Goodbye to photographer to the stars – Bob Willoughby

December 19, 2009 1 Comment

Bob Willoughby was a Portrait Photographer to the Stars. During his distinguished career he took iconic photos of some of the biggest and best loved names in Hollywood such as Audrey Hepburn, Jane Fonda, Marilyn Monroe, Doris Day, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Dustin Hoffman and Elizabeth Taylor.

He was born in Los Angeles (USA) on the 30 June 1927 and studied photography at school. By 1954, his photographic exhibitions of jazz musicians and dancers led to a contract with Globe Photos, followed by work at Harper’s Bazaar. His big break though came when he was assigned to photograph Judy Garland during the filming of her 1954 picture “A Star is Born”. After shooting Garland, one of his close-up portrait shots of the singer in costume graced the cover of Life magazine and Willoughby became the first photographer hired specifically by the big movie studios to take on-set promotional stills.

Willoughby notably produced iconic shots of Doris Day with her co-star Rock Hudson for their 1959 movie “Pillow Talk” and was later hired by Columbia Records to photograph Ms. Day for two long play records “Show Time” and “Bright and Shiny“.

Willoughby continued to photograph for the rest of his life. He passed away from cancer aged 82 at his home in France on the 18 December 2009.

Willoughby’s images are represented by the Motion Picture and Television Photo Archive and many can be viewed  at

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One Comments to “Goodbye to photographer to the stars – Bob Willoughby”
  1. mauricioD says:

    You name them: he photographed celebrated artists for magazines, books, Columbia Records’ album covers. Willougby was everywhere and in well-earned demand. We found his signature style in hundreds of iconic photographs in the 1950s and 1960s of Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, Louis Armstrong, Humphrey Bogart, Kim Novak, Peggy Lee, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Grace Kelly. A belated tribute to a classy professional.

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