Harry Stradling

Active - 1921 - 1970  |   Born - Sep 2, 1901   |   Died - Feb 14, 1970   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Romance, Musical

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Biography by Hal Erickson

The nephew of cameraman Walter Stradling, who worked with Mary Pickford in the 1910s and '20s, British-born cinematographer Harry Stradling began manning the Bell and Howell himself in the mid-'20s. Confined to programmers and two-reelers in Hollywood, Stradling packed up his equipment and headed for France in 1934, almost immediately distinguishing himself with his work on the director Jacques Feyder's film classic Carnival in Flanders (1935). He then moved to England, where he worked on the 1939 Alfred Hitchcock picture Jamaica Inn. Hitchcock called upon Stradling to shoot two of his early Hollywood films, Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941) and Suspicion (1941). Resettling in Hollywood, Stradling went on to win an Oscar for his work on The Picture of Dorian Gray (1946). He continued turning out superior work on such films as A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and My Fair Lady (1964) (the latter film contained a piquant on-set moment when Stradling photographed Betty Blythe -- one of the major stars he'd lensed in the '20s, now confined to bit roles). Perhaps Stradling's most momentous assignment of the '60s was the task of turning the oddly-featured stage star Barbra Streisand into a photogenic movie star in Funny Girl (1968). Streisand was so grateful and appreciative that she insisted upon Stradling's services for her subsequent films Hello Dolly (1969) and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1969). Harry Stradling died in 1970, halfway through production of the Streisand vehicle The Owl and the Pussycat; his replacement was Andrew Laszlo.

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