The man who took that stunning portrait of Carole Lombard is the subject of today's entry. His name is Clarence Sinclair Bull, and while we've written about him before (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/150919.html), today we have a completely different angle on him.
Why? Because it concerns something he wrote himself (or had ghosted for him), as he substituted for vacationing columnist Hedda Hopper on July 2, 1939. (This comes from a fine thread reviewing 1939 day by day at the "Your Favorites" segment of the Turner Classic Movies message boards, http://forums.tcm.com/thread.jspa?threadID=157427&tstart=0&start=0.)
Some fine anecdotes and thoughtful commentary from a photographer whose work at MGM predated MGM. (He began with Metro Pictures, one of the triumvirate of firms that eventually formed the Culver City colossus, in 1918.)
Here's Bull's most famous subject, Greta Garbo:
And while Bull said he made all of Garbo's portraits, that's a slight exaggeration. In 1930, she worked with George Hurrell for the first and, as it turned out, the only time. Their styles simply didn't match. But when Hurrell tripped over some equipment, it elicited a smile from Greta, and he wound up with this atypical photo of her:
Nine years before "Ninotchka," Garbo laughs? Not quite. But Garbo grins, something at odds with her persona at the time. (From the Pancho Barnes Trust Estate Archive, via http://www.deepglamour.net.)