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Steven Larner

Cinematographer, documentarian, winegrower

Cinematographer, documentarian and winegrower Stevan Larner died Nov. 6 from complications following an accident on his vineyard near Solvang, Calif. He was 75.

Born in New York City, Larner attended Yale U. and was drafted to Army Intelligence during the Korea War. He then enrolled in Paris-based film school IDHEC, the Sorbonne University’s cinema unit, which led to several years making documentaries and shooting newsreel footage in Algeria duriing the war of independence.

He became a filmmaker with the U.S. Information Agency and made a series of documentaries focused on social issues that took him around the world. In 1969, his docu “A Few Notes on Our Food Problem,” about population pressures, was nominated for an Oscar.

Moving to Hollywood, he taught film at UCLA, where his students included the Doors’ Jim Morrison.

Larner soon began working as a director of photography, amassing some 65 film and TV credits, as well as an Emmy Award, five Emmy noms and two American Society of Cinematographers’ Awards.

Among his feature credits are “Badlands,” “The Buddy Holly Story,” “Caddyshack” and “The Beans of Egypt, Maine.” For TV, he shot miniseries and series including “Roots,” “The Winds of War,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “North and South.”

In 1997, he and his wife brought property in California’s Santa Ynez Valley, where they began selling grapes to wine producers under the Larner Vineyard designation.

A jazz tribute will be held at Larner Vineyard on Dec. 10.

He is survived by his wife Christine, a daughter and a son.

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