Owen Roizman, Oscar-Nominated Cinematographer of ‘Exorcist’ and ‘Tootsie,’ Dies at 86

Owen Roizman, the five-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer responsible for producing the look and visual style of several classic films, including “Exorcist” and “Tootsie,” has died at the age of 86 following a long illness, a spokesperson for the American Society of Cinematographers announced Saturday.

“We are very sorry to hear that cinematographer Owen Roizman, ASC has died at the age of 86 following a long illness. Nominated five times for his camerawork, he was presented in 2017 with an honorary Academy Award for his contributions to cinema. We are preparing a full memorial,” a Saturday tweet from American Cinematographer reads.

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Roizman, who was nominated for the Oscars for “The French Connection,” “The Exorcist,” “Network,” “Tootsie” and the 1994 Western “Wyatt Earp,” was honored with an honorary Academy Award for his contributions to film in 2017. He also received an Emmy nomination for the 1972 Liza Minnelli variety special “Liza With a Z,” which was directed by Bob Fosse.

In addition, he worked on two Madonna music videos, “Gambler” and “Crazy for You,” as well as served as cinematographer for “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

The film visualist, who was born in Brooklyn, New York, on Sept. 22, 1936, followed in the footsteps of his father, Sol, who was a cinematographer for Fox Movietone News. During his time at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, he studied math and physics and later made his first mark in Hollywood shooting TV commercials, with his feature film debut as a director of photography on the 1970 movie “Stop!”

On top of his lengthy resume, Roizman served on the board of governors for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in the cinematographers’ sector and was Kodak Cinematographer in Residence at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television in 2003.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Mona Lindholm, their son Eric and Roizman’s sister Frankie.