Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Gary by Cecil

I was stunned and pleased to receive as a birthday present (thanks so much Colin) a sumptuous coffee table book on Cecil Beaton portraits with his comments on the sitters. We know he did not like Elizabeth Taylor and his waspish comments are here in full. One he did like was the young Gary Cooper, caught here in this terrific 1937 portrait showing maybe the most beautiful man of the 1930s. We like the older Cooper too in his '50s movies - right. and left: Beaton with Cooper. 
The book includes all those others too: Monroe, both Hepburns, Dietrich, Royalty, all the high society of that era from the 20s to the 60s including another fascination of Beaton's: Mick Jagger, Nureyev, Hockney etc. and of course Greta Garbo ..... and is compiled by Beaton's literary executor and biographer Hugo Vickers. 

Cecil Beaton (1904–80) was educated at Harrow and Cambridge. His photographs first appeared in "Vanity Fair" and "Vogue" in the 1920s. During World War II he served in the British Ministry of Information, covering the fighting in Africa and East Asia. The foremost photographer of his day, he also designed the settings and costumes for numerous films and plays - GIGI, MY FAIR LADY, Streisand Regency flashbacks in ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER, and was a published and well-known diarist. Beaton was knighted in 1972. I will have to return to his many diaries ...

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