Famed Photographer Phil Stern passed away
Phil Stern, a photographer who made a career capturing images of war and Hollywood stars, died Saturday in a Los Angeles hospital. He was 95.
David Fahey, co-owner of Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles, which exhibited Stern's photos for more than 30 years, said the photographer died of congestive heart failure. He had been under treatment for several weeks.
Before making a name for himself as a photographer to the stars, Stern was a combat cameraman during World War II, a job that resulted in neck and arm injuries from shrapnel. He was eventually sent home due to complications from the injuries.
"His pictures of the invasion and its aftermath remain among the most outstanding documents in the annals of combat photography in any war, before or since," author and journalist Herbert Mitgang, a Stars and Stripes colleague, wrote in "Phil Stern: A Life's Work."
Stern was perhaps best known for his photos of Hollywood stars. He used the unusual method of capturing celebrities during candid moments instead of glamorizing them in the predominant style of the time.
"I was never interested in the glamour," Mr. Stern told in a 1993 interview. "I was interested in the tears and agony behind it."
But Stern was never one to call what he did an art.
"Matisse, I ain't," he would often say.
Earlier this year, in an interview he said that the only thing photographers could teach great artists "is how to make a reasonable color slide of their latest painting. We could do that pretty well, but I can't think of anything else we could teach them."
Stern is survived by his sons, Tom and Peter, and eight grandchildren.