Russ Meyer
director, photographer
Russ Meyer
Russell Albion "Russ" Meyer was a U.S. motion picture director, producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, editor, actor and photographer. Meyer is known primarily for writing and directing a series of successful low-budget sexploitation films that featured campy humor, sly satire and large-breasted women.
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This Fat-Positive Pin-Up Calendar Is Everything
Huffington Post - over 1 year
A young female artist has created an entire pin-up calendar dedicated to fat positivity, and it's amazing. Jen Oaks, an illustrator from Oakland, California, published a 2016 calendar called "Minx!" on Monday, via her Instagram and Etsy accounts.  The beautifully illustrated calendar book puts a spin on the classic pin-up archetype, featuring full-figured girls. And -- spoiler alert! -- you don't have to be thin to be incredibly sexy. On her Etsy page, Oaks wrote that her inspiration for the calendar came from "a fixation with '70s Playboy, Russ Meyer films, and the urge to illustrate some vintage clothing." Below are just a few of the fun and flirty illustrations. See more images on Oaks' Instagram.  A photo posted by Jen Oaks (@jenoaksillustration) on Dec 8, 2015 at 4:43pm PST A photo posted by Jen Oaks (@jenoaksillustration) on Nov 30, 2015 at 5:07pm PST A photo posted by Jen Oaks (@jenoaksillustration) on Dec 8, 2015 a ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
This Fat-Positive Pin-Up Calendar Is Everything
Huffington Post - over 1 year
A young female artist has created an entire pin-up calendar dedicated to fat positivity, and it's amazing. Jen Oaks, an illustrator from Oakland, California, published a 2016 calendar called "Minx!" on Monday, via her Instagram and Etsy accounts.  The beautifully illustrated calendar book puts a spin on the classic pin-up archetype, featuring full-figured girls. And -- spoiler alert! -- you don't have to be thin to be incredibly sexy. On her Etsy page, Oaks wrote that her inspiration for the calendar came from "a fixation with '70s Playboy, Russ Meyer films, and the urge to illustrate some vintage clothing." Below are just a few of the fun and flirty illustrations. See more images on Oaks' Instagram.  A photo posted by Jen Oaks (@jenoaksillustration) on Dec 8, 2015 at 4:43pm PST A photo posted by Jen Oaks (@jenoaksillustration) on Nov 30, 2015 at 5:07pm PST A photo posted by Jen Oaks (@jenoaksillustration) on Dec 8, 2015 a ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
“Mad Max: Fury Road”: Ten Films to Look Forward to in May
Hollywood News - almost 2 years
With the end of April upon us next week, I wanted to turn our attention to May and the cinematic treats that might be held there. It’s essentially the start of the summer movie season, so there’s a slight turn that takes place in terms of what comes out. There are a few less notable indies, while the mainstream titles veer towards blockbuster status. In fact, a nice grouping of the biggest Hollywood smash hit hopefuls are hitting in May. You’ll see the ones below, clearly, but I tried to mix it up, going from tiny indie horror to massive comic book franchise sequel, with plenty in between. Enjoy! Here are ten May releases to anticipate… 10. The Ladies of the House – A small independent horror film from John Stuart Wildman and Justina Walford, it offers a welcome throwback to the days of exploitation. I feel like Russ Meyer and Eli Roth would appreciate this in equal measure. It’s genre fare and not for everyone, but those who have a stomach for this sort of thing will likely enjoy disc ...
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Hollywood News article
Ring-a-Ding-Ding in the New Year!
The Portland Mercury - over 3 years
The Mercury's handy guide to Portland's best ball drops. by Ned Lannamann 2013 is drawing to a close. Quick! What are you doing for New Year's? Don't worry, we've got you covered. We took stock of the 10 best parties in town and asked participating bands and DJs what to expect from their New Year's Eve celebrations. They let us know exactly what's up their sleeves, from what to drink to whom to kiss to which song they'll be playing at midnight. There's a lot to choose from, so take a look at what Portland's best New Year's parties have on tap—and with our help, you'll be in the exact right spot at the start of 2014. Built to Spill Three-Night Celebration w/Slam Dunk, the Apostrophes; Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan, Sun-Tues 8 pm, $22-25 While a new Built to Spill album won't arrive until 2014, Portland doesn't have to wait for a dose of their woolen, rugged rock. The Boise legends—who hold their band rehearsals right here i ...
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The Portland Mercury article
Katrina del Mar, Artist, Talks About Joan Jett, the Fear of Strong Women, and Starting a Revolution (NSFW Slideshow)
Huffington Post - over 3 years
This week I interviewed Katrina del Mar. For those who don't know her, del Mar's work creates a world populated with gorgeous, tough and street-smart women. It's erotic, empowered and electric -- think the best parts of feminism and queer theory mixed with sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. After researching del Mar and spending time with her, I'm confident about two things: 1) she's intimidatingly bad-ass, and 2) she's remarkably talented. In a career spanning two decades her work has garnered international praise and acclaim, with comparisons to artists as eclectic as Henry Darger, Hans Holbein, Kenneth Anger, Russ Meyer and Catherine Opie. She has enjoyed invitations to show her premillennial live work in Copenhagen, her surf film at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Bordeaux and her celebrated Girl Gang trilogy of films in places as far-flung as London, Berlin, Sydney and Reykjavík. This year the Girl Gang trilogy screened at the Provincetown Film Festival under the auspices of ...
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Huffington Post article
David Crisanti: Three of a Kind
Huffington Post - over 3 years
In the news these days are Jeff Bezos buying the Washington Post, Alex Rodriguez receiving a 211 game ban for use of PEDs, and Fabrice Tourre being found guilty of securities fraud in a New York courtroom. Read on to see if they have anything in common beyond the fact I'd like to write about them. There is nothing the media likes more than a story about itself. Why else would Citizen Kane, not even Orsen Welles' best movie (the first scene in Touch of Evil is more notable than the entirety of Citizen Kane) appear at the top of so many 'best movie' lists? Because those lists originated in newspapers. If the lead character were say, an oil magnate, and not a media baron, would it rank above There Will be Blood? So the Bezos purchase gets lots of ink. Gordon Crovitz writing in the Wall Street Journal gushes that Bezos' genius in customer knowledge will magically transform the paper's financial outlook. On the evidence, this is highly unlikely. First, Amazon is not the col ...
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Huffington Post article
Tonight in Music: Lilacs and Champagne, Minden
The Portland Mercury - almost 4 years
EX-CULT, LILACS AND CHAMPAGNE (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) When they get around to remaking Russ Mayer's films for the 21st century, Lilacs and Champagne will write the soundtrack. The production team of Alex Hall and Emil Amos, known primarily for their work in Grails, create mood music with a hazy mélange of B movies and softcore action sequences fused together with downtempo beats. Each track on their latest release, Danish and Blue, is a dense narrative of lo-fidelity nostalgia and found audio as beat-futurism, with a heavy dose of psych rock as the dominant hue on the psychic palette of their cut-and-paste methodology. The new album appears to be a departure from the Tales-of-the-Crypt-hop of their self-titled debut; horror samples and high kitsch remain, but the new album resonates with a greater emphasis on organic song composition and the slo-jam core of R&B. Lilacs and Champagne make their debut as a live band tonight. WYATT SCHAFFNER Exotic Cakes by M ...
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The Portland Mercury article
Ebert The Screenwriter
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
Most critics don’t get the chance to review a movie they helped write. Then again, Roger Ebert wasn’t most critics. Ebert, who died today of cancer, may be best known for flashing his thumbs with Gene Siskel and posting immaculate analyses at his Chicago Sun-Times blog, but he’s also the mind behind a cult classic that deserves a mention, the 1970 dark comedy “Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls.” Ebert co-wrote the in-name-only sequel to “Valley Of The Dolls” in six weeks, working with Russ Meyer, a sexploitation director whose early work Ebert championed. In a piece for Film Comment marking BVD’s 10th anniversary, Ebert calls the final product “an essay on our generic expectations...set to music and manipulated to work as exposition and satire at the same time; it's cause and effect, a wind-up machine to generate emotions, pure movie without message.” In a 2006 interview, actor John Lazar, who played one of BVD’s most legendary characters, Z-Man, remembered Ebert during the ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Dwight Brown: Movie Review: Lee Daniel's Latest - The Paperboy( *1/2)
Huffington Post - over 4 years
Director Lee Daniels (Precious) has enlisted and army of A-list actors in his screen adaptation of The Paperboy, Pete Dexter's Deep South Florida bayou crime novel. Daniels should personally thank David Oyelowo, Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron. Their performances give this crude, misguided and deranged Cat on a Hot Tin Roof-wannabe a few redeeming qualities. In 1969, Miami Times reporter Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey) returns to his rural, swamp-laden Florida hometown to investigate the case of death-row inmate Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack) who's been convicted of murdering a racist sheriff. Jansen brings an arrogant colleague with him, Yardley Acheman (Oyelowo), whose haughty English accent and off-putting manner ruffles the feathers of Jansen's stepmom, dad and adolescent brother Jack (Efron). Even their maid Anita (Macy Gray) is uneasy. The journalists team up with Charlotte Bless (Kidman), a nymphomaniac who is in love with the prisoner, and they ...
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Huffington Post article
Roger Ebert At 70: Did He Save Or Destroy Film Criticism?
Moviefone Blog - almost 5 years
Roger Ebert has a lot to celebrate when he turns 70 on June 18. Despite the horrible ailments of the last decade that have taken away his ability to eat, drink, or speak, he's still America's leading movie critic, a distinction he's held for more than 30 years. (Of course, he shared the honor for much of that time with his TV frenemy Gene Siskel, until the latter's death in 1999.) An avid adapter to social media, he's used the Internet to make his reviews more widely read than ever. (You can read some of his most memorable critiques in the gallery at the bottom.) But what does it mean, at a time when film criticism as a profession is all but dead, to be the top critic? And what role has Ebert's own career played in making criticism what it is today? By bringing criticism to TV, did he (however inadvertently) dumb it down to the point where it became disposable? Or did he, through his own personal example and high standards, manage to keep film criticism alive for another generation? ...
Article Link:
Moviefone Blog article
Tigard Gets a Theater Pub, Also Boobs
The Portland Mercury - almost 5 years
Formerly known as the Tigard-Joy Cinema, the under-new-management Joy Cinema & Pub (11959 SW Pacific Highway) is slated to open on June 22. Owner Jeff "Punk Rock" Martin sent out a press release earlier this week, bemoaning the fact that Tigard "has had no bargain-priced second-run theater for quite some time" and kindly offering to correct said problem with a theater that'll offer mainstream movies, popcorn, beer, and pizza, as well as beer-free, family-friendly screenings during the day. Here's my favorite part of Martin's press release: While owner Jeff "Punk Rock" Martin would be happy to screen a 'round-the-clock double feature of The Omega Man and Rock and Roll High School on an indefinite basis, he recognizes that doing so may hinder other basic endeavors. (Buying food for his family, for example.) But fear not, for along with all the Hollywood blockbusters, the Joy Cinema will find room for monster movies, biker flicks, critics’ faves, and grindhouse ...
Article Link:
The Portland Mercury article
Music Review: Norah Jones - Little Broken Hearts
Seattle Pi - almost 5 years
Music Review: Norah Jones - Little Broken Hearts Seattle Post-Intelligencer Copyright 2012 Seattle Post-Intelligencer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Published 01:53 p.m., Monday, April 30, 2012 (The astonishing cover art is an homage to the intense 1965 Russ Meyer film Mudhoney.) Though the album announces an edgier mood for the multiple Grammy winner, Hearts, her fifth studio disc, carries traits of a typical Jones record: confessional-style lyricism, hauntingly rich melodies-not to mention a fine showcase of that bewitching voice. According to Jones, Hearts (Blue Note Records) was inspired by a harsh breakup with her writer-boyfriend. [...] essential cuts like the atmospheric opener "Good Morning" and the soft-rock-infused title track would not be out of place on such previous efforts as 2004's Feels Like Home and 2007's Not Too Late.
Article Link:
Seattle Pi article
Cessna's Russ Meyer receives U.S. Chamber award for contributions to aviation
The Wichita Eagle - almost 5 years
Former Cessna Aircraft chairman Russ Meyer received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Carol B. Hallett Award last week at an anual aviation summit. Meyer was recognized for more than four decades of service and achievement in aviation. "Russ's critical leadership role at the intersection of aviation, business, policy and philanthropy exemplifies the spirit of the Chamber and all it embodies," Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association senior vice president of government affairs Melissa Rudinger said at the summit, according to an account from the National Business Aviation Association. Read more
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The Wichita Eagle article
David O. Russell’s latest turn: New England city politics
LATimes - almost 5 years
The very busy David O. Russell has another story to occupy his post-"Uncharted: Drake's Fortune" time: He’s officially involved with a biopic about longtime Rhode Island mayor Buddy Cianci that will be produced by  the New York-based production company of Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal (“Little Fockers,” “Being Flynn”). Based on Cianci’s elaborately titled “Politics and Pasta: How I Prosecuted Mobsters, Rebuilt a Dying City, Advised a President, Dined With Sinatra, Spent Five Years in a Federally Funded Gated Community and Lived to Tell the Tale," the new untitled biopic tells of the 21-year mayor who — oh yes — went to jail for nearly five years on racketeering charges after a career rooting out corruption in his New England hometown. Cianci has had more lives than a bungee-jumping cat; there's even talk he will run for public office again. About a year ago, Rosenthal had mentioned informally that she’d like Russell to come aboard the film. Now it's official. According to his ...
Article Link:
LATimes article
5 Upcoming Albums You Need To Watch Out For This Spring
Obsessed with Film - What Cultur - almost 5 years
What better way to bring Spring to a close than a medley of upcoming musical treats from the world of Pop. As the weather gets warmer (with the British weather it’ll probably be the opposite), here are five new albums and a new artist’s lead single that will soon be blazing up a download site/the last shops to actually sell CDs near you:   Santigold – Master Of My Make-Believe Release Date 23rd April It’s feels like a long time coming but finally the wheels are in motion for Santigold’s return to the music frontline and the cannons are thundering away. After all the name change confusion (Santogold becoming Santigold seemingly overnight due to a potential lawsuit case) and a critically acclaimed debut that didn’t really match it commercially, it seems Santigold (real name Santi White) is ready for battle and the tracks we’ve heard already affirm this war stance in the face of the notorious ‘second album slump’. Go featuring Karen O (lead chanteuse of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) has ...
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Obsessed with Film - What Cultur article
FOXY Indeed: Grier Autobiography Optioned
Boom Tron - almost 5 years
Foxy: My Life In Three Acts, Pam Grier bio, to hit theaters Actress Pam Grier (Foxy Brown, Coffy, The Big Bird Cage, Scream Blacula Scream, The Arena, Jackie Brown, Black Mama, White Mama) has an autobiography out. I had no idea, and I’m quite the Grier fan. Guess I’m also an idiot.  The full title is Foxy: My Life In Three Acts, and it apparently deals with her life and career in quite an unvarnished fashion (the word “sensual” has been thrown around, so I’m guessing it might get a bit lurid. Not that there’s anything wrong with that).  Well, the word is that the book has been optioned, and hopefully it might end up being a nice companion piece to Mario Van Peebles’ 2003 film about his filmmaker father Mario, Baadasssss! Apparently to cover her “formative years,” the biopic (can we all just assume it will be called Foxy? I thought so) will be brought to you, oddly enough by Imprint Entertainment, the mob who gave us Percy Jackson and…uh….Twilight. Other than that, there’s not a ...
Article Link:
Boom Tron article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Russ Meyer
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2004
    Age 82
    Russ Meyer died at his home in the Hollywood Hills, from complications of pneumonia, on September 18, 2004.
    More Details Hide Details He was 82 years old. Meyer's grave is located at Stockton Rural Cemetery in San Joaquin County, Stockton. Fox Searchlight Pictures is currently negotiating the rights to create a biopic covering the early years of Meyer's career.
  • 2000
    Age 78
    By 2000, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and his health and well-being were thereafter looked after by Janice Cowart, his secretary and estate executor.
    More Details Hide Details That same year, with no wife or children to claim his wealth, Meyer willed that the majority of his money and estate would be sent to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in honor of his late mother.
    He also worked obsessively for over a decade on a massive three-volume autobiography entitled A Clean Breast. Finally printed in 2000, it features numerous excerpts of reviews, clever details of each of his films and countless photos and erotic musings.
    More Details Hide Details Starting in the mid-1990s Meyer had frequent fits and bouts of memory loss.
  • 1999
    Age 77
    Meyer had a half sister, Lucinda, who was diagnosed in her 20s with paranoid schizophrenia and was committed to California State mental institutions until her death in 1999.
    More Details Hide Details Mental illness ran in his family and was something he secretly feared. During his entire life Russ Meyer spoke with only the highest reverence for his mother and sister. Meyer was married to: Contrary to some accounts, Meyer was never married to Kitten Natividad, his longtime companion and the star of his final two films. Meyer owned the rights to nearly all of his films and spent the majority of the 1980s and 1990s making millions reselling his films on the home video and DVD market. He worked out of his Los Angeles home and usually took telephone orders himself. A major retrospective of his work was given at The British Film Institute (1982), the Chicago Film Festival honored him in 1985, and many revival movie houses booked his films for midnight movie marathons.
    Despite his reputation, Russ Meyer never employed the casting couch and rarely had sex with any of his actresses. He had no children though there were rumored unsuccessful pregnancies with his second wife Edy Williams and last serious girlfriend, Melissa Mounds, who was also found guilty of assaulting him in 1999.
    More Details Hide Details There is a long-standing rumor among his closest friends and at least one biographer that he had a son in 1964 with a secret lover who he would refer to only as "Miss Mattress" or "Janet Buxton." Meyer was very up front throughout his life about being too selfish to be a father or even a caring partner or husband. Yet he is also said to have been very generous with all his friends and acquaintances, and never isolated friends from one another. Biographers have attributed most of his brutish and eccentric nature to the fact that he was abandoned by his father, an Oakland police officer and overly coddled by his mother, Lydia, who was married six times.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1977
    Age 55
    In 1977, Malcolm McLaren hired Meyer to direct a film starring The Sex Pistols.
    More Details Hide Details Meyer handed the scriptwriting duties over to Ebert, who, in collaboration with McLaren, produced a screenplay entitled Who Killed Bambi? According to Ebert, filming ended after a day and a half when the electricians walked off the set after McLaren was unable to pay them. (McLaren has claimed that the project was scrapped at the behest of the main financier and Meyer's erstwhile employer, 20th Century Fox, whose board of directors considered the prospect of a Meyer production to be untenable and incompatible with the insurgent family values ethos in popular culture.) The project ultimately evolved into The Great Rock & Roll Swindle. Despite the fact that hardcore pornographic films overtook Meyer's softcore market share, he retired from filmmaking in the late 1970s a very wealthy man. He made a one-off return to filmmaking in 2001 to direct Russ Meyer's Pandora Peaks, featuring the nude glamor model of the same name. Around the same time, he also participated in Voluptuous Vixens II, a made-for-video softcore production by Playboy.
  • 1975
    Age 53
    In 1975, he released Supervixens, a return to the world of big bosoms, square jaws, and the Sonoran Desert that earned $17 million in the United States on a shoestring budget.
    More Details Hide Details Meyer's theatrical career ended with the release of the surreal Up! (1976) and 1979's Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens, his most sexually graphic films. Film historians and fans have called these last three films "Bustoons" because Russ Meyer's use of color and mise en scène recalled larger than life pop art settings and cartoonish characters.
  • 1973
    Age 51
    After making his most subdued film, a commercially unsuccessful adaptation of the popular Irving Wallace novel The Seven Minutes (1971) for Fox, Meyer returned to grindhouse-style independent cinema in 1973 with the blaxploitation period piece Black Snake, which was dismissed by critics and audiences as incoherent.
    More Details Hide Details
  • FORTIES
  • 1969
    Age 47
    After the unexpected success of Columbia Pictures' low-budget Easy Rider, and impressed by Meyer's frugality and profitability, 20th Century Fox signed him to produce and direct a proposed sequel to Valley of the Dolls in 1969, fulfilling his longstanding ambition to direct for a major Hollywood studio.
    More Details Hide Details What eventually appeared was Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970), scripted by film critic (and Meyer devotee) Roger Ebert and bearing no relation to the novel or film's continuity (a development necessitated after Jacqueline Susann sued the studio). Many critics perceive the film as perhaps the greatest expression of his intentionally vapid surrealism — Meyer went so far as to refer to it as his definitive work in several interviews. Others, such as Variety, saw it "as funny as a burning orphanage and a treat for the emotionally retarded." Contractually stipulated to produce an R-rated film, the brutally violent climax (depicting a decapitation) ensured an X rating (eventually reclassified to NC-17 in 1990). Though disowned by the studio for decades to come and amid gripes from the director after he attempted to recut the film to include more titillating scenes after the ratings debacle, it still earned $9 million domestically in the United States on a budget of $900,000.
  • 1968
    Age 46
    After producing the popular mockumentary Mondo Topless (1966) with the remnants of his production company's assets and two mildly successful color melodramas, Meyer made headlines once again in 1968 with the controversial, Vixen!
    More Details Hide Details Although its lesbian overtones are tame by today's standards, the film – designed by Meyer and long-time cohort Jim Ryan as a reaction to provocative European art films – grossed millions on a five-figure budget and captured the zeitgeist just as The Immoral Mr. Teas had a decade earlier. He followed it with Cherry, Harry & Raquel! (1970), which utilized long montages of the California landscape (replete with anti-marijuana voiceovers) and Uschi Digard dancing in the desert as the film's "lost soul." These plot devices were necessitated after lead actress Linda Ashton left the shoot early, forcing Meyer to compensate for 20 minutes of unshot footage.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1955
    Age 33
    Meyer would go on to shoot three Playboy centerfolds during the magazine's early years, one of his wife Eve Meyer in 1955.
    More Details Hide Details He also shot a pictorial of then-wife Edy Williams in March 1973. His first feature, the nudist comedy The Immoral Mr. Teas (1959), cost $24,000 to produce and eventually grossed more than $1 million on the independent/exploitation circuit, ensconcing Meyer as "King of the Nudies." Over the next decade, he made nearly 20 movies with a trademark blend of odd humor, huge-breasted starlets and All-American sleaze, including such notable films as Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965) and Vixen! (1968). Russ Meyer was a true auteur who wrote, directed, edited, photographed and distributed all his own films. He was able to finance each new film from the proceeds of the earlier ones, and became very wealthy in the process. Unlike many independent directors of his era he chose to cast actresses such as Shari Eubank or Cynthia Myers, who were considered extremely beautiful and wholesome.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1945
    Age 23
    Even then he already demonstrated a corny directing style and included nudity, like in scenes of naked GIs bathing in the Rhine in March 1945.
    More Details Hide Details In the Army, Meyer forged his strongest friendships, and he would later ask many of his fellow combat cameramen to work on his films. Much of Meyer's work during World War II can be seen in newsreels and in the film Patton (1971). On his return to civilian life, he was unable to secure cinematography work in Hollywood due to a lack of industry connections. He made industrial films, freelanced as a still photographer for mainstream films (he did the still photography for Giant), and became a well known glamour photographer whose work included some of the initial shoots for Hugh Hefner's Playboy magazine.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1922
    Age 0
    Born on March 21, 1922.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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