Oscar Artists: Willis, Gordon–Cinematographer of The Godfather , Dies at 82

The brilliant cinematographer Gordon Willis, whose imagery for “The Godfather” trilogy and Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall” and “Manhattan” helped define the look of 1970s cinema, has died. He was 82.

Willis was known as the Prince of Darkness for his artful use of shadows, and he was the cinematographer or director of photography on seminal 1970s films including “Klute,” “The Paper Chase,” “The Parallax View” and “All the President’s Men.”

He received an honorary Academy Award in 2009 at the first Governor’s Awards ceremony.

Among the other Woody Allen films he shot were “Interiors,” “Stardust Memories,” “Broadway Danny Rose,” “The Purple Rose of Cairo” and “Zelig,” for which he was Oscar-nominated.

His other Oscar nomination was for “The Godfather III,” in 1990.

His black and white photography for “Manhattan” made it one of cinema’s most visually arresting films.

Born in New York City, his father worked as a make-up artist at Warner, and though Willis was originally interested in lighting and stage design, he later turned to photography.

While serving in the Air Force during the Korean War, he worked in the motion picture unit and then worked in advertising and documentaries.

His first feature was “End of the Road” in 1970, and his last, Alan Pakula’s “The Devil’s Own” in 1997.