Byron Haskin

Byron Conrad Haskin (April 22, 1899 April 16, 1984) was an American film and television director. He is known for directing The War of the Worlds (1953), one of many films where he teamed with producer George Pal.

Byron Haskin
Haskin in 1922
Byron Conrad Haskin

(1899-04-22)April 22, 1899
DiedApril 16, 1984(1984-04-16) (aged 84)
OccupationFilm director, television director, cinematographer, producer, special effects artist
Years active1922–1968
Spouse(s)Terry Gates
ChildrenShirley Haskin Flynn


Born in Portland, Oregon, Haskin graduated from the University of California and was hired as the cinematographer in 1922 for Hurricane's Gal. In his early career, he was a special effects artist, with a number of credits on Warner Bros. films, eventually becoming the head of the studio's special effects department. During his tenure, there he earned three Oscar nominations for his effects work, and was even recognized with a Scientific and Technical Award citation for developing a rear-projection system useful in effects photography. In the late 1940s, he turned to directing, helming the low budget film-noir Too Late for Tears (1949) starring Lizabeth Scott and Treasure Island (1950), one of Walt Disney's earliest live-action features. Following The War of the Worlds, he continued his collaboration with George Pal with The Naked Jungle (1954), Conquest of Space (1955), and The Power (1968). His other significant film is the science fiction adventure Robinson Crusoe on Mars, released in 1964. Haskin also worked as a cinematographer and producer.

His career in television included directing six episodes of The Outer Limits (1963–65), including two highly regarded episodes, "The Architects of Fear" (1963) and "Demon with a Glass Hand" (1964). He also co-produced the original Star Trek pilot episode, "The Cage" (1965).

Haskin appeared as an interviewee in a documentary series Hollywood (1980), about the silent film era, which was co-produced by Kevin Brownlow. Haskin died in Montecito, California, six days before his 85th birthday.

Personal life

Haskin was married twice. He was survived by his second wife, the former Terry Gates; and a daughter from his first marriage, Shirley Flynn.[1] His daughter married actor Joe Flynn.

Selected filmography



Special effects


  1. "No Headline". New York Times. The New York Times Company. April 19, 1984. p. 15. Retrieved 19 March 2019. Byron Haskin, a cameraman in the early days of silent films who later became a director, died of lung cancer Monday at his home in Montecito, Calif. He was 84 years old
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