George Barris

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George Barris was born in Manhattan, New York City, in 1922. One day, his older brother gave him a box camera and little Barris was immediately caught by the magic of taking photos, a love that will be long lasting and will turn out to become a fruitful career that will bring him to fame and stardom. He soon received a folding camera with which he would take pictures of his school mates and places he would go to and he soon became known as the child with the camera. He also realized that it was possible to earn money by taking pictures. In fact, his career as a paid photographer began when his family and friends would hire him to take pictures at parties and church events. He also caught the attention of editors of local newspapers and magazines with his incredible innate talent that they told him the best and quickest way to make money was to pitch them ideas and stories for which he could take pictures.

When the Second World War broke out, Barris decided to enlist in the army as their official photographer. He was assigned to take pictures of General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s victory homecoming celebration. His photos impressed the General so much that he decided to give Barris a photo album with his signature on it so he could put all of his favorite pictures in it. Soon afterwards, Barris became very popular among newspaper and magazine editors who sent him everywhere in world to cover stories and news. He soon became famous also in Hollywood where he went to work. Barris had the opportunity to take photos of many movie stars such as Steve McQueen, Charlie Chaplin, Marlon Brando, John Wayne, Elizabeth Taylor, Clark Gable, and Frank Sinatra. However, his favorite subject he loved to photograph soon became Marilyn Monroe, the most beloved actress at the time.

Photographer George Barris first had the opportunity to meet famous actress Marilyn Monroe in 1954 in New York City. She was then working on the set of Seven Year Itch and Barris was there, among many other photographers, to shoot the famous scene where Marilyn Monroe is wearing a white dress which is blown up by a sudden wind coming from the underneath railway. It then began an undeniable friendship which lasted until the day of her death. In fact, Barris was the very last photographer to shoot pictures of the actress and the two spoke on the phone not even 24 hours before she mysteriously passed away.

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Diamonds & Champagne

Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery cordially invites you to ‘Diamonds and Champagne’, the launch of Marilyn – The 90th Birthday Touring Exhibition. On display includes work by George Barris, Bert Stern, … read more →