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David Farrell dies, aged 93

Stills photographer worked in film and TV for over 30 years, with directors such as Ken Loach and Michael Winner.

Stills photographer David Farrell has died, aged 93.

Farrell worked on over 100 TV drama and film productions from the 1960s through to the 1990s, photographing the likes of Lawrence Olivier, John Gielgud, Peter Sellers, Oliver Reed, Donald Sutherland, Albert Finney, Tom Courtney and Julie Christie. Farrell worked with a range of directors including Ken Loach, Blake Edwards and Michael Winner.

Born in 1919, Farrell studied at Manor House and Dulwich College and was accepted at the Royal Academy of Music before enlisting in the RAF in 1940, spending the next five years on active service as a pilot officer with Bomber Command.

Having returned to civilian life in Gloucester in 1946 and expanding his portfolio through commissions from London Weekend Television and Thames TV, photographing musicians such as The Beatles and Tom Jones, Farrell’s film break came when he got invited to photograph the production of Peter Hall’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1968), starring David Warner, Diana Rigg, Judi Dench and Helen Mirren.

Farrell went on to work on a range of productions from major commercial films such as Superman and the Pink Panther series to intimate dramas.

Paying tribute, actor Neville Jason, who first met Farrell in 1975 on Moustapha Akkad’s The Message, commented: “Whether it was David’s 11 grandchildren, his great-grand children, or whether it was simply his tireless spirit and endless enthusiasm for life, he reached 93 and a half years, without ever actually growing old.”

A retrospective of Farrell’s work is expected to happen later this year in a West End gallery.

He is survived by his wife Joyce Manning, whom he married in 1942, two of his three sons and two daughters.

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