Vilmos Zsigmond, 'Close Encounters' cinematographer, dead at 85

Vilmos Zsigmond Dead at 85
Vilmos Zsigmond Dead at 85

Hungarian cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, an Oscar winner for "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," has died at 85, according to media reports.

In addition to the Steven Spielberg-directed sci-fi tale, Zsigmond was also an Academy Award nominee for "The Deer Hunter," "The River" (1984) and "The Black Dahlia" (2006) and worked on "Deliverance."

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Zsigmond also shot a number of episodes of the Fox sitcom "The Mindy Project" from 2012-14.

Zsigmond ranked among the 10 most influential cinematographers in film history in a 2003 survey conducted by the International Cinematographers Guild.

His extensive resume, created over five decades, included "Deliverance," "Blow Out," "The Ghost and the Darkness" and the Robert Altman films "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" and "The Long Goodbye."

Zsigmond, who escaped from his native Hungary after the 1956 Russian invasion, broke out with Altman's stylistically impressive "McCabe" (1971), in which he used a limited palate of low-key colors. After that he was tapped by John Boorman to be the cinematographer on "Deliverance," the 1972 classic.

For the next two decades Zsigmond was one of the busiest cinematographers in Hollywood, working with directors as Michael Cimino, Martin Scorsese, Brian De Palma and George Miller.

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