Sexy screen sirens in pictures

by LUKE LEITCH, Evening Standard

They are some of the most beautiful, glamorous and sensual women ever to have been photographed.

Captured in their glowing prime, Elizabeth Taylor, Brigitte Bardot and Jane Fonda are among the stars of a new London exhibition honouring the sexiest screen heroines of all time.

Opening this Thursday at the Photographers' Gallery, Lipstick Legends will show some of the most alluring work by two star photographers: American Burt Glinn and Briton David Hurn.

Glinn's shots of Elizabeth Taylor were taken during the filming of Suddenly, Last Summer in 1959. "Elizabeth had a problem," he said. "She had just married Eddie Fisher and everyone was after them.

"Fortunately we got along pretty well, and even though everyone wanted me to do pictures that were intrusive on their personal life I just wasn't interested."

The other images in Lipstick Legends were taken by fellow Magnum photographer David Hurn.

He was responsible for the iconic pictures of Jane Fonda during the filming of her 1968 sci-fi classic,

Barbarella. He said: "I was asked to fly over to Rome and work on the shoot.

"We became incredibly good friends and I ended up moving in with Jane and her then husband, director Roger Vadim."

Photographers today can only dream of such access but the Sixties were a more trusting age.

The Barbarella shots made the covers of over 100 magazines around the world - including Newsweek and Life in the same week.

"Jane was so bright, and so easy to work with," said Hurn. "Her body was so lithe, and she could do all these strange poses."

Recalling these very glamorous assignments, Glinn said: "Twiggy was particularly interesting. She was just a child, really - but she was totally natural in front of the camera. I think the pictures are far more hers than mine."

His wonderful shot of Brigitte Bardot sitting in front of some bongo drummers was taken in St Tropez.

Glinn said: "We got a little friendly with her guy, Sacha Distel, and he just said, 'We will be at this nightclub at a certain time' - so we just got there and set up."

Both Glinn and Hurn are well known for their reportage photography - but this show will focus on the rare occasions they pointed their lenses at some of the most beautiful and compelling women of the age.

Gloria Swanson, Judy Holliday, Sophia Loren, Liza Minnelli and Marilyn Monroe are also featured.

All the works in Lipstick Legends, which runs from 26 June to 30 August at the Photographers' Gallery in Great Newport Street, are for sale.

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