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‘Kojak’ Cinematographer Sol Negrin Dies at 88

Multiple Emmy nominee was twice president of International Cinematographers Guild

Cinematographer Sol Negrin, best known for his work on TV series “Kojak” and “St. Elsewhere” died unexpectedly on March 28.

A five-time Emmy nominee, Negrin was born and worked in New York. After initially planning to become a naval architect, he decided to pursue his love for photography in the movie industry and worked as as a camera assistant from 1948 to 1960.

Later, Negrin became a camera operator on mainstream television series, including “The Naked City,” “The Defenders,” “Car 54, Where Are You?” and “The Patty Duke Show.” He also worked on numerous feature films, ranging from “Frankenstein Meets the Spacemonster” to “Where’s Poppa?” and “Across 110th Street.”

Three of Negrin’s five Emmy nominations were for episodes of Kojak (which ran from 1974 to 1977. Another nom came for TV movie “The Last Tenant” (1978) and another for an episode of the series “Baker’s Dozen” (1982). (Telly Savalas, who played lieutenant Theo Kojak in the popular series, is pictured above.)

Negrin’s cinematography in television commercials earned four Clio Awards, including the iconic American Tourister campaign of the bouncing suitcase made during the early 1970s.

His feature credits also include “The Concert for Bangladesh,” “Amazing Grace,” “Proof of the Man” and “Parades.” He also contributed additional cinematography to “Crazy Joe,” “Superman,” “Coming to America,” “King Kong,” “Jaws 2,” “A Forgotten Tune for the Flute” and “Robocop.”

Negrin was twice president of the International Cinematographer’s Guild Local 644.

He shared his wealth of experience and expertise with students and aspiring filmmakers through mentorships, seminars, demonstrations and speaking engagements. He taught Advanced Cinematography at NYU, The School Of Visual Arts, and Five Towns College for more than a decade. He earned an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts degree from Five Towns College in 2002.

Negrin received the American Society of Cinematographers President’s Award. Steven Poster, national president of ICG, noted, “Right after Sol met his wife-to-be Betty, he called me to ask if he could bring her to my set on “Stuart Little 2.” They came and stayed for a while. I’ll never forget the vision I had of how much Sol and Betty were in love.”

He leaves his wife of 16 years, Betty (Paradisin) Negrin; his son, Michael Negrin, who is also a cinematographer; daughter-in-law Cari Lutz; and granddaughters Sophia and Natasha. He is also survived by step children Bill Paradisin, Anne Marie Paradisin, Rich Paradisin, Vicky Paradisin, Shelley Paradisin (Jim Vignato), and step grand-children Catherine, Beth, James, Shane, Emma, Genevieve, Jimmy, Jake and Ryan.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Shirley, and his son, Robert Lloyd Negrin.

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