Emmy Award-winning cinematographer Gayne Rescher died Feb. 29 in Gig Harbor, Wash., following a long illness. He was 83.
Rescher, who began his career in the mid-1950s, worked on feature and TV films for the next 40 years with directors such as Otto Preminger, Elia Kazan, Paul Newman and Peter Yates.
Rescher received three Emmy Awards for cinematography (in 1980 for “Moviola,” in 1989 for “Shooter,” and in 1991 for “Lucky/Chances.”) He also earned five Emmy nominations and won two achievement in cinematography awards from the American Society of Cinematographers, in 1990 for “Single Women Married Men” and in 1991 for “Lucky/Chances,” starring Sandra Bullock and Nicolette Sheridan.
“Gayne imparted to me his mastery of lighting that other cinematographers have been challenged to live up to,” said Sheridan.
Among more than 50 mini-series and TV movies and series he shot were “Sarah T.: Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic,” “To Kill a Cop,” “The Day After” and “Windmills of the Gods.”
Known his style and skill in lighting attractive women, Rescher was among the first to use soft light to key actors.
Richard Crudo, VP of the American Society of Cinematographers said, “As a cinematographer, Gayne was in a class of his own. His body of work shows us that he was both an artist and an innovator.”
Rescher was born in New York to silent film star Jean Tolley and cinematographer Jay Rescher, who was instrumental in founding the first union to include cinematographers, New York Local 644.
He served as a fighter pilot in WWII, then attended the American Theater School in N.Y. After meeting the woman who would become his first wife, Broadway actress Ottilie Kruger, daughter of actor Otto Kruger, he switched from acting and joined the photographers’ union, quickly finding a love for cinematography.
He married a second time to Darlene Keane, who died of lung cancer.
He is survived by his third wife, Gail Ferguson; three daughters, entrepreneur/director Gaye Rescher Ribble; actress DeeDee Rescher Ball and Deborah Jean Rescher Miller and two grandchildren.
Donations may be made to the Gig Harbor Lions Club, P.O. Box 331, Gig Harbor, WA 98335, in memory of Gayne Rescher.