The late Duchess of Windsor stated that; “you can never be too rich or too thin”. Well, veteran snapper Terry O’neill who immortalised Princess Diana, Jean Shrimpton and Marilyn Monroe is unimpressed.
In his day, he has photographed everyone from Brigitte Bardot to Jean Shrimpton, but when asked if he’d like to add the Duchess of Cambridge to his stellar portfolio, Terry O’neill was less than enthusiastic, stating to a broadsheet newspaper “Nah – I don’t think so, because I don’t fancy her.”
Asked if he would like to photograph the current most famous woman in the world, he said: ”Nah – I don’t think so because I don’t fancy her. I mean that poor girl, Kate, what’s going to happen to her? Hopefully William will be king and she’ll be a new breed. And she does seem very together, but, well, she’s too thin.”
Most snappers would jump at the chance to work with Kate Middleton however the famed Vogue and Vanity Fair photographer known for his portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Diana and Audrey Hepburn is just not interested.
Kate Middleton wasn’t the only subject to be ridiculed by the man who made his reputation from the 1960’s to the present. Kate Moss also came in for criticism . O’neill stated; ”The supermodels were the last great girls, and Kate Moss only just scraped in under the wire. I never rated her. Kate only endured because she was associated with those supermodels. I mean, Jean Shrimpton was the best of all the English models and sadly it ended there.”
The work of photographer Terry O’Neill has graced the pages of magazines and newspapers around the world for more than 40 years and such is his reputation that a selection of his photographs are on permanent display at the National Portrait Gallery in London. From the start of the 1960s and continuing until the present day the name of Terry O’Neill has become inextricably connected with some of the most interesting takes on photographic portraits of celebrities.
From the Beatles and Rolling Stones in the 1960s, to the Royal Family and the Prime Minister’s family in more recent times, Terry O’Neill has proved adept at recording the significant subjects of the day in a visually stimulating and sometimes unexpected way, in doing so has captured an illuminated history of our age.
It was 50 years ago that Terry O’Neill first picked up a camera, and began an astonishing career. First becoming a key photographer in London’s heady 1960s cultural milieu, he went on to capture most major stars of stage and screen, and has helped to define our very notion of celebrity’. His famous photographs of Brigitte Bardot smoking a cigar, Frank Sinatra with his bodyguards sauntering down the Miami boardwalk and Faye Dunaway the morning after her Oscar win have become iconic images that have made Terry one of the world’s most popular and collectible photographers.
Terry’s work forms a visual Who’s Who of cinema, rock and pop music, theatre and fashion over five decades. His sitters include Bardot, Sinatra, Dunaway, Michael Caine, Audrey Hepburn, Paul Newman, Lee Marvin, Elizabeth Taylor, atherine Deneuve, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, and his photographs offer an intimate insight into their lives, both private and public.
The exhibition will be a mix of exquisite small vintage prints and striking large modern prints that O’Neill has created from his original negatives. Many have never been seen before, having been discovered only in the last few months during extensive research of his archive.