Fred J. Koenekamp, Oscar-Winning DP of ‘The Towering Inferno,’ Dies at 94

Fred Koenekamp
Courtesy of YouTube

Cinematographer Fred J. Koenekamp, who won an Oscar for “The Towering Inferno” and was also nominated for shooting “Patton” and “Islands in the Stream,” died May 31.

His daughter Kathy Guyitt and the American Society of Cinematographers confirmed his death.

Both “Patton” and “Islands in the Stream” were directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, for whom he also shot “Papillon” and later “Yes, Giorgio.”

His work included memorable films of the 1970s such as “Billy Jack,” “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls,” “Kansas City Bomber,” “Uptown Saturday Night,” and “The Amityville Horror.”

Koenekamp received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the ASC in 2005.

He was born in Los Angeles, where his father, Hans F. Koenekamp, was a Hollywood cinematographer and special effects expert. After starting out as a film loader at RKO, he moved up through the ranks and eventually became director of photography for several seasons of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”

A memorial service will be held June 17 at 1 p.m. at Eternal Valley Memorial Park & Mortuary, 23287 North Sierra Highway in Newhall, Calif.

Donations may be made to Golden Retriever Rescue of Southwest Florida or the Alzheimer’s Association of the Gulf Coast.

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  1. Bill B. says:

    I surely didn’t remember The Towering Inferno winning this Oscar. Awful movie.

  2. Alex Meyer says:

    R.I.P. The Towering Inferno is the greatest disaster film of all time.

    • Chuck Kopsho says:

      He was also director of photography for Irwin Allen’s mini-series, “Alice in Wonderland.”

  3. John says:

    Great cinematographer! Incredible work on “Patton”. R.I.P.

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