Brianne Murphy

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Brianne Murphy
Born Geraldine Brianne Murphy
(1933-04-01)April 1, 1933
London, England, UK
Died August 20, 2003(2003-08-20) (aged 70)
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Occupation Cinematographer

Geraldine Brianne Murphy (April 1, 1933 – August 20, 2003) was a cinematographer and, the first female director of photography on a major studio film.[1]


Murphy was educated in English and American schools before she set her sights on an acting career and attended the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City and Pembroke College. In order to become "more American", she worked as a trick rider with a rodeo for a season. In 1954, she "crashed" the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at Madison Square Garden on opening night and performed as a clown for the entire evening.[1]

The resulting publicity helped Murphy land a job as a still photographer with the traveling circus and eventually led to her to Hollywood. She soon began working with low-budget filmmakers Jerry Warren and Ralph Brooke, both of whom she married.

In 1980, she was the first female director of photography on a major studio picture, Fatso. In 1982, Murphy won an Academy Award for Scientific and Engineering Achievement.[2] She was also nominated for four Emmys for cinematography, winning for outstanding cinematography for the series Highway to Heaven in 1985.[1]


On August 20, 2003, Brianne Murphy died of lung and brain cancer, aged 70, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.[1]


Daytime Emmy Awards[edit]

  • Won: Outstanding Individual Achievement in Children's Programming For: NBC Special Treat (For the episode "Five Finger Discount", 1975)

Emmy Awards[edit]

  • Nominated: Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or a Special For: There Were Times, Dear (1987)
  • Nominated: Outstanding Cinematography for a Series For: Highway to Heaven (For the episode "A Match Made in Heaven", 1985)
  • Nominated: Outstanding Cinematography for a Series For: Breaking Away (For the episode "La Strada", 1980)

Academy Award[edit]

  • Won: Scientific and Engineering Award Plaque for the concept, design and manufacture of the MISI Camera Insert Car and Process Trailer (Shared with Donald Schisler, 1982)

Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards[edit]

  • Recipient - Crystal Award for outstanding women who, through their endurance and the excellence of their work, have helped to expand the role of women within the entertainment industry.[3] (1984)
  • Recipient - Lucy Award in recognition of her excellence and innovation in her creative works that have enhanced the perception of women through the medium of television.[3] (1995)


  1. ^ a b c d Brianne Murphy biography
  2. ^ AMPAS - Index of Motion Picture Credits Archived August 21, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-08-20. Retrieved 2011-05-09. 

External links[edit]