|Who is it?||Cinematographer, Actor, Camera Department|
|Birth Day||June 12, 1934|
|Birth Place||Dallas, Texas, United States|
|Age||86 YEARS OLD|
|Died On||March 13, 2001(2001-03-13) (aged 66)\nBrentwood, California, United States|
|Occupation||Cinematographer, actor, film director|
|Spouse(s)||Suzanne Heltzel Jan Murray (?-2001; his death)|
|Children||Cristiana Mary Murray, Angela Argenzia, Gorgiana Alonzo|
Alonzo's career began as part of the clean-up crew at television station WFAA in Dallas. However, within a short time he had made himself indispensable, not only building sets, hanging Lights and moving cameras, but also directing cooking and children's shows. Eventually he and actor Hank Williamson created a popular comedy duo: Alonzo became the voice and Puppeteer of the irreverent “Señor Turtle,” who with Williamson as his sidekick, introduced movies and cartoons. In 1956, the show was picked up by station KHJ in Hollywood, where it lasted only 26 weeks. So Alonzo worked for a time as a still Photographer, and as an actor, with appearances in several well-known shows such as Twilight Zone (Season 2 – Episode 12 in Dust as Luis Gallegos, Combat, 77 Sunset Strip and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour."
Alonzo pioneered handheld work, lighting techniques and HD video development during his career. He is remembered mainly for Chinatown (1974) and Scarface (1983), the former for which he was nominated for both a BAFTA and an Academy Award. In addition, he was the recipient of a Primetime Emmy for his work on the 2000 CBS television adaptation of Fail Safe.
His uncomplicated and minimalistic style, combined with his first-hand knowledge of acting, made him one of the most in-demand Directors of photography in Hollywood. In addition, he was not only one of the best "hand-held cameramen in Hollywood, but also a pioneer of high-def digital cinematography. In 1993/94 he shot (for NBC) the first HD movie in the history of American television, World War II: When Lions Roared.
John A. Alonzo died in 2001 after a long illness, at home in Brentwood, California. Perhaps his best known student is two-time Oscar winner John Toll, who began his career as Alonzo's assistant on films like Black Sunday, Norma Rae, Tom Horn and Scarface.
In 2007, Director Axel Schill helmed a feature documentary about Alonzo, The Man Who Shot Chinatown - The Life & Work of John A. Alonzo.