Five-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer Allen Daviau, who collaborated with Steven Spielberg and other film directors, has died of COVID-19. In a statement, Spielberg said his old his friend was, "a wonderful artist, but his warmth and humanity were as powerful as his lens."
Daviau was born 77 years ago in New Orleans, and started out making music videos long before MTV existed. In 1968, he teamed up with Spielberg for the short film Amblin. They went on to make the memorable 1980's films Empire of the Sun, The Color Purple, and E.T. the Extra -Terrestrial.
Daviau earned Oscar nominations for those three Spielberg movies, as well as for two Barry Levinson films, Avalon and Bugsy. Among his cinematography credits were The Falcon and the Snowman, Harry and the Hendersons, and Van Helsing.
Daviau was the fourth person to die of COVID-19 at the Motion Picture and Television Fund retirement home in Woodland Hills, California. The fund's President and CEO, Bob Beitcher, wrote a remembrance of Daviau, which began: "He was the 'it guy' of American cinematography in the '80s, a master of light and a connoisseur of the science and magic of film, a memorable physical presence, a lover of great food and wine, and a long-time Los Angeleno who didn't drive."