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‘Star Wars’ cinematographer Gilbert Taylor dies at 99

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Posted at 10:15 AM, Aug 27, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-27 12:55:04-04

By Todd Leopold

(CNN) — Gilbert Taylor, who gave the “Star Wars” films their sharp look as the cinematographer of 1977’s “Star Wars,” has died, according to Lucasfilm. He was 99.

Taylor died Friday at his home on the Isle of Wight, according to starwars.com.

“From the iconic opening shot of a massive Imperial Star Destroyer chasing the Rebels’ Tantive IV to the setting of twin suns on Tatooine, Taylor played a large role in establishing the visual identity of the entire series,” the website noted.

“Gilbert’s work truly stands the test of time,” said “Star Wars” mastermind George Lucas in a statement.

Taylor was already a well-established cinematographer when “Star Wars” came along. He oversaw the camerawork on three 1960s classics, Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove” (1964); the Beatles’ first film, “A Hard Day’s Night” (1964); and Roman Polanski’s “Repulsion” (1965). He was also the cinematographer for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1972 thriller, “Frenzy.”

“He was a true expert in his craft. Gilbert’s inspired work will live on in the many films he contributed to throughout his long career,” Lucas said.

Among Taylor’s other credits are “The Omen” (1976), the 1979 version of “Dracula” and “The Bedroom Window” (1987).

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