Samuel Leavitt was born on February 6, 1940 in New York City, New York. Sam was an American cinematographer who was nominated for three Academy Awards, winning one for “The Defiant Ones” (1958).
Leavitt began his career as an assistant camera operator working on 1930s films. Sam was a camera operator on films including “Rancho Notorious” (1952) and on TV's ‘I Love Lucy’ in the early 1950s before becoming a director of photography in films.
Leavitt was nominated for Academy Awards for “Exodus” (Best Cinematography Color) (1960)and “Anatomy of a Murder” (1959) (Best Cinematography Black and White) in the two years following his Oscar win for “The Defiant Ones”.
In 1969 he was the cinematographer on his only Euro-western “The Desperados!” starring Telly Savalas, Vince Edwards and George Maharis.
Leavitt died on March 21, 1984 in Woodland Hills, California as the result of a stroke.
Today we remember Sam Leavitt on what would have been his 110th birthday.