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Richard H. Kline, Cinematographer on STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, SOYLENT GREEN, Dies at 91


Sad, but late, news. Richard H. Kline, the two-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer who shot classic science-fiction films as "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", the 1976 remake of King Kong and "The Andromeda Strain" (1971) has died. He was 91.

His daughter Rija Kline Zucker told The Hollywood Reporter Kline died of natural causes on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, in Los Angeles.

In his 52-year career, Kline mostly worked on genre films. Kline was born in Los Angeles, California, and applied for a position as an assistant cameraman at Columbia Pictures after graduating high school in 1943. He started as a "slate boy" for the 1944 film "Cover Girl" but became an assistant cameraman until he entered the Navy in 1944.

He collaborated with director Robert Wise films on "The Andromeda Strain" (1971) and "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (1979). “It was a victim of not enough time in prep,” Kline explained to AC. “Unfortunately, in the production of all science-fiction films, there never seems to be enough time. We were not unique in that respect.”

Richard "Dick" Howard Kline worked on more than 40 features in all, including "Battle for the Planet of the Apes" (1973), "Howard the Duck" (1986), "My Stepmother Is an Alien" (1988) and his final film, "Meet Wally Sparks" (1997).

His father was noted cinematographer Benjamin H. Kline who directed films like "Danger Street", and dozens of Westerns. One of his uncles, Phil Rosen, co-founded the American Society of Cinematographers in 1919 and served as its first president.

Kline earned his Oscar nominations for the musical "Camelot" (1967) and "King Kong". He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Society of Cinematographers in 2006.

“There are so many great faces up on those walls, so much history,” Richard H. Kline, ASC, said looking wistfully at a display of black-and-white portraits depicting past and present members of the American Society of Cinematographers. “I was very lucky to have worked with them and so many others as an assistant and operator. While they probably didn’t know it, they were my teachers, my mentors. I never had any formal training as a cinematographer, but I learned so much from just being in their presence.”

Which is your favorite film by Richard H. Kline?

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