Haskell Wexler Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (3)  | Trivia (13)  | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (3)

Born in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died in Santa Monica, California, USA
Nickname Pete

Mini Bio (1)

Two-time Academy Award-winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler was adjudged one of the ten most influential cinematographers in movie history, according to an International Cinematographers Guild survey of its membership. He won his Oscars in both black & white and color, for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) (1966) and Bound for Glory (1976) (1976). He also shot part of Days of Heaven (1978) (1978), for which credited director of photography Nestor Almendros -- won a Best Cinematography Oscar that Wexler initially felt should have been jointly shared by both. Later he admitted he was just finishing the work of Almendros and when Bert Schneider offer him more credit in the Criterion Dvd release of the film, he turned down the offer. In 1993, Wexler was awarded a Lifetime Achivement award by the cinematographer's guild, the American Society of Cinematographers. He received five Oscar nominations for his cinematography, in total, plus one Emmy Award in a career that has spanned six decades.

In addition to his masterful cinematography, Wexler directed the seminal late Sixties film Medium Cool (1969) and has directed and/or shot many documentaries that display his progressive political views. He was the subject of a 2004 documentary shot by his son Mark Wexler, Tell Them Who You Are (2004).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (3)

Rita Taggart (1989 - 27 December 2015) ( his death)
Marian Jane Witt (1954 - 1985) ( divorced) ( 1 child)
Nancy Jane Ashenhurst (14 January 1943 - 1953) ( divorced) ( 2 children)

Trivia (13)

Brother of Jerrold Wexler and Yale Wexler.
Apprenticed as a camera operator for James Wong Howe.
Father of Mark Wexler, Jeff Wexler and Kathy Wexler. Uncle of Tanya Wexler.
Step-uncle of actresses Daryl Hannah, Page Hannah and actor Don Hannah.
He is one of only six cinematographers to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; the other five being, Hal Mohr, Ray Rennahan, J. Peverell Marley, Leon Shamroy, and Conrad L. Hall.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7070 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 28, 1996.
He met George Lucas when he was still a teenager because of their mutual interest in cars. He suggested that Lucas go to film school, which is why Lucas thanked him in many ways.
Son of Simon Wexler.
Member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC).
Honored by University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, The Haskell Wexler Endowed Chair in Documentary, established through the generosity of the George Lucas Family Foundation, dedication and installation on September 25, 2016.
"America America" director Elia Kazan (at age 54, b:09/07/1909) did not personally like the cinema-photographer director Haskell Wexler (at age 41, b:02/06/1922) but listened to him and learned a lot while they worked together.
Cinematographer for two Oscar Best Picture winners: In the Heat of the Night (1967) and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), and five other nominees: America America (1963), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), The Conversation (1974) (uncredited), Bound for Glory (1976) and Coming Home (1978).
George Lucas credits him with helping American Graffiti get made. When Lucas was pitching it without success, Haskell Wexler attached himself to the project. Lucas was now able to pitch the movie with Wexler being attached to it.

Personal Quotes (3)

We, as filmmakers, are privileged. We can make people cry or laugh. We can make think and feel. It is a great privilege and a great responsibility.
Movies are a voyeuristic experience. You have to make the audience feel like they are peeking through a keyhole. I think of myself as the audience. Then I use light, framing and motion to create a focal point.
On initially not being pleased at being given a simple "additional photography" credit on Days of Heaven (1978) "I had a pretty strong ego trip there for a couple of weeks actually, wanting to get co-credit with Néstor," but Wexler later admitted that: "My job was to see Néstor's footage, try to maintain what he's done and to do it to the best of my ability, and I was in awe of what I saw in the editing room, but I was also honored that they wanted me to go up there and [finish] it."

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