Scavullo, Fashion Photog, Dead

From left, Stephanie Kercher, sister, right, and Arline Kercher, mother of slain British student Meredith Kercher walk outside an hotel at the end of a press conference in Perugia, Italy, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. The family of Meredith Kercher said they were pleased with the murder conviction of American student Amanda Knox but said there was no sense of celebration. A jury in Italy convicted Amanda Knox of murdering her British roommate Meredith Kercher and sentenced her to 26 years in prison shortly after midnight Saturday. Her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito was also convicted and sentenced to 25 years. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno) AP Photo

Fashion photographer Francesco Scavullo, who shot covers for Cosmopolitan magazine for more than 30 years, died Tuesday morning of heart failure, his companion said. He was 82.

Scavullo was preparing for an assignment when he complained of feeling weak, and then collapsed, Sean Byrnes said.

Known for works ranging from enamel-on-canvas photo silkscreens to portraits of celebrities such as Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor, Scavullo was also recognized for his photographs of children. One of the most famous was his 1975 portrait of a young Brooke Shields.

Byrnes said his partner's work was guided by his love of beauty and children - themes Scavullo himself cited in a 1985 interview with The Associated Press.

"I have a passion for taking pictures of beautiful women," he said in the interview. "I was fascinated when my mother got done up. My mother made the transformation from Cinderella every day of her life."

Born Jan. 16, 1921, on Staten Island, Scavullo was one of five children whose father owned the old Central Park Casino. As a youth he got a job assisting the fashion photographer, Horst, and learned much of his craft from him.

He later worked for Vogue and Seventeen magazines before launching a lucrative and lengthy career that included photographing covers for Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar and other magazines. At the peak of his career he commanded as much as $10,000 a sitting.

But Scavullo was most known for the photos he did for Cosmopolitan. He said the pictures eclipsed the rest of his work.

"It became an icon, and I became very famous because of the cover," Scavullo said in a biography on his Web site. "Everybody knew the Cosmo girl, and everybody wanted to be the Cosmo girl."

Album cover photographs Scavullo took include those for Diana Ross' "Diana," showing her with wet hair, a wet T-shirt and no makeup, and Edgar Winter's "They Only Come Out at Night," the first rock 'n' roll cover with full drag makeup, according to his Web site.

Etheleen Staley, director of the Staley-Wise Gallery in Manhattan, which handled Scavullo's work, remembered the photographer as a hard worker connected with the New York social elite.

"He really did high-quality work, and he got to be famous as a personality because he was tied in with the Studio 54 crowd, like Halston and Liza Minelli," she said.

Scavullo had been preparing for an exhibit in Miami at the end of the month and was working on a limited-edition series of portfolios.


By Madison J. Gray By Madison J. Gray
  • Francie Grace

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.