Vilmos Zsigmond, Iconic ‘Close Encounters’ Cinematographer, Dead at 85
Even if you aren’t familiar with the name Vilmos Zsigmond, you are undoubtedly familiar with his iconic work as cinematographer on some of the best films in the history of cinema. The cinematographer behind Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Deer Hunter and Deliverance has passed away at the age of 85, leaving behind an incredible legacy that will ensure he is never forgotten.
Many of Zsigmond’s colleagues and peers confirmed the Oscar-winning cinematographer’s passing today, Sunday, January 3. Zsigmond is best known for working with some of the greatest filmmakers of our time, including Steven Spielberg, Brian De Palma and Robert Altman — to name but a few.
The Hungarian cinematographer began his career working on short films in the mid-’50s, and established a healthy resumé with films like McCabe and Mrs. Miller, The Long Goodbye, Deliverance and The Sugarland Express. In the late ’70s he lensed Spielberg’s sci-fi classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter. His credits in the ’80s include The Two Jakes and Real Genius, and his work only grew more interesting and unexpected from there with credits on Maverick, Sliver and The Black Dahlia.
Do yourself a favor today and honor the late cinematographer’s memory by enjoying one of his many, many great films.