Famous Hollywood photographer Douglas Kirkland passed away on 2 October. The official announcement of the sad news says that he was at his home in Hollywood Hills, LA, surrounded by his wife, two friends, and their dog.
Douglas Kirkland was born on 16 August 1934 in Toronto and grew up in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada. At age 24, he became a staff photographer for Look magazine. he became famous for his 1961 photos of Marilyn Monroe taken for Look’s 25th-anniversary issue. He later joined the staff of Life magazine.
Other than working for magazines, Kirkland worked in the motion picture industry as a special photographer. He worked on over 150 movies such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Sound of Music, Sophie’s Choice, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Titanic, Desperado, and The Great Gatsby. In 1995, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American motion pictures Society of Operating Cameramen.
Over his long and lustrous career, Kirkland photographed many celebrities, including Brigitte Bardot, Marilyn Monroe, Dustin Hoffman, Brooke Shields, Grace Jones, and Ray Liotta, to name just a few. Speaking of the philosophy behind his work, Kirkland said:
“I have a genuine philosophy. I do not want to make negative pictures about people, and so I do everything I can to help make them feel comfortable in front of the camera. That is what is going to control your picture, because you are alone if your subject is not with you. And that’s the simple answer to getting a good picture.”
Kirkland was the author of several photo books, including Coco Chanel: Three Weeks, An Evening with Marilyn, and his 2013 monograph A Life in Pictures.
Douglas Kirkland is survived by his wife and business partner, Françoise, his son Mark Kirkland (animation director for The Simpsons), daughters Karen and Lisa, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
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