Known for his work in a wide array of film genres, Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Richard H. Kline died Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 91.
Kline was known for his work for the 1967 movie musical Camelot starring Vanessa Redgrave and Richard Harris. He received his first Academy Award nomination for the Joshua Logan-directed film and earned his second nomination for the 1976 remake of King Kong starring Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange.
Born on Nov. 15, 1926, Kline was born into a family of cinematographers which included his father, Benjamin H. Kline, and two uncles, Sol Halperin and Philip Rosen. He had an affinity for surfing, but followed the cinematographer legacy of his family and got his start at Columbia Pictures as a slate boy in 1943 when working on the musical Cover Girl. He went on to serve in the Navy but returned to become a first assistant cameraman.
Throughout his 40 year career, Kline worked on a varying slate of films that have reached cult status or became benchmarks in cinema including Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Body Heat, Howard the Duck, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Hang ’Em High, The Boston Strangler, Soylent Green, All of Me, Breathless, The Andromeda Strain, The Fury, Mandingo, and My Stepmother Is An Alien. On the TV side, he shot several television pilots, including the musical sitcom The Monkees which followed the adventures of the popular rock band of the ’60s.
On Aug. 7, 1967, Kline became a member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) member just like his father and uncles before him. In 2006 he was honored with the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award.
Kline is survived by his son Paul, daughter Rija and four grandchildren.