Oswald Morris

Active - 1947 - 1988  |   Born - Nov 22, 1915   |   Died - Mar 17, 2014   |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Comedy, Adventure

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

British cinematographer Oswald Morris had a life-long interest in cinema. As a boy, he spent his school vacations working as a projectionist; when he was 16, he dropped out of school to apprentice in the film industry. Though he was not paid, Morris stuck to it and by 1935 had gone from clapper boy to assistant cameraman. Three years later, he worked as a cameraman on "quota quickies" (during the late '20s through the '30s, the Cinematograph Act was in effect in Britain; the act stated that approximately 30 percent of all motion pictures shown there had to have been made in the U.K. -- the resulting films were generally poor). During WWII, Morris served as a bomber pilot for the Royal Air Force; after the war, he returned to camerawork on a number of films, including the 1948 version of Oliver Twist. By the early '50s, he was working as a director of photography and soon distinguished himself as one of Britain's premiere cinematographers. Morris' work was also respected in the U.S. where he worked on several John Huston films. In 1971, he won an Oscar for his work on Fiddler on the Roof. His last film was the Jim Henson-Frank Oz fantasy film The Dark Crystal (1982). Morris died in 2014 at age 98.

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