Oscar-winning ''American Beauty'' lenser Conrad L. Hall dies. One of Hollywood's most revered cinematographers, whose long career capped with ''Road to Perdition,'' succumbs to cancer at 76

By Gary Susman
Updated January 06, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

Conrad L. Hall, whose nine Oscar nominations and two wins made him one of Hollywood’s most renowned cinematographers, died Saturday at age 76 of bladder cancer at a Santa Monica hospital, his wife Susan told the Associated Press. His 50-year career included such lushly photographed films as ”Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and 2002’s ”Road to Perdition,” for which he may well earn his 10th Academy Award nomination.

”Every film that he worked on was something beautiful to the eye, and very imaginative,” said producer Richard Zanuck, who worked with Hall on both of those movies, in a statement. ”With ‘Road to Perdition’ you could virtually take every frame of his work and blow it up and hang it over your fireplace. It was like Rembrandt at work. Connie was not known for speed, but neither was Rembrandt. He was known for incredible genius.”

Hall’s landmarks include the black-and-white ”In Cold Blood,” ”Cool Hand Luke,” ”Butch Cassidy” (which won him his first Oscar, and which costarred his first wife, Katharine Ross), ”The Day of the Locust,” ”Tequila Sunrise,” and ”American Beauty,” which won him his second Oscar three years ago. He reteamed with ”Beauty” director Sam Mendes for ”Perdition” and was again singled out by critics for the gangster drama’s use of light and shadow. He was due to receive a lifetime achievement award from the National Board of Review this month. His son, Conrad W. Hall, is also a cinematographer (”Panic Room”).