Cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, winner of an Oscar for Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, passed away on 1 January 2016 in California, United States. He was 85.
Zsigmond was also Oscar nominated for Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter, Mark Rydell’s The River and Brian De Palma’s The Black Dahlia.
About Vilmos Zsigmond
• Vilmos Zsigmond was born on 16 June 1930 in Szeged, Hungary.
• He studied cinema at the Academy of Drama and Film in Budapest.
• He received an MA in cinematography.
• He worked for five years in a Budapest feature film studio becoming director of photography.
• In 1962, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States.
• He settled in Los Angeles and worked in photo labs as a technician and photographer.
• During the 1960s, he worked on many low-budget independent films and educational films.
• Some of the films that he worked on during 1960s credited him as William Zsigmond, including the classic horror B-Film, The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies.
• The first film he worked on in the United States was The Sadist.
• He rose to fame with a string of iconic 1970s movies including McCabe and Mrs Miller, Images and The Long Goodbye, John Boorman’s Deliverance, Spielberg’s The Sugarland Express and Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate.
• In 2003, a survey conducted by the International Cinematographers Guild ranked him among the ten most influential cinematographers in history.
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When: 1 January 2016