Tom Del Ruth, ASC

Tom Del Ruth, ASC was born to tell stories on film. His career was like a script for a Hollywood movie with a happy ending. His uncle was a pioneer in the industry as the head of Vitagraph studio during the silent movie era. His mother was an actress and singing star on Broadway and in films. His father was a legendary film director who earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Del Ruth was an enthusiastic still photographer during his childhood. He told his parents that he wanted to be a cinematographer when he was 10 years old. Del Ruth launched his career in 1966 as an assistant cameraman. He worked on camera crews on such classic films as The Sand Pebbles, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Tora! Tora! Tora! Del Ruth earned the first of his 72 cinematography credits in 1977. They include such memorable cinema films as The Breakfast Club, Stand By Me and The Running Man. Del Ruth subsequently focused on bringing a cinema aesthetic to television screens. He earned two Emmy awards for The West Wing and five other nominations for television series, mini-series and movies. The letters after his name indicate that Del Ruth is a member of the American Society of Cinematographers. Membership is by invitation based on the individual’s body of work. ASC initiated an annual Outstanding Achievement Awards competition in 1986. Its members nominate five episodic series and five television movies for Outstanding Achievement Awards annually. Del Ruth was nominated by his peers 11 times in 14 years. He earned top honors four times, twice each for ER and The West Wing. There were four other nominations for The West Wing and one each for The X-Files, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Code Breakers.

Photos used by permission, credit: Kimberly Kay Photography.

The Women’s International Center welcomes Thomas A. Del Ruth to our distinguished roster of honorees for his excellence in artistic achievement in cinema arts.