When you think of enchanting images of Hollywood stars — Marilyn Monroe wrapped up in silk sheets, Audrey Hepburn flashing a knowing grin — do you wonder about the person behind the camera? And how they possibly captured that delicate moment?
For the past 50 years, photographer Douglas Kirkland has found new angles on the world’s most familiar faces. The Fort Erie transplant still surprises himself with stories from the field; like that time Elizabeth Taylor agreed to let him photograph her after a prolonged break from the public eye.
Douglas Kirkland was born in 1934 in Fort Erie, Ontario. At age twenty-four, Kirkland was hired as a staff photographer for Look magazine and became famous for his 1961 photos of Marilyn Monroe taken for Look’s 25th anniversary issue. He later joined the staff of Life magazine.
A Who’s Who of notable persons have posed for Kirkland from the great photography innovator Man Ray and photographer/painter Jacques Henri Lartigue to Dr. Stephen Hawking. Entertainment celebrities he has photographed include Mick Jagger, Sting, Björk, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Morgan Freeman, Orson Welles, Andy Warhol, Oliver Stone, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Leonardo DiCaprio, Coco Chanel, Marlene Dietrich, Brigitte Bardot, Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Catherine Deneuve, Michael Jackson, and Diana Ross. Kirkland’s portrait of Charlie Chaplin is at the National Portrait Gallery in London.
(Photos by Douglas Kirkland)