Charles G. Clarke

Charles G. Clarke ASC (19 March 1899 1 July 1983) an American cinematographer who worked in Hollywood for over 40 years and was treasurer and president (twice - 1948-50 and 1951–53) of the American Society of Cinematographers.

Charles Galloway Clarke
Born(1899-03-10)10 March 1899
Died1 July 1983(1983-07-01) (aged 84)
Years active1920–1960s


Clarke started his career as an assistant cameraman to Allen Siegler at Universal Pictures in 1915. After serving overseas with the US Army during World War I, he returned to work as an assistant cameraman with the National Film Company and Oliver Morosco Company.

Subsequently, promoted to cinematographer on the 15-part silent serial The Son of Tarzan (1920), he worked across a broad spectrum of film, including standard movie serials at the independents, to showcase musicals and major-studio epics. From 1927 to 1933 he was first cameraman at the Jesse Lasky Company.

He was responsible for all of the China location footage and much of the studio work for MGM's The Good Earth (1937) but was uncredited. After working on a number of movies for Fox Films in the 1930s, he moved MGM. In 1938 he returned to the now 20th Century-Fox and worked the majority of his subsequent career at the studio.

He worked on low-budget Mr. Moto and Charlie Chan pictures to helped produce propaganda material such as Guadalcanal Diary (1943) to pictures Thunderhead, Son of Flicka (1945) and Miracle on 34th Street (1947) to big CinemaScope musicals Marching Along (1952).

He was married to Marian Bowden and died at his home in Beverly Hills, California, in 1983.


Whilst on the shoot for Marines, Let's Go in Japan, Clarke suffered a minor heart attack and retired from work. However, former friend and Fox producer Kenneth Macgowan persuaded Clarke to join the Theater Arts Department at UCLA. Clarke taught film school and wrote a book called Professional Cinematography at the urging of his students in 1964. In 1976 he published Early Film Making in Los Angeles which recounted his time during the early years of Hollywood and how the technology of cinematography changed.

Selected filmography


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