Brendan J Stafford BSc, lighting cameraman on UFO, The Protectors and Space:1999, died on the 16th of July, aged 76. During a career which spanned over 50 years, he worked on more than 30 feature films and over 800 television programmes, from Fabian Of The Yard and Dial 999, to The Third Man, The Invisible Man, The Adventures Of William Tell, The Saint, Danger Man and The Prisoner. More recently, he worked on Tyburn Production’s TV movie The Masks Of Death (with Peter Cushing as Sherlock Holmes), and was about to make a return to Pinewood Studios to film A Heritage Of Horror when he died.
Before the war, Stafford was running a photographic studio in Dublin when he was offered a job as a stills photographer at Denham Studios in London by the influential film director Michael Powell. This chance encounter led to Stafford’s career in films – discharged from the Army on medical grounds with the outbreak of war, Stafford was instructed to join Strand Films to make propaganda movies. This experience proved to be an ideal training ground, and when the war finished he found himself in demand for both feature films and television shows.
Kevin Francis, managing director of Tyburn Productions, spoke of Stafford shortly after his death, “Brendan was a close friend as well as a valued professional colleague. Not only will he be sorely missed by his family, friends and colleagues, but with Bren’s passing we lose an enormous talent – something which our industries can ill afford.”
Originally published in FAB 2