Beloved Cinematographer Michael Ballhaus Dies at Age 81

Michael Ballhaus

Michael Ballhaus, the three-time Oscar nominated cinematographer of “Broadcast News,” “The Fabulous Baker Boys” and “Gangs of New York” has passed away at age 81, according to IndieWire.

Ballhaus was a frequent collaborator of Martin Scorsese and Mike Nichols. Born in Germany in 1935, he spent his early career making films in the German market. In the early ’70s, he moved over to the American market, photographing the Rainer Werner Fassbinder film “Whity.”

From there, he went back and forth between German and American films, eventually working on such classics as “Working Girl” and “Goodfellas.”

His first Oscar nomination came for the 1987 film “Broadcast News.” He lost to Vittorio Storaro for “The Last Empire,” which also won Best Picture. Next came a nomination two years later for “The Fabulous Baker Boys.” Ballhaus was also nominated for the 2003 film “Gangs of New York.”

His last notable project was the Academy Award-winning “The Departed.” He was not nominated that year, but was widely praised for it.

A cause of death has not been announced.

Tell us: Which Michael Ballhaus work was your favorite? Let us know in the comments or on the Message Boards.

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Written by Karen M. Peterson

Karen Peterson is a writer from Southern California. When she is not at the ballpark cheering on her LA Angels, she can usually be found in a movie theater or in front of the television. Karen is obsessed with awards shows, and loves everything from the smallest indie film to the biggest of big budget spectacles. She is also unapologetically in love with Tom Cruise.


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