Ralf D. Bode, Oscar- and Emmy-nominated cinematographer, died Feb. 27 of lung cancer at his home in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 59.
Bode was nominated for an Oscar for his work on “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (1980) and an Emmy nod for the TV productions of “Annie” and “A Streetcar Named Desire” with Jessica Lange.
Bode was born in Germany and came to the United States at the age of 14. He graduated from the U. of Vermont and served in the Armed Forces in a special unit devoted to photography. Following his discharge, he moved to New York City to pursue an acting career including enrollment in the Yale Drama School.
In 1976, he worked as a second unit director on the Sylvester Stallone starrer “Rocky” and won praise for the scenes he shot of Stallone running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The following year, Bode photographed his breakthrough feature film “Saturday Night Fever” for director John Badham.
Additional feature credits included “Dressed to Kill,” “A Little Sex,” “Gorky Park,” “Bring on the Night,” “The Whoopee Boys,” “The Accused” (for which Jodie Foster won her first Oscar for best actress), “Made in America,” “Cousins” and “Love Field.”
Bode is survived by two sons, Paul, a camera assistant, and Max.
In lieu of flowers, family suggests donations in Bode’s name be made City of Hope, West Los Angeles Cancer Center, 1500 E. Duarte Road, CA 91010.