August 14, 2022

Review and News

Underneath a Blanket of Stars

Hollywood photographer Sid Avery made a lifelong career out of catching the biggest and brightest...

Hollywood photographer Sid Avery made a lifelong career out of catching the biggest and brightest stars in their most unguarded and private moments. Avery’s images reveal how Hollywood royalty spent their time at home in leisure, including Sammy Davis Jr. playing the piano and Dean Martin leaning in to kiss his brood of mischievous children. Elsewhere, Paul Newman cooks up some breakfast while his wife Joanne Woodward plays with her dog. Click through to see the stunning images…

In Avery’s book, The Art of the Hollywood Snapshot, he offers intimate moments, like the one above of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward photographed at home in Beverly Hills in 1958. Newman had a decades-long career that included films like Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and The Sting. He won an Oscar for his performance in the 1986 film The Color of Money. Newman and Woodward, a well-known and award-winning actress, were married for 50 years until his death at the age of 83 on September 26, 2008 

Here, Marlon Brando was photographed in his Beverly Glen home for the Saturday Evening Post article, The Star Who Sneers at Hollywood, published on June 6, 1953. Brando had been acting for years when he gained attention for his turn as Stanley Kowalski in the 1951 film adaption of the Tennessee Williams play, A Streetcar Named Desire. He went on to have a successful career as an actor for six decades and is known for roles in movie juggernauts such as The Godfather. Brando died at the age of 80 on July 1, 2004.

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His name became synonymous with cool. Sammy Davis Jr.’s showbiz career began in vaudeville when he was a child. He then conquered the clubs and Broadway, and was a member of the Rat Pack, which starred in the 1960 classic Ocean’s 11. He hosted his own revue, The Sammy Davis Jr. Show, and had hits like The Candy Man. He died at the age of 64 on May 16, 1990. Pictured: The talented singer and actor playing the piano inside his Hollywood Hills home.

Here, Kirk Douglas is photographed at his home in Beverly Hills with his wife, Anne, and their sons, Peter and Eric, for the Saturday Evening Post article, My Awful Wedded Husband, which was published on November 24, 1962. When Hollywood mourned Douglas on his death on February 5, 2020, at the age of 103, the tributes poured in for the leading man who starred in approximately 60 feature films. Douglas was known for the 1960 hit Spartacus, and he was married to his second wife, Anne Buydens, for over 65 years. With his first wife, Diana, he had two sons: Joel and famous actor Michael Douglas.

Screen legend Humphrey Bogart was photographed at home at home with his wife, Lauren Bacall, and son, Stephen, for the Saturday Evening Post article, The Adventures of Humphrey Bogart, published on August 2, 1952. Bacall was 19 years old when she made her film debut in 1944’s To Have and Have Not. That’s also where she met fellow actor and star, Humphrey Bogart, and the two married in 1945. Bacall starred in many films, including 1953’s How to Marry a Millionaire with Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable. The couple were married until Bogart’s death at the age of 57 on January 14, 1957. Bacall died at the age of 89 on August 12, 2014.

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Deana Martin, daughter of the Rat Pack impresario, fondly recalled Avery’s visits to her family home in Beverly Hills as a child: ‘We were all nervous, but soon found ourselves feeling at ease with Sid, he even had a sense of humor that equaled my father’s.’ She added: ‘It didn’t take long for us to feel comfortable and safe through the lens of Sid Avery’s world’. Pictured: Dean Martin surrounded by his family at his Brentwood home.

Zsa Zsa Gabor was photographed by Sid with her tiny Yorkshire terriers at her lavish Bel Air home for the Saturday Evening Post article, I Call On Zsa Zsa Gabor, which was published on September 13, 1958. Zsa Zsa and her two sisters, Magda and Eva, were born in Hungary and moved to Hollywood after WWII to pursue a career in acting. Their claim to fame beyond the silver screen was their many marriages – there were 20 between the three sisters. Zsa Zsa and her sister, Magda, both married the English actor George Sanders separately.

Ernest Borgnine was photographed chopping food in his humble Los Angeles kitchen for the Saturday Evening Post article titled: He Gets $150,000 a Year for Being Mean. Borgnine’s career spanned over six decades, and he was known for his gruff voice and beloved for his mischievous gap-toothed grin.

Anthony Perkins was 28 years old when Avery photographed him in his mid-century Los Angeles living room in 1960. It was the same year that he starred in his breakout role as Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.

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Here, Steve McQueen is seen inside his Hollywood Hills home on Solar Drive with his wife, Neile Adams, in 1961. Adams said that, from the moment they met in 1956, ‘the attraction was instant.’ The couple was married for 16 years and had two children, but they eventually divorced over McQueen’s persistent infidelity and womanizing. The final straw was his affair with Ali MacGraw, whom he later married.


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