Brian Duffy, The Man Who Shot the 60s, Dies

The photographer Brian Duffy, whose images captured the spirit of the 1960s, has died following a battle with lung disease aged 76.

Photography News,, Diana Topan, Brian Duffy, 1960s photographs, celebrity photographer, photographer's death, David Bowie, celebrity deathKnown to friends and colleagues by his surname alone, Duffy made his name in fashion photography, beginning his career at Vogue magazine, before moving to the Getty picture agency, and became one of only a few photographers to have shot two Pirelli calendars.

Duffy, together with David Bailey and Terence Donovan, formed the trinity of photographers who became as famous as the models, musicians and film stars they worked with.

Bailey, 72, referred to his late colleague’s reputation for grumpiness as he paid tribute to him yesterday. “I will deeply miss arguing with him,” he said.

In 1967, together with the novelist Len Deighton, he set up the film production company Deighton Duffy, which produced the film adaptation of Deighton’s Only When I Larf in 1968 starring Richard Attenborough and Oh! What a Lovely War in 1969 with Corin Redgrave.

Apart from Vogue, Duffy also worked for publications including Glamour, Esquire, Town Magazine, Queen Magazine as well as The Observer, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. He also worked on contract for French Elle for two periods the first between 1963 and 1968, and the second between 1971 and 1979.

His work also spanned reportage and advertising, including two award-winning campaigns for Benson & Hedges and Smirnoff in the 1970s.

Among Duffy's most famous images was his shot of David Bowie for the cover of the Aladdin Sane album, released in 1973.

In 1979 Duffy decided to give up photography, burning many of his negatives, though some were saved from the fire when the council objected to the smoke. Although a large amount of his images have been lost, the ones that remain stand collectively as a comprehensive visual history of twenty-five years of British culture and fashion.

In 2009, at the behest of his son, Chris, Duffy resumed work as a photographer and shot images of people he had photographed in the 1960s and '70s. The story of his early career and comeback is documented in a BBC documentary shown in January 2010 titled The Man Who Shot the 60s.

Duffy died on 31 May 2010, after suffering from a degenerative lung disease. He is survived by his wife, June, whom he married in 1956, and his four children.

Diana Topan


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