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William H Daniels

Biography

Oscar-winning cinematographer who was simply Greta Garbo’s personal cameraman for 21 of her movies in the 1920s and through the 1930s. His initial cinematography work emerged in 1922 using the silent film Foolish Wives. He was nominated for an Academy Prize for his cinematography in the 1930 Anna Christie, and gained one for the 1949 traditional noir The Nude City. He was created in Cleveland, Ohio. Though frequently considered to possess produced through his methods the immortal Greta Garbo, he stated the thing he do was make the “video camera peer in to the eyes to find out that which was there.”

Quick Facts


Date Of Birth December 1, 1901
Place Of Birth Brooklyn, OH
Profession Cinematographer
Nationality American
Awards Academy Award for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White
Nominations Academy Award for Best Cinematography
Movies The Naked City, Camille, Ninotchka, Anna Christie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, How the West Was Won, Grand Hotel, Queen Christina, Winchester '73, Flesh and the Devil, Valley of the Dolls, Mata Hari, Some Came Running, Greed, The Glenn Miller Story, Brute Force, The Shop Around the Corner, The Far Country, Foolish Wives, Dinner at Eight, Romeo and Juliet, Marie Antoinette, Anna Karenina, A Free Soul, A Woman of Affairs, Marlowe, The Kiss, Plymouth Adventure, The Painted Veil, Come September, Pat and Mike, Ocean's 11, Assault on a Queen, Idiot's Delight, Thunder Bay, They Met in Bombay, When in Rome, Another Thin Man, The Barretts of Wimpole Street, Lured, Rasputin and the Empress, Come Blow Your Horn, Keeper of the Flame, Von Ryan's Express, The Mortal Storm, Thunder on the Hill, Naughty Marietta, For Me and My Gal, Harvey, The Trial of Mary Dugan, The Gal Who Took the West
Star Sign Sagittarius

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1Frank Sinatra was so impressed by Daniels's work on "Some Came Running" that he insisted on using him as cameraman on nine subsequent films, on three of which he also served as associate producer or co-producer. He also co-produced, but did not photograph, Sinatra's only film as director, "None But The Brave".
2In his biography of producer Mark Hellinger (who produced The Naked City (1948), which won Daniels an Academy Award for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White), Jim Bishop wrote: "In the old silent days, Daniels had been the best of them all. His camera work was so close to art that producers and directors and cameramen used to sit in private projection rooms, not to judge a picture, but to see what new tricks of lighting and effects Daniels had achieved. The industry acknowledged that Daniels' work was so fine that other cameramen were never censured for shamelessly stealing it".
3President of American Society of Cinematographers 1961-1963.


Cinematographer

Cinematographer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Captain Salvation1927as William Daniels, photography
Altars of Desire1927
Flesh and the Devil1926as William Daniels, photographed by
The Temptress1926as William Daniels, photographed by
Bardelys the Magnificent1926
The Boob1926as Wm. Daniels, photography
Money Talks1926as William Daniels
Monte Carlo1926
Torrent1926as William Daniels, photography
Dance Madness1926
The Merry Widow1925uncredited
Women and Gold1925as William Daniels
1925 Studio Tour1925Documentary short uncredited
Greed1924as Wm. H. Daniels, photography
Helen's Babies1924
Merry-Go-Round1923as William Daniels
Foolish Wives1922as William Daniels, photography
Move1970director of photography - as William Daniels
Marlowe1969
The Maltese Bippy1969
The Impossible Years1968director of photography
Valley of the Dolls1967director of photography
In Like Flint1967director of photography - as William Daniels
Assault on a Queen1966
Marriage on the Rocks1965
Von Ryan's Express1965director of photography
Robin and the 7 Hoods1964director of photography
The Money Dance1963
The Prize1963director of photography
Come Blow Your Horn1963
Billy Rose's Jumbo1962director of photography
How the West Was Won1962director of photography
Come September1961director of photography - as William Daniels
All the Fine Young Cannibals1960
Ocean's 111960director of photography
Can-Can1960
Never So Few1959director of photography
A Hole in the Head1959director of photography
Frances Langford Presents1959TV Series
A Stranger in My Arms1959as William Daniels
Never Steal Anything Small1959uncredited
Some Came Running1958
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof1958director of photography - as William Daniels
Voice in the Mirror1958as William Daniels
General Electric Theater1957TV Series 1 episode
My Man Godfrey1957
Interlude1957director of photography - as William Daniels
Night Passage1957as William Daniels
Istanbul1957
The Unguarded Moment1956director of photography - as William Daniels
Away All Boats1956director of photography - as William Daniels
The Benny Goodman Story1956as William Daniels
The Girl Rush1955
Foxfire1955as William Daniels
The Shrike1955
Strategic Air Command1955director of photography - as William Daniels
Six Bridges to Cross1955
The Far Country1954as William Daniels
The Glenn Miller Story1954director of photography - as William Daniels
War Arrow1953director of photography - as William Daniels
Forbidden1953director of photography
Thunder Bay1953director of photography - as William Daniels
Never Wave at a WAC1953
Plymouth Adventure1952as William Daniels
Pat and Mike1952as William Daniels
Glory Alley1952
When in Rome1952as William Daniels
The Lady Pays Off1951
Thunder on the Hill1951as William Daniels
Bright Victory1951as William Daniels
Harvey1950director of photography - as William Daniels
Deported1950as William Daniels
Winchester '731950director of photography - as William Daniels
Woman in Hiding1950as William Daniels
Three Came Home1950uncredited
Abandoned1949as William Daniels
The Gal Who Took the West1949as William Daniels
Illegal Entry1949as William Daniels
The Life of Riley1949as William Daniels
Family Honeymoon1948as William Daniels
For the Love of Mary1948as William Daniels
The Naked City1948director of photography - as William Daniels
Lured1947as William Daniels
Brute Force1947director of photography - as William Daniels
Diamond Demon1947Short as William Daniels
Sure Cures1946Short as William Daniels
Maisie Goes to Reno1944uncredited
The Canterville Ghost1944uncredited
The Heavenly Body1944uncredited
Girl Crazy1943director of photography - as William Daniels
Keeper of the Flame1942as William Daniels
For Me and My Gal1942as William Daniels
Dr. Kildare's Victory1942director of photography - as William Daniels
Design for Scandal1941director of photography - as William Daniels
Shadow of the Thin Man1941director of photography - as William Daniels
Honky Tonk1941uncredited
They Met in Bombay1941director of photography - as William Daniels
Love Crazy1941uncredited
Back Street1941director of photography - as William Daniels
So Ends Our Night1941
New Moon1940director of photography - as William Daniels
The Mortal Storm1940director of photography - as William Daniels
The Shop Around the Corner1940director of photography - as William Daniels
Another Thin Man1939director of photography - as William Daniels
Ninotchka1939director of photography - as William Daniels
Stronger Than Desire1939as William Daniels, photographed by
Idiot's Delight1939as William Daniels
Dramatic School1938as William Daniels, photographed by
Three Loves Has Nancy1938as William Daniels
The Shopworn Angel1938uncredited
Marie Antoinette1938as William Daniels, photographed by
The Young in Heart1938uncredited
Beg, Borrow or Steal1937as William Daniels
The Last Gangster1937as William Daniels, photographed by
Double Wedding1937as William Daniels, photographed by
Broadway Melody of 19381937as William Daniels, photographed by
Personal Property1937as William Daniels
Camille1936as William Daniels, photographed by
Romeo and Juliet1936as William Daniels
Rose-Marie1936as William Daniels, photographed by
Rendezvous1935as William Daniels, photographed by
I Live My Life1935uncredited
Anna Karenina1935as William Daniels, photographed by
Naughty Marietta1935as William Daniels, photographed by
The Painted Veil1934as William Daniels, photographed by
The Barretts of Wimpole Street1934as William Daniels, photographed by
Queen Christina1933as William Daniels, photographed by
Christopher Bean1933
Broadway to Hollywood1933as William Daniels, photographed by
Dinner at Eight1933as William Daniels, photographed by
The Stranger's Return1933as William Daniels
The White Sister1933as William Daniels, photographed by
Rasputin and the Empress1932as William Daniels, photographed by
Skyscraper Souls1932as William Daniels
As You Desire Me1932as William Daniels
Grand Hotel1932/Ias William Daniels, photographed by
Lovers Courageous1932as William Daniels, photographed by
Mata Hari1931as William Daniels, photographed by
Susan Lenox 1931as William Daniels
A Free Soul1931as William Daniels, photographed by
Strangers May Kiss1931as William Daniels, photographed by
Inspiration1931as William Daniels
The Great Meadow1931
Anna Christie1930/IIas William Daniels
Si l'empereur savait ça1930
Olympia1930as William Daniels
Romance1930as William Daniels, photographed by
Strictly Unconventional1930as William Daniels, photographed by
Montana Moon1930as William Daniels, photographed by
Anna Christie1930/Ias William Daniels, photographed by
Their Own Desire1929photographed by
The Kiss1929as William Daniels, photographed by
Wise Girls1929
The Last of Mrs. Cheyney1929as William Daniels, photographed by
The Trial of Mary Dugan1929as William Daniels
Wild Orchids1929as William Daniels, photographed by
Queen Kelly1929uncredited
A Woman of Affairs1928as William Daniels, photographed by
A Lady of Chance1928uncredited
Dream of Love1928
The Mysterious Lady1928as William Daniels, photographed by
Telling the World1928
The Actress1928
Bringing Up Father1928
The Latest from Paris1928
Love1927as William Daniels, photographed by
On Ze Boulevard1927as William Daniels
Tillie the Toiler1927as William Daniels

Camera Department

Camera Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Long Chance1922second camera
The Devil's Passkey1920camera operator - uncredited
Blind Husbands1919camera operator - uncredited
Robinson Crusoe1917Short assistant camera

Producer

Producer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Assault on a Queen1966associate producer
Marriage on the Rocks1965producer
None But the Brave1965associate producer
Robin and the 7 Hoods1964associate producer

Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Family Honeymoon1948Arch Armstrontg (scenes deleted, as William Daniels)

Assistant Director

Assistant Director

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Sally's Shoulders1928assistant director

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
You Can't Fool a Camera1941Documentary shortHimself (as William Daniels)
Another Romance of Celluloid1938Documentary shortHimself (uncredited)
C-V News: Filming Greed1923ShortHimself (uncredited)

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Garbo2005DocumentaryHimself (as William Daniels)
Checking Out: Grand Hotel2004Video documentary shortHimself - Director of Photography

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1949OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Cinematography, Black-and-WhiteThe Naked City (1948)

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1964OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Cinematography, ColorHow the West Was Won (1962)· Milton R. Krasner
· Charles Lang
· Joseph LaShelle
1959OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Cinematography, ColorCat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
1930OscarAcademy Awards, USABest CinematographyAnna Christie (1930)


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#Quote
1[on how he got into the movie business] I managed to land a job at the age of 15 with the Triangle Film Corporation/Kay-Bee; they needed an assistant cameraman, and of course I knew nothing about it, but they gave me a job anyway. I got twelve dollars a week. I carried a camera and held a slate. We loaded the film magazines and the still camera and carried all of the equipment to the set. My first job as an assistant was on Gloria Swanson's first dramatic film. When the company failed, I went over to Universal, and worked on some of their serials. After a year they let me become full photographer, on a one-reel Bert Roach comedy, then I did more comedies and more serials, while working alternately with [Erich von Stroheim] on his big pictures.
2[on his photographing Greta Garbo] I didn't create a "Garbo face". I just did portraits of her I would have done for any star. My lighting of her was determined by the requirements of a scene. I didn't, as some say I did, keep one side of her face light and the other dark. But I did always try to make the camera peer into the eyes, to see what was there.
3We try to tell the story with light, and the director tells it with action.


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