Robert H. Caramico, ASC, a former combat cameraman who became a distinguished Hollywood cinematographer, died on October 18 after a long battle against cancer. He was 64 and had been an ASC member since Februarys, 1981.
Caramico was born in New York City on December 10, 1932. Orphaned as a child, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps when he was 17 and served for six years (1949-1955), including five years as a combat cameraman. He was wounded in Korea and hospitalized for a year. He was also captured and imprisoned in a secret "no-name" camp, whose inmates were slated to "disappear." He escaped nine months later. After leaving the Marines, he became a news cameraman for INS and was stationed in Israel for eight months. Caramico was reported killed along with several others when their truck hit a land mine, but he had jumped off before the explosion.
Late in 1956, Caramico returned to New York and entered the visual effects field. "From 1955 to 1975 I worked in all phases of motion pictures, including stop-motion photography, animation, optical effects and live-action photography," he said. He also photographed many commercials.
In 1964, he came to the West Coast and worked on many features, TV specials and pilots as a director of photography. His early work in Hollywood included The Freddie Prinze Story, Journey to the Center of Time, Black Rider, Lamora, Octaman, Spawn of Slithis, The Doberman Gang, The Daring Dobermans, The Manhandlers, Willie, No Way Back and others. In February of 1975 he became a member of IATSE Local 659.
His later features include Mean Johnny Barrows, Adios Amigos, The Starlite Murders, Slumber Party '57, Joshua, Death Journey, and The Happy …