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'Star Wars' cinematographer Gilbert Taylor dies at 99

By Todd Leopold, CNN
updated 11:32 AM EDT, Tue August 27, 2013
Cinematographer Gilbert Taylor was responsible for the visual style of
Cinematographer Gilbert Taylor was responsible for the visual style of "Star Wars," "Dr. Strangelove" and "A Hard Day's Night."
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Gilbert Taylor established distinctive look of "Star Wars" films
  • He was also cinematographer for "Dr. Strangelove" and "A Hard Day's Night"
  • "He was a true expert in his craft," George Lucas says

(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.

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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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