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Biography

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Overview (5)

Date of Birth 27 December 1940Standing Rock Reservation, North Dakota, USA
Date of Death 12 June 2006Portland, Oregon, USA  (natural causes)
Birth NameRobert John Schoenhut
Nickname Bob
Height 6' 4" (1.93 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Cinematographer Bob Schoenhut learned many years ago how to scout a location, get in with all his gear, get the shot, and get out. But he didn't gain such experience on the set of any motion picture or television program. He learned it in the Marines during combat training in the '60s. The instruction proved doubly useful to Schoenhut as he went on to specialize in photo reconnaissance for the Marines after training at the U.S. Naval School of Photography, then parlay his interest in cameras into an illustrious Hollywood career over the next few decades, where the soldier's instincts and discipline still serve him well. An enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation (his parents are both of Lakota and German descent}, Schoenhut has been a camera operator on such smash television programs as "The Waltons,'' "Knots Landing," "The A-Team," and "Quantum Leap," and Oscar-winning films such as Kevin Costner's "Dances," which was shot in the Dakotas, where he was born. As director of photography, Schoenhut has "DP'd" second unit television work for "Airwolf" and "Dinosaurs," and shot several specials for PBS, including "I'd Rather be Powwowing" and "The Trial of Standing Bear ." Honorably discharged from the Marines in ' 63, Schoenhut worked for several years as a steel worker, loan officer, and public relations professional with General Motors before deciding to return to school and his first love, photography. He promptly earned a BFA in photography from the renowned Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara in '73, then was accepted as a Fellow at the American Film Institute in Hollywood, where he received his MFA in directing and cinematography. Schoenhut shot -- as well as wrote -- television news for Santa Barbara's ABC affiliate, KEYT-TV, for a few years before relocating to Los Angeles, where he joined the stalwart Hollywood Cameraman's Union in 1975 as its only Native American. The talented cinematographer was a natural choice to join director of photography Dean Semler as camera operator on "Dances," what with its Native American storyline. Schoenhut capitalized on the opportunity and was featured camera operator on the Best Picture winner's arguably most memorable scenes, the buffalo hunt sequence. "Dances" also won the Oscar for Best Cinematography. In the mid-' 90s, Schoenhut moved to London and worked on smaller European films and documentaries like "Endangered Species" for WDR Cologne and the BBC and many foreign features. He also shot still fine art photographs while in Europe and England. Schoenhut was one of the camera operators on Universal Pictures' "Mystery Men," starring Greg Kinnear, Ben Stiller, William Macy, and Wes Studi. Schoenhut is writing a feature film, "The Reservation," about crossing cultural barriers in the city, and "Soldier Warriors," a documentary exploring the traditional and contemporary concepts of the warrior through the images and thoughts of Native American G.I.s on the reservation.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ciaran O'Shea

Spouse (1)

Niki Lyons (? - ?) (divorced)

Trivia (4)

American Film Institute, Santa Barbara (earned MFA).
Brooks Institute (earned BFA).
At the time of his death, had completed a novel, "Reservations" (yet to be published. Was working on the follow-up, another novel called "Reflections."

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