Laszlo Pal, age 81, passed away on Aug. 23, 2018, while on his beloved San Juan Island. He was one of Seattle’s pre-eminent filmmakers and film educators, with a career that spanned more than 50 years. His films documented famous Northwest personalities, such as climbers Lou and Jim Whittaker, Iditarod winner Susan Butcher, and Senator Henry Jackson. His cinematography for the 1978 detective thriller, “Scorchy,” set in Seattle, made it a Northwest iconic favorite. In the 1990s, he covered several international around-the-world solo sailing competitions. During his career, he received both national and Northwest Emmy Awards.
Born in Hungary in 1937, Laszlo emigrated to Canada in 1957. He married Susan Garrett-Jones in 1962, and they moved to the United States. In 1964, he graduated from the University of Southern California film school, mentored by renowned cinematographer Haskell Wexler. Laszlo and Susan then moved to the Pacific Northwest and started a family.
After moving to Seattle, Laszlo worked for KING Screen Productions and later produced commercials, corporate films, and documentaries through his own company, Pal Productions. He also produced and directed his own feature and television projects.
A strong believer in giving back to the community, Laszlo worked tirelessly to develop a film program at the University of Washington, where he taught for 30 years.
He lived a very full, adventurous, and generous life and is loved and missed by many family members, friends, colleagues, and students.
Laszlo is survived by his partner, Barbara Corrigan; son Paul Pal and partner Anne Reese; daughter Anna Doak and son-in-law Randy Doak; grandchildren Emily and Joshua Doak; brother and sister-in-law, Janos and Maya Pal; niece Ildiko Pal and husband Gabor Kiss; nephew Laszló Pal and partner Babi Csomor; and great-nephews Daniel and Gergely Pal.
A Celebration of Life is scheduled at the Lake Forest Park Civic Club in Lake Forest Park, Washington, on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, at 2 p.m. To share a memory of Laszlo, please sign the online guestbook at www.evanschapel.com