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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Owen Roizman
Born(1936-09-22)September 22, 1936
DiedJanuary 6, 2023(2023-01-06) (aged 86)
Mona Lindholm
(m. 1964)
President of the American Society of Cinematographers
In office
Preceded byVictor J. Kemper
Succeeded byWoody Omens

Owen Roizman (September 22, 1936 – January 6, 2023) was an American cinematographer. He received five Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography, for the films The French Connection (1971), The Exorcist (1973), Network (1976), Tootsie (1982), and Wyatt Earp (1994). He served on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was president of the American Society of Cinematographers.

His first feature film was Stop (1970), and several other notable credits include The Heartbreak Kid (1972), Three Days of the Condor (1975), Absence of Malice (1981), True Confessions (1981), The Addams Family (1991), and Grand Canyon (1991).[1] He is known for his "gritty" style and received an Academy Honorary Award in 2017.

Early life

Roizman was raised in Brooklyn,[2] and as a child, he wanted to be a baseball player, physicist, or mathematician.[3] He had a tryout with the New York Yankees but contracted polio as a teenager.[4] His father, Sol, was a cameraman for Movietone News, and upon hearing about the film industry's possible wages, Roizman decided, "I'm going for the money!"[3] He began working during summer breaks at a camera rental store in New York City and later was an assistant to cinematographer Gerald Hirschfeld at MPO Videotronics.[5]


After creating several television commercials, Roizman made his feature film debut in 1970 with Stop.[1] His second film, William Friedkin's The French Connection (1971), earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography.[2] The film set the style for many of his future films, with "gritty New York street photography" and available light.[5]

Throughout the 1970s, he also worked on Play It Again, Sam (1972), The Heartbreak Kid (1972), The Exorcist (1973), Three Days of the Condor (1975), and Network (1976), among others, garnering Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography for The Exorcist and Network.[2] Roizman received two more Academy Award nominations, for Wyatt Earp (1994) and Tootsie (1982). His final film was Lawrence Kasdan's French Kiss (1995).[4]

Roizman was a member of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 2002 to 2011, representing the Cinematographers Branch, and was a member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC). Roizman was ASC president from 1997 to 1998 and served on its board.[5] He received an Academy Honorary Award at the 9th Governors Awards ceremony in 2017.[1]

Roizman was known for collaborating with film directors William Friedkin, Sydney Pollack, and Lawrence Kasdan.

Personal life

Roizman lived in the Encino neighborhood of Los Angeles with his wife, Mona. They had a son, Eric, who became a camera operator.[6]


Roizman died under hospice care at his home on January 6, 2023, at the age of 86.[6]


Year Title Director Notes
1970 Stop Bill Gunn [7]
1971 The French Connection William Friedkin Nominated – Academy Award for Best Cinematography[6]
The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight James Goldstone [8]
1972 Play It Again, Sam Herbert Ross [6]
The Heartbreak Kid Elaine May [6]
Liza with a Z Bob Fosse Television film
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited Series or Movie[7]
1973 The Exorcist William Friedkin Nominated – Academy Award for Best Cinematography[6]
1974 The Taking of Pelham One Two Three Joseph Sargent [9]
1975 The Stepford Wives Bryan Forbes [10]
Three Days of the Condor Sydney Pollack [6]
1976 The Return of a Man Called Horse Irvin Kershner [6]
Independence John Huston [11]
Network Sidney Lumet Nominated – Academy Award for Best Cinematography[6]
1978 Straight Time Ulu Grosbard [6]
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Michael Schultz [12]
1979 The Electric Horseman Sydney Pollack [6]
1980 The Black Marble Harold Becker [6]
1981 True Confessions Ulu Grosbard [13]
Absence of Malice Sydney Pollack [6]
Taps Harold Becker [6]
1982 Tootsie Sydney Pollack Nominated – Academy Award for Best Cinematography[6]
1985 Vision Quest Harold Becker [6]
1990 I Love You to Death Lawrence Kasdan [6]
Havana Sydney Pollack [6]
1991 The Addams Family Barry Sonnenfeld [6]
Grand Canyon Lawrence Kasdan [6]
1994 Wyatt Earp Nominated – A.S.C. Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Cinematography[6]
1995 French Kiss [6]

Other awards

Year Award Category Result
1997 American Society of Cinematographers Lifetime Achievement Award Won[7]
2000 Palm Springs International Film Festival Career Achievement Award Won
2001 Camerimage Lifetime Achievement Award Won
2011 Ojai Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award (shared with Mitzi Gaynor) Won[14]


  1. ^ a b c "The Academy to Honor Charles Burnett, Owen Roizman, Donald Sutherland and Agnès Varda with Oscars at 2017 Governors Awards". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. September 6, 2017. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Rottenberg, Josh (November 10, 2017). "Q&A Cinematographer Owen Roizman, a 2017 honorary Oscar winner, looks back on his career". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Harris, Will (November 10, 2017). "Owen Roizman Followed Family Footsteps for Legendary Hollywood Career". Variety. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Cohen, Sandy (November 7, 2017). "In Retirement, Owen Roizman Discovers Digital Photos, Oscar". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Williams, David E. (September 6, 2017). "Owen Roizman, ASC Among 2017 Honorary Oscar Recipients". The American Society of Cinematographers. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Barnes, Mike (January 7, 2023). "Owen Roizman, Cinematographer on 'The French Connection' and 'The Exorcist,' Dies at 86". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 7, 2023.
  7. ^ a b c Dagan, Carmel (January 7, 2023). "Owen Roizman, Cinematographer of 'The Exorcist' and 'Network,' Dies at 86". Variety. Retrieved January 7, 2023.
  8. ^ Thompson, Howard (23 December 1971). "'Gang That Couldn't' Opens Here". The New York Times.
  9. ^ Dorr, John H. (2 October 2016). "'The Taking of Pelham One Two Three': THR's 1974 Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 7, 2023.
  10. ^ Muir, John Kenneth (2007). Horror Films of the 1970s. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. p. 371. ISBN 978-0-786-49156-8.
  11. ^ "Filming Independence Where It Happened". American Society of Cinematographers. Retrieved January 7, 2023.
  12. ^ "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". Variety. January 1978. Retrieved January 7, 2023.
  13. ^ Canby, Vincent (25 September 1981). "'True Confessions' with De Niro and Duvall". The New York Times. Retrieved January 7, 2023.
  14. ^ "Owen Roizman, ASC honored by Ojai Film Festival". Ojai Film Festival. Archived from the original on 2014-05-12. Retrieved January 7, 2023.

External links

This page was last edited on 4 October 2023, at 10:54
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