Martin Scorsese Leads Tributes to Late Cinematographer Michael Ballhaus
Martin Scorsese led tributes to Gangs of New York cinematographer Michael Ballhaus after he died aged 81 on Tuesday. The legendary director worked with Ballhaus on numerous films, beginning with After Hours in 1985 then The Color of Money the following year, The Last Temptation of Christ in 1988, Goodfellas in 1990, The Age of Innocence in 1993 and Gangs of New York in 2002. They also worked together on Oscar-winning offering The Departed in 2006, and Scorsese didn’t hold back in a touching statement about the loss of his friend sent to Deadline Hollywood.
“For over 20 years, Michael Ballhaus and I had a real creative partnership, and a very close and enduring friendship,” Scorsese wrote. “He was a lovely human being, and he always had a warm smile for even the toughest situations — anyone who knew him will remember his smile. We started working together in the 80s, during a low ebb in my career. And it was Michael who really gave me back my sense of excitement in making movies… Really, he gave me an education, and he changed my way of thinking about what it is to make a film. He was a great artist. He was also a precious and irreplaceable friend, and this is a great loss for me.” Ballhaus received three Oscar nominations for his work, one for 1987’s Broadcast News, the second for The Fabulous Baker Boys and his third for Gangs of New York. In total, he has 120 credits to his name and did the cinematography on several other iconic movies including Prince’s 1986 film Under the Cherry Moon, Paul Newman’s The Glass Menagerie and Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula. His last movie was the German 3096 Days, released in 2013. Ballhaus is survived by his two children, Sebastian and Florian Ballhaus.