Helen Morgan, a Life magazine photojournalist and publicist for movie stars of Hollywood’s golden age, died of pneumonia Wednesday in L.A. She was 80.
Morgan, the only journalist invited to Rita Hayworth’s celebrated wedding to Prince Aly Khan, later became press agent to such stars as Maureen O’Hara, Judy Holliday, Yvonne DeCarlo and Eva Gabor.
She learned to shoot photos at her brother’s camera shop and met celebrities at the store. She also met two photographers — Alfred Eisenstadt and Peter Stackpole — who urged her to work for Life.
She freelanced for Life at a Democratic National Convention and helped open a Life bureau in Los Angeles in 1938. She remained there until 1948 when she was hired by Columbia Pictures’ Harry Cohen to handle magazine publicity for Hayworth and Holliday.
In 1949, Morgan moved to New York and opened a public relations firm with Aileen Brennan. She later opened a West Coast branch of her firm in L.A.
Survivors include two brothers, a stepdaughter, a stepson and two granddaughters.
The family asks that donations be made to the Helen Morgan Scholarship Fund of the Hollywood Press Club c/o Helen Norman, 19068 Santa Rita St., Tarzana, 91356.
Friends and family plan a memorial gathering in March.