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Jacques Haitkin, Cinematographer Behind A Nightmare on Elm Street, Dies at 72

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Jacques Haitkin, who served as the cinematographer on A Nightmare on Elm Street as well as its first sequel, Freddy’s Revenge, has died. He was 72.

Haitkin actually died on March 21 in San Francisco after battling leukemia and ALS, which he was diagnosed with in 2017, according to the Hollywood Reporter, which spoke to his son, Zak.

Born Jacques Adam Haitkin in Brooklyn on Aug. 29, 1950, Haitkin’s father owned a chain of dry cleaners. He made enough money to send his son to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where Jacques shot Martin Brest‘s 1972 short film Hot Dogs for Gauguin starring Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman, which earned him a fellowship from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles.

From there, Haitkin served as a gaffer on the Tim Conway movie The Billion Dollar Hobo (1977) and as upped to cinematographer on three other Conway films — They Went That-a-Way & That-a-Way (1978), The Prize Fighter (1978), and The Private Eyes (1980).

After shooting some low-budget horror movies such as Galaxy of Terror (1981) and The House Where Evil Dwells (1982), Haitkin landed the gig as Wes Craven‘s D.P. on the 1984 horror classic A Nightmare on Elm Street. He would later reunite with Craven on 1989’s Shocker.

While Haitkin continued to serve as a D.P. on shlocky indies such as Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence (1992), Ticks (1993), The Silence of the Hams (1994), and Bloodsport 2 (1996), he pivoted later in his career to second-unit work on big-budget movies, often pulling double duty as a Camera Operator.

His credits include three Fast & Furious films, two Captain America movies, X-Men: First Class (2011), Kong: Skull Island (2017), Black Panther (2018), Venom (2018), 21 Bridges (2019), The Expendables (2010), and Last Man Standing (1995).

In addition to sons Zak and Harry, Haitkin is survived by his niece, Meri Haitkin, a reality TV producer. His wife, Anne Coffey, a First Assistant Camera Operator, died of colon cancer in 2013 at age 59.

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