50 Amazing Behind the Scenes Movie Photos from the 1950s and 1960s

Bob Willoughby (1927 – 2009) was born in Los Angeles, California. He pursued photography after receiving a camera as a gift on his 12th birthday. Willoughby studied photography at the film school at the University of Southern California and worked under graphic designer Saul Bass at the Kahn Institute of Art.

Between 1948 and 1954, his exhibitions of photographs of jazz musicians and dancers led to a contract with Globe Photos, and one, of a screaming female audience, was selected by Edward Steichen for The Family of Man exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art which toured the world to be seen by 9 million visitors. Later, he worked for Harper’s Bazaar magazine where his photographs illustrated arts and culture articles.

His big break came when he was assigned by six magazines to photograph Judy Garland during the filming of A Star is Born (1954). Subsequently, he was hired by Warner Brothers to film the extensive “Born in a Trunk” sequence. This was the first time a motion picture studio hired a special or unit photographer to specifically take photographs for sale to magazines. The result was a Life magazine cover featuring a close-up portrait of the pixie-faced singer in costume. It was her second Life cover and his first.

Much of Willoughby’s popularity stemmed from his ability to capture film stars in unguarded moments of repose and vulnerability. Director Sydney Pollack said in the introduction to Bob’s autobiography: “Sometimes a filmmaker gets a look at a photograph taken on his own set and sees the ‘soul’ of his film in one still photograph. It’s rare, but it happens. It happened to me in 1969, the first time I looked at the work of Bob Willoughby during the filming of They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”.

In 1963, Willoughby built the first remote radio-controlled camera for on-set still photography. This led to other innovations that enabled him to take still photographs identical to the film footage.

Willoughby continued to photograph for the rest of his life. He lived in Ireland for 17 years where he used his photographic skills to illustrate ancient Irish poetry text with photographs of the countryside. In addition, he authored books on photography and other subjects. He lived his last years in Vence, France, where he continued a very active professional life. He died of cancer on 18 December 2009. Willoughby’s images are represented by the Motion Picture and Television Photo Archive and can be viewed by the public at mptvimages.com. (Wikipedia)

Director Richard Lester on the set of “Petulia” in San Francisco, 1967.
Director Mike Nichols on set of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, 1965.
Elaine May on the Columbia Studios set of “Luv,” 1966.
Mike Nichols on his rehearsal set of “The Graduate,” with cinematographer Robert Surtees, Dustin Hoffman and Katharine Ross, 1967
A pensive Goldie Hawn on the Columbia Studios set of “Cactus Flower,” 1969.
Candice Bergen visits the “Catch-22” set in Mexico, photographing Peter Bogdanovich as he interviews cast member Orson Wells; 1969.
Richard Burton in his 20th Century Fox dressing room during filming on “The Desert Rats,” 1953.
Elizabeth Taylor dresses for a scene on MGM’s “Raintree County,” 1956.
Audrey Hepburn feeds her pet deer Ip its morning bottle during a break from filming on MGM’s “Green Mansions,” 1958.
Jean Seberg, before the famous haircut, at her screen test for “Saint Joan,” 1956.
Marlon Brando practices with his singing coach for his role in “Guys and Dolls,” Goldwyn Studios, 1955.
Natalie Wood at a Hollywood charity party, 1951.
Vincente Minnelli high on the Chapman crane, takes his daughter Liza Minnelli for a ride on the MGM set of “Lovely to Look At,” 1951.
Dustin Hoffman and Katharine Ross make a run for it in “The Graduate,” 1967.
Katharine Ross and Dustin Hoffman in rehearsal for “The Graduate,” 1967.
Jean Seberg and François Moreuil on location in the south of France for “Bonjour Tristesse,” 1957.
Jane Fonda in a New York City garment factory during shooting of “Klute,” 1970.
Susannah York and Bruce Dern on the set of “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”, 1969.
Richard Attenborough sleeping on Disney Ranch location for “Doctor Dolittle,” 1966.
Gregory Peck on set of “Beloved Infidel,” 20th Century Fox, 1959.
Lauren Bacall with daughter Leslie Bogart at home in Beverly Hills, 1958.
Audrey Hepburn in a serene moment on set of MGM’s “Green Mansions,” 1958.
James Garner with Audrey Hepburn at Goldwyn Studios for “The Children’s Hour,” 1961.
Anthony Hopkins in his screen debut as Richard Coeur de Lion in “The Lion in Winter,” 1967.
George C. Scott on cable car in San Francisco for “Petulia,” 1967.
Director Blake Edwards grabs a nap in a golf cart on location in Salzburg, Germany, for “The Great Race,” 1964.
Director Mike Nichols in sunlight shaft on set of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, 1965.
William Holden about to kiss Audrey Hepburn on set of “Paris When It Sizzles” at Boulogne Studios in Paris, 1962.
John Wayne on location in Colorado for “The Cowboys,” 1971.
Richard Burton teaches his daughter Kate to fish on location in Northampton, Massachusetts, during filming of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, 1965.
Jean Seberg during filming of “Bonjour Tristesse” in France, 1957.
Peter O’Toole listens to playback of a scene he has just made as Henry II, in “The Lion in Winter,” France, 1967.
Jean Seberg during filming of “Bonjour Tristesse” at Maxim’s restaurant in Paris, 1957.
Frank Sinatra on the RKO Studios set of “The Man with the Golden Arm,” 1955.
Jean Seberg reads the paper in bed during filming of “Bonjour Tristesse” in France, 1957.
Audrey Hepburn in her hotel room in Los Angeles, on her first trip to Hollywood after filming “Roman Holiday,” 1953.
Julie Christie with script for “Petulia,” 1967.
Dustin Hoffman and Katharine Ross on the Paramount set of “The Graduate,” 1967.
Marilyn Monroe digests what is proposed on set of “Let’s Make Love” with Yves Montand and husband Arthur Miller, 1960.
Robert and Ethel Kennedy at The Factory in L.A. charity bash, 1967.
Doris Day and Rock Hudson in an advertising shot for “Pillow Talk,” 1959.
Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor on the MGM set of “Raintree County,” 1956.
Montgomery Clift leads Elizabeth Taylor back to bed on the MGM set of “Raintree County,” 1956.
Shirley MacLaine rehearses for “Can-Can” at 20th Century Fox, 1959.
Mickey Rooney and his son Teddy jumping for joy on the MGM lot in Culver City, 1958.
Roman Polanski with Mia Farrow as she discovers her chart on the Paramount set of “Rosemary’s Baby,” 1967.
Peter O’Toole dressed for his role as King Henry II, tries his hand at cricket on the French location for “The Lion in Winter,” 1967.
Kim Novak on the Columbia Studios set of “The Notorious Landlady,” 1961.
Chet Baker on set of “Summer Flight” (aka “Stolen Hours”), filmed on location in Fowey, Cornwall, 1962.
Audrey Hepburn hangs out with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis at Paramount Studios, 1953.

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