As the Earth Turns
Richard H. Lyford
Richard Lyford was born, in Seattle, in 1917. Inspired by silent films and stage plays, Richard put on 58 plays and created 9 16mm films by the time he was 20 years old. He presented his live and filmed productions, with his own acting company, in a 50 seat basement theatre in his house.
His early attempts with film, especially 16mm gained the attention of Disney. Lyford worked on Disney films, including the classics, “Dumbo”, “Pinocchio” and “Fantasia”. He pioneered hi-speed animation, special effects and models.
In WWII, he was drafted by the army, and made films for the Army Air Forces. After the war, Lyford created his own films, and co-produced and directed the 1950 Academy Award winning documentary, “The Titan” about Michelangelo.
In 1952, he went to Saudi Arabia (the first Western film crew), and produced a number of films for the Kingdom. “The Fly” was a groundbreaking documentary about the prevention of the disease by the Tsetse Fly.
Other Arab based documentaries were created, but ran into protests due to the Middle Eastern War in 1956. Lyford continued to make films, including “Boy With A Blindfold” about sight restoration, narrated by Walter Pigeon. His filmmaking led him back to Disney to work in “The Wonderful World of Color on television and many other projects.
in addition to filmmaking, Lyford was very much interested in aviation. So much, that he bought a surplus training plane for his backyard. It would “taxi” all over the yard.
Richard Lyford died in 1985.
“So you see, it gets you! You can’t get away from it, and I know that as long as I have greasepaint behind my ears and developer stain on my best shirt, I’ll live a happier life.”
Richard H. Lyford (American Cinematographer, 1938)
Richard H. Lyford