Andrew Lesnie, the cinematographer on all six of Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit movies and an Oscar winner in 2002 for the seminal franchise kickoff The Fellowship Of The Ring, died Monday. He was 59. The Australian Cinematographers Society confirmed “the sudden death of Andrew,” according to Australian news outlets.
The Aussie-born DP’s most recent film was Russell Crowe’s directorial debut The Water Diviner, which debuted in the U.S. in a platform release over the weekend.
Lesnie’s credits include working with Jackson on King Kong and The Lovely Bones. He also lensed Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and I Am Legend, and often worked with Aussie director George Miller on pics including Mad Max: Road Warrior, the animated Happy Feet and the Babe movies after they joined forces for the acclaimed 1984 Oz miniseries Bodyline on which Miller was a writer.
Lesnie, from Sydney, was plenty busy with Jackson and WETA Digital-led movies, but his recent credits also included 2009 Aussie pic Bran Nue Dae and 2010’s The Last Airbender. He got his start as a cinematographer in Australian TV in the late 1970s on the children’s current affairs program Wonder World! after working as a camera assistant on the low-budget 1978 horror film Patrick.
Here’s the trailer for Water Diviner, the latest pic to show off Lesnie’s skills.