James Crabe, A.S.C. (August 19, 1931 – May 2, 1989) was an American cinematographer,[1] known for his work in the 1970s and '80s on numerous films, including Rocky, The China Syndrome, Night Shift, The Karate Kid, and Thank God It's Friday. He was a regular collaborator of director John G. Avildsen, and a two-time Primetime Emmy Award winner, in addition to being nominated for multiple ASC Awards and an Academy Award.

James Crabe
James Aubrey Crabe

(1931-08-19)August 19, 1931
DiedMay 2, 1989(1989-05-02) (aged 57)


James Crabe was one of the few openly gay cinematographers in Hollywood.[2] He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography for director John G. Avildsen's The Formula (1980). He also photographed Avildsen's films Save the Tiger (1973), W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings (1975), Rocky (1976), The Karate Kid (1984), The Karate Kid Part II (1986), Happy New Year (1987) and For Keeps (1988), as well as Thank God It's Friday (1978), The China Syndrome (1979), and Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985).[1]

He won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited Series or Movie for The Letter (1982)[3] and was nominated for The Entertainer (1976), Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years (1977) and his final film Baby M (1988). He won Outstanding Cinematography for a Series for The New Mike Hammer episode "More Than Murder" in 1984.[4]


On May 2, 1989, James Crabe died of complications of AIDS.[1]

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ a b c "James Crabe; Award-Winning Cameraman". Los Angeles Times. May 5, 1989. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  2. ^ Mann, William (2001). Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969. Viking. ISBN 0670030171.
  3. ^ "Nominees/Winners". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  4. ^ "Nominees/Winners". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved April 14, 2017.

External linksEdit