Laszlo Willinger

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Laszlo Willinger was born in Hungary in 1909. He grew up surrounded by art and photography as his mother was a professional photographer who shared her passion with her son at a very early age. Willinger learnt everything he knew about the art of photography from his mother and in 1929 he decided to move to Paris and then Berlin where he worked as a freelance photographer for many newspapers and magazines. Following Hitler’s rise to political power, Willinger moved to Vienna where he had the chance to take photos of already famous people, among which Sigmund Freud.

Laszlo Willinger soon decided to move to Hollywood where he successfully established a studio. He was one of the very first photographers who decided to separate himself from black and white photos and had the courage to experiment with color, which turned out to be a winning and selling point in his career. In fact, he soon reached fame and prestige as the photographer of Hollywood movie stars. His close-ups of golden ear movie stars like Clark Gable, Joan Crawford and Fred Astaire became widely popular and well-known all over the world. However, his most intricate and heartfelt work was his photo sessions with Marilyn Monroe whom he had to chance to meet and photograph ever since her starting career as a model and when she was still known as Norma Jeane.

Unlike many other men of his time, however, Willinger was not particularly attracted by the beautiful and famous Marilyn Monroe and was not afraid to let it be known, even after Norma Jeane rose to fame and popularity. His dislike for beauty icon Marilyn Monroe was probably due to his never openly declared homosexuality which later in life caused him quite a few troubles. In fact, he faced accusations of stalking male Hollywood actors such as Charlie Chaplin. Not being able to morally face the accusations, he decided to commit suicide.

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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 →

  • Laszlo Willinger, Headshot

  • Laszlo Willinger, Glamour

  • Laszlo Willinger, Pin Up

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