Nightingall worked on over 47 films, including 1977’s “Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope.” It wasn’t until 2015 that he developed cult status among “Star Wars” enthusiasts after an on-set photo showed the boom operator in shirtless in pink shorts, black socks and brown boots. In the picture, his arms were hoisting a boom microphone over Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker, CP30 and R2D2 as Alec Guinness’s Obi-Wan Kenobi looks on.
His outfit became a regular at any science-fiction convention as “Star Wars” buffs cosplayed Nightingall’s “pink shorts boom guy.”
Last year, Nightingale, who was uncredited on “Star Wars,” was tracked down and asked about the famous photo. “It was very very hot,” he responded, adding that the scorching hot Tunisian weather prompted his clothing choice for the day.
Academy Award-winning sound mixer Chris Munro paid tribute to Nightingale, writing, “I first met Ken when I entered the industry over 50 years ago. He was immensely supportive of me as I carved my early career as a young sound mixer. ‘Legend’ is the word that springs to mind when I try to describe him. He will be sadly missed by our film community but his is a life and career that should be celebrated. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”
Nightingall is a veteran of the international film industry. Highlights in his long and distinguished career include “Alfie,” “Funeral In Berlin,” “The Boys From Brazil,” and the James Bond films “For Your Eyes Only,” “Octopussy,” “A View To A Kill” And “The Living Daylights.”