You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tim Hetherington: A life on the front lines

Award-winning photojournalist was working on media project in Misurata

“Restrepo” co-director Tim Hetherington, who was killed Wednesday by a rocket-propelled grenade while working in Libya, had dedicated much of his career to showing humanity in the face of conflict. The 40-year old photojournalist was working on a freelance assignment in Misurata, one of the hotspots in the ongoing Libyan rebellion.

Hetherington had been in Libya since April 10 and was killed along with Getty photographer Chris Hondros. Two other photogs, Guy Martin and Michael Brown, were also injured. A rep for Hetherington said although it was unclear which side was responsible for the attack, it occurred while Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s forces were being pushed back.

Hetherington last tweeted on April 19, “In besieged Libyan city of Misurata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO.”

Hondros covered conflicts including in Kosovo, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan. An award-winning Getty photog, his work appeared in major U.S. newspapers and mags.

Getty Images released a statement mourning Hondros: “Chris never shied away from the front line, having covered the world’s major conflicts throughout his distinguished career, and his work in Libya was no exception.”

Hetherington co-directed the Oscar-nominated doc about the Afghanistan war with journo Sebastian Junger. The pic, distributed by National Geographic Films, also won the Grand Jury award at Sundance.

“National Geographic is devastated by the tragic news of Tim Hetherington’s death in Libya. This is a sad and terrible day. We join the community of dedicated photojournalists and documentarians around the world who are mourning his loss,” said the National Geographic Society’s president Tim Kelly.

Born in Liverpool, U.K., Hetherington was based in New York and was a contributing editor to Vanity Fair. He began shooting conflict zones in 1999 when he was sent to cover the civil war in Liberia.

Though “Restrepo” was his first film as director, he served as cinematographer on 2007 Darfur docu “The Devil Came on Horseback” and on 2004’s “Liberia: An Uncivil War,” when he was the only photographer to live behind rebel lines during the 2003 civil war.

In 2006, he became a member of the Panel of Experts of the U.N. Security Council’s Liberia Sanctions Committee.

Hetherington talked to Variety last year about shooting “Restrepo,” which portrayed the deployment of a U.S. platoon in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley, a stronghold of Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

“The logistics were incredibly difficult,” Hetherington said. “Both Sebastian and I were injured during filming. I broke my ankle (during a battle), and Sebastian’s Humvee blew up but luckily no one was killed. And those were just the physical challenges. The emotional challenge was being with an operation in which men were killed that we had spent time and formed relationships with.”

“Tim and I have been war reporters for a long time, and (these challenges) are part of the deal you make when working on a project like this,” Junger told Variety in 2010.His photo reportage books included “Infidel,” based on the material from “Restrepo,” and “Long Story Bit by Bit: Liberia Retold.”

“Tim will be remembered for his amazing images and his Academy Award-nominated documentary ‘Restrepo,’ which he co-produced with his friend Sebastian Junger. Tim was in Libya to continue his ongoing multimedia project to highlight humanitarian issues during time of war and conflict. He will be forever missed,” said the Hetherington family in a statement.

He is survived by his mother, father, a brother and a sister.

More Film

  • The Red Sea Diving Resort

    Cinematographer Roberto Schaefer on Gideon Raff's Thriller ‘The Red Sea Diving Resort’

    TORUN, Poland – While Gideon Raff’s Netflix thriller “The Red Sea Diving Resort” shot largely in South Africa and Namibia, the project was a welcomed opportunity for cinematographer Roberto Schaefer due to his own memorable travels through Ethiopia. The film, which screened in the EnergaCamerimage Intl. Film Festival’s Contemporary World Cinema section, is loosely based [...]

  • Film director and scriptwriter Vojtech Jasny

    Vojtech Jasny, Award-Winning Czech Filmmaker, Dies at 93

    Czech filmmaker Vojtech Jasny, director of “All My Good Countrymen,” which won the best director prize at Cannes in 1969, has died. He was 93. According to the Associated Press, Slovacke divadlo, a theatre he frequently visited, said that Jasny died Friday, and a family representative confirmed his death to the CTK news agency. Jasny [...]

  • Noelle Anna Kendrick

    Film Review: 'Noelle' on Disney Plus

    What do you get when you toss together Christmas cheer, Christmas kitsch, a fish-out-of-the-North-Pole setup swiped from “Elf,” and a plot that turns on whether Kris Kringle’s daughter, played as a perky naïf by Anna Kendrick, has what it takes to step into her dad’s snow boots? You get a plastic icicle like “Noelle,” Long [...]

  • Scandalous

    Film Review: 'Scandalous: The Untold Story of the National Enquirer'

    When grocery store shoppers snag a copy of Weekly World News (the rag responsible for the refuses-to-die “Bat Child” hoax), they know they’re getting fake news. But when they pick up the National Enquirer, it’s a far more ambiguous prospect. Enquirer headlines are deliberately provocative, shouting details of the private lives of real people — [...]

  • Cynthia Erivo

    Cynthia Erivo Almost Gave Up Singing to Become a Spinal Surgeon

    Before Cynthia Erivo went on to become a Tony and Grammy winner, she nearly gave up singing to be a spinal surgeon. In her “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors” conversation with Alfre Woodard, the “Harriet” star said she had been singing since she was toddler. Her mother noticed she’d hum while eating her food when [...]

  • Alfre Woodard Cynthia Erivo Variety Actors

    How Cynthia Erivo and Alfre Woodard Found Deeper Meaning in ‘Harriet’ and ‘Clemency’

    Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”) and Alfre Woodard (“Clemency”) sat down for a chat for “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.” For more, click here. Cynthia Erivo and Alfre Woodard are at the forefront of this year’s awards conversation for two prestige films directed by black women. In Chinonye Chukwu’s “Clemency,” a movie that won the Sundance Grand [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content