Michael Ballhaus (I) (1935–2017)

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Michael Ballhaus was a German cinematographer. He worked on many American films, including Baby It's You (1983), Old Enough (1984), After Hours (1985), The Color of Money (1986), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Goodfellas (1990), Dracula (1992), The Age of Innocence (1993), Gangs of New York (2002), and The Departed (2006). Ballhaus was ... See full bio »


(age 81) in Berlin, Germany

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 24 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »


Known For

Goodfellas Cinematographer
Dracula Cinematographer
The Age of Innocence Cinematographer
The Departed Cinematographer


Hide Hide Show Show Cinematographer (130 credits)
 2013 First Fassbinder (Short)
 2013 3096 Tage
 2009 Madonna: Celebration - The Video Collection (Video) (videos "Papa Don't Preach", "True Blue")
 2009 Purple Sunrise (Short)
 2006 The Departed (director of photography)
 2005 Sonntagsluft (director of photography)
 2003 Something's Gotta Give (director of photography)
 2003 Uptown Girls (director of photography)
 2002 Mutti (Short)
 2002 Gangs of New York (director of photography)
 2001 Gone Underground (Short)
 2000 The Legend of Bagger Vance (director of photography)
 2000 What Planet Are You From? (director of photography)
 1999 Wild Wild West (director of photography)
 1998 Primary Colors (director of photography)
 1997 Air Force One (director of photography)
 1996 Kreuz & quer
 1996 Sleepers (director of photography)
 1995 Outbreak (director of photography)
 1994 Quiz Show (director of photography)
 1993 The Age of Innocence (director of photography)
 1992 Dracula (director of photography)
 1992 The Mambo Kings (director of photography)
 1991 What About Bob? (director of photography)
 1991 Guilty by Suspicion (director of photography)
 1990 Madonna: The Immaculate Collection (Video) (segment "Papa Don't Preach")
 1990 Postcards from the Edge (director of photography)
 1990 Goodfellas (director of photography)
 1989 The Fabulous Baker Boys (director of photography)
 1988 Working Girl (director of photography)
 1988 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (director of photography)
 1988 The Last Temptation of Christ (director of photography)
 1988 Baja Oklahoma (TV Movie)
 1987 The House on Carroll Street (director of photography)
 1987 Broadcast News (director of photography)
 1987 The Glass Menagerie (director of photography)
 1986 Landscape with Waitress (TV Movie)
 1986 Prince: Mountains (Music Video)
 1986 The Color of Money (director of photography)
 1986 Madonna: True Blue (Music Video)
 1986 Under the Cherry Moon (director of photography)
 1986 Madonna: Papa Don't Preach (Music Video)
 1985 Chaka Khan: This Is My Night (Music Video)
 1985 Death of a Salesman (TV Movie)
 1985/I After Hours (director of photography)
 1984 Heartbreakers (director of photography)
 1984 Old Enough (director of photography)
 1984 Das Autogramm
 1984 Reckless
 1983 Baby It's You (director of photography)
 1983 Sheer Madness
 1982 Der Auslöser (TV Movie)
 1981 Looping
 1981 Oye Raimundo, adónde vas? (Documentary)
 1981 Malou
 1981 Lili Marleen (uncredited)
 1980 Weihnacht '80 - Drei geschichten (TV Movie) (segments "'Maria und Josef'", "'Das Menschenkindl'")
 1979 Alpensaga (TV Series) (1 episode)
 1979 Trilogie des Wiedersehens (TV Movie)
 1979 Bourbon Street Blues (Short)
 1978 I (Beat (It)) (Short)
 1978 I (Beat (It)) - Teile I und II (Short) (segment "Teile I")
 1978 Der Gehilfe (TV Movie)
 1978 Despair (director of photography)
 1978 Germany in Autumn (Documentary)
 1977 Also es war so... (TV Movie)
 1977 The Stationmaster's Wife (TV Movie)
 1977 Ein Haus für uns (TV Series) (2 episodes)
- Die Insel (1977)
 1977 Women in New York (TV Movie)
 1977 Portrait of Valeska Gert (Documentary)
 1977 Curd Jürgens (TV Movie documentary)
 1977 Auf dem Chimborazo (TV Movie)
 1976 Satan's Brew
 1976 Sonntag (TV Movie)
 1976 Dorothea Merz (TV Movie)
 1976 I Only Want You to Love Me (TV Movie)
 1976 Die Wahl (TV Movie)
 1976 Summer Guests
 1975 Cold Blood
 1974 Unter einem Dach (TV Series)
 1974 Rosenmontag (TV Movie)
 1974/I Martha (TV Movie)
 1973 Tatort (TV Series) (1 episode)
 1973 The Sinful Bed (as Michael Alexander)
 1973 World on a Wire (TV Mini Series)
 1973 Ich bin ein Bürger der DDR (TV Movie documentary)
 1972 Tödlicher Poker (director of photography)
 1972 Adele Spitzeder (TV Movie)
 1972 Der Held (TV Movie)
 1972 Der Marquis von Keith (TV Movie)
 1971 Sand (TV Movie)
 1971 Whity
 1971 Fassbinder produziert: Film Nr. 8 (TV Movie documentary)
 1971 Die Verabredung mit der Wirklichkeit (TV Movie documentary)
 1970 We Two
 1969 Der Kidnapper (TV Movie)
 1968 Gold für Montevasall (TV Movie)
 1968 Ganze Tage in den Bäumen (TV Movie)
 1966 Ein Haus aus lauter Liebe (TV Short)
 1966 Abschied (TV Movie)
 1966 Große Liebe (TV Movie)
 1964 Das Martyrium des Peter O'Hey (TV Movie)
 1964 Die Wohnung (TV Movie)
 1963 Der Klassenaufsatz (TV Movie)
 1961 Traumland der Sehnsucht (Documentary)
 1961 Die Kassette (TV Movie)
 1960 Die Nachbarskinder (TV Movie)
Show Show Director (6 credits)
Show Show Actor (6 credits)
Show Show Camera and Electrical Department (6 credits)
Show Show Producer (4 credits)
Show Show Writer (1 credit)
Show Show Art department (1 credit)
Show Show Editor (1 credit)
Show Show Additional Crew (1 credit)
Show Show Thanks (8 credits)
Show Show Self (49 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (4 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Cinematographer for Madonna's music video "Papa Don't Preach" See more »

Publicity Listings:

1 Portrayal | 1 Interview | 3 Articles | See more »

Alternate Names:

Michael Alexander | Ballhaus


Sherry Hormann  (his death) | See more »

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

[in 2016, on how his difficult collaboration with Rainer Werner Fassbinder prepared him for his career in the U.S.] It helped a lot because he was not an easy director. He was very hard on me and he was very pushy. He always cracked the whip to be fast and not to spend too much time. So I learned to be fast and still tried to be good. That was a big help later when I started shooting in the ... See more »


He was the director of photography for six films that were nominated for the 'Best Picture' Academy Award: Broadcast News (1987), Working Girl (1988), Goodfellas (1990), Quiz Show (1994), Gangs of New York (2002) and The Departed (2006), which won 'Best Picture'. See more »


Cinematographer of many films by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Martin Scorsese and Mike Nichols.

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