BySarah Gibson, writer at
Follow @sarahmoviepilot
Sarah Gibson

Gordon Willis, one of Hollywood's most influential and groundbreaking cinematographers, has died at the age of 82.

Nicknamed "The Prince of Darkness" for his iconic touches on such definitive 1970s releases as Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather, and Woody Allen's Annie Hall, Willis is said to have died of metastatic cancer, at his home in North Falmouth.

His style was characterized by his ability to use light and shadow, which he often did in order to show a character's moral free-fall, and his preference for shooting at dusk when the light looks warm. Coppola, in fact, once commented that Willis had a "natural sense of structure and beauty, not unlike a Renaissance artist".

From 1971 to 1977, Willis earned a total of 39 Oscar nominations, 19 of which won the award. Ultimately, however, Willis received only two Oscar nominations for his cinematography - for The Godfather Part III and Zelig, but won neither award - and was instead awarded an honorary Oscar in 2009.

Rest in peace, Prince of Darkness. Your legacy will move on through your many great movies.


Favorite Gordon Willis movie?

(Source: THR, NYT)


Latest from our Creators