Hollywood stars seen in new light of uncovered photographs

Pictures by George Douglas/PA Wire

Pictures by George Douglas/PA Wire

Pictures by George Douglas/PA Wire

First published in News

Glamorous pics of frolicking Hollywood stars found in a dusty old filing cabinet are to be exhibited for the first time.

Thousands of images, including of stars Audrey Hepburn and Dirk Bogarde, taken by photographer George Douglas were discovered at his Brighton home.

The shock discovery was made by neighbour and fellow photographer Roger Bamber, who inherited the property following his friend's death.

The negatives, which had not seen the light of day for years, include images from the 1940s to the 1960s of Gary Cooper, former US president Harry Truman, Roger Moore and Peter Sellers.

Mr Douglas, was born in Rottingdean but moved to Dallas, Texas, in 1939, and initially trained in aeronautical design engineering before turning his hand to photography.

He was nicknamed Speedy George because of his fast-paced work ethic during his long association with Picture Post magazine.

Thirty pictures from the archive will go on display at Mr Douglas's former home in Sillwood Road as part of the Artists Open Houses festival in May.

Despite his glamorous lifestyle, he would return to Brighton for his summer holidays and he retired to live in his house full-time in 2007 until his death in December 2010 at the age of 88.

Photographer Nigel Swallow, who is now living in the property, said he is expecting it to take him at least a year for himself and Mr Bamber to sort through the photographs, and that he has taken advice as to how it can be properly archived.

Mr Swallow said: "It's something that should be taken very good care of and I am chuffed that I have been asked to look after the archive.

"The first priority is making sure we preserve George's work."

Mr Bamber said his work caught the eye of the Beatles although the subsequent work with one of the biggest bands on the planet did not appeal to him.

He said: "In 1964, the Beatles asked him to become their photographer on the set of A Hard Day's Night.

"Paul McCartney had been impressed by George's portraits of his then girlfriend Jane Asher; but two weeks at the Twickenham Studios besieged by screaming teenagers was enough to persuade George that he was not cut out for pop photography."

Full listings for the Artists Open Houses can be found at www.aoh.org.uk.

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