Sid Avery

01

/

03

Sid Avery (1918-2002) had a knack of disarming even the most inscrutable figures, including Marlon Brando, Steve McQueen, James Dean, and Rock Hudson, which enabled him to push past the glamour of Hollywood and capture his famous sitters in relaxed and intimate moments. His characterful portraits include Audrey Hepburn cycling around Paramount Studios and Marlon Brando taking out his rubbish.

All works are available for purchase – please click on an image for further information.

Early Life

Sid Avery was born in Akron, Ohio in 1918. His family relocated to Los Angeles when he was nine months old, where he grew up and attended Roosevelt High School.

His uncle was the landscape and architectural photographer, Max Tatch, who taught Avery how to use a camera, develop film and use the darkroom at a young age. Having graduated from high school, Avery found a job in a camera store in Hollywood, where he met many notable photographers, which further inspired him. He also began taking photography classes at this time.

Photographic Career

In the 1930s, Avery set up a small portrait studio where he produced headshots for aspiring actors. With the outset of World War II, Avery was sent to Europe where he served in the Airforce’s photography unit. At the end of the war, Avery returned to the United States and continued to work as a portrait photographer. He worked freelance for numerous publications including LIFE, Look, Collier’s and The Saturday Evening Post, photographing the stars of Hollywood’s post-war era.

Avery had a knack of disarming even the most inscrutable figures, including Marlon Brando, Steve McQueen, James Dean, and Rock Hudson, which enabled him to push past the glamour of Hollywood and capture his famous sitters in relaxed and intimate moments. His characterful portraits include Audrey Hepburn cycling around Paramount Studios, Marlon Brando taking out his rubbish and Elizabeth Taylor sunbathing on the set of Giants. A collection of his portraits, Hollywood at Home: A Family Album 1950-1965 was published by Crown in 1990.

During his later career, Avery moved into advertising and began to work with moving images, producing television commercials. Yet his vast archive remains one of the best records of early Hollywood. Avery died on 1st July 2002 in Los Angeles.