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Friday, 25 October, 2002, 08:19 GMT 09:19 UK
Hollywood exhibition makes debut
Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe was among those photographed by Worth
Screen and stage stars from across the decades have attended the grand opening of an exhibition of rare pictures from the archives of Hollywood photographer Frank Worth.

Veteran actors, including Betty Garrett and Mildred Shay, joined younger well-known faces, such as actor and comedian Stephen Fry, at the event in Notting Hill, west London on Thursday.

They all came to pay tribute to the glamorous age of cinema caught in the lens of celebrity snapper Frank Worth.

Many of those attending had had their picture taken by Worth, who worked as a freelance photographer in Hollywood between 1939-1964.

Stephen Fry
Stephen Fry was impressed by Worth's talent

During that time, he took over 10,000 photos of Hollywood legends, including Cary Grant, James Dean, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor, whose first wedding he filmed.

Praising the exhibition, Fry said: "I suppose I will use the words everybody uses, like style and glamour and so on.

"A kind of extraordinary sensual beauty about the era and about the photography, about Worth as a photographer and about many other famous names."

Monroe

Christie's auction house described the collection of Worth photos as "the most extraordinary collection of its kind for the past 50 years".

But Worth's photos were a lost treasure trove until his death in December 2000.

The family of the penniless Worth found his photos amongst the muddled possessions at his ramshackle LA apartment.

They knew he had once been friends with the likes of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe and that he had earned his living as an often accredited freelance photographer - but they had not imagined to what extent.

Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor photos are also featured

Worth was invited on the sets of many classic films, including Rebel Without A Cause and The Seven Year Itch, as well as photographing a number of Oscar and Golden Globe ceremonies.

His friendships with many of the biggest stars of the era allowed him to bypass many of the restrictions that were imposed upon photographers by studios during the 1940s and 1950s.

Worth, who also worked as a sports photographer, was romantically linked to Jayne Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe, although he only confessed to an affair with Monroe just before he died two years ago.

The exhibition Worth Exposing Hollywood is at the 20th Century Theatre in Notting Hill until 23 November.

See also:

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