Leonard South, camera operator for Hitchcock films, dies at 92

Leonard J. South, the camera operator on such classic Alfred Hitchcock films as "The Birds" and "North by Northwest," has died. He was 92. South died Jan. 6 of pneumonia in a Northridge nursing home, said his son, film editor Leonard South II. The elder South also had Alzheimer's disease. South was the camera operator on nearly a dozen Hitchcock films over a 30-year span. He was behind the lens for famous Hitchcock scenes including Cary Grant's flight from a menacing crop-duster in "North by Northwest" and the grisly crow attack on Tippi Hedren in "The Birds." "Hitch was always trying to push the limits on techniques and to be different," South said in 1987. "The crew and actors went along, but I tell you, those (crop-duster and bird) scenes were some of the hardest I've ever been involved in. They called for absolutely perfect timing in situations that were really rather scary."