Haskell Wexler

Active - 1953 - 2015  |   Born - Feb 6, 1922   |   Died - Dec 27, 2015   |   Genres - Drama, History, Comedy, Culture & Society

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Biography by Bruce Eder

A Chicago-born amateur filmmaker, Haskell Wexler broke into feature films in 1959 as a cinematographer on the documentary The Savage Eye (1960). Wexler photographed the dramas The Hoodlum Priest (1961), Angel Baby (1961), The Best Man (1964), and later distinguished himself as cinematographer on the Mike Nichols drama Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1965). He worked on such high profile feature films as In The Heat of the Night (1967) and The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), but also produced and directed the documentaries The Bus and Medium Cool (1969), the latter a very successful and controversial look at the violence and strife surrounding the anti-war movement and the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. During the 1980s, he also produced and directed the feature film Latino (1985), which was highly critical of American policy in Central America. Wexler won Academy Awards for his work in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Bound For Glory (1976), and also worked on such documentaries as Gimme Shelter and The Stones At the MAX. He continued working as a cinematographer, producer and director until his 90s; Wexler passed away in 2015, at the age of 93.

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