Douglas Kirkland, Canadian artist who famously photographed Marilyn Monroe, dead at 88


Canadian photographer Douglas Kirkland, whose intimate pictures of Marilyn Monroe taken a yr earlier than her loss of life earned him the belief of many Hollywood stars, has died at 88.

The Ontario-born artist’s spouse, Françoise Kirkland, confirmed her husband died Sunday at their dwelling in Los Angeles. A trigger was not given.

Born Aug. 16, 1934 in Toronto, Kirkland spent a lot of his younger life in Fort Erie, Ont., the place his father ran a small go well with retailer. In a 2017 interview with the Nationwide Museum of American Historical past, Kirkland mentioned his dream to turn into a photographer started whereas taking a look at Life magazines his father introduced dwelling from that retailer. 

After commuting from Fort Erie to Buffalo, N.Y., to attend Seneca Vocational Excessive College, Kirkland moved to america full-time. He labored at a printing studio in Richmond, Va., earlier than spending time as an assistant to photographer Sherwin Greenberg from 1957 to 1958. 

WATCH | Douglas Kirkland on the expertise of photographing Marilyn Monroe: 

‘She was just below this white silk sheet with nothing on’: Douglas Kirkland on his iconic shoot with Marilyn Monroe

The Canadian photographer identified for his celeb portraits recounts the story behind his famed 1961 shoot with Marilyn Monroe to CBC’s Deana Sumanac-Johnson.

He would later be a part of Life journal, however his profession actually started when he was assigned a photograph session with Monroe as a younger employees photographer for Look journal in 1961.

These photographs, which featured Monroe seductively wrapped in white mattress sheets and that passed off simply months earlier than her loss of life, grew to become a few of her most memorable.

An image of Marilyn Monroe by Douglas Kirkland hangs on show on the Annenberg Area for Pictures in Los Angeles, March 19, 2009. ‘We’d like a mattress, a white silk sheet, Dom Pérignon champagne and Frank Sinatra information. We do not want something extra.’ That is what Marilyn Monroe advised the younger Douglas Kirkland, resulting in the enduring 1961 photograph. (Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Photos)

He would go on to shoot different legends of the period, together with Audrey Hepburn, Jack Nicholson, Coco Chanel, John Lennon and Margot Kidder in her 1976 Playboy pictorial.

Kirkland additionally labored as a photographer on movie units for some main Hollywood motion pictures — engaged on over 100 throughout his profession. There, he captured photographs of The Sound of Music2001: A Area OdysseyTitanic, and Moulin Rouge. He grabbed a few of his most iconic photographs on the sides of such shoots — together with one expertise with actor Elizabeth Taylor.

In the course of the filming of Cleopatra in 1963, Kirkland went to an interview that Taylor had agreed to present Look journal in Las Vegas — on the situation there would not be any photos. Kirkland was despatched on the off-chance she would permit him to {photograph} her. 

Elizabeth Taylor in 1963, shot by Douglas Kirkland (Douglas Kirkland/Izzy Gallery)

After describing himself as new to the journal, Kirkland managed to persuade Taylor to sit down for a couple of photos. He described it because the true starting of his life as a photographer.

“The images ended up launching my profession,” Kirkland mentioned in an interview with Toronto Life. “After they ran on the duvet and within the journal, they had been syndicated around the globe, and I grew to become a bona fide celeb photographer.”

He obtained many honours later in life (although didn’t have an exhibit in Canada devoted to his work till 2016) together with an impressive achievement award from the Canadian Arts and Vogue Awards in Toronto in 2019. At that occasion, Kirkland mentioned even then he was persevering with to supply pictures.

Actor Jack Nicholson is seen right here from a 1975 {photograph} by Douglas Kirkland (Douglas Kirkland)

“I find it irresistible and I nonetheless work. I am in my mid-80s,” an lively Kirkland advised CBC Information, “and I am nonetheless working each day and having fun with it.”

Kirkland is survived by his spouse, Françoise, whom he met whereas in Paris photographing Audrey Hepburn in 1966. He’s additionally survived by son Mark Kirkland, the filmmaker and longtime director of The Simpsons


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here