Robert Gottschalk (Robert Gottschalk)

Robert Gottschalk

Film Entrepreneur and Founder of Panavision. ┬áHe was born in Chicago, Illinois where his father was an established architect who built a number of hotels there. He became interested in a film career and graduated with a degree in theater and arts from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and moved to Los Angeles, California to become a filmmaker. He bought an interest in a camera shop and later got to know a nearby enterprise that made underwater filming equipment for famed explorer and scientist Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Equipment restrictions at the time made wide-angle filming difficult, and he soon began experimenting with anamorphic lens equipment patented by Henri Chretien. In 1953 the CinemaScope process, based on Chretien’s patents, was purchased and named by 20th Century Fox. While the camera lenses were now available, the process required projection lenses as well. The same year he teamed up with several colleagues and began offering projection lenses under the name Panavision, which used prismatic rather than cylindrical optics. This led to a successful expansion into lenses for cameras which are still widely used today. He won two Academy Awards, the first being a Special Technical Oscar awarded in 1960 for the development of the MGM Camera 65 widescreen photographic system, sharing it with MGM executive Douglas Shearer and Panavision co-founder Richard Moore, and the second being the Academy Award of Merit in 1978 for developing the Panaflex camera. He was stabbed to death in his Los Angeles home and his male lover, Laos Chuman, was convicted of his murder and sentenced in July 1983 to 26 years to life in prison. (bio by: William Bjornstad)

Born

  • March, 12, 1918
  • USA

Died

  • June, 06, 1982
  • USA

Cemetery

  • Westwood Memorial Park
  • California
  • USA

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