Conrad Lafcadio Hall, ASC (June 21, 1926 – January 6, 2003) was an American cinematographer from Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia. Named after writers Joseph Conrad and Lafcadio Hearn, he was best known for photographing films such as In Cold Blood, Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, American Beauty, and Road to Perdition. For his work he garnered a number of awards, including three Academy Awards and BAFTA Awards.
In 2003, Hall was judged to be one of history's ten most influential cinematographers in a survey of the members of the International Cinematographers Guild.
Early life and career
Born in Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia, Hall was the son of writer James Norman Hall and Sarah (Lala) Winchester Hall, who was part-Polynesian. Hall attended the University of Southern California, intending to study journalism, but drifted instead to the university's cinema school, from which he graduated in 1949. He worked on documentaries, in television (The Outer Limits) and minor films (including cult classic Incubus), and as a studio camera operator before moving up to cinematographer in major studio films in the mid-1960s.
Hall received three Academy Awards for Best Cinematography for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), American Beauty (1999), and Road to Perdition (2002) (the last two directed by friend Sam Mendes, who dedicated Road to Perdition to Hall). The thirty-year gap between his first two Oscars is a record for this award.
Additionally, Hall was nominated for Morituri (1965), The Professionals (1966), In Cold Blood (1967), The Day of the Locust (1975), Tequila Sunrise (1988), Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993), and A Civil Action (1998). Other credits include Divorce American Style (1967), Cool Hand Luke (1967), Marathon Man (1976) and Love Affair (1994).
In 1995 he was a member of the jury at the 19th Moscow International Film Festival.
Hall married three times, to Virginia Schwartz, with whom he had three children, to Katharine Ross from 1969–1975, and Susan Kowarsh-Hall until his death. He has three children, Conrad W. Hall, Kate Hall-Feist, and Naia Hall-West.
Hall died in 2003 owing to complications from bladder cancer at the Santa Monica Hospital. His Oscar for Road to Perdition (2002), which is dedicated to Hall, was posthumous and was accepted by his son Conrad W. Hall, also a cinematographer.
Hall was and still is affectionately referred to as "Connie" by his peers and associates.