John Bailey, an American cinematographer and film director that celebrated his 75th birthday yesterday, August 10th, has been elected as President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for a four-year term.
Born in Moberly, Missouri, Bailey attended Santa Clara University and Loyola University Chicago. During his junior year he studied German language and culture at the University of Vienna, where he developed an appreciation for the French New Wave. He earned a graduate degree from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts in 1968. He spent eleven years apprenticing as a crew member under the likes of Vilmos Zsigmond and Néstor Almendros, and worked on such films as Two-Lane Blacktop, The Late Show, 3 Women, Winter Kills, and Days of Heaven. He earned his first credit as director of photography for Boulevard Nights, which was followed by Ordinary People and American Gigolo.
In 1985, Bailey shared the Cannes Film Festival Best Artistic Contribution Award with Eiko Ishioka and Philip Glass for Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters. He was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography for Tough Guys Don’t Dance and the Camerimage Golden Frog Award for Best Cinematography for Forever Mine. He is a Member of the American Society of Cinematographers and Member of the jury at the Venice Film Festival in 1987. He has also worked on movies such as Groundhog Day and Country Strong.
Bailey’s credits as a director include The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, China Moon, Mariette in Ecstasy, and Via Dolorosa.
Bailey has been married to film editor Carol Littleton since March 1972.