Cinematographer William H. Clothier entered films in 1923 as a 20-year-old assistant cameraman. Clothier made a name for himself early on with his excellent aerial photography in the 1927 blockbuster Wings. Unable to gain entry into the American cameramen's union for several years, he plied his trade in other countries, returning to Hollywood after serving with the Air Corps in World War II. After attaining his first director-of-photography credit with 1947's For You I Die, Clothier contributed mightily to the Western and "outdoor" films of John Ford, William Wellman, Raoul Walsh, Budd Boetticher, Sam Peckinpah, and Burt Kennedy. He also worked with the mercurial Andrew Stone in Ring of Fire (1960); after risking his neck filming an actual forest fire, Clothier, like so many of his colleagues before him, swore never to come within hailing distance of Stone ever again. Oscar nominations were bestowed upon Clothier for his work on John Wayne's The Alamo (1960) and John Ford's Cheyenne Autumn (1964). In 1965, William H. Clothier made his acting debut, playing a small part in Andrew McLaglen's Shenandoah (which he also photographed).