×

Cinematographer Ric Waite dies

Shot 'Footloose,' '48 Hrs.,' won Emmy

Ric Waite, cinematographer of films including “Footloose,” “48 Hrs.,” “Red Dawn” and “The Long Riders,” died Saturday, Feb. 18, in Los Angeles of natural causes. He was 78.

For his work in television, Waite earned four Emmy nominations, including a win in 1976 for the NBC miniseries “Captains and the Kings.”

Waite began as a still photographer. At the New York City photography studio he owned, he did fashion and advertising work for magazines including GQ, Vogue, Glamour, Seventeen and Playboy and advertisers such as Jaguar and DuPont.

He moved to Los Angeles in 1970 and began work as a cinematographer. Waite initially worked in television, lensing episodes of series including “Emergency!,” “Police Story” and “City of Angels” as well as numerous telepics, including “Tail Gunner Joe” (for which he received an Emmy nom), “The Life and Assassination of the Kingfish” (another Emmy nom), “Dead of Night” and “Amateur Night at the Dixie Bar and Grill.”

He scored his final Emmy nom for a much later effort, the 1996 TNT telepic “Andersonville.”

Waite successfully transitioned to bigscreen work with the critically lauded Walter Hill Western “The Long Riders” in 1979. Among the features he shot were Hill’s “Brewster’s Millions,” starring Richard Pryor and John Candy; Carl Reiner’s “Summer Rental,” with Candy; Nicholas Meyer’s “Volunteers,” starring Tom Hanks and Candy; “Cobra,” starring Sylvester Stallone; Chris Columbus’ “Adventures in Babysitting”; and a number of films starring Steven Seagal.

Richard Waite was born in Sheboygan, Wisc. After high school he joined the Air Force and flew with the Photo Intelligence group.

Waite was a member of the American Society of Cinematographers.

In 2002 he moved to the Denver area, where he taught cinematography and lighting at the Colorado U. Film School.

In recent years Waite shot the films “Best Ribs in Town” and “Assassins’ Code,” and he was set as director of photography on the film “Legacy,” which is in pre-production.

Waite is survived by his wife of 48 years, Judy; a son; and a daughter.

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • Cara Delevingne'Carnival Row' TV show premiere,

    Cara Delevingne Talks Immigration, Taylor Swift's Battle With Scooter Braun

    Cara Delevingne, whose faerie character in “Carnival Row” finds herself washed ashore as a refugee in a foreign land, said she was immediately drawn by the show’s fantastical take on issues of immigration and assimilation. “It’s a cause that I have been involved in for a long time,” Delevingne told Variety at the premiere of [...]

  • John Travolta, Fred Durst. John Travolta,

    John Travolta Recalls Fans Breaking Into His House: 'I Was Scared the First Time'

    Nobody can accuse John Travolta of not being gracious to his fans, whether it’s an autograph, a selfie or, you know, a home invasion or two. “I’ve only had two people that actually invaded my house,” Travolta told Variety at the premiere of “The Fanatic” at the Egyptian Theater on Thursday night. “They were just [...]

  • Sublime Primetime

    How Emmy-Nominated Writers’ Rooms Keep Politics in Mind

    In a world filled with elections, social movements and national tragedies, how open should the doors of a writers’ room actually be? For some of this year’s Emmy-nominated shows, those doors are wide open. Before the 71st annual Primetime Emmy Awards air on Sept. 22, the Writers Guild of America West and Writers Guild Foundation, [...]

  • 50 Cent Power S6 Premiere

    50 Cent, Snoop Dogg & Trey Songz 'Power' Up New York City for Massive Season 6 Premiere

    “Power” is entering its final season, but you would never know if you walked by Madison Square Garden in Manhattan on Tuesday night. Starz pulled out all the stops for its ratings powerhouse “Power,” throwing a massive premiere event, complete with a full-length concert at Madison Square Garden from Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and a [...]

  • Diane Warren'Late Night' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Songs of Hope to Honor Diane Warren, Marc Shaiman, Boi-1da, More at 15th Annual Event

    Cancer research and treatment center City of Hope today announced the initial lineup of presenters and honorees who will celebrate the song and songwriter at its 15th annual Songs of Hope event. Among the music and entertainment industry VIPs in attendance will be veteran executive and producer Clive Davis, producer Boi-1da (Drake, Kendrick Lamar), award-winning [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content