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Jordan Cronenweth

Jordan Cronenweth

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Also Known As: Jordan Scott Cronenweth Died: November 29, 1996
Born: February 20, 1935 Cause of Death: Parkinson's disease
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA Profession: director of photography

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Jordan Cronenweth was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1978, yet though often fighting pain, he not only continued to work as one of Hollywood's premiere directors of photography into the 90s, but also did some of his most innovative work after the diagnosis. Cronenweth is best recalled for his hallucinogenic lighting of "Altered States" (1980), the luminous and yet at the same time neo-expressionistic lighting of Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" (1982), which won the Best Cinematography BAFTA Award, and Francis Ford Coppola's "Peggy Sue Got Married" (1986), which earned an Oscar nomination for his elegiac use of lighting that bespoke time, mood, place, and remembrance. Cronenweth was the son of a studio still photographer and a Busby Berkeley dancer who began working as an assistant camera operator in the mid-60s, and learned his craft under the great Conrad L. Hall. He was the operator for "In Cold Blood" (1966), for which Hall received an Academy Award nomination. By 1970, Cronenweth was a DP in his own right, working for director Robert Altman on "Brewster McCloud." He did some very mainstream Hollywood films in the 70s, including the 1974 remake of "The Front Page" and "Gable and Lombard"...

Jordan Cronenweth was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1978, yet though often fighting pain, he not only continued to work as one of Hollywood's premiere directors of photography into the 90s, but also did some of his most innovative work after the diagnosis. Cronenweth is best recalled for his hallucinogenic lighting of "Altered States" (1980), the luminous and yet at the same time neo-expressionistic lighting of Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" (1982), which won the Best Cinematography BAFTA Award, and Francis Ford Coppola's "Peggy Sue Got Married" (1986), which earned an Oscar nomination for his elegiac use of lighting that bespoke time, mood, place, and remembrance.

Cronenweth was the son of a studio still photographer and a Busby Berkeley dancer who began working as an assistant camera operator in the mid-60s, and learned his craft under the great Conrad L. Hall. He was the operator for "In Cold Blood" (1966), for which Hall received an Academy Award nomination. By 1970, Cronenweth was a DP in his own right, working for director Robert Altman on "Brewster McCloud." He did some very mainstream Hollywood films in the 70s, including the 1974 remake of "The Front Page" and "Gable and Lombard" (1976), but by the 80s was working on more cutting-edge material, often independents. Cronenweth was heralded for his work on such films as "Cutter's Way" (1981), which offered haunting yet subdued imagery, and shot the performance documentary "U2: Rattle and Hum" (1988). "Final Analysis" (1992) was Cronenweth's last feature film. Through the years, Cronenweth was also director of photography and/or director of more than 50 TV commercials, including the famous musical ads for Dr. Pepper in the 70s. Additionally, he worked occasionally in TV (e.g., "Birds of Prey," CBS 1973; "One in a Million: The Ron LeFlore Story," CBS 1978).

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Carbine Williams (1952) Will Williams
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Milestones close milestones

:
While in college worked at Columbia Pictures during the summer as a runner in the lab
:
Briefly worked as an assistant cameraman in Oklahoma
:
Served apprentice under cinematographer Conrad L Hall,
1966:
First film credits, as camera operator assistant to Hall on "Harper" and the Oscar-nominated "The Professionals"
1970:
First film as director of photography, "Brewster McCloud"
:
Formed Cronenweth, Inc., a commercial production company
1973:
Was DP on first TV-movie, "Birds of Prey" (CBS)
1978:
Diagnosed with Parkinson's disease
1980:
Shot "Altered States", directed by Ken Russell
1982:
Breakthrough feature credit, "Blade Runner", directed by Ridley Scott; won BAFTA Award
1992:
Final feature "Final Analysis"
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Education

North Hollywood High School: North Hollywood , California -
Los Angeles City College: Los Angeles , California -

Notes

"OK. Here's Jordan. Jordan loved women, but his mistress was light." --commercial director Melvin Sokolsky in Daily Variety, February 21, 1997.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Carole Lieu. Divorced.
wife:
Shane Cronenweth. Divorced.

Family close complete family listing

father:
William E Cronenweth. Photographer. Academy Award-winning still photographer.
mother:
Rosita Cronenweth. Former dancer. Appeared with the Busby Berkeley Dance Comapny; survived him.
son:
Jeff Cronenweth. Director of photography, assistant cameraman. Survived him.
son:
Timothy Cronenweth. Production assistant. Survived him.
daughter:
Christie Lynn Cronenweth. Survived him.
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