In the archives of...
LIFE : John Phillips
Teheran, in 1943, I'm sitting waiting for the official portrait session to start, and suddenly I look, and there's Stalin. Beautiful cap, uniform. Somebody said he got his beige uniform from Saks Fifth Avenue. Nobody could prove or disprove it. He walked around, and he looked to me like a Balkan peasant. You know, slow-footed but very sure. I could have touched him. No expression. His face was pockmarked, like a piece of granite. His right hand was shriveled like the Kaiser’s. And then out comes Churchill in his air force uniform. He sits in a very comfortable armchair. He looked like a bad-tempered angel. Cupid, you know. The seat in the middle was for Mr. Roosevelt. Suddenly the two bodyguards came out carrying Mr. Roosevelt. Here's the President, the cigarette holder in his mouth, and his legs were flapping in the wind. A guy stood in front of me and said, “No pictures.” Boy, if I'd taken one I would have had my head blown off. They put him in a chair, and his foot kept swinging back and forth. They blocked it. Then suddenly they moved back, and we all went, “Oh!” Because this poor invalid was suddenly Franklin D. Roosevelt. I mean, I have never seen anything like it. How he took over!
(Interviewed May 19, 1993. Excerpted from: John Loengard, LIFE Photographers: What They Saw, Boston, A Bullfinch Press Book, 1998)