In Memoriam: Kenneth D. Peach
Kenneth D. Peach, ASC, whose career in motion pictures was devoted in about equal measure to production cinematography and special photographic effects, died February 27 after a long illness. He was 85 and had been an ASC member since January 1934. He is survived by his wife, former actress Pauline Curley, two sons, Kenneth J., who is also a director of photography, and Martin, a key grip, and a daughter, Pauline.
Born in El Reno, Oklahoma, on March 6, 1903, Peach entered the motion picture field when he was 20. He became a director of photography in 1926. In the latter years of the silent picture era he became a specialist in photographing composite processes, miniatures, montages and matte shots. In this capacity he was with Tiffany Pictures in Hollywood for two years before joining Fred Jackman's technical effects department at Warner Bros.-First National for almost three years. He was process cinematographer for various independent companies for two years and was with Columbia for a year.
Late in 1931 he joined the RKO Radio camera effects department, then headed by Lloyd Knechtel, ASC, where he worked on such notable pictures as The Most Dangerous Game and King Kong. For the latter he made process shots and directed second unit photography of both live action and miniature animation alternating with the official director of photography, Eddie Linden, ASC.
In 1933 Peach signed a contract that led to a long association with Hal Roach Studio, where he was director of photography of many of the celebrated comedies of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, including their most famous feature, Sons of the Desert, and two and three-reelers like Dirty Work. He also photographed some of the Thelma Todd-Patsy Kelly comedies, such as Babes in the Goods and Air Fright, and many of the "All Star" numbers with Charlie Chase and other Roach funsters, with such titles as Symphony in Suds, Crook's Tour, Keg O' My Heart, Feast Is West and Twin Screws. …