Revisiting...The Hollywood Publicity Photo

One of the things I really miss (although I will admit its current absence makes me appeciate the old photos all the more) is the Hollywood publicity photo.  Back in the days when the studios reigned, they had the best photographers on-staff to take photos of the stars in various settings, looking their best, completely glammed out and gorgeous.  Shots that captured the essence of what the studios was promoting in that star.  While some of these photographers still exist- Annie Leibowitz being the most famous, these photos have been taken over by the multitudinous candids of the stars looking like ordinary folks.  George Hurrell was one of the best in his day, and is certainly the most well known today, but others like Clarence Sinclair Bull, and Laszlo Willinger did some amazing work as well.  For fans of some of the more modern stars there was a wonderful book of photographs by Us Magazine, Outrageous

In addition to more commonplace publicity shots were shots that promoted a particular star in Holiday themed poses.  They are so kitchy and wonderful, and amp up my enjoyment of the holidays by bringing a little old Hollywood glamour to the festivities.  Here are some for your enjoyment...

The "Our Gang" cast celebrates
Judy and Mickey
 Esther Williams and friend

 Not all of the photos were particularly artful.  Some were just straightforward shots of the star in a signature look, posed next to a turkey, like the above photo with Esther Williams in a bathing suit (but of course) and the shot below with dancer Vera Ellen, of White Christmas fame.
Vera Ellen with toe shoes and turkey
Marilyn Monroe
Judy Garland
Alfred Hitchcock
Yet another shot of Judy
(note she is wearing her Dorothy costume beneath the apron)
And A final shot of ole Joots
Of course, the publicity departments went crazy at Christmas time, so when we get closer to mid-December I hope to feature more of these shots.

Joe Hartman