Lee Garmes

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Lee Garmes, A.S.C.
Portrait of Lee Garmes
Lee Dewey Garmes

(1898-05-27)May 27, 1898
DiedAugust 31, 1978(1978-08-31) (aged 80)
Board member ofA.S.C. President (1960–1961)
Spouse(s)Ruth Hall (1933–his death)
AwardsAcademy Award for Best Cinematography
1932 Shanghai Express

Lee Garmes, A.S.C. (May 27, 1898 – August 31, 1978) was an American cinematographer. During his career, he worked with directors Howard Hawks, Max Ophüls, Josef von Sternberg, Alfred Hitchcock, King Vidor, Nicholas Ray and Henry Hathaway, whom he had met as a young man when the two first came to Hollywood in the silent era. He also co-directed two films with legendary screenwriter Ben Hecht: Angels Over Broadway and Actor's and Sin.[1]

Biography and career[edit]

Born in Peoria, Illinois, Garmes first came to Hollywood in 1916. His first job was as an assistant in the paint department at Thomas H. Ince Studios, but he soon became a camera assistant before graduating to full-time cameraman. His earliest films were comedy shorts, and his career did not fully take off until the introduction of sound.

Garmes was married to film actress Ruth Hall from 1933 until his death in 1978. He is interred in the Grand View Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

Garmes was one of the earliest proponents of video technology, which he advocated as early as 1972. That year, he had been hired by Technicolor to photograph the short film Why, which was intended to test whether video was a viable technology for shooting feature films.

According to American Cinematographer magazine, "Although officially unaccredited, Lee Garmes photographed a considerable portion of Gone with the Wind. Many consider the famous railroad yard sequence among his finest cinematic efforts."[2]

Garmes was one of many Hollywood veterans from the silent era interviewed by Kevin Brownlow for the television series Hollywood (1980).[3]




  • Academy Awards: Oscar, Best Cinematography, for Morocco; 1931.
  • Academy Awards: Oscar, Best Cinematography, for Since You Went Away; 1945. Shared with: Stanley Cortez.
  • Academy Awards: Oscar, Best Cinematography, for The Big Fisherman; 1960.




  1. ^ Lee Garmes on IMDb .
  2. ^ American Cinematographer, November 1978 (page 1094).
  3. ^ Hollywood on IMDb .
  4. ^ Goble, Alan. The Complete Index to World Film, since 1885. 2008. Index home page.

External links[edit]