Cinematographer John William Elsenbach died of heart failure at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills, Calif. on Nov. 13. He was 79.
Born in Chicago, he studied photography at the Bauhaus Institute of Design, and joined the Army in 1945, serving in World War II .
He started his career as a freelance assistant cameraman and cameraman, working on TV shows and docus such as Edward R. Murrow’s “Population Explosion” and on “Wild Kingdom” with Marlon Perkins.
He worked as assistant or camera operator on films including “Picnic,” “Nashville Rebel,” “Winning,” “Love at First Bite” and “Bloody Mama” with Shelley Winters.
As a D.P., he shot series including “Dukes of Hazard,” “Kojak, “Knots Landing” and “Murder, She Wrote.” He also shot TV movies “The Alamo: Thirteen Days to Glory” and “Where the Hell’s That Gold?!!? ”
He was nominated for four Emmys as D.P. for two episodes of “Murder, She Wrote,” “The Alamo, Thirteen Days to Glory” and “Codename: Foxfire.” Elsenbach also won American Society of Cinematography awards for the two “Murder, She Wrote” episodes and “The Alamo, Thirteen Days to Glory.” He was an honorary lifetime member of the Intl. Cinematographers Guild Local 600, IATSE.
He is survived by two daughters, a son, two granddaughters and a brother.
Donations may be sent to the American Heart Assn., 333 N. Lantana Street Ste. #265, Camarillo, CA 93010.