griffith.
His first experimental film, 'The Last Moment,' was voted to be honored by the National Board of Review, in 1928.
Along with Charles Lang, he shares the record for most number of Academy Award nominations for Cinematography.
He was the first cinematographer to win consecutive Oscars for Best Cinematography.
This put him into the elite category of only three cinematographers to have such a distinction until Emmanuel Lubezki blew them all out of the water with three consecutive wins, between 2014 and 2016.
He later admitted that Cinemascope 55 all but saved the movie industry from the advent of television.
His technique and attention to lighting/detail was stylistically beautiful.
He makes cameos in both 'Caprice' and 'Planet of the Apes,' in which he can be seen taking a bow on the set of the Ape City.
He was married to his third wife, Mary Anderson, for over twenty years, until his death at 72.
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