Academy President and ‘Ordinary People’ Cinematographer Passes Away at 81 – The Hollywood Reporter

Legendary cinematographer John Bailey tragically passed away on Friday at the age of 81, leaving behind an extraordinary legacy in the world of film. The husband of Oscar-nominated filmmaker Carol Littleton, Bailey worked on numerous iconic films including Ordinary People, Groundhog Day, and As Good as It Gets.

With his Southern California upbringing, Bailey’s career in cinematography was a remarkable blend of creative achievement and enduring friendships. He had notable collaborations with esteemed directors such as Paul Schrader, Lawrence Kasdan, and Ken Kwapis, with whom he worked on several films throughout his storied career.

Bailey’s unique perspective on film was deeply influenced by his appreciation of international cinema and his unwavering commitment to ethical and meaningful storytelling. This vision shaped his celebrated body of work, earning him a lifetime achievement award from the American Society of Cinematographers.

Aside from his exceptional contributions to the art of cinematography, Bailey served as the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for two impactful terms. His leadership was marked by significant developments in the Academy’s membership, international outreach, and advocacy for the preservation of film history.

Throughout his life, Bailey’s passion for cinema was the driving force behind his dedication to creating impactful, ethical, and thought-provoking films. His presence will be sorely missed by the entire film community, and his remarkable legacy will continue to inspire future generations of filmmakers.


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