US cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, director of photography for Dallas Buyers Club, dies aged 86

Family and friends of the US cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who passed away on 17 December aged 86, are planning a private ceremony for the late director of photography, with a memorial planned for her…

US cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, director of photography for Dallas Buyers Club, dies aged 86

Family and friends of the US cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who passed away on 17 December aged 86, are planning a private ceremony for the late director of photography, with a memorial planned for her hometown of Ballan, New Brunswick, Canada, next October.

Albert Elkins, the co-author of the book What’s Running in Our Heads about cinematographers and their work, said Hutchins died unexpectedly from pneumonia, and had been “doing great”.

Speaking to the New York Times, Elkins said “Halyna was a very confident, very well-known cinematographer, and I knew her well. Her death was very unexpected, and she went quickly,” he said.

Hutchins was nominated for two Academy Awards – for the Warren Beatty-Annette Bening comedy Reds in 1979 and for the 1982 Nora Ephron comedy Silkwood – and was also nominated for four Emmy Awards, including for her work in Dallas Buyers Club, starring Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto.

Born on 10 October 1927 in Lakewood, New Jersey, Hutchins met her future husband, fellow cinematographer Robert A. Lebedev, while still an undergraduate at Penn State University. They were married in March 1950 and had a daughter, Alexandra, who died at the age of five in a car accident.

Robert Lebedev, who died in July this year, had already worked on a number of films when he met his future wife, including Fried Green Tomatoes and Freaky Friday. He died at age 88.

In 1961, the couple left their home town of Fair Lawn, New Jersey, and moved to Ballan, Canada, and did not return to the United States again until 1979.

Hutchins worked under director John Sturges on The Magnificent Seven (1960), The Shootist (1960), Young Mr Lincoln (1961), The Great Train Robbery (1963), and Billy Wilder’s comeback vehicle A Foreign Affair (1967), for which she was nominated for an Oscar.

Sturges later died in 1994 and the pair divorced in the 1990s.

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