Lee Garmes

Lee Garmes, A.S.C.

Portrait of Lee Garmes
Born Lee Dewey Garmes
(1898-05-27)May 27, 1898
Peoria, Illinois
Died August 31, 1978(1978-08-31) (aged 80)
Los Angeles, California
Occupation Cinematographer
Title A.S.C.
Board member of A.S.C. President (1960–1961)
Spouse(s) Ruth Hall (1933–his death)
Awards Academy Award for Best Cinematography
1932 Shanghai Express

Lee Garmes, A.S.C. (May 27, 1898 – August 31, 1978) was an American cinematographer. During his career, he worked with directors Howard Hawks, Max Ophüls, Josef von Sternberg, Alfred Hitchcock, King Vidor, Nicholas Ray and Henry Hathaway, whom he had met as a young man when the two first came to Hollywood in the silent era. He also co-directed two films with legendary screenwriter Ben Hecht: Angels Over Broadway and Actor's and Sin.[1]

Biography and career

Born in Peoria, Illinois, Garmes first came to Hollywood in 1916. His first job was as an assistant in the paint department at Thomas H. Ince Studios, but he soon became a camera assistant before graduating to full-time cameraman. His earliest films were comedy shorts, and his career did not fully take off until the introduction of sound.

Garmes was married to film actress Ruth Hall from 1933 until his death in 1978. He is interred in the Grand View Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

Garmes was one of the earliest proponents of video technology, which he advocated as early as 1972. That year, he had been hired by Technicolor to photograph the short film Why, which was intended to test whether video was a viable technology for shooting feature films.

According to American Cinematographer magazine, "Although officially unaccredited, Lee Garmes photographed a considerable portion of Gone with the Wind. Many consider the famous railroad yard sequence among his finest cinematic efforts."[2]

Garmes was one of many Hollywood veterans from the silent era interviewed by Kevin Brownlow for the television series Hollywood (1980).[3]







  1. Lee Garmes at the Internet Movie Database.
  2. American Cinematographer, November 1978 (page 1094).
  3. Hollywood at the Internet Movie Database.
  4. Goble, Alan. The Complete Index to World Film, since 1885. 2008. Index home page.

External links

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