Documentary Director D. A. Pennebaker Dies at 94

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Documentary Director D. A. Pennebaker Dies at 94

BroadwayWorld is saddened to report the passing of documentary director D. A. Pennebaker. He was 94.

Born Donn Alan Pennebaker, he is known among the Broadway community for directing the documentary adaptation of Elaine Stritch at Liberty, an autobiographical one-woman show composed of anecdotes from Stritch's life and showtunes.

The documentary aired in 2004 on HBO and was awarded Primetime Emmy Awards both for Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Special and Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program.

Pennebaker also directed Original Cast Album: Company, a documentary which followed the recording of the original cast recording of Sondheim's musical Company, including back and forth between Sondheim and the performers, and the dynamic of trying to record live performance.

Moon Over Broadway is a 1997 documentary, directed by Pennebaker, and starring Carol Burnett. The film documents rehearsals for the play Moon Over Buffalo through its Broadway opening.

In addition to Broadway-related films, Pennebaker's many other films included "Don't Look Back" (1967), "Monterey Pop" (1968), "The War Room" (1993), David Bowie concert film "Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars" (1973), "101" (1989), and "Down From the Mountain" (2000).

Pennebaker was nominated for an Oscar in 1994 for "The War Room" alongside his wife, Chris Hegedus. He won an honorary Oscar in 2013.

Most recently, Pennebaker and Hegedus directed the BBC-HBO documentary "Unlocking the Cage." Other recent films include "Al Franken: God Spoke" (2006) and "Kings of Pastry" (2009).

Pennebaker was a member of the media panel for the National Endowment for the Arts from 1971-76 and later taught a workshop on documentary films at Yale. He won a career achievement award from the International Documentary Association in 2005.

Read more on Variety.

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