Brianne ‘Bri’ Murphy

First female member of the Cinematographers Guild

Emmy- and AMPAS-winning lenser Brianne “Bri” Murphy, Women in Film Crystal winner and the first woman to become a member of the American Society of Cinematographers Guild, died Wednesday in Puerto Vallarto, Mexico, of a brain tumor and lung cancer. She was 70 and had been ill since April.

London native attended the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York, worked as a trick rider with a rodeo for a season and later famously crashed the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus at Madison Square Garden disguised as a clown in order to get photos on opening night in 1954 — and performed much of that show. That stunt landed her a job as a still photographer with the circus and led to her arrival in Hollywood, where she began working with filmmakers Jerry Warren and Ralph Brooke, both of whom she married.

She worked at first on low-budget films, then later became d.p. on 1980’s Ann Bancroft-helmed “Fatso,” starring Bancroft and Dom DeLuise — one of the first major-studio films to be lensed by a woman. Other films include “Nice Dreams” and “Secrets of the Bermuda Triangle.”

She also worked extensively in TV on such shows as “Little House on the Prairie,” “Trapper John, M.D.,” “Highway to Heaven,” “Mulligan Stew” and “Wonder Woman.”

She won an Emmy for “Five Finger Discount,” an ABC Afterschool special, and was nommed several times including ones for Fox’s “Breaking Away,” NBC’s “Highway to Heaven” and “Little House on the Prairie” and PBS’ “There Were Times, Dear.”

She also shared a 1982 Scientific and Engineering technical award from the Acad of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences.

In 1984, she shared the spotlight with Barbra Streisand in receiving the Women in Film Crystal Award.

She had moved to Mexico with her sister a number of years ago. Her sister survives her.