Friday, October 9, 2009

Terry O'Neill


Terry O'Neill is an English photographer, who achieved his greatest success documenting the fashion style, and celebrities of the 1960s. He attracted attention for photographing his subjects in unconventional or candid settings.

He began his photographic career working for a photographic unit for an airline at London's Heathrow Airport. By chance he photographed a sleeping figure in a waiting room; when the person was revealed to be the Home Secretary, O'Neill found further employment on Fleet Street with The Daily Sketch in 1959.
His reputation grew during the 1960s, and in addition to photographing the elite the decade's showbusiness icons, such as Judy Garland, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, he also photographed members of the British Royal Family, and several prominent politicians, showing a more natural and human side to these subjects than had usually been portrayed before.

He had a longtime relationship with the American actress Faye Dunaway. His son with Dunaway, Liam Dunaway O'Neill, was born in 1980. O'Neill was married to Dunaway from 1983 until 1986. In 2003, he was quoted in the U.S. tabloid magazine, Star, as saying Liam was adopted and not their biological son, contrary to Dunaway's public assertions. O'Neill is currently married to the former model agency head Laraine Ashton.

Among his most famous images were the now-famous color and black and white shots of then-girlfriend Dunaway at dawn on March 29, 1977, lounging next to the swimming pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel the morning after winning the Academy Award for Best Actress for Network, with several newspapers scattered around her and her Oscar statuette prominently shown on a table beside her breakfast tray. A black and white shot from the series hangs in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in London, England.

O'Neill was also credited (as Terrence O'Neill) as an executive producer of the 1981 film Mommie Dearest. His only other film credit was for still photography for the 1987 film, Aria.

In July 09, a collection of Terry O'Neill's work spanning his whole career is to be the subject of an exhibition at the Getty Images Gallery in the Village, Westfield Shopping centre, London.
An exhibition featuring his photography of Elton John and Frank Sinatra is also being featured at the San Francisco Art Exchange in San Francisco July/August 2009


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