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Terry O'Neill: British photographer dies at 81



Photographer Terry O'NeillImage copyright
EPA

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British photographer Terry O'Neill poses in front of his work "Nelson Mandela at 90" in 2009

British photographer Terry O'Neill, whose work captured iconic images of London's Swinging Sixties, died.

Neill, 81, had prostate cancer and died at home Saturday night after a long illness, his agency said.

He photographed celebrities – including the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Elton John and the Queen – and received a CBE last month for photography services.

BBC Arts correspondent David Sillito said O'Neil's work helped define Swinging Sixties.

Born in London, O'Neill left school hoping to become a jazz drummer, but ended up working in a photographic unit at London's Heathrow Airport.

It was there that he captured then-Interior Secretary Rab Butler, immaculately dressed and sleeping on a bench.

The image helped O'Neill get a job as a newspaper photographer on Fleet Street, where he was assigned to capture the portrait of a new band – the Beatles.

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Terry O & Neill / Iconic Images

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& # 39; Neill photographed the Beatles in the backyard of Abbey Road Studios in London – it was one of the first professionally made portraits and helped make the photographer famous on his own.

After receiving his CBE at Buckingham Palace, O'Neill said the award "outperforms everything that has happened to me in my life."

He photographed the queen twice. In 2012, he revealed on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs how he made her smile during the second photo shoot in 1992 – a year described by the queen as an "annus horribilis" – telling a joke about horse racing.

"The second time was great," he said. "It was a bad year, as she said. And I made her laugh because I noticed the first time she laughed, she made a great photo."

Sir Elton John, whom O Neill has photographed on numerous occasions, was among those who paid tribute to the photographer. on twittersaying, "He was brilliant, funny and I absolutely loved his company."

Comedian and child author David Walliams called O'Neill "an enormous talent and an absolute gentleman" and said his death was the "end of an era".

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Terry O & Neill / Iconic Images

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Elton John described O'Neill as "bright and funny"

Iconic Images, the agency representing O'Neill's work, said he was "a classy, ​​insightful and charming act."

A spokesman added, "Anyone lucky enough to know or work with him can attest to his generosity and modesty.

"As one of the most iconic photographers of the last 60 years, your legendary images will forever remain imprinted in our memories and in our hearts."

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Terry O & Neill / Iconic Images

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& # 39; Neill captured this image of American actress Faye Dunaway the next day when she received her Best Network Actress Oscar in 1977 – the couple would get married six years later.

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Terry O & Neill / Iconic Images

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This sweeping image of David Bowie helped promote Diamond Dogs' 1974 album

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Terry O & Neill / Iconic Images

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& # 39; Neill said he told the queen a horse racing joke to induce that smile in this portrait taken in 1992, the second time he photographed it.

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Terry O & Neill / Iconic Images

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The Rolling Stones outside the Tin Pan Alley Club in London in 1963

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Terry O & Neill / Iconic Images

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Singer Amy Winehouse poses for a photo shoot during a concert in honor of Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday in Hyde Park, London

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Terry O & Neill / Iconic Images

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Actor Roger Moore as James Bond with Live and Let Die co-star Gloria Hendry (left) and Jane Seymour in 1973

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Terry O & Neill / Iconic Images

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Singer Frank Sinatra with his chaperones and his replacement (who is wearing identical clothing), arriving in Miami Beach while filming The Lady in Cement

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Terry O & Neill / Iconic Images

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British model Twiggy was among the famous faces of the London Swinging Sixties, photographed by O'Neill

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Terry O & Neill / Iconic Images

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Terry O'Neill photographs Laura Bush at the White House in 2001

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Terry O & Neill / Iconic Images

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Terry O'Neill (1938-2019)


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