Member of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 59th Venice International Film Festival in 2002.
Entered the U.S. as a political refugee in 1957.
Member of the ASC's board of directors and the ASC Education Committee.
Recipient of two lifetime achievement awards for cinematography: one at the Hawaii International Film Festival and one at CamerImage, the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography, in Torun, Poland, in 1998.
Smuggled a documentary he'd created with friend, Vilmos Zsigmond, of a Hungarian revolt against Communist troops into Austria, having carried 30,000 feet of film with them.
Children: daughters Julianna and Nadia.
Actor Dennis Hopper asked Kovacs to film "Easy Rider". At first, Kovacs turned it down, but Hopper was persistent. It was filmed entirely on location, during a 12-week trip from Los Angeles to New Orleans. Later, Kovacs said that they knew the film was special, but didn't realize it would win awards and become an influential, iconic movie.
He was born on a farm in Hungary, and studied film in Budapest during the 1950s.
Went to secondary school in Budapest, later attending the State Academy of Drama and Film (1952-1956).
Naturalised U.S. citizen from 1963.