- The Washington Times - Monday, January 6, 2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) Cinematographer Conrad L. Hall, a master artist of the camera who was nominated for nine Oscars and won two, has died. He was 76.
Mr. Hall died Saturday at a Santa Monica hospital of complications of bladder cancer, said his wife, Susan Hall.
Considered an expert in the use of light, Mr. Hall filmed about three dozen movies in a 50-year career. He won Academy Awards for 1969's "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and 1999's "American Beauty."
"Every film that he worked on was something beautiful to the eye, and very imaginative," said producer Richard Zanuck, who was head of production at 20th Century Fox when Mr. Hall made "Butch Cassidy" and who worked with him on the Irish-American mob tale from last year, "Road to Perdition."
"With 'Road to Perdition,' you could virtually take every frame of his work and blow it up and hang it over your fireplace. It was like Rembrandt at work," Mr. Zanuck said. "Connie was not known for speed, but neither was Rembrandt. He was known for incredible genius."
Mr. Hall's other films included "The Professionals" (1966), "In Cold Blood" (1967), "The Day of the Locust" (1975) and "Searching for Bobby Fischer" (1993).
His many honors included a lifetime achievement award in 1994 from the American Society of Cinematography and an outstanding achievement award in 1988 for "Tequila Sunrise." He served last year as Kodak cinematographer in residence at the School of Theater, Film and Television at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Mr. Hall was to be honored later this month with a lifetime achievement award from the National Board of Review, Mrs. Hall said.
Born and raised in Tahiti, Mr. Hall was the son of James Norman Hall, co-author of the novels "Mutiny on the Bounty" and "The Hurricane." He initially wanted to pursue journalism, but after doing poorly in a creative writing class at the University of Southern California, he looked for a new major by flipping through the course catalog, he told the Los Angeles Times last year.
"It started with A for astronomy, B for biology and C for cinema. I thought 'Cinema? You mean like movies? Rubbing elbows with stars? Making all that money?' For all the wrong reasons, I signed up, and then had a love affair with the visual language and learned to tell stories like my dad," Mr. Hall said.
Mr. Hall's son, Conrad W. Hall, followed him in the profession, most recently filming "Panic Room."

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