'Lord of the Rings' Cinematographer Andrew Lesnie Has Died at Age 59

April 28, 2015

Andrew Lesnie

Sad news to report. Academy Award winning cinematographer Andrew Lesnie passed away suddenly, and has died at the age of 59. Born in Sydney, Australia, Lesnie went on to work closely with Peter Jackson as his Director of Photography on the three Lord of the Rings movies. He also went on to work on King Kong and The Hobbit trilogy, as well as I Am Legend, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Last Airbender and Russell Crowe's The Water Diviner most recently. He won the Oscar for Return of the King back in 2002. Lesnie was a beloved member of this industry, with many speaking out about him through social media (including even Ian McKellen as seen below). Details are not yet available about his death; he was only 59 years old.

Here's a few of the tweets collected from Ian McKellen, Russell Crowe, James Wan + Eric Vespe on Lesnie:

Andrew Lesnie was a cinematographer from Australia, who won an Academy Award for his work on Lord of the Rings. THR reports that he is believed to have suffered a heart attack on Monday, April 27th. "We have been advised of the sudden death of Andrew," is the message from the Australian Cinematographers Society. It's always sad to report on the death of someone loved in the industry. As a person who considers Return of the King to be one of their all-time favorite movies, I have to pay tribute to Andrew Lesnie and his stunning work helping bring Middle Earth to life. Our friend Eric Vespe of Ain't It Cool has been telling great stories about him, and writes in his post that "Andrew had a special talent for making the people around him smile and feel good." Read more of Eric's stories about Andrew here. Onward to the Grey Havens. Rest in Peace.

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WTF this sucks. So young!

ff on Apr 28, 2015


Wow. One of the few DPs in the game right now who had that uncanny ability to create an entirely new world through the lens of the camera. RIP

jay on Apr 28, 2015

3, I need to reassess my life goals. I'm currently putting all my money into a Roth IRA that I can't even touch until I'm 59. It sucks to save your whole life and then die before you get to enjoy your golden years, I feel for his family.

MattPeloquin on Apr 28, 2015


Too bad he worked on The Water Diviner.

ragethorn on Apr 28, 2015


I enjoyed his pedigree of work. Sad to hear about his death.

DAVIDPD on Apr 28, 2015

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