The Oscar-winning cinematographer, Andrew Lesnie, who spent more than a decade collaborating with director Peter Jackson on the six “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” films, has died. He was 59.
The Sydney native, who also worked with New Zealander Jackson on the remake of “King Kong” (2005) and “The Lovely Bones” (2009), suffered a heart attack Monday, CNN reports.
Said a spokesman from the Australian Cinematographers Society: “We have been advised of the sudden death of Andrew,” adding that his family would provide an official statement later.
Known for balancing technology with artistic considerations, Lesnie also shot “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (2011), directed by Rupert Wyatt.
The cinematographer recently polished off The Water Diviner, the directorial debut of Russell Crowe, another New Zealand native. That movie opened Friday in U.S. theaters.
Lesnie won his Oscar for his work on the first of the fabled “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001). His knack for getting the right feel of author J.R.R. Tolkien’s most foreboding locales was remarkable.
For the inaugural “Lord of the Rings” film, Jackson reached out to Lesnie after seeing his work on “Babe” (1995) and its 1998 sequel. Those Australian films, revolving around a pig and other animals, featured impressive visual effects and proved to be big hits at the worldwide box office.