17 November 2019

The Queen is the only person I’ve ever been nervous of photographing”

Sad news today:

Terry O’Neill, the photographer who rose to fame in the 1960s as a chronicler of the celebrities and public figures who defined the era, has died at the age of 81.

This morning I came across this recent interview of O’Neill on The Guardian, and I will just sample a few of my favourite quotes here: it really gives you an idea of what his life was like.

I turned down Marilyn Monroe. My girlfriend at the time was her publicist and she told me Marilyn took all her photographers to bed, so she wouldn’t let me work with her.

Getting romantically involved with people you shoot is a huge mistake. I did it once with my ex-wife, Faye Dunaway. I hated the whole circus after we married. I was becoming Mr Faye Dunaway.

I turn 80 in July and I’ve no plans to mark it. For my 50th I went to dinner with Eric Clapton, Mickey Rourke and Bernie Ecclestone.

You can find the whole interview here, with other good bits about the Queen of Britain, and Peter Sellers. You can also read this one from August 2019, where he talks about his experience with Bowie and the release of his book, Bowie by O’Neill.


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