John Alonzo

John Alonzo, Oscar-nominated cinematographer and director of photography whose career began with Roger Corman’s “Bloody Mama” and has included “Sounder,” and “Star Trek: Generations,” died Tuesday. He was 66.

Alonzo, who received a best cinematography Oscar nomination for Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown” in 1975, began his film career as an actor. After a small role in 1960’s “The Magnificent Seven” and larger roles in lesser-known films, Alonzo put acting on the backburner because his blooming still photography career was paying most of the bills.

His big break in the field came as a camera operator on John Frankenheimer’s “Seconds” (1966) and, after his stint with Corman, Alonzo worked as a director of photography on films including “Vanishing Point,” “Harold and Maude” and 1972’s “Lady Sings the Blues,” which gave him the opportunity to use extra lighting effects.

His first collaboration with director Martin Ritt resulted in 1972’s “Pete ‘n’ Tillie.” That same year, he also teamed with Brian DePalma on “Get to Know your Rabbit.” He also photographed parts of Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

Alonzo directed his first feature, “FM” in 1978 and the following year reunited with Ritt for “Norma Rae.” He also filmed “Tom Horn” that same year. In 1983 he reteamed with DePalma on the remake of “Scarface.”

More Scene

  • SAG Awards Prep

    Sneak Peek at 2018 SAG Awards Post-Show Gala

    John Alonzo, Oscar-nominated cinematographer and director of photography whose career began with Roger Corman’s “Bloody Mama” and has included “Sounder,” and “Star Trek: Generations,” died Tuesday. He was 66. Alonzo, who received a best cinematography Oscar nomination for Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown” in 1975, began his film career as an actor. After a small role in […]

  • grace and frankie lisa kudrow

    Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin Talk the Realities of Aging at ‘Grace and Frankie’ Season 4 Premiere

    John Alonzo, Oscar-nominated cinematographer and director of photography whose career began with Roger Corman’s “Bloody Mama” and has included “Sounder,” and “Star Trek: Generations,” died Tuesday. He was 66. Alonzo, who received a best cinematography Oscar nomination for Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown” in 1975, began his film career as an actor. After a small role in […]

  • Sundance Parties

    Sundance 2018: The Insider's Party Guide

    John Alonzo, Oscar-nominated cinematographer and director of photography whose career began with Roger Corman’s “Bloody Mama” and has included “Sounder,” and “Star Trek: Generations,” died Tuesday. He was 66. Alonzo, who received a best cinematography Oscar nomination for Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown” in 1975, began his film career as an actor. After a small role in […]

  • '12 Strong' film premiere

    '12 Strong': Chris Hemsworth Hopes Film Can Reduce 'Misconceptions' About Afghanistan

    John Alonzo, Oscar-nominated cinematographer and director of photography whose career began with Roger Corman’s “Bloody Mama” and has included “Sounder,” and “Star Trek: Generations,” died Tuesday. He was 66. Alonzo, who received a best cinematography Oscar nomination for Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown” in 1975, began his film career as an actor. After a small role in […]

  • Guillermo del Toro, Greta Gerwig and

    Timothée Chalamet Says He'd Love to Work With Christopher Nolan or Guillermo del Toro

    John Alonzo, Oscar-nominated cinematographer and director of photography whose career began with Roger Corman’s “Bloody Mama” and has included “Sounder,” and “Star Trek: Generations,” died Tuesday. He was 66. Alonzo, who received a best cinematography Oscar nomination for Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown” in 1975, began his film career as an actor. After a small role in […]

  • Tracee Ellis Ross

    Tracee Ellis Ross at Image Makers Awards: 'Clothing Started as Armor for Me'

    John Alonzo, Oscar-nominated cinematographer and director of photography whose career began with Roger Corman’s “Bloody Mama” and has included “Sounder,” and “Star Trek: Generations,” died Tuesday. He was 66. Alonzo, who received a best cinematography Oscar nomination for Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown” in 1975, began his film career as an actor. After a small role in […]

  • 'Salute to Service' Honored Industry Support

    Variety's 'Salute to Service' Presented by National Geographic Celebrates Industry Supporters of Troops, Veterans

    John Alonzo, Oscar-nominated cinematographer and director of photography whose career began with Roger Corman’s “Bloody Mama” and has included “Sounder,” and “Star Trek: Generations,” died Tuesday. He was 66. Alonzo, who received a best cinematography Oscar nomination for Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown” in 1975, began his film career as an actor. After a small role in […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content