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Bob Willoughby: The Silver Age of Hollywood


Life magazine photographer and Hollywood portraitist Bob Willoughby is widely believed to have invented the photojournalistic motion picture still.

He captured an off-duty Liz Taylor (above) on the set of Raintree Country, trained his lens on a pensive, solemn-looking Marilyn Monroe and immortalised a lively discussion between Vincent Minelle and Gene Kelly on the set of Brigadoon.

The first external photographer to be invited by studios to document the filming of their movies and in essence capture the soul of each film, Willoughby’s photographs dominated the pages of culture and lifestyle magazines of the fifties right through to the seventies.

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Known for his artfully informal pictures Audrey Hepburn, Willoughby’s big break came when his shot of Judy Garland on the set of A Star is Born made the front cover of Life Magazine.

An exhibition, Bob Willoughby: The Silver Age of Hollywood,  includes images from the sets of The Graduate, Rebel Without A Cause, My Fair Lady, Ocean’s Eleven and Rosemary’s Baby, and offers an opportunity to see Hollywood stars in and out of character; in moments of high drama and at their most relaxed.

From today until 13 January 2013, Proud Chelsea, proudonline.co.uk