Hans F. Koenekamp, a pioneer cinematographer whose career started in the silent film era, has died at his Northridge home. He was 100.
Koenekamp died Saturday of complications of his advanced age, said his son-in-law Dale Reed.
Born in Denison, Iowa, Koenekamp came to California in 1911. He got his first movie industry job as a cameraman at the Mack Sennett Keystone Studio in 1913, where he filmed Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Gloria Swanson, the Sennett Bathing Beauties and the Keystone Kops. After a stint with Fox Studios, Koenekamp joined Vitagraph and filmed all the Larry Semon comedies. He later went to Warner Bros. Studios where he began working with special effects.
Koenekamp’s credits as a cinematographer include “Moby Dick” (1930) with John Barrymore, “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” (1948), “Strangers on a Train” (1951) and “The Spirit of St. Louis” (1957). He retired in the early 1960s.
In 1990, he received the President’s Award of the American Society of Cinematographers in recognition of his contributions to the motion picture industry.
Koenekamp is survived by his son, Fred J. Koenekamp of Northridge; daughters Marie Reed of West Hills and Patricia Bradley of San Antonio, Tex.; 18 grandchildren; and 21 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Lucretia Koenekamp.
Services will be private. Utter-McKinley Mortuary in Mission Hills is handling the arrangements. Donations can be made in Koenekamp’s name to the Motion Picture & Television Fund.