Laszlo Willinger

Laszlo Willinger was born in Hungary in 1909. He grew up surrounded by art and photography as his mother was a professional photographer who shared her passion with her son at a very early age. Willinger learned everything he knew about the art of photography from his mother and in 1929 he decided to move to Paris and then Berlin where he worked as a freelance photographer for many newspapers and magazines. Following Hitler’s rise to political power, Willinger moved to Vienna where he had the chance to take photos of already famous people, among which was Sigmund Freud.

Laszlo Willinger soon decided to move to Hollywood where he successfully established a studio. He was one of the very first photographers who decided to separate himself from black and white photos and had the courage to experiment with color, which turned out to be a winning and selling point in his career. In fact, he soon reached fame and prestige as the photographer of Hollywood movie stars. His close-ups of a golden-era movie stars like Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, and Fred Astaire became widely popular and well-known all over the world. However, his most intricate and heartfelt work was his photo sessions with Marilyn Monroe, whom he had the chance to meet and photograph ever since starting her career as a model when she was still known as Norma Jeane.

Willinger's portraits captured the glamour of Hollywood and its most famous stars, turning their images into icons of the era.