D.A. Pennebaker: Legendary rock documentarian has died

D.A. Pennebaker, the documentary filmmaker best known for his groundbreaking looks at iconic 1960s rock events in Don't Look Back and Monterey Pop, has died of natural causes at age 94.

Pennebaker made his name with those two acclaimed films. Don't Look Back documented Bob Dylan's British tour in 1966, while Monterey Pop recorded America's first rock music festival a year later. He went on to make other rock docs, including Sweet Toronto, about the Plastic Ono Band's debut performance at the 1969 Toronto Rock and Roll RevivalAlice CooperDavid Bowie in Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars and Depeche Mode in 101.

Rock music wasn't his only subject. Donn Pennebaker also chronicled Bill Clinton's 1992 election campaign in The War Room; comedy in Elaine Strichat Liberty, and the intersection of the two in Al Franken: God Spoke, two years before the comedian was elected to the U.S. Senate. 

Penebaker and his wife, filmmaker Chris Hegedus, were nominated for an Academy Award in 1993 for The War RoomDon't Look Back was inducted into the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry in 1998.

Robbie Robertson has commented on D.A.'s passing, saying, "We used to call him ‘Penny’ and he was one of the kings of documentaries. Had the pleasure to work with him on Bob Dylan’s Eat the Document after he did the brilliant Don’t Look Back. Blessings to Penny and his family."

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