Harold Wenstrom

Harold "Wennie" Wenstrom was an American cinematographer known for his frequent collaborations with actress Alla Nazimova during the silent era.[1][2]

Harold Wenstrom
Harald Oscar Ludwig Wenstrom

January 4, 1893
Brooklyn, New York, US
DiedApril 26, 1944 (aged 51)
Washington, D.C., US
Spouse(s)Ella Williams


Harold was born in Brooklyn to Ludwig Wenstrom and Ida Petersen. His parents were Swedish immigrants. He began working as a cameraman for Sidney Drew at Metro in New York City around 1914.[1][3][4]

During World War I, after first serving as a seaman, he was moved to the navy's photographic division and assigned to accompany President Woodrow Wilson's first trip to Europe.

After the war, he arrived in Hollywood to work for Maxwell Karger.[5] He was known for his ability to get difficult shots: On one occasion, he got footage while strapped to a plane's fuselage.[6]

During World War II, he joined the Navy (after serving for many years in the reserves), earning the rank of lieutenant commander. He died in his room at the Ambassador Hotel in Washington, D.C., in 1944; the cause of death was noted as a heart attack suffered after a bout of pneumonia.[7][4]

He was married to Ella "Bill" Williams, a studio manager at Cosmopolitan Pictures and former secretary of actress Marion Davies, for many years.[8]

Selected filmography


  1. "Ensign George H. Hasselman". Los Angeles Evening Express. 30 Aug 1919. Retrieved 2019-12-15.
  2. Keating, Patrick (2009-12-15). Hollywood Lighting from the Silent Era to Film Noir. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-52020-1.
  3. Motography. 1917.
  4. "Ace of Film Camera Dies". The San Francisco Examiner. 26 Apr 1944. Retrieved 2019-12-15.
  5. "Cameraman Hero Who Shot Historic Events". Los Angeles Evening Express. 25 Jun 1919. Retrieved 2019-12-15.
  6. "Flickers from Filmland". The Topeka Daily Capital. 19 Oct 1919. Retrieved 2019-12-15.
  7. "Los Angeles Navy Film Officer Dies". The Los Angeles Times. 26 Apr 1944. Retrieved 2019-12-15.
  8. "Independent Movie Makers Organizing". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 16 Jan 1932. Retrieved 2019-12-15.
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