Oscar-winning black-and-white cinematic photographer Walter Lassally was born in Berlin, Germany, and moved to England in 1939. He was closely associated with the Free cinema movement in the 1950s, and the British New Wave in the early 1960s. His work in the 1960s was well known for projects directed by Tony Richardson. He also worked with Greek filmmaker Michael Cacoyannis between 1956 and 1967, and with James Ivory in the 1970s and 1980s. He now lives near Chania in Crete, where he shot Zorba the Greek in 1963.
His autobiography, Itinerant Cameraman, was published in 1987. He is featured in the book Conversations with Cinematographers by David A. Ellis, published by Scarecrow Press in 2011.
2008 American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) International Achievement Award, presented at the 22nd Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards celebration on January 26, 2008, at the Hollywood and Highland Grand Ballroom, Los Angeles.