Toland, Gregg Wesley, 1904–48, American cinematographer, b. Charleston, Ill. One of Hollywood's most accomplished and influential cinematographers, Toland worked for Samuel Goldwyn from 1929, first serving as primary cameraman in 1931. Five years later he began working with William Wyler, making These Three (1936), Dead End (1937), Wuthering Heights (1939), which earned Toland an Academy Award, The Little Foxes (1941), and The Best Years of Our Lives (1946; Academy Award, best picture). Perhaps Toland's most famous cinematography was for Orson Welles's masterpiece Citizen Kane (1941). Toland exhibited a unique continuity of vision; he shot actors and scenes from imaginative angles, exploited the artistic and mood-evoking possibilities of black and white and light and shadow, and employed the “deep focus” technique for which he became famous. Some other highlights of his career are Intermezzo (1939), John Ford's The Grapes of Wrath and The Long Voyage Home (both: 1940), and Song of the South (1946).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Film and Television: Biographies