Bailey was famous for his camera work in movies like ‘Groundhog Day,’ ‘Ordinary People,’ and ‘As Good as It Gets.’

John Bailey, the cinematographer and former head of the Academy, passed away at 81. His wife, Carol Littleton, shared that he died peacefully in his sleep on Friday. The cause of death is not disclosed. Bailey was recognized for his camera work in movies such as Ordinary People, Groundhog Day, and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. He made history as the first cinematographer to be the Academy president, serving from 2017 to 2019.

“I’m very sad to tell you that my closest friend and husband, John Bailey, peacefully passed away while sleeping early on Friday. We remembered how we met 60 years ago and were married for 51 of those years during John’s illness. We had a great life of adventures in the film industry and made lasting friendships. John will always be in my heart.”

Academy CEO Bill Kramer and Academy President Janet Yang released a statement together, expressing their sadness about John Bailey’s passing. They praised Bailey for his dedication to the Academy and the film world, highlighting his roles as President and a governor. They emphasized his leadership in the Cinematographers Branch and acknowledged his lasting impact on the film community. The statement concluded by offering thoughts and support to Bailey’s wife, Carol, during this difficult time.


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