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Bruce Surtees

Bruce Surtees

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Also Known As: Bruce Mohr Powell Surtees Died: February 23, 2012
Born: July 27, 1937 Cause of Death: Diabetes
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA Profession: Cinematography ... director of photography
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BIOGRAPHY

Born into the business, cinematographer Bruce Surtees made a name of his own by shooting a variety of modern classics, including "Dirty Harry" and "Beverly Hills Cop," an impressive feat considering the long shadow cast by his father, Robert, the man behind the lens of such pictures as "The Graduate" and "The Sting." Bruce Surtees got his start on Clint Eastwood pictures directed by Don Siegel, such as "Coogan's Bluff," serving as camera operator before stepping up to the role of director of photography with "The Beguiled" in 1971. Siegel appreciated Surtees's innovative, fearless approach to filmmaking and worked with him again on several pictures, including "Dirty Harry," "The Outfit," and "Escape from Alcatraz." Clint Eastwood called on Surtees repeatedly as well, for such visually stunning films as "High Plains Drifter" and "Pale Rider." Recognized for his low-key, moody lighting, Surtees earned the nickname "Prince of Darkness," and his style earned him an Oscar nomination for "Lenny," the 1974 biopic featuring Dustin Hoffman as iconoclastic comedian Lenny Bruce. After creating gritty fare with renowned directors of the '70s such as Arthur Penn, Gordon Parks, and Bob Fosse, Surtees moved smoothly into the '80s with action comedies "Risky Business" and "Beverly Hills Cop." He earned critical acclaim yet again a decade later, with an Emmy nomination for 1999's "Dash and Lilly," a TV movie about the affair between literary greats Dashiell Hammett and Lillian Hellman.

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