'Maverick' DP to be feted Feb. 16

HOLLYWOOD — Ralph Woolsey, who won an Emmy in 1968 for the skein “It Takes a Thief,” will receive the American Society of Cinematographers Presidents Award.

Woolsey will be honored during the 17th annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards on Feb. 16 at the Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

The kudo is given annually to an individual for unique and enduring contributions to advancing the art of filmmaking. Previous recipients include actor Robert Duvall; visual effects pioneers Linwood Dunn, Hans Koenekamp and Douglas Trumbull; Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown; camera designers Tak Miyagishima and Albert Mayer Jr.; documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles; film archivist Kemp Niver; and cinematographers William Clothier, Guy Green and Charles Wheeler.

“Ralph Woolsey has earned the respect and admiration of peers for his innovative spirit and artistry as a cinematographer,” said Owen Roizman, chairman of the org’s awards committee. “This tribute also recognizes his dedication to advancing the art of filmmaking. Ralph has mentored hundreds of students at film schools, teaching the skills and aesthetics necessary for success.”

Shot training films in WWII

Woolsey launched his career by shooting wildlife and conservation films for the state of Minnesota during the late 1930s, then shot training films for the U.S. Army Air Force during WWII. He moved to California and shot documentaries plus industrial and other nonfiction films, and taught at USC before becoming a contract cinematographer for Warner Bros. in 1957.

Other TV series credits include “Maverick,” “Cheyenne,” “Sunset Strip,” “Hawaiian Eye,” “Batman” and “Mr. Roberts”; telefilms include “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and “A Girl Named Sooner.”

Film credits include “Little Fauss and Big Halsy,” “The Culpepper Cattle Company,” “Lifeguard,” “The New Centurions,” “The Iceman Cometh” and “The Great Santini.”

“Ralph Woolsey is a talented and unselfish artist who has taught many students and inspired countless colleagues, including myself, with his total dedication to his profession,” ASC prexy Steven Poster said. “He deserves this recognition, and it is our privilege to present it to him.”

Woolsey served as ASC prexy in 1983. He became a member of the org in 1956.

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