Cinematographer, Director. Active in American and European films. Maté is the only cameraman to date to receive five consecutive Academy Award nominations, for "Foreign Correspondent" (1940), "That Hamilton Woman" (1941), "The Pride of the Yankees" (1942), "Sahara" (1943), and "Cover Girl" (1944), though he never took home the statuette. As a director he was responsible for the famous noir thriller "D.O.A." (1950) and the sci-fi epic "When Worlds Collide" (1951). Rudolph Matheh was born in Krakow, Poland. He entered films in 1919 as an assistant cameraman under Hungarian producer Alexander Korda and later studied his craft in Germany with the great Karl Freund. In 1927 he moved to France. Maté first gained international recognition for his magnificent lensing of Carl Theodor Dryer's "The Passion of Joan of Arc" (1928), which consisted almost entirely of close-ups. He went on to collaborate with Dryer again for "Vampyr" (1932), as well as on Fritz Lang's "Liliom" (1934) and Rene Clair's "The Last Millionaire" (1934), before settling in the US in 1935. Working as a freelance in Hollywood, he quickly established himself as a top-class commercial artist whose sharp yet subtle visual style was noted for its fluid movement, inventive lighting, and distinctive use of gray tones. His other classic photography credits are "Dodsworth" (1936), "Stella Dallas" (1937), "Love Affair" (1939), "To Be or Not to Be" (1942), and "Gilda" (1946). In 1947 Maté took over the direction of the Ginger Rogers comedy he was shooting, "It Had to Be You", and continued to direct for the remainder of his life. Overall he proved to be less inspired in this capacity than he was as a cinematographer, though his films were usually entertaining and (of course) well-photographed. They include "The Dark Past" (1948), "Branded" (1950), "The Violent Men" (1955), "Miracle in the Rain" (1956), and "The 300 Spartans" (1962). After 1957 he directed mainly TV episodes ("The Loretta Young Show") and international co-productions. He died of a heart attack at his Beverly Hills home.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards