Controversial Photographer Garry Gross Dies At 73

December 8, 2010 /PN/ Garry Gross, a photographer best known for his 1970s nude images of Brooke Shields, taken when she was 10 years old, has died on November 30 in Manhattan, his sister said Tuesday. He was 73.

He died of natural causes, his sister, Linda Gross, said.

Gross was born in New York City on Nov. 6, 1937. After college, he studied under photographers Francesco Scavullo, Lisette Model and Richard Avedon.

Gross was the author of a controversial set of nude images taken in 1975 of a then ten-year-old Brooke Shields with the consent of her mother, Teri Shields, for the Playboy publication Sugar 'n' Spice. The images portray Shields nude, standing and sitting in a bathtub, wearing makeup and covered in oil, with two of the images being full-frontal. Mother and daughter received a total of $450 for the shoot.

In 1981 Shields attempted to prevent further use of the photographs but in 1983 a US Court ruled that a child is bound by the terms of the valid, unrestricted consents to the use of photographs executed by a guardian and that the image did not breach child pornography laws.

Though Garry Gross earned his reputation as a celebrity image-maker, in 2002 he switched careers and became certified as a dog trainer.

In addition to his sister, Garry Gross is survived by a brother, Steve. 


  1. Tatiana says

    I think this is repulsive, and whomever that photographer was, he was i'm sure a sick person with a flair for pedophilia all hidden inside!!! It wouldn't be any normal to consider photos of a 10 year old kid in a shooting session like that
    as "artistic"! I mean this is an exceptional situation and the eye and mind together can't perceive ART; but rather think of him as a corrupted brain searching only for self-satisfaction and shock!

    'Dog trainer' should have been enough for him..

    Unknown says

    I agree - its sick and those photos should have been prevented from further use by the courts and both him and her mother should have been brought up on charges!

    Beth Schiffer says

    I was a good friend of Garry's, and he was neither sick nor perverted. He was actually a very kind and spiritual man. Back in the 70's, very young girls were dressed and made up to look like women on covers of fashion magazines. Garry found it interesting that with some make up these children could actually look like adults. He observed that there is a women maturing in theses young girls. The series is called "The Women in the Child" The advertisements I see today, are so much more provocative then those photo's. I see huge billboards with one girl and five boys, all teenagers with zippers down, all touching one another.

    I do agree, that little girls should not be photographed nude, but for a different reason. I believe a parent does not have the right to make that decision for her child. What I love about Garry's photo's is that they changed the law. I own the lab in NYC and I personally printed the exhibition that Garry had at Manhattan's American Fine Arts Gallery, September 10th, 1998. I am a mother of 2 , and at the time my daughter was just two. Garry had waited until Brooke was an adult and married, before having his show . He did tell me that he regretted trying to sell the photographs while she was still a young women.

    Those photo's are so important historically., They are the photo's that got he attention needed to change the law that now protects children from being exploited in this way. The Gallery was filled with transcripts from the court case. Brooke had only decided to sue Garry when she started her film career , which started with PRETTY BABY and BLUE LAGOON. The story I heard, was that Brooke Shields was cast in those parts, because of Garry's photo's. Those parts weren't exactly innocent. Why didn't she sue them too? I don't think that would have helped her film and television career. She, meanwhile, destroyed Garry's career. Garry offered to sell her all the originals and reproductions he had. Why didn't she just buy them? She could afford it! I think it's because you can't buy publicity like this for all the money in the world. Poor, poor Brooke...I wonder if she would do it all over again!

    If you're looking for a villain, and I believe there is one...look at Teri Shields, Brooke's mother. There are a million Teri Shield's out there, that would be glad to sell out their children for fame and fortune.Thank God that these photo's prevented them from doing it legally, though unfortunately in one way or another children are still being exploited by their parents and the media, every single day!

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