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Robert D. Marta, Camera Operator on ‘Hart to Hart,’ ‘The Jerk,’ Dies at 73

Variety logo Variety 5/10/2017 Sarah Ahern
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Robert D. Marta, a camera operator who worked on tv shows and films such as “Hart to Hart” and “The Jerk,” has died. He was 73.

Marta died at his home in Bozeman, Mont., on Apr. 13 after suffering from several years of health issues, his family reported.

Born on Oct. 5, 1943 in Pasadena, Calif., Marta went on to become a founding member and the first president of the Society of Operating Cameramen — now Society of Camera Operators — from 1981-85. He was also one of the early champions of the industrywide labor-management safety committee. In 1996, he received the SoC’s Presidents Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Marta started his career as an uncredited assistant cameraman on “Diamonds Are Forever.” He later worked on such 1970s films as Tom Laughlin’s indie sequels “The Trial of Billy Jack” and “Billy Jack Goes to Washington;” Norman Jewison’s “ And Justice for All,” starring Al Pacino; and three Carl Reiner-helmed comedies: “Oh, God!” starring George Burns and John Denver; and “The One and Only,” starring Henry Winkler; and Steve Martin’s breakout “The Jerk.”

In the early 1980s, Marta did some television work on shows such as “Hart to Hart,” on which he contributed to more than a dozen episodes. He also worked on a few telefilms, while also running a camera on the Kirk Douglas-Martin Sheen time-travel thriller “The Final Countdown” and Robert Towne’s “Personal Best.” His mid-’80s feature credits include “Streets of Fire,” “Poltergeist II: The Other Side” and his final film, “The Golden Child,” starring Eddie Murphy.

During his tenure at the S.O.C., Bob helped numerous children through the Spokane Shrine Children’s Hospital.

Marta is survived by his two daughters Michelle Marta and Amanda McComb, son in law John, and their three children.

A memorial service will be held June 3 at 2 P.M. at the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s Country House Lounge in Woodland Hills.

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