John Bailey, who labored as a cinematographer on such movies as “Extraordinary Individuals,” “The Massive Chill” and “Groundhog Day” and went on to function president of the movement image academy throughout a interval of tumult and transformation, has died at age 81.

Bailey died Friday in Los Angeles, in line with his spouse, Oscar-nominated movie editor Carol Littleton (“E.T. The Further-Terrestrial). No particular trigger was given.

”It’s with deep unhappiness I share with you that my greatest pal and husband, John Bailey, handed away peacefully in his sleep early this morning,” Littleton stated in a press release. “Throughout John’s sickness, we reminisced how we met 60 years in the past and have been married for 51 of these years. We shared a beautiful lifetime of journey in movie and made many long-lasting friendships alongside the best way. John will ceaselessly dwell in my coronary heart.”

Born in Missouri and raised in Norwalk, Bailey bought his begin in Hollywood as an assistant cameraman on the 1971 movie “Two Lane Blacktop” and shortly earned a popularity for his talent and flexibility.

Over the subsequent 5 many years, Bailey went on to work as a cinematographer on greater than 80 movies spanning many genres. Lots of the motion pictures he labored on went on to develop into hits, together with “Silverado,” “The Unintended Vacationer,” “Within the Line of Fireplace,” “As Good as It Will get,” “The way to Lose a Man in 10 Days” and “The Sisterhood of the Touring Pants.”

Invited to hitch the movie academy’s cinematographers department in 1981, on the heels of his work on the movies “American Gigolo” and “Extraordinary Individuals,” Bailey later went on to function an academy governor for 14 years earlier than being elected in 2017 to develop into the group’s president.

John Bailey arrives at a Beverly Hills luncheon for Academy Awards nominees in 2018.

John Bailey at a Beverly Hills luncheon for Academy Awards nominees in 2018.

(Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP)

The primary cinematographer to steer the academy, Bailey was seen on the time as a stunning choose to take the reins of the group, which was present process a interval of speedy and infrequently tough change within the wake of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.

Throughout Bailey’s tenure, the group made important strides to diversify its ranks, opening its doorways to hundreds of latest members from world wide. In 2019, the group invited extra ladies than males to hitch for the primary time, and over the course of Bailey’s tenure the variety of individuals of coloration within the group greater than doubled. Underneath Bailey, the academy additionally made main strides towards lastly opening its long-planned museum.

However Bailey’s time on the helm of the academy was additionally marked by tumult and controversy, because the group navigated the impact of the #MeToo motion and struggled with declining rankings for the Oscars telecast.

Simply weeks after Bailey’s election in 2017, the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal broke, thrusting the academy into the middle of Hollywood’s #MeToo reckoning. The group quickly ejected Weinstein together with Invoice Cosby and Roman Polanski and adopted a brand new code of conduct. Bailey himself would develop into the primary public take a look at of that code in 2018 when he confronted a declare of sexual harassment in opposition to him. The declare was investigated and in the end dismissed by the academy.

In 2018, in an effort to reverse the erosion in viewership for the Oscars, the academy introduced the creation of a “greatest fashionable movie award,” solely to scrap the concept weeks later amid criticism that it was pandering and ill-conceived. In 2019, the Oscars emcee, Kevin Hart, dropped out amid controversy over previous homophobic jokes, leaving the telecast hostless for the primary time in 30 years. A plan that yr to maneuver the presentation of a number of classes to industrial breaks stirred a widespread uproar amongst academy members and was scrapped simply days earlier than the present.

For Bailey, who was extra relaxed behind the digital camera than in entrance of it, being within the line of fireplace was not at all times comfy. However he accepted with equanimity the accountability of main the tradition-bound group by the unprecedented challenges it confronted.

“Look, for a company that some individuals prefer to say is irrelevant and is out of contact with the occasions, there at all times appears to be an incredible quantity of curiosity in what’s going on contained in the academy,” he instructed The Occasions in 2018. “My very own feeling is, it doesn’t matter what the academy does or says or determines as a plan of action, there are going to be naysayers. It’s simply the character of it.”

Bailey served two one-year phrases as president after which termed out of the place.

Present academy Chief Government Invoice Kramer and President Janet Yang issued a press release praising Bailey’s service to the group, which included engaged on a lot of committees and on the museum’s board of trustees.

“John was a passionately engaged member of the academy and the movie neighborhood,” Kramer and Yang wrote. “He served as our president and as an academy governor for a few years and performed a management function on the Cinematographers Department. His influence and contributions to the movie neighborhood will ceaselessly be remembered.”

In recognition of his illustrious profession, in 2015 Bailey was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the American Society of Cinematographers, on whose board of governors he had served.

Bailey is survived by Littleton, with whom he labored on greater than a dozen movies and who additionally served as an academy governor.

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