Renowned cinematographer and former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, John Bailey, has passed away at the age of 81, leaving behind a rich legacy in the film industry.
Bailey’s wife, Carol Littleton, expressed her deep sadness at the loss of her husband and shared cherished memories of their remarkable 51-year-long marriage. She also reminisced about the adventures they enjoyed together in the film industry, which brought them closer as a couple.
Throughout his career, Bailey produced a remarkable body of work that spanned five decades. Some of his notable contributions include Ordinary People, which won the Oscar for Best Picture, as well as The Big Chill, which captivated audiences worldwide. Bailey began his journey as an assistant cameraman in 1971 and steadily climbed the ranks, eventually becoming the first cinematographer to hold the prestigious position of president at the Academy.
Bailey’s involvement with the Academy extended well beyond his role as president. He served as a dedicated governor for 15 years and actively contributed to various committees, including the Preservation and History Committee. His commitment to the preservation and celebration of cinema’s rich history was unwavering, and he brought his vast expertise and passion to the table.
The news of Bailey’s passing deeply saddened the Academy, with the organization’s CEO and president acknowledging his significant contributions to the film community. Bailey’s impact on the industry was wide-reaching, and his passing marks the end of an era filled with innovation and excellence.
Bailey was also a distinguished member of the American Society of Cinematographers, an esteemed organization that recognized his talent and dedication. In 2015, he was honored with their Lifetime Achievement Award, a testament to his exceptional body of work.
In memory of Bailey, the family has requested that instead of sending flowers, donations be made to the Academy Foundation. This gesture reflects Bailey’s lifelong commitment to the advancement and support of aspiring filmmakers, ensuring that his legacy continues to make an impact on future generations.
The film community has lost a true visionary, but John Bailey’s contributions will forever be remembered and cherished. His work has left an indelible mark on the cinematic landscape, and his influence will continue to shape the film industry for years to come.