British cinematographer Gilbert Taylor, who is mostly remembered for his work with George Lucas in “Star Wars”, has passed away. He was 99. Taylor died at his home on the Isle of Wight on Friday, August 23.
Taylor’s wife Dee told BBC that her husband was surrounded by his family during his passing. She will remember him as a “wonderful, kind, funny, amusing [and] terribly talented in every aspect.” She said, “There was nothing he couldn’t do.”
Taylor was born in Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire in 1914. Young Taylor started working in entertainment industry in 1929 after he found a job as a camera assistant at Gainsborough Studios in London.
Throughout his career, Taylor worked with renowned directors including Roman Polanski in his movies “Repulsion” and “Cul-de-Sac”. According to Taylor’s wife, her husband “turned down a Bond picture” for Polanski “because he thought Roman was a very interesting guy.” She added, “The three of us became very firm friends, and we’ve been friends until this day.”
In addition to Polanski, Taylor participated in the production of George Lucas’ “Star Wars” movies. “George avoided all meetings and contact with me from day one. So I read the extra-long script many times and made my own decisions as to how I would shoot the picture,” Taylor said of working with Lucas, as quoted by American Cinematographer magazine.
Taylor’s other credits include “Ice Cold in Alex”, The Beatles’ film “A Hard Day’s Night” and Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller “Frenzy”. He retired from movie filming in 1994, but he kept working on commercials. He enjoyed painting during his spare time.