Boom operator Ken Nightingall, who is well known for his work on Star Wars: A New Hope, has passed away at the age of 92. Nightingall's death was confirmed by The Association of Motion Pure Sound (via Deadline).
Affectionately known by Star Wars fans as the "pink shorts boom guy," Nightingall passed away in his UK home on Tuesday. His cause of death was not announced.
Nightingall was a part of the film industry since the 1960s, working on films like Star Wars: A New Hope, Alfie, The Boys From Brazil, and several films in the James Bond franchise, including A View To A Kill, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, and The Living Daylights.
His most famous appearance though was related to Star Wars: A New Hope, though he never appeared onscreen. A behind-the-scenes image from the film was released in 2015, and it showed Nightingall rocking no shirt and a pair of bright pink shorts. The look quickly took off online, and it even became a favorite of cosplayers, who started popping up at shows and events as the pink shorts boom guy.
When Nightingall was asked by ABC News about the photo and why he chose that outfit, he revealed it was simply a matter of practicality, saying it was "very, very hot" during the shoot. The film shot in Tunisia, and to cool off he decided to go with the bare minimum, and thus an iconic photo was born. When told about cosplayers dressing up as him at conventions, he said it was "very nice" and said "they seem to like it; good for them."
Nightingall is survived by his son Terence Nightingall, who also works in the film industry as a camera operator and a director on projects like NCIS: Los Angeles. Our thoughts are with Terence and all of Ken's family and friends at this difficult time.0comments
Chris Munro, an Oscar-winning sound mixer on films like Gravity and Black Hawk Down, posted a tribute to his long-time friend and co-worker, and describes him as a legend whose life and career should be celebrated.
“I first met Ken when I entered the industry over 50 years ago," Munro wrote. "He was immensely supportive of me as I carved my early career as a young sound mixer. ‘Legend’ is the word that springs to mind when I try to describe him. He will be sadly missed by our film community but his is a life and career that should be celebrated. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”