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'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial' Cinematographer And Spielberg Collaborator Dies

Five-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer Allen Daviau, who collaborated with Steven Spielberg and other film directors, has died of COVID-19. In a statement, Spielberg said his old his friend was, "a wonderful artist, but his warmth and humanity were as powerful as his lens."

Daviau was born 77 years ago in New Orleans, and started out making music videos long before MTV existed. In 1968, he teamed up with Spielberg for the short film Amblin. They went on to make the memorable 1980's films Empire of the Sun, The Color Purple, and E.T. the Extra -Terrestrial.

Daviau earned Oscar nominations for those three Spielberg movies, as well as for two Barry Levinson films, Avalon and Bugsy. Among his cinematography credits were The Falcon and the Snowman, Harry and the Hendersons, and Van Helsing.

Daviau was the fourth person to die of COVID-19 at the Motion Picture and Television Fund retirement home in Woodland Hills, California. The fund's President and CEO, Bob Beitcher, wrote a remembrance of Daviau, which began: "He was the 'it guy' of American cinematography in the '80s, a master of light and a connoisseur of the science and magic of film, a memorable physical presence, a lover of great food and wine, and a long-time Los Angeleno who didn't drive."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

As an arts correspondent based at NPR West, Mandalit del Barco reports and produces stories about film, television, music, visual arts, dance and other topics. Over the years, she has also covered everything from street gangs to Hollywood, police and prisons, marijuana, immigration, race relations, natural disasters, Latino arts and urban street culture (including hip hop dance, music, and art). Every year, she covers the Oscars and the Grammy awards for NPR, as well as the Sundance Film Festival and other events. Her news reports, feature stories and photos, filed from Los Angeles and abroad, can be heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, Alt.latino, and npr.org.