Detour Artist Profile: Douglas Kirkland

Douglas_franoisekirkland

Douglas Kirkland (born 1934 in Toronto, Ontario) is a prominent photographer based in the United States. At age twenty-four, Kirkland was hired as a staff photographer for Look magazine and became famous for his 1961 photos of Marilyn Monroe taken for Look’s 25th anniversary issue. He later joined the staff of Life magazine.

A Who’s Who of notable persons have posed for Kirkland from the great photography innovator Man Ray and photographer/painter Jacques Henri Lartigue to Dr. Stephen Hawking. Entertainment world celebrities he has photographed include Mick Jagger, Sting, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Morgan Freeman, Orson Welles, Andy Warhol, Oliver Stone, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Leonardo DiCaprio, Coco Chanel, Marlene Dietrich, Brigitte Bardot, Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren and Catherine Deneuve. Kirkland’s portrait of Charlie Chaplin is at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Kirkland is contracted for work around the world and has worked in the motion picture industry as a special photographer on more than one hundred films including 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Sound of Music, Sophie’s Choice, Out of Africa, The Pirate Movie, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Romancing the Stone, Titanic, and Moulin Rouge!. Some of his famous film shots include John Travolta in the dance sequence from Saturday Night Fever and a portrait of Judy Garland crying. In 1995 Kirkland received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American motion pictures Society of Operating Cameramen. His second wife Françoise was born in Paris, France and educated at the Sorbonne. She obtained degrees in Political Science and English. A publicist, she pursued a separate career but has worked with her husband as his agent and has been involved in his books projects including “Legends,” “Body Stories,” “Woza Africa,” “James Cameron’s Titanic,” “Make Up Your Life,” plus “An Evening With Marilyn,” among others.

Kirkland’s next book project titled “When We Were Young” is scheduled for release in 2006. “Titanic” was the first picture book to reach No.1 on the New York Times Best Seller list and did so on both the hardcover and paperback lists. Douglas Kirkland has lectured at the Smithsonian Institution, the American Film Institute in Hawaii and Los Angeles, the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena as well as the Kodak Centers in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. Kirkland and his wife reside in Hollywood Hills, California.

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