Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Richard "Dick" Howard Kline, ASC (15 November 19267 August 2018; age 91) was an Academy Award-nominated cinematographer whose credits include Star Trek: The Motion Picture, an experience detailed in an article he wrote for American Cinematographer magazine.

He had previously worked with that film's director, Robert Wise, on the 1971 science fiction classic, The Andromeda Strain, and it was Wise who brought him in as the director of photography in March 1978, thereby replacing Bruce Logan, who hitherto held the position. (The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, p. 186) The film also featured Kermit Murdock, Garry Walberg, Bart La Rue and Michael Pataki in the cast.

Years later, in 2001, Kline was interviewed on his contributions for the DVD release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (The Director's Edition).

Career outside Star TrekEdit

Born in Los Angeles, California, Kline applied for a position as an assistant cameraman at Columbia Pictures soon after graduating high school in 1943. He ended up as a slate boy for the 1944 film Cover Girl but became an assistant cameraman until he entered the Navy in 1944. After being discharged in 1946, he returned to Columbia, where he continued working as an assistant cameraman. In 1948, unable to find work in Hollywood, he left for Paris and attended the Sorbonne (also known as the University of Paris), where he studied Fine Art and Art History. He returned to Hollywood in 1951 (now a married man) and again started working at Columbia, first as a camera assistant and then as a camera operator. Among the films he worked on during this time were 1960's A Raisin in the Sun (featuring John Fiedler), 1962's Birdman of Alcatraz (which featured Whit Bissell in the cast) and 1963's The Pink Panther.

Kline's first work as a cinematographer was the NBC series Mr. Novak, whose cast included Star Trek: The Original Series actors Vince Howard and Bill Zuckert. While working on Chamber of Horrors – a TV pilot that was being reworked as a feature film – Kline was hired to become the director of photography on the 1967 musical Camelot, for which he earned his first Academy Award nomination. His subsequent cinematography credits include 1968's The Boston Strangler (featuring Jeff Corey, Sally Kellerman, and William Marshall) and Hang 'Em High (which had Mark Lenard in a small role, as well as Paul Sorenson and Bil Zuckert), 1971's Kotch (featuring Biff Elliot and Ellen Geer), 1972's Black Gun (starring William Campbell and Bernie Casey), 1973's Soylent Green (starring Whit Bissell, Roy Jenson, Celia Lovsky, Brock Peters, and Leigh Taylor-Young) and Battle for the Planet of the Apes (featuring France Nuyen, Paul Williams, David Gerrold and music by Leonard Rosenman), and 1976's remake of King Kong (featuring Rene Auberjonois, Corbin Bernsen, Ed Lauter, Joe Piscopo and Garry Walberg). His work on the latter film earned Kline his second Academy Award nomination.

Since his second Oscar nomination, Kline has directed photography on such films as 1978's Who'll Stop the Rain (starring David Opatoshu, Gail Strickland, and Anthony Zerbe) 1981's Lovespell (starring Kate Mulgrew) and Body Heat, 1984's All of Me (featuring Michael Ensign and Richard Libertini), 1985's The Man with One Red Shoe (featuring Gerrit Graham and David L. Lander), 1988's My Stepmother Is an Alien (featuring Tony Jay and Suzie Plakson), 1990's Downtown (featuring Roger Aaron Brown, Ron Canada, David Clennon, and 1991's Double Impact. His most recent film was 1997's Meet Wally Sparks, which featured David Ogden Stiers (who also appeared in The Man with One Red Shoe) and George D. Wallace.

In 2006, Kline received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), of which he has been a member since 1967. In total, Kline has assisted and operated on more than 200 feature films and was the cinematographer on 46 more films.

Other Trek connections Edit

Additional films on which Kline has worked with other Star Trek alumni include:

Features Edit



  • "Behind the Camera on Star Trek The Motion Picture", American Cinematographer, February 1980, pp. 134-135, 180-181, 187-188 – Author

Star Trek interviewsEdit

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

Community content is available under CC-BY-NC unless otherwise noted.