Los Angeles :
Bob Willoughby, On Set
Ann Bancroft & Dustin Hoffman, The Graduate, 1967 © Bob Willoughby
Audrey Hepburn Getting into Car, Paramount Studios, 1953 © Bob Willoughby
Audrey Hepburn - Wide Shot of the Paramount Portrait Gallery, 1953 © Bob Willoughby
Audrey Hepburn hugs Ip on Green Mansions, 1958 © Bob Willoughby
Sophia Loren being kissed by Elevis Presley, Paramount Studios, Hollywood, California, 1958 © Bob Willoughby
Marilyn Monroe on the 20th Century Fox Studios set of "Let's Make Love", 1960 © Bob Willoughby
Chet Backer, Los Angeles, recording session, 1953 © Bob Willoughby
Big Jay McNeely, lying on the stage of the Los Angeles Olympic Auditorium, 1951 © Bob Willoughby
In the 1950s, Bob Willoughby was the first outside photographer hired by Hollywood to document the film sets of some of the industry’s biggest movies. His photographs were published in the most important magazines of the day, including Look et Life. Working alongside the studios’ legendary directors and actors, Willoughby’s pictures would become a part of the medium’s history.
Taken during filming, but mostly when the cameras had stopped rolling, Willoughby’s images reveal private moments from the Golden Age of American cinema. Today they are on view at the Fahey & Klein Gallery in Los Angeles, letting visitors relive classic Hollywood films from behind the scenes, including A Star Is Born, Rebel Without a Cause, My Fair Lady, The Graduate, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Rosemary’s Baby.
We see the seductive glances of Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe, the thoughtful eyes of Dustin Hoffman, and the stony calm of John Wayne. The director Sydney Pollack looked back on Willoughby’s talents: “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?... From Willoughby, I truly learned something about the telling of my own film. He is a true visual stylist, one who understands how to communicate the most complicated ideas in the simplest, most arresting form.” (Sydney Pollack, Foreword to The Star Makers)
The exhibition also presents a small selection of jazz photographs taken by Willoughby, dating in the 1950s. It was the beginning of his career, and a pivotal time in the California jazz scene. Willoughby was a serious jazz fan, and would sometimes drop everything to run to live concert he heard playing on the local radio, or to exclusive recording sessions with Chet Baker.
Bob Willoughby, On Set
December 13, 2012 through January 26, 2013
At Fahey/Klein Gallery
148 North La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036