The George Lucas Family Foundation has established the Haskell Wexler Endowed Chair in Documentary at the USC School of Cinematic Arts in honor of the documentarian and two-time Oscar-winning cinematographer. The first holder of the Wexler Chair is Michael Renov, Vice Dean of Academic Affairs at SCA and a professor in the Bryan Singer Division of Cinema & Media Studies.
“Haskell Wexler wasn’t just one kind of artist, he had many different interests and brought them all to the way he told stories,” George Lucas said. “His singularity was in the way his passion was evident on the screen.”
Wexler won Oscars for Bound for Glory (1976) and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1967) and was nominated for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Matewan (1987) — for which he scored an Indie Spirit Award — and Blaze (1989). He also landed an Emmy nom for the 2001 HBO miniseries 61*. Wexler, who died in December at 93, also produced and/or directed such documentaries as The Bus, Medium Cool, Underground, Introduction to the Enemy, Latino and Four Days in Chicago. He was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on 1996.
Said Dean Elizabeth Daley: “Haskell Wexler was a pioneer in his field, an uncompromising technician and artist, and an unflinching advocate for social change. His name will be forever associated with the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Because of the generosity of the George Lucas Family Foundation in endowing this Chair, Haskell Wexler’s work and legacy will continue to be a primary inspiration for young media makers at the school.”