BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
    You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
 Friday, 27 December, 2002, 09:34 GMT
Photographer Herb Ritts dies
Herb Ritts
Ritts' subjects ranged from Elizabeth Taylor to Madonna
Celebrated US Hollywood photographer Herb Ritts has died at the age of 50.

For nearly 25 years Ritts photographed celebrity icons for fashion spreads, album covers, advertisements and music videos.

His famous portraits included Madonna wearing Mickey Mouse ears, and Jack Nicholson made up as The Joker for the Batman film.

Ritts died on Thursday at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles from complications caused by pneumonia, his spokesman Stephen Huvane said.
Warren Beatty and Annette Bening on the cover of Vanity Fair
Ritts' work was a mainstay on celebrity magazine covers

He had been admitted to hospital a few days previously with an unspecified condition, Mr Huvane said.

Ten days earlier Ritts had photographed actor Ben Affleck for a Vanity Fair magazine cover and was directing music videos.

Ritts, who lived in Los Angeles, began his career in the late 1970s by taking informal portraits of friends in the movie industry while working in his family's furniture business.

His breakthrough came in 1978 when he took a photograph of actors Jon Voight and Ricky Schroeder on the set of the film The Champ.

The picture made Newsweek magazine and paved the way for his career as a commercial photographer.

Two years later he photographed a young Richard Gere, then starring in American Gigolo, at a petrol station in the California desert.

Herb Ritts with Tina Turner
Ritts, pictured with singer Tina Turner, also directed music videos
He developed a personal style doing a range of subjects, from fashion spreads to nude studies of Masai women in Africa.

His spare, often narrative spreads were a mainstay in Vogue, Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone magazines.

In the last decade, Ritts' work was celebrated in exhibitions in Los Angeles, New York, and the major cities of Europe.

Curators at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston described him as "an image maker for our time ... who translated our culture's dreams and desires into strong memorable pictures".

Favourite

Ritts' success was not limited to stills. In 1991, he directed music videos for Chris Isaak and Janet Jackson that won top honours at the MTV awards.

Ritts once told an interviewer he did not have a favourite among his images.

"Too many stand out to me and I like the fact that they do," he said.

"I like to bounce around from fashion to portraiture to fine art to nudes to even moving imagery, and I like to mix it up and bring back what I've learned."

Ritts is survived by his partner, Erik Hyman, as well as his mother and three siblings.

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  The BBC's Jane Hughes
"What started as a hobbie for him became Herb Ritts vocation"
See also:

25 Oct 02 | Entertainment
20 Oct 02 | Entertainment
09 Aug 02 | Entertainment
02 Aug 02 | Entertainment
06 May 02 | Entertainment
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes