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Photographer of the Stars, Phil Stern, Dies at 95

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Photographer of the stars, including Hollywood Icons, and major lifestyle magazines died earlier this week.  He is remembered in this story by Holly Stuart Hughes of Photo District News:

 

Phil Stern, who for over 50 years photographed Hollywood's top stars including Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart, Judy Garland and John Wayne for Life, Look and other magazines, died December 13 in Los Angeles. He was 95. His licensing agent, Geoff Katz, confirmed his death to the Los Angeles Times and other publications. He had for several years suffered from emphysema and congestive heart failure, and had been living at the Veterans Home of California.

 

Stern's best known images were of casual, behind the scenes moments with Hollywood stars, including  a bespectacled James Dean relaxing with his feet up, Marilyn Monroe backstage with comedian Jack Benny and Marlon Brando on the set of Guys and Dolls. In a 2004 interview with PDN, Stern said, "'I have a recurring dream that one day I get to the pearly gates and Saint Peter is with a group of people waiting to welcome me and that group of people is Wayne, Sinatra etc., and as I approach they all greet me in unison with 'You son of a bitch.'"

 

But Stern was able to capture images of stars in private moments because he earned their trust. He photographed John Wayne at his daughter's wedding, for instance, and Humphrey Bogart on a see-saw with his son. "Someone who knows the scene might say I was part of the gang in that I was acceptable to them, but that's the extent of it. I was not on their A-list, but from time to time I'd be invited," Stern told PDN. "Technically I was one of them for an hour and a half."

 

Holly Stuart Hughes, Photo District News

 

 

Read the full story here.

Read the Huffington Post remembrance here.

 

Tags:  Phil Stern 

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