Jordan Cronenweth

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Jordan Scott Cronenweth
Born (1935-02-20)February 20, 1935
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died November 29, 1996(1996-11-29) (aged 61)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Cinematographer
Known for Blade Runner
Altered States
Peggy Sue Got Married
Children Jeff Cronenweth

Jordan Scott Cronenweth (February 20, 1935 – November 29, 1996) was an American cinematographer based in Los Angeles, California. He was a member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC). His only child, Jeff Cronenweth, is also a cinematographer and an active member of said organization.

A contemporary of Conrad Hall, he was recognized for his distinctive style of heavily-textured, film noir-inspired photography, seen in numerous classic films, including Zandy's Bride, Gable and Lombard, Altered States, and Peggy Sue Got Married. He is perhaps best remembered for his BAFTA Award-winning work on the groundbreaking science fiction film Blade Runner,[1] which is credited as codifying the cyberpunk aesthetic, and is lauded by some as among the best cinematography of all-time.[2][3] He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography and received an ASC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Theatrical Releases, and he is widely considered one of the most influential cinematographers of all time.[4][5]

Life and career[edit]

Born in Los Angeles, California on February 20, 1935, Cronenweth attended North Hollywood High School and later Los Angeles City College, majoring in Engineering. While in college he interned as a film lab assistant at Columbia Pictures acted as a cameraman on the 1955 musical film Oklahoma!.[6]

Cronenweth was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1978. He continued working despite pain for 13 years. His widely acclaimed[7][8] work on the iconic science fiction noir Blade Runner won the Best Cinematography Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and got a BSC Award nomination and BAFTA Film Award. He won a 1987 ASC Award and earned an Academy Award nomination for Peggy Sue Got Married.

Cronenweth was initially hired as the director of photography for the film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension but halfway through production producers replaced him with Fred J. Koenekamp.[9]

He was also replaced two weeks into the production of Alien³ after falling ill, and died in 1996 at the age of 61.[10] Cause of death was Parkinson's disease.

A 2003 poll of his peers conducted by the International Cinematographers Guild placed Cronenweth among the ten most influential cinematographers of all time.[11][12]

Personal life[edit]

He and his first wife Carol had three children, Christie Cronenweth, Tim Cronenweth, and two-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth.[13]He was later married to Shane Cronenweth, 1979 - 1996.


Year Title Director Notes
1969 Trilogy Frank Perry "A Christmas Memory" segment

with Joseph C. Brun and Conrad Hall

1970 Brewster McCloud Robert Altman with Lamar Boren
1971 The Touch of Satan Don Henderson
1972 Cry for Me, Billy William A. Graham
Play It as It Lays Frank Perry
1973 Birds of Prey William A. Graham Television film
1974 The Nickel Ride Robert Mulligan
Zandy's Bride Jan Troell
The Front Page Billy Wilder
1976 Gable and Lombard Sidney J. Furie
1977 One in a Million: The Ron LeFlore Story William A. Graham Television film
Handle with Care Jonathan Demme
Rolling Thunder John Flynn
1980 Altered States Ken Russell
1981 Cutter's Way Ivan Passer
1982 Best Friends Norman Jewison
Blade Runner Ridley Scott
  • Won:

BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography

LAFCA Award for Best Cinematography

NYFCC Award for Best Cinematography

  • Nominated for:

BSC Award for Best Cinematography

1984 Stop Making Sense Jonathan Demme Concert film
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension W. D. Richter with Fred J. Koenekamp
1986 Just Between Friends Allan Burns
Peggy Sue Got Married Francis Ford Coppola
  • Won:

ASC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography

  • Nominated for:

Academy Award for Best Cinematography

1987 Gardens of Stone Francis Ford Coppola
1988 U2: Rattle and Hum Phil Joanou Concert film
1990 State of Grace Phil Joanou
1991 Get Back Richard Lester Concert film
1992 Final Analysis Phil Joanou Final film

Awards & Nominations[edit]

Academy Awards[edit]

BAFTA Awards[edit]

ASC Awards[edit]

BSC Awards[edit]

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards[edit]

New York Film Critics Circle[edit]


  1. ^ Lightman, Herb A. and Richard Patterson (March 1999). Cinematography for Blade Runner. Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine. American Cinematographer
  2. ^ "Cinematography for Blade Runner - page 1". Retrieved 2017-09-20. 
  3. ^ "Blade Runner: The Cinematography of Jordan Cronenweth". DIY Photography. 2014-04-17. Retrieved 2017-09-20. 
  4. ^ "Blade Runner: The Cinematography of Jordan Cronenweth". DIY Photography. 2014-04-17. Retrieved 2017-09-07. 
  5. ^ "ICG Announces Top 10 Influential Cinematographers". Creative Planet Network. 2014-06-09. Retrieved 2017-09-07. 
  6. ^ "JORDAN CRONENWETH". Retrieved 2017-09-07. 
  7. ^ ""Oh, My...." Cinematography: Blade Runner". "Oh, My...." Cinematography. Retrieved 2017-09-07. 
  8. ^ "The Cinematography of "Blade Runner" (1982) – Evan E. Richards". Evan E. Richards. 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2017-09-07. 
  9. ^ Ryan, Mike (2011-01-26). "Jeff Cronenweth on His Oscar Nomination for The Social Network and Joining His Late Father as a Nominee". Retrieved 2012-04-01. 
  10. ^ Staff report (December 25, 1996). Memorial Service Set for Cronenweth. Los Angeles Times
  11. ^ Staff report (October 17, 2003). Cinematographers pick their Top 11. Los Angeles Times
  12. ^ "Top 10 Most Influential Cinematographers Voted on by Camera Guild," October 16, 2003. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  13. ^

External links[edit]