Raised by grandmother and aunt after his mother and father died; they told him he was going to be a cameraman, so from the time he was 14, he knew what he wanted to be
Served in the Coast Guard during World War II, returning home in 1946
Found himself shut out of The Camera Guild after graduating from USC in 1950; worked as an editor at various television production companies; mustered non-union camera jobs by shooting inserts and stock footage on the fly
Got start in television, beginning as a loader on the ABC series "The Lone Ranger"
Spent seven-and-a-half years working on "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" (ABC); credits director-star Ozzie Nelson with helping him rise from second assistant director to camera operator during this time
Served as camera assistant on "The Young Guns"
Worked as director of photography on the documentary "Forbid Them Not"
After becoming an operator, worked with fellow USC alum and cameraman Conrad Hall on the Western "Stoney Burke" (ABC, 1962-1963) and the sci-fi classic "The Outer Limits" (ABC, 1963-1965)
Was camera operator on "Father Goose"
Operated camera on three of Hall's first four features as director of photography, "Wild Seed", "Morituri" and "The Professionals" (first collaboration with director Richard Brooks); the latter two earned Hall Oscar nominations
Lost out on an opportunity to be director of photography on "Bonnie and Clyde" (1967) when Jack Warner said, "Any cameraman that has not yet shot a picture is not going to shoot his first picture on my lot"
Feature debut as director of photography, "Games" (Universal)
First association with Burt Reynolds, "Fade-In"
Enjoyed professional and creative turning point with the success of Roman Polanski's "Rosemary's Baby" and Peter Yates' "Bullitt", serving as director of photographer on both
Made feature directorial debut with "Monte Walsh"
First of five films with director Floyd Mutrux, the semi-documentary "Dusty and Sweets McGee"; also appeared in picture as a big-time drug dealer, as well as being a partner in the Laughlin-Fraker-Mutrux-Michael Production
Helmed "Reflection of Fear" (released in 1973)
Reteamed with Mutrux for "aloha, bobby and rose"
Shot the last 10 days or so of Milos Forman's Academy Award-winning Best Picture "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", after both Haskell Wexler and Bill Butler had worked on it
Served as cinematographer for Reynolds' feature directorial debut, "Gator"
First collaboration with Steven Spielberg, shot additional scenes for "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"
Received first Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography for work on Richard Brooks' "Looking for Mr. Goodbar"
Third film with Mutrux, "American Hot Wax"
Earned second Academy Award nomination for "Heaven Can Wait", co-directed by Warren Beatty and Buck Henry
Received two Oscar nominations for Spielberg's "1941" for Best Visual Effects and Best Cinematography
Fourth film with Mutrux, "The Hollywood Knights"
Reunited with Reynolds for "Sharkey's Machine"
Third feature directing project, "The Legend of the Lone Ranger"
Earned another Oscar nomination for "WarGames"
First film with director Charles Shyer, "Irreconcilable Differences"
Second film as director of photography for Brooks, "Fever Pitch"
Sixth and last Academy Award nomination to date, "Murphy's Romance"
Was cinematographer on Hugh Wilson's "Burglar"
Reunited with Shyer on "Baby Boom", starring Diane Keaton
Worked as director of photography with Hugh Wilson on the CBS series "Frank's Place"
Directed six episodes of "Wiseguy" (CBS)
Reteamed with Yates on "An Innocent Man"
Helmed "The Dancer's Touch" (ABC), the first of 12 TV-movies starring Reynolds as B L Stryker
First film with director Andrew Bergman, "The Freshman"
Fifth film with Mutrux, "There Goes My Baby" (released in 1994)
Reunited with Bergman for "Honeymoon in Las Vegas"
Served as associate producer and cinematographer on "Tombstone"
Helmed an episode of "Walker, Texas Ranger" (CBS)
Served as director of photography on Sandra Locke's ABC movie "Death in Small Doses"; Locke had acted in his "A Reflection of Fear"
Third feature with Shyer for "Father of the Bride Part II", starring Steve Martin and Diane Keaton
Along with director John Frankenheimer, signed on for "The Island of Dr Moreau" a week into the scheduled production after the original director and cinematographer left due to creative differences with the studio
Captured Las Vegas again for "Vegas Vacation"
Honored by the American Society of Cinematographers with a lifetime achievement award
Served as director of photography on William Friedkin's "Rules of Engagement", starring Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L Jackson, and Peter Chelsom's "Town & Country", which reteamed him with Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton