Emmy-nominated cinematographer Michael Gershman died on March 10 at his home in Malibu. The cause of his death has yet to be reported. He was 73.
Known for his work on the Sarah Michelle Gellar-fronted cult TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Crossing Jordan, Gershman worked under the Academy Award-winning cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond as a camera assistant on numerous iconic films from the ’70s and ’80s, including The Deer Hunter, The Rose, Heaven’s Gate and Blow Out.
Gershman was born in St. Louis on June 17, 1944 and came from a family that worked in the entertainment industry. His father, Edward Gershman was a producer on Mr. Magoo short films. He made his move to Los Angeles at 19 and worked for his uncle Wally Bulloch, who worked in camera manufacturing and animation.
As a protege of one of the most lauded cinematographers, he went on to work on Joss Whedon’s Buffy, which aired from 1997 to 2001 on the WB Network, which morphed into UPN and is now the CW. He not only worked as a director of photography but also directed 10 episodes. He earned an Emmy nod for cinematography for the memorable episode “Hush,” which was almost completely devoid of dialogue. In 2001, he went on to serve as a director and cinematographer of the NBC crime drama Crossing Jordan, which starred Jill Hennessy.
His other credits include The Golden Child, Midnight Run, Die Hard 2, Say Anything… and Losing Isaiah.
Gershman is survived by his wife, Cecilia, as well as his daughters, Lauren and Abigail, and mother, Doreen.