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Vincenzo Cilurzo

  • Birthplace: Syracuse, New York
  • Birthday: August 27
Date of passing: 
March 09, 2016

Vincenzo (Vince) Francis Cilurzo was a lighting director and director of photography whose television career spanned five decades.

Vincenzo (Vince) Francis Cilurzo was a lighting director and director of photography whose television career spanned five decades.

Born August 27, 1924, in Syracuse, New York, he got his start when he attended a television workshop in New York City and landed a job pulling cable at ABC-TV. From there, he worked his way through the ranks and eventually became cameraman. In 1951, he wrangled a transfer to ABC-TV in Hollywood, and in time he became a lighting director.

In California, Cilurzo did lighting for many TV shows and specials, working with hundreds of stars. Some celebrities of note were Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Raquel Welch, Debbie Reynolds and Pat Boone, to name only a few. He was lighting director for shows like Shindig!Dance FeverStars of JazzThe Merv Griffin ShowThe Joey Bishop Show, and many Frank Sinatra specials including The Main Event in Madison Square Gardens in 1974.

He also did lighting for both the Emmy and Academy Awards shows for many years. In addition, he lit the Democratic Convention in 1960 when John F. Kennedy was nominated.

Toward the end of his career in Hollywood, Cilurzo, who held a patent on a lamp to project multicolored light called the Moodlite, was lighting director on the popular TV game show Jeopardy!

His professional accolades included an Emmy Award for Stars of Jazz (Best Entertainment Progam Lighting Director, 1956) and The Merv Griffin Show (Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction, 1976). He was nominated for Outstanding Lighting Direction for Jeopardy! in 1977.

Beyond his work in Hollywood, he spent 35 years in the wine business; he and his wife Audrey, whom he met on the set of The Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Show, planted the first commercial vineyard in Temecula, California, in 1968. 

Cilurzo passed away peacefully at his California home on Wednesday March 9, 2016, with Audrey, his wife of 52 years, by his side.

Television Credits

Jeopardy! (Merv Griffin Syndicated TV Game Show)(1984-1997)
Daddy Dearest (Don Rickles) (Sitcom) (1993) (FOX)
The Cavanaughs (1986-1989) (CBS)
Nearly Departed (1989) (NBC)
The Sid Caesar Show (1987) (CBS Pilot)
American Comedy Awards (1987)
The Mrs. America Pageant (1986)
You Again? - Henry the Kissinger episode (TV Series) (1986) (NBC)
Dom DeLuise and Friends (1983) (ABC)
Entertainment Tonight (1981-1983)(Syndication)
Debbie Boone Special (1982) (NBC)
All-Star Inaugural Gala (Ronald Reagan) (1981)(ABC)
The Steve Allen Comedy Hour (1980-1981)(NBC)
Dance Fever (1979-1986) (Syndication)
National Easter Seals Telethon with Jack Klugman (1979)
The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: George Burns (TV Special) (1978)
California Jam 2 (1978) (TV Special) (ABC)
Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Jimmy Stewart (TV Special) (1978)
Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Angie Dickinson (TV Special) (1977)
The Gong Show (1976-1980) (Chuck Barris TV Game Show) (ABC)
Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Redd Foxx (TV Special) (1976)
Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Dennis Weaver (TV Special) (1976)
Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Dean Martin (TV Special) (1976)
The Lawrence Welk Show "Escondido Special" (1976) (Syndication)
Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Sammy Davis Jr. (TV Special) (1975)
The Legendary Curse of the Hope Diamond (TV Movie) (1975)
The Victor Awards (1975)
Paramount Presents (ABC Special) (1974)
The Main Event – Frank Sinatra from Madison Square Garden (1974)
The NBC Saturday Morning Preview Revue (TV Movie) (1974)
The Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon (1973-1982)
Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back – Magnavox Presents Frank Sinatra (1973) (TV Special)
The Merv Griffin Show (1972-1986) (Syndication)
Richard Nixon: "Remarks on Election Eve." (Nov. 6, 1972) (San Clemente, CA)
Story Theatre (1971-1972)
The Young Americans (TV Movie) (1970)
Raquel! (Raquel Welch special) (CBS) (1970)
The Smothers Brothers Summer Show (1970) (ABC)
Playboy After Dark (1969-1970) (Syndicated Series)
Jimmy Durante Presents the Lennon Sisters (1969-1970) (ABC)
The Joey Bishop Show (1967-1969)(ABC)
The 40th Annual Academy Awards (TV Special) (1968)
The Don Rickles Show (1968) (ABC)
Shindig! (ABC TV Series) (1964-1965 - 42 episodes)
The Dating Game (1965-1967) (Chuck Barris TV Game Show) (ABC)
Shivaree (1965-1966) (ABC Syndicated Series)
The Bing Crosby Show (1964-1965)(ABC)
The 36th Annual Academy Awards (TV Special) (1964)
The Jerry Lewis Show (ABC TV Series) (1963)
March of Dimes Telethon (1963)
The Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Show (ABC TV Series) (1962)
Western Hit Parade (1962) (Episode) (Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Show episode with Cathie Taylor - October 20, 1962)
Jazz Scene USA (1962) (credited as Associate Producer)
The Soupy Sales Show (1961-1962)(ABC)
The Annual Academy Awards Show
- 1961-1968 Santa Monica Civic Auditorium,
- 1969–1970 at The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion) (ABC)
The Newlywed Game (1966-1968) (Chuck Barris TV Game Show) (ABC)
Queen For A Day (1960-1964) (ABC)
Lunch With Soupy (1960)(ABC)
Frank Sinatra's Welcome Home Party for Elvis Presley (TV Special) (1960)
The Frank Sinatra Timex Show: To the Ladies (TV Special) (1960)
The Kennedy-Nixon Presidential Debate (ABC) (1960)
The 1960 Democratic National Convention (1960)
Dick Clark's American Bandstand (1960's) (ABC)
General Hospital (1960's) (ABC)
The Frank Sinatra Timex Show: An Afternoon with Frank Sinatra (TV Special) (1959)
Bing Crosby and Dean Martin Present High Hopes (TV Special) (1959)
The Bing Crosby Show (TV Series) (1959)
Disneyland '59 (TV Movie documentary) (1959)
The Bing Crosby Special (TV Special) (1958)
Day In Court (1958)(ABC)
Stars of Jazz (TV Series) (1956-1957)
The Steve Allen Show (1956-1960)
The Lawrence Welk Show (1955-1964) (ABC)
Disneyland Opening Day (July 18, 1955)(ABC)
Chucko The Birthday Clown (1954-1962)(KABC) Voluptua (1954) (ABC)
Space Patrol (1950-55) (ABC)
The Vampira Show (KABC 1954-55)
The Walter Winchell Show (ABC) (1954)
The Orchid Award (with host Ronald Reagan) (1953) (ABC)
The Bing Crosby Show (ABC) (1952)
The Frank Sinatra Show (ABC TV series in the 1950's)
You Asked For It (1950's) (ABC)

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