I first made the acquaintance of Ann Blyth on the film set of Mildred Pierce, (1945).
Both my uncles, work a warner brothers studios as did my father, after high school graduation I moved to my sister’s house so I could get to the California Institute of Technology. I was also fortunate enough to land a part time job working as a darkroom accent for, Consolidated Film Industries in Hollywood. I also had a job as a Unit Stills Photographer Stills includes close-ups of the actors and crew wide shots of the crew shooting the action, this work ran side by side with my work at Consolidated Film Industries.
After the four years working for Consolidated Film Industries, after graduating as an electrical engineer from California Institute of Technology (class of ’48) I was hired by Byron Haskin, ASC, and head of the Warner Bros. Special Effects Department on Stage 5 in Burbank. Since this was the largest such department in the movie business, I was able to work with some of the top cinematographers in the effects field, such as ASC fellows Edwin DuPar, Hans Koenekamp and Warren Lynch. When Warner Bros. purchased First National’s studio in Burbank, California, I signed a contract and remained with the studio on and off for the next 40 years.
Throughout the next 40 years I would still work as a Unit Stills Photographers I have created two kinds of images. The first one the making of the movie and the second Stills this work ran side by side with my movie work.
I first made the acquaintance of Ann Blyth on the film set of Mildred Pierce, (1945). Warner Bros had borrowed Ann for this film. It was Anton Grot’s that called Ann over and introduces me to her. What was so special about Ann? Well, she was just a nice person who always had a warm smile and a pleasant word for she exuded maternal compassion and was ever willing to listen to anyone’s tales of woe (including mine).
I have been taking still pictures alongside working making motion picture I believe that making a good movie and taking a good still photograph go together. I would like to share my experiences with others and what better way than to share them than to let you see with their own eyes my pictures and text my captured memories.
It was five days after wrapping of this major film that Ann Blyth experienced an horrific event, and would spend her remaining teen years in a most heartbreaking series of personal challenges. Her mother took Ann and some friends up to the Lake Arrowhead area in the San Bernardino Mountains to have a few days’ holiday in the snow in April 1945. Ann was injured in a toboggan accident. She was only 16 years old. She had fractured her spine. There was a bright, shining moment during her convalescence when she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Mildred Pierce.