Gene Polito

Eugene Emmanuel Polito (September 13, 1918 – November 28, 2010) was an American cinematographer,[1] mechanical engineer and academic. His numerous of film and television credits included Futureworld, Up in Smoke and Lost in Space.[1]

Gene Polito
Eugene Emmanuel Polito

(1918-09-13)September 13, 1918
DiedNovember 28, 2010(2010-11-28) (aged 92)
Parent(s)Sol Polito
Frances Polito

Polito was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1918, the son of cinematographer Sol Polito and his wife, Frances Polito.[2] Polito was just eight months old when his family moved to Los Angeles in 1919 so his father, Sol Polito, could continue working at Warner Brothers Studios.[2]

Polito graduated from Loyola High School in Los Angeles.[2] He attended Loyola University (now Loyola Marymount University), before earning his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Southern California.[2] Polito was employed as an engineer for aerospace manufacturer, Douglas Aircraft Company, during World War II.[2]

Polito began his career as a cinematographer towards the end of World War II.[2] His career ultimately spanned more than forty years and included hundreds of film and television productions.[2] A member of the American Society of Cinematographers, Polito is credited with the invention of the "Polito Bracket," which film studio photographers now use as a mounting accessory for Reflectors and Bead Board.[2] Polito became a professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts when he was 62 years old.[2]


Polito died at his home in Irvine, California, on November 28, 2010, aged 92, following a three-year battle with esophageal cancer.[2] He was survived by his wife, Lucy, to whom he had been married for 66 years, as well as nine children, a brother and nine great-grandchildren.[2]


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