Joseph Walker (cinematographer)

Joseph Walker
Born Joseph Bailey Walker
(1892-08-22)August 22, 1892
Denver, Colorado, United States
Died August 1, 1985(1985-08-01) (aged 92)
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Occupation cinematographer
Years active 1919 to 1952
Spouse(s) Marjorie Warfield 1923 to 1935 Juanita Walker ?-?

Joseph Walker, A.S.C. (August 22, 1892 August 1, 1985) was an American cinematographer who worked on 145 films during a career that spanned thirty-three years.

Life and work

Born Joseph Bailey Walker in Denver, Colorado, Walker worked as a wireless telephone engineer, inventor, and photographer of documentaries for the Red Cross during World War I[1] before starting his feature film career in 1919 with the Canadian film Back to God's Country, which was filmed near the Arctic Circle. For the next seven years he freelanced at various studios, working for noted directors W.S. Van Dyke, Francis Ford, and George B. Seitz, among others. He joined Columbia Pictures in 1927 and worked almost exclusively at the studio until he retired in 1952.[1]

Walker collaborated with director Frank Capra on twenty films, including Ladies of Leisure (1930), Lady for a Day (1933), The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933), It Happened One Night (1934), Lost Horizon (1937), Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), You Can't Take It with You (1938), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), and It's a Wonderful Life (1946).

In addition to his film work, Walker held twenty patents on various camera-related inventions he devised,[2] including the Double Exposure System, several zoom lenses, the Duomar Lens for both motion picture and television cameras, the Variable Diffusion Device, the Facial Make-Up Meter, lightweight camera blimps, and optical diffusion techniques.[1]

Walker was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography four times. He was the first recipient of the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, presented to him in recognition of his technological contributions to the film industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1982.[2]

Walker collaborated on his 1984 autobiography, The Light on Her Face, with his second wife, Juanita Walker. He died in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Partial filmography


External links

Joseph Walker at the Internet Movie Database

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