E.T., The Color Purple cinematographer Allen Daviau dies of COVID-19 complications

Cinematographer Allen Daviau, who shot three of Steven Spielberg’s films including E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, has died.

A representative from the American Society of Cinematographers announced yesterday that Daviau died Tuesday of complications from COVID-19.

He was 77.

In addition to E.T., Daviau was nominated for an Oscar in cinematography for Empire of the Sun, Bugsy, The Color Purple and Avalon, and he also worked on Van Helsing, Fearless, The Falcon and the Snowman and Defending Your Life.

Spielberg said in a statement that, “Allen was a wonderful artist but his warmth and humanity were as powerful as his lens. He was a singular talent and a beautiful human being.”

Born in New Orleans in 1942 and raised in the Los Angeles area, Daviau said seeing colour television at the age of 12 began his fascination with the technology of light and photography.

He said he worked at camera stores and film labs to hone his skills.

Daviau gate-crashed the set of Marlon Brando’s One-Eyed Jacks, shot early music videos for The Who and Jimi Hendrix and also shot still photography for The Monkees.

He met Spielberg in 1967 and discovered their shared love of movies, with Daviau working on one of the famed director’s early shorts.

A number of Hollywood performers paid tribute to Daviau on social media.

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