Roger Marshutz, a photographer whose images of a young Elvis Presley reaching out to his fans, Marilyn Monroe at the height of her fame and other celebrity shots appeared in fan magazines, on posters and in movie publicity kits during the 1950s and '60s, has died. He was 78.
Marshutz died Dec. 15 at his home in Los Angeles of pancreatic cancer, his wife, Nancy, said.
Marshutz began working as a Hollywood photographer in the mid-1950s, taking pictures of the most famous actors of the day, including Rock Hudson, Audrey Hepburn and Paul Newman. At times, he was hired by movie studios to photograph actors for news kits promoting their latest movies. He also worked on assignment for Photoplay and other popular picture magazines.
One of his best known images shows Presley at an outdoor concert in Tupelo, Miss., in 1956, singing to a crowd and reaching for the hands closest to the stage. The photograph first appeared in Photoplay.
On another assignment for Photoplay in 1956, Marshutz photographed Monroe, wearing a black slip dress and long, sparkling earrings, her star power showing. By then she had appeared in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and "The Seven Year Itch," two of her most popular films.
Marshutz's photograph of actor Anthony Perkins shows the actor in shadows, riding a bicycle. It was taken in 1957, three years before Perkins played his most famous role as the shadowy Norman Bates in "Psycho."
On a typical day as a Hollywood photographer, "I'd go to somebody's house, like Natalie Wood's or Kim Novak's and spend an afternoon," Marshutz recalled in a 2003 interview with Los Angeles magazine. Other days he worked on a movie lot, snapping pictures of a film in production.
He got started as a photographer in the early 1950s during the Korean War. He served in the Army and was stationed in Pusan, working for the Army Pictorial Service. He documented U.S. military outreach services to the local community, and in his spare time, he wandered the city streets taking pictures of street vendors, shoeshine boys, schoolchildren and others. Some of the images were displayed in "Reconfiguring Korea," a 2006 exhibit at the Peabody Museum at Harvard University.
Along with his work as a Hollywood photographer through the 1960s, Marshutz worked as a commercial photographer for retailers, airline companies and other clients. He also took photos on his own of former gang members and homeless people as well as scenes in nature. He exhibited his work at several local galleries.
Marshutz was born in Los Angeles on Oct. 17, 1929. He attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo but did not graduate and later studied photography at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.
He was married three times. Along with his wife, Nancy, he is survived by two sons, one daughter, four stepchildren and several grandchildren.
Contributions in his name can be made to the Patty Boshell Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, 102 NE 2nd St., Suite 280, Boca Raton, FL 33432.