Documentary Filmmaker Albert Maysles Dead at 88

Pioneer behind films ‘Grey Gardens,’ ‘Gimme Shelter,’ ‘Salesman’
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Documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles died at the age of 88 Thursday.

The director and cinematographer was born in Boston and received a B.A. from Syracuse University and M.A. from Boston University in psychology.

Maysles made his first thrust into documentary filmmaking with Psychiatry in Russia, which featured patients at Russian mental hospitals in 1955.

The cinema verité director partnered with his brother David Maysles up to his death in 1987 and founded Maysles Films.

Early in his career, Albert Maysles made iconic documentaries Salesman (1968), which followed a door-to-door Bible salesmen; Gimme Shelter (1970), which followed the Rolling Stones tour that ended in death at Altamont; and Grey Gardens (1976), featuring a mother and daughter living in seclusion.

Maysles worked on several documentaries that aired on HBO, including Lalee’s Kin: The Legacy of Cotton and Emmy-winner Abortion: Desperate Choices.

Maysles also won two Emmys for Vladimir Horowitz: The Last Romantic in 1987 and Soldiers of Music in 1991.

Active well into his 80s, Maysles also participated in ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary series with Muhammad and Larry. More recently, Maysles came out with Iris in 2014 and the yet-to-premiere In Transit.

Maysles founded the Maysles Documentary Center based in Harlem and was presented the National Medal of Arts in July 2014.

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