By Fred Prouser
In recent days, there has been a spate of celebrity deaths – with each story about the celebrity’s life accompanied by a photograph I took in the past. From Andy Griffiths, producer Richard Zanuck, Sylvester Stallone’s son Sage to Oscar winning actress Celeste Holm, their lives were summed up in a single photograph.
Most often the death is unexpected, so preparations made well in advance of the persons demise come in to play. Aside from a good headshot from a premiere or other event, acquisition of stills from the person’s movie career are a must. It then becomes a mission of online research to locate an appropriate photograph, which could be from the publicist, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, various Halls of Fame or sometimes reaching out to the celebrity’s fan club for that elusive photograph, to get the photo as quickly as possible to go with the story.
Picture the scene; after completing more than a dozen television interviews, then facing ten photographers all clamoring for her attention on a red carpet lined with tall gold Oscar statues, Italian actress Sophia Loren was game enough to sit atop the base of one of the last Oscar statues used as backdrops. She settled herself, carefully arranged her dress so her long tan legs were shown to advantage and posed up a storm.
As she got up and prepared to head into the tribute honoring her at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Tribute in Beverly Hills, I thanked her for her patience. She turned to me and said “This is fun”.