Laszlo Willinger was born in Budapest, Hungry, in April of 1909. He became a photographer, most noted for his portrait photography of movie starts and celebrities of the 1930s and 1940s. Taught photography by his mother, also a photographer, Willinger established photographic studios in Paris and Berlin in 1929 and 1931. During this time he submitted his photographs to various newspapers as a freelance contributor. He left Berlin in 1933 when Adolf Hitler became Chancellor, and settled in Vienna where he began to photograph celebrities such as Marlene Dietrich, Hedy Lamarr, Max Reinhardt, and Sigmund Freud, among others. After establishing a studio in Hollywood, California, Willinger became a frequent contributor to magazines and periodicals, providing magazine cover portraits of some of the most popular stars. Willinger was one of the first Hollywood photographers to experiment in the use of color.
Laszlo Willinger was also a photographer in Norma Jeane’s early modeling career. Willinger was not the most complimentary person, as even after Norma Jeane became famous, as Marilyn Monroe, he said of her “Marilyn Monroe is not a raving beauty, and her legs are too short for the rest of her.”
Perhaps his best known Marilyn shot is a calendar photo of Norma Jeane as she was still known, in a gold bathing suit. He was responsible for many of her early magazine covers. In 1986 he told LA Style magazine that Marilyn responded to his inquiry as to why she had such chemistry with the camera, by answering, “It’s like being screwed by a thousand guys and you can’t get pregnant.”
As another testament to the personality of Mr. Willinger, in later years, shortly before his death, Willinger had been accused of stalking some celebrities of the time, including Charlie Chaplin. An investigation into the matter led to the uncovering of thousands of personal pictures of the male comedy star. He committed suicide shortly after the accusations. However, his portraits have become collectible and are appreciated as fine art.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]
“She had a talent to make people feel sorry for her, and she exploited it to the best of her ability – even people who had been around and knew models fell for this ‘Help Me’ pose.“- Laszlo Willinger[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]