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Subject: Cinematographer Kent Wakeford


Author:
Dies at 92
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Date Posted: Wednesday, October 14, 12:05:05pm

Kent Lon Wakeford
1928 - 2020

Award-winning cinematographer Kent Lon Wakeford passed away peacefully at the Motion Picture Film & Television Fund Wasserman Campus on October 10, 2020. Kent was best known for his work as director of photography on Martin Scorsese's films, "Mean Streets," and "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore." He was 92 years old.

Kent's career took shape in the early 1950's upon returning home from the military to Los Angeles, where he worked as a freelance cameraman for the proto-reality program, Danger is My Business. Over the next two decades, Kent's career traversed a myriad of genres in both film and television: Art house, feature, animation, and commercial production, founding one of the top commercial production companies in the United States, Wakeford/Orloff Productions. Kent also filmed social impact documentaries in South America with Willard Van Dyke with support from the Rockefeller Foundation.

Kent had a life-long passion for collecting and racing vintage cars, and was a judge for Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, California for nearly thirty years. He was also a master archer, often creating makeshift archery ranges in empty location sets when he was working.

From recording a DC-6 test flight with Howard Hughes to collaborating with icons like Scorsese, to creating social documentaries in South America, to filming over a hundred television commercials, Kent lived a bold and vibrant life in film. He was an active industry member, serving as a judge of documentaries and short films at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Of "Mean Streets," acclaimed film critic and former writer for The New Yorker, Pauline Kael wrote: "Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets is a true original of our period, a triumph of personal filmmaking. It has its own hallucinatory look; the characters live in the darkness of bars, with lighting and color just this side of lurid. It has its own unsettling episodic rhythm and a high-charged emotional range that is dizzyingly sensual."

In 1997, "Mean Streets" was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Kent is survived by his three children, Kathryn, Kristian, and Kent, and many grandchildren.

Published in New York Times from Oct. 14 to Oct. 15, 2020.

https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nytimes/obituary.aspx?n=kent-lon-wakeford&pid=196944881

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