Karl Fischer Struss

Karl Fischer Struss

New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 16 Dec 1981 (aged 95)
Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 7983881 · View Source
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Cinematographer. He was one of the earliest Hollywood cameramen to develop his own individual style. His moody, atmospheric visuals were best-suited to psychological dramas, though he also excelled at outdoor and glamour photography. Struss and Charles Rosher shared the first Academy Award in cinematography for "Sunrise" (1927), and he received Oscar nominations for "Drums of Love" (1928), "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1931), "The Sign of the Cross" (1932), and "Aloma of the South Seas" (1941). Karl Oscar Struss was born in New York City, the son of German immigrants. He initially won fame as a still photographer when Alfred Stieglitz selected his work for a 1910 exhibition and later made him a member of the "Photo-Secession" group. His dusk-lit cityscapes and nudes are still prized by collectors. In 1914 he opened a studio in Manhattan and did commercial layouts for Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, and other magazines. After serving stateside in the US Army during World War I, Struss went to Hollywood in 1919 and was persuaded to move into cinematography by director Cecil B. DeMille. He went on to shoot several of D. W. Griffith's late features and was under contract to Paramount from 1931 to 1949. His 135 credits include "The Affairs of Anatol" (1921), "Ben-Hur" (1925), "Sparrows" (1926), "Abraham Lincoln" (1930), "Island of Lost Souls" (1932), "Belle of the Nineties" (1934), "The Great Dictator" (1940), "Journey Into Fear" (1942), and "Limelight" (1952). Struss was an innovative technician throughout his long career. When he was 23 he invented an early soft-focus lens that became popular for fashion photography; for "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" he used infrared filters to aid Frederic March's transformation scenes. He was among the first to experiment with stereoscopic photography and in the mid-1950s he made a number of 3-D features in Italy. In his penultimate film, "The Fly" (1958), Struss devised a special lens to depict the famous "fly's-eye" view of the heroine. He retired from filmaking in 1970 after a decade of work in TV commercials, though he remained an ardent still photographer until shortly before his death at 95. When a journalist asked Struss what motivated his creative longevity, he replied, "I never got bored".

Bio by: Bobb Edwards

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: TLS
  • Added: 14 Oct 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial 7983881
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Karl Fischer Struss (30 Nov 1886–16 Dec 1981), Find a Grave Memorial no. 7983881, citing Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .