Entertainment & Arts

Unseen Hollywood photos to go on display

Audrey Hepburn by George Douglas Image copyright PA
Image caption Audrey Hepburn was preparing for her role in Gigi when Douglas took this photograph

Previously unseen photographs of Hollywood stars taken by the late photographer, George Douglas, are to go on display for the first time.

Thousands of negatives, including pictures of Audrey Hepburn and Dirk Bogarde, were found at Douglas's home.

Roger Bamber, Douglas's neighbour and a fellow photographer, inherited the Brighton property and found the images in an old filing cabinet.

Just 30 pictures from the archive will go on display at the house in May.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Negatives of Peter Sellers are among the hoard

The photography exhibition will be part of the Artists Open Houses festival.

The negatives include images from the 1940s to the 1960s, of stars including Roger Moore, Peter Sellers, Gary Cooper and former US president Harry Truman.

Photographer Nigel Swallow, who is now living in the property, said he is expecting it to take him and Mr Bamber at least a year to sort through the photographs and that he has taken advice on how it can be properly archived.

Mr Swallow said: "It's something that should be taken very good care of and I am chuffed that I have been asked to look after the archive.

"The first priority is making sure we preserve George's work."

Douglas's nickname was Speedy George because he worked so quickly. For many years, he was employed by UK Picture Post magazine, which was a popular photo-journalism magazine published in the UK between 1938 and 1957.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Another recently discovered photograph features comic Tony Hancock with some penguins

Douglas was born in East Sussex but moved to Texas as a young man, later spending much of his time in California. But he would spend his summers in Brighton, Mr Bamber said.

Speaking of Douglas's work for the Picture Post, Mr Bamber said: "He fell 'more than a little in love' with Audrey Hepburn when he spent a fortnight photographing her in New York as she prepared for the Broadway production of Gigi, and became friends with the novelist Paul Gallico and the actor Peter Sellers."

Mr Bamber added that Douglas turned down The Beatles, who asked him to be their photographer on the set of A Hard Day's Night.

"Paul McCartney had been impressed by George's portraits of his then-girlfriend Jane Asher; but two weeks at the Twickenham Studios besieged by screaming teenagers was enough to persuade George that he was not cut out for pop photography."

Douglas retired to Brighton in 2007 until his death in December 2010 at the age of 88.

Related Topics