March 01, 2008

Award-winning Cinematographer Gayne Rescher Dies

Stamford, CN – Three-time Primetime Emmy Award-winning cinematographer Gayne Rescher died on Feb. 29 in Gig Harbor, Wash. after a long illness. Rescher was 83.

Rescher was born in New York City, the son of silent film star Jean Tolley and cinematographer Jay Rescher, an early union organizer. Rescher followed up a stint as a fighter pilot in World War II by attending the American Theater School in New York.

He eventually switched from acting and joined his father in the cinematography world, where Rescher would become known for his style and skill in lighting attractive women.

“Gayne imparted to me his mastery of lighting that other cinematographers have been challenged to live up to," Nicolette Sheridan told Variety. Sheridon co-starred with Sandra Bullock in Lucky/Chances, the 1991 miniseries that earned Rescher his third and last Emmy.

He won his other Emmy Awards in 1980 for Moviola and in 1989 for Shooter. Rescher also earned five Emmy nominations over a long career that began in the mid-1950s.

Among the first cinematographers to use soft light to key actors, Rescher shot more than 50 miniseries, TV movies and series. His credits include Sarah T.—Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic, The Day After, Something For Joey and Get Smart, Again!.

Rescher also worked with a number of noted film directors—Elia Kazan (A Face in the Crowd), Paul Newman (Rachel, Rachel), Peter Yates (John and Mary)—in addition to shooting 1982’s Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn. His last project was the 1997 whodunit Melanie Darrow starring Delta Burke.

American Society of Cinematograpers VP Richard Crudo told Variety, “As a cinematographer, Gayne was in a class of his own. His body of work shows us that he was both an artist and an innovator."

Rescher is survived by his third wife, Gail Ferguson; three daughters—Gaye Rescher Ribble, DeeDee Rescher and Deborah Jean Rescher Miller; and two grandchildren.

Bob Makela

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