Miroslav Ondříček was one of key figures of the Czech New Wave in the 1960´s. He cooperated with Milos Forman, Ivan Passer and other Czech filmmakers on famous films from the time, like The Loves of a Blonde and The Firemen's Ball. He also worked on Intimate Lighting, which was banned by the communist regime for many years. In the 1970's Ondříček emigrated to the USA and went on making films with Miloš Forman, including Hair (1979), Amadeus (1984) and Valmont (1990).
Ondříček worked on 40 films of various genres with many famous film directors. He cooperated with Lindsay Anderson, was the DoP for Slaughterhouse-Five directed by George Roy Hill for his adaptation of John Irving's novel The World According to Garp. In 1983, Ondříček collaborated with Mike Nichols on the film Silkwood with Meryl Streep and in the 1990s with Penny Mashall on Awakenings (1990) with Robert de Niro.
Ondříček was nominated for an Oscar for cinematography twice but never won the award.
In 2004, Miroslav Ondříček received the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) International Achievement Award in Los Angeles. In the Czech Republic, he was awarded the 1999 Czech Lion for Longstanding Contribution to Czech Cinema and in 2004 a Crystal Globus for Contribution to World Cinema at Karlovy Vary IFF.