Jordan Cronenweth
Jordan Scott Cronenweth

(1935-02-20)February 20, 1935
DiedNovember 29, 1996(1996-11-29) (aged 61)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active1969–1992
Known forBlade Runner
Altered States
Peggy Sue Got Married
ChildrenJeff Cronenweth

Jordan Scott Cronenweth, ASC (February 20, 1935 – November 29, 1996) was an American cinematographer based in Los Angeles, California. A contemporary of Conrad Hall, he was recognized for his distinctive style of heavily textured, film noir-inspired photography, seen in numerous classic films, including Zandy's Bride, Gable and Lombard, Altered States, and Peggy Sue Got Married. He is perhaps best remembered for his BAFTA Award-winning work on the groundbreaking science fiction film Blade Runner,[1] which is credited as codifying the cyberpunk aesthetic, and is lauded by some as among the best cinematographers of all time.[2][3]

He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography and received an ASC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Theatrical Releases, and he is widely considered one of the most influential cinematographers of all time.[4][5]

He was a member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC).

Life and career

Born in Los Angeles, California on February 20, 1935, Cronenweth attended North Hollywood High School and later Los Angeles City College, majoring in Engineering. While in college he interned as a film lab assistant at Columbia Pictures and acted as a cameraman on the 1955 musical film Oklahoma!.[6]

His widely acclaimed[7][8] work on the science fiction-noir Blade Runner won the Best Cinematography Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and got a BSC Award nomination and BAFTA Film Award. He won a 1987 ASC Award and earned an Academy Award nomination for Peggy Sue Got Married.

Cronenweth was initially hired as the director of photography for The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, but halfway through production producers replaced him with Fred J. Koenekamp.[9]

He was also replaced two weeks into the production of Alien 3 after falling ill, and died in 1996 at the age of 61.[10] The cause of death was Parkinson's disease.

A 2003 poll of his peers conducted by the International Cinematographers Guild placed Cronenweth among the ten most influential cinematographers of all time.[11][12]

Personal life

He and his first wife Carol had three children, Christie Cronenweth, Tim Cronenweth, and two-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth.[13] He was later married to Shane Cronenweth for 17 years.

Cronenweth was originally misdiagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1978, and correctly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1981. He continued working in film and commercials as a cinematographer, and in several commercials as director/cameraman, for another 13 years despite considerable physical challenges.


Year Title Director Notes
1969 Trilogy Frank Perry Segment "A Christmas Memory";
Shared credit with Joseph C. Brun and Conrad Hall
1970 Brewster McCloud Robert Altman with Lamar Boren
1971 The Touch of Satan Don Henderson
1972 Cry for Me, Billy William A. Graham
Play It as It Lays Frank Perry
1973 Birds of Prey William A. Graham Television film
1974 The Nickel Ride Robert Mulligan
Zandy's Bride Jan Troell
The Front Page Billy Wilder
1976 Gable and Lombard Sidney J. Furie
1977 One in a Million: The Ron LeFlore Story William A. Graham Television film
Handle with Care Jonathan Demme
Rolling Thunder John Flynn
1980 Altered States Ken Russell
1981 Cutter's Way Ivan Passer
1982 Best Friends Norman Jewison
Blade Runner Ridley Scott BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cinematographer
Nominated- British Society of Cinematographers
1984 The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Across the 8th Dimension
W. D. Richter with Fred J. Koenekamp
1986 Just Between Friends Allan Burns
Peggy Sue Got Married Francis Ford Coppola ASC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography
Nominated- Academy Award for Best Cinematography
1987 Gardens of Stone
1990 State of Grace Phil Joanou
1992 Final Analysis Final film

Concert films

Year Title Director
1984 Stop Making Sense Jonathan Demme
1988 U2: Rattle and Hum Phil Joanou
1991 Get Back Richard Lester


  1. ^ Lightman, Herb A. and Richard Patterson (March 1999). Cinematography for Blade Runner. Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine American Cinematographer
  2. ^ "Cinematography for Blade Runner - page 1". Retrieved 2017-09-20.
  3. ^ "Blade Runner: The Cinematography of Jordan Cronenweth". DIY Photography. 2014-04-17. Retrieved 2017-09-20.
  4. ^ "Blade Runner: The Cinematography of Jordan Cronenweth". DIY Photography. 2014-04-17. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  5. ^ "ICG Announces Top 10 Influential Cinematographers". Creative Planet Network. 2014-06-09. Archived from the original on 2017-09-07. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  6. ^ "JORDAN CRONENWETH". Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  7. ^ ""Oh, My...." Cinematography: Blade Runner". "Oh, My...." Cinematography. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  8. ^ "The Cinematography of "Blade Runner" (1982) – Evan E. Richards". Evan E. Richards. 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  9. ^ Ryan, Mike (2011-01-26). "Jeff Cronenweth on His Oscar Nomination for The Social Network and Joining His Late Father as a Nominee". Retrieved 2012-04-01.
  10. ^ Staff report (December 25, 1996). Memorial Service Set for Cronenweth. Los Angeles Times
  11. ^ Staff report (October 17, 2003). Cinematographers pick their Top 11. Los Angeles Times
  12. ^ "Top 10 Most Influential Cinematographers Voted on by Camera Guild," October 16, 2003. Archived January 9, 2014, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-07-06. Retrieved 2015-06-29.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)