Cinematographer and director John Bailey has died at the age of 81. He became successful with films like “Groundhog Day”. Most recently he had a difficult job as president of the Oscar Academy.
John Bailey is dead. The cinematographer, director and former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) died on November 10, 2023 in Los Angeles. He was 81 years old. His wife, film editor Carol Littleton (81), announced his death in a statement from AMPAS, according to media reports. “It is with deep sadness that I announce that my best friend and husband, John Bailey, passed away peacefully in his sleep this morning,” it said.
“During John’s illness, we remembered how we met 60 years ago and were married for 51 years,” the widow continued. “We shared a wonderful, adventurous life in the film industry and made many lasting friendships along the way. John will live in my heart forever,” Littleton said. She did not name the cause of death or the illness he suffered from.
John Bailey made numerous films like “It couldn’t be better”
After graduating from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, John Bailey began his career in film in the early 1970s. After a few years as an assistant, he started out as chief cameraman, for example on “A Man for Certain Hours” with Richard Gere (74) or on Robert Redford’s (87) Oscar-winning directorial debut “A Completely Normal Family” (both 1980).
Over the course of his career, John Bailey made a number of well-known films, from the modern classic “Groundhog Day” to “It Couldn’t Get Better.” Between 1991 and 2001 he directed five films. The most famous of these is the thriller “China Moon” with Ed Harris (72).
He was also involved in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which, among other things, awards the Oscars. After many years and leadership positions in the camera branch of AMPAS, he was elected its president in 2017, the first cameraman ever. He was President of AMPAS until 2019. His term in office included the difficult processing of the Weinstein affair and efforts to make the Oscar jury more diverse.