David Phillips, Cinematographer on DiCaprio's 'The Basketball Diaries,' Dies at 60

Cinematographer David Phillips BW - Getty - P 2017
Ethan Miller/Getty Images for CineVegas

He also shot 'Beer League,' starring Artie Lange, and music videos for New Kids on the Block and Cyndi Lauper.

David Phillips, who served as the cinematographer on The Basketball Diaries, the 1995 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, died Feb. 4 of natural causes in New York City, his family announced. He was 60.

Phillips worked on dozens of music videos in the 1980s and '90s, including those for New Kids on the Block's "Step by Step" and Cyndi Lauper's "I Drove All Night." He also directed and shot the 2011 video Cyndi Lauper: Memphis Blues Live.

The Basketball Diaries, DiCaprio's first starring role in a feature, was directed by Scott Kalvert, who also made his mark with music videos before helming the drama based on the Jim Carroll memoir.


Phillips also photographed the features Lift (2001), starring Kerry Washington, Martin & Orloff (2002), starring Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh, and Artie Lange's Beer League (2006), and he worked on Saturday Night Live and the 1996 HBO series The High Life.

A native of New Haven, Conn., Phillips earned a bachelor's degree in English from Boston University. Survivors include his mother Beatrice, sister Nancy, brother James, sister-in-law Wanda, niece Amanda and nephew Max.