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Jacques Haitkin, Cinematographer on ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ Movies, Dies at 72



Jacques Haitkin, who served as the cinematographer on the first two Nightmare on Elm Street movies, has died. He was 72.

Haitkin died March 21 in San Francisco after a battle with ALS and leukemia, his son Zak Haitkin said The News84Media. “He always said he never worked a day in his life because he loved his job so much,” he noted.

Haitkin also manned a camera and/or did second-unit work on three Fast & Furious films, two Captain America movies and other action features including Cherry 2000 (1987), Last Man Standing (1995), The Expendables (2010), X-Men: First Class (2011), Kong: Skull Island (2017), Black Panther (2018), Venom (2018) and 21 Bridges (2019).

Haitkin was the DP on A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), directed by Wes Craven, and A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985), directed by Jack Sholder. He reunited with Craven on Shocker (1989) and with Sholder on The Hidden (1987) and Beeper (2002).

Jacques Adam Haitkin was born in Brooklyn on Aug. 29, 1950. His father owned a chain of dry cleaners.

At NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, he shot the 22-minute film Hot Dogs for Gauguin (1972). Directed by Martin Brest and starring Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman, it got him a fellowship from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles.

He was a gaffer on The Billion Dollar Hobo (1977) and the cinematographer on They Went That-a-Way & That-a-Way (1978), The Prize Fighter (1978) and The Private Eyes (1980), all four films starring Tim Conway.

His DP résumé included Galaxy of Terror (1981), The House Where Evil Dwells (1982), Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence (1992), Ticks (1993), The Silence of the Hams (1994), Bloodsport 2 (1996), The Big Squeeze (1996) and Forgotten (2022).

He was diagnosed with ALS in 2017.

In addition to sons Zak and Harry, survivors include his niece Meri Haitkin, a producer on Top Chef, Project Runway and other shows. His wife, Anne Coffey, a first assistant camera operator (and his assistant on Galaxy of Terror), died in 2013 of colon cancer at age 59.

Jacques Haitkin

Jacques Haitkin and his late wife, camera operator Anne Coffey, in the late 1970s-early ’80s.

Courtesy of Zak Haitkin

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