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Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (11)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 1914Leigh, Lancashire, England, UK
Date of Death 28 October 1978Brittany, France

Mini Bio (1)

Goeffrey Unsworth was one of the great cinematographers of the 20th Century, the winner of two Oscars, five BAFTA awards, and three awards from the British Society of Cinematographers for his work as a director of photography. Born in 1914 in Lancashire, England, Unsworth started in the industry in 1932 at Gaumont-British before joining Technicolor in 1937. He worked as a camera assistant and operator on a many of the most important color movies made in England.

In contrast to the Technicolor aesthetic, when Unsworth became a director of photography (starting in 1946 with the musical The Laughing Lady (1946), he used a somber palette. Moving to Rank at Pinewood Studios, he shot adventure films, comedies, and thrillers in black and white.

His breakthrough into the top ranks of cinematographers was Becket (1964) in 1964, for which he received his first Academy Award nomination. He did not get Oscar-nominated for his spectacular work on 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) because Stanley Kubrick generally was given credit for the visual style of the film, but his ability to integrate cinematography and special effects was put to great effect with Superman (1978) (1978). He was in demand for period pieces, winning his first Oscar for Bob Fosse's Cabaret (1972) and his second Oscar posthumously for shooting Roman Polanski's Tess (1979).

Geoffrey Unsworth died in Brittany on the set of "Tess" after suffering a heart attack. He was 64 years old.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (1)

Maggie Unsworth (? - 28 October 1978) (his death)

Trivia (11)

Geoffrey died during the shooting of Tess (1979). He had however already shot some of the scenes for Superman II (1980), which were shot at the same time as those of Superman (1978).
The original Superman movie is dedicated "with love and respect" to his memory.
George Lucas wanted him to handle the photography for Star Wars (1977) but he was unavailable, having already been hired by Richard Donner for Superman (1978).
According to director Richard Donner, the flying scenes in the original Superman (1978) would not have been possible had it not been for Unsworth's efforts in developing a new photography process that was much more realistic and natural looking than the blue screen technique that existed at the time.
The First Great Train Robbery is dedicated to Unsworth - the final credit reads "His friends miss him."
In 1976, he was awarded the the honor of OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) by the Queen.
Unsworth's last completed film was Superman (1978). Unsworth died suddenly on October 28, 1978, while working simultaneously on the sequel Superman (1978) and on Roman Polanski's Tess (1979). "Superman II" is dedicated to Unsworth at the beginning of the movie, while he won his second Oscar, posthumously, for "Tess".
Surprisingly, he was not nominated for an Academy Award for his cinematography on 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), possibly because cinematographers believed that the appearance of the film was primarily the work of the director Stanley Kubrick (who received his sole Oscar for this film's special effects).
His wife Maggie Unsworth collaborated on the screenplay of Half a Sixpence (1967), which Unsworth filmed.
Member of the British Society of Cinematographers.
Began as a camera assistant at Gaumont-British Shepherds Bush studios. Worked with Techniclor from 1937. Debut as full cinematographer in 1946 with 'The Laughing Lady.

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