Kent Wakeford Dies: Martin Scorsese’s ‘Mean Streets’ Director Of Photography Was 92

Kent L. Wakeford, a cinematographer who served as Martin Scorsese’s director of photography on the groundbreaking 1973 film Mean Streets and the following year’s Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, died Oct. 10 at the Motion Picture Film & Television Fund’s Wasserman Campus in Woodland Hills, CA. He was 92.

His death was announced by his family, who noted that he died peacefully. No cause of death was specified.

Wakeford began his career in the 1950s, working as a freelance cameraman for the 1958 TV series Danger Is My Business. Continuing his work in TV and film, Wakeford made his major impact when Scorsese hired him on Mean Streets, the gritty, groundbreaking drama about small-time hoods in Lower Manhattan’s Little Italy neighborhood, starring Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel.

Wakeford teamed with the director the following year for Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, the chronicle of a recently widowed wannabe singer, played by an Oscar-winning Ellen Burstyn, who takes her teenage son (Alfred Lutter) on a cross-country journey toward a new life in California. Kris Kristofferson co-starred.

Wakeford’s career spanned various mediums and genres, including features, animation, commercial production and documentaries. He was a DP on TV’s L.A. Law in 1987 and 1988. He also co-founded the commercial production company Wakeford/Orloff Productions with John Orloff.

Wakeford is survived by children, Kathryn, Kristian, and Kent; and many grandchildren.

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