Monroe Photos Made Him Famous: Star Photographer Douglas Kirkland Is Dead

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Monroe photos made him famous
Star photographer Douglas Kirkland is dead

Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Mick Jagger, Leonardo DiCaprio – the list of world stars that Douglas Kirkland has photographed over the decades is endless. His photos appeared in major magazines such as “Life” and “People”. Now the photographer died at the age of 88.

Canadian photographer Douglas Kirkland died of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 88. A spokesperson for the family said this.

“Douglas Kirkland leaves an immeasurable void in both his personal and professional lives to fill. His boundless joie de vivre, warmth and passion will be missed in a long life of wonderful and meaningful friendships,” quote The Hollywood Reporter and Jeff Dunas, director of the Palm Springs Photo Festival.


Angelina Jolie in a Monroe look, photographed by Douglas Kirkland.

(Photo: imago/ITAR-TASS)

Kirkland has had countless world stars in front of the camera, including Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlene Dietrich, Coco Chanel, Charlie Chaplin, Frank Sinatra, Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn, Natalie Wood, Marcello Mastroianni, Peter O’Toole, Judy Garland, Paul Newman , Michael Caine, Robert De Niro, Nicole Kidman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brigitte Bardot, Mick Jagger, Catherine Deneuve, Kim Basinger and Angelina Jolie.

Most Famous Photos: Monroe in White Towels

His best-known images are sensual shots of Marilyn Monroe from 1961, in which the actress lies in bed in white silk sheets. Photographs of Elizabeth Taylor, taken during one of his first assignments for Look in 1961, led the photographer to meet Monroe in a Hollywood studio to create the magazine’s 25th anniversary issue.


The photos of Marylin Monroe in white silk scarves were taken in 1961 by Douglas Kirkland.

(Photo: imago/ITAR-TASS)

“I knew what pictures I wanted to take of her, but in my shy Canadian way, I wasn’t sure how to take them,” he said in an undated interview. Marilyn took charge: She said we needed a bed and some white silk sheets, some Frank Sinatra records and a bottle of Dom Pérignon champagne. She was wearing a bathrobe and eventually slipped out and under the sheets, and that’s how she wanted in the picture.”

Working at major magazines

Kirkland was born in Toronto on August 16, 1934 and grew up in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada. After teaching photography at Seneca High School in Buffalo, New York, he became a contributor to Look magazine in 1960. When the magazine went bankrupt in the late 1960s, Kirkland was hired by Life magazine. His photographs have also appeared in such publications as People and Sports Illustrated.

Douglas Kirkland is survived by his Paris-born wife Françoise, son Mark, an Emmy-winning director of The Simpsons, daughters Karen and Lisa, grandchildren Jamie, Chad, Ryan, Patrick and Anna Sophia, and great-granddaughter Madison.

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