Earl Colgrove, a veteran Hollywood photographer who spent more than 30 years as a still photographer with the Walt Disney Studio, died Nov. 16 of natural causes at the Motion Picture and Television Fund hospital in suburban Woodland Hills. He was 93.
Born in Long Beach, Calif., Colgrove began his photography career in the mid-1920s with Technicolor in Hollywood, working on some of the first films done in color.
In the 1930s Colgrove took pictures for a variety of news organizations, eventually becoming Los Angeles bureau chief for the New York Times, where he photographed the likes of Carol Lombard, Jimmie Durante, Gary Cooper and Walt Disney.
His friendship with Disney helped him land a job in 1937 as head of Disney’s still camera department. He worked there until World War II began, when he got leave to volunteer as a lieutenant in the Navy.
Following the war, Colgrove returned to his job at Disney and began recording the history of Disney productions, documenting early animated hits like “Snow White” and “Dumbo” through features like “Parent Trap” and “Mary Poppins.” He retired in 1972.
Colgrove, who married Ruth Katherine Gardner in 1934, is survived by two daughters, seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.