Audrey Hepburn: An Intimate Collection
In his distinguished career as Hollywood photographer, Bob Willoughby has taken some of the benchmark photos of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Jane Fonda but he’s unequivocal about who was his favorite subject: Edda van Heemstra Helpburn-Ruston, also know as Audrey Hepburn. Willoughby was called in to shoot a new starlet one morning in ’53. It was a humdrum commission for the regular studio portraitist now credited with having virtually invented the photojournalistic motion picture still, but when he met the Belgian beauty, Willoughby was enraptured. “She took my hand like…well a princess, and dazzled me with that smile that God designed to melt mortal men’s hearts, ” he recalls. As Hepburn’s career soared upwards following her US debut in Roman Holiday, Willoughby became a trusted friend, framing her working and home life. His historic, perfectionist, tender photographs seek out the man facets to Hepburn’s beauty and elegance as she progresses from her debut to the career high of My Fair Lady in ’63. Willoughby’s studies, showing her on set, preparing for a scene, interacting with actors and directors and returning to her private self, comprise one of photography’s great platonic love affairs and an unrivalled record of one of last century’s touchstone beauties.