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Photographer Leo Fuchs dies at 80

Life, Look photographer shot celebs on set

Photographer and producer Leo Fuchs died Jan. 20 in Paris from complications of a long illness. He was 80.

Fuchs started as a magazine photographer who was often invited on set to photograph stars for magazines including Life, Look and Paris Match. Among the stars he shot were Paul Newman, Shirley MacLaine and Rock Hudson on the sets of films such as “Irma La Douce.”

While working with Hudson in Rome on “Come September,” he was invited by Universal to work on “Lover Come Back” with Hudson and Doris Day. He moved to Holllywood, where he photographed Universal films including “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Cape Fear,” “40 Pounds of Trouble,” “Strange Bedfellows” and “Bedtime Story.”

Universal Studios president Edward Muhl then persuaded Fuchs to try producing, and he worked again with MacLaine on his first project as a producer, “Gambit” also starring Michael Caine.

He went on to produce a total of 14 films in Hollywood and Europe, including “The Secret War of Harry Frigg” starring Paul Newman, “Love at the Top” starring Romy Schneider and Jane Birkin, and “A Fine Pair” with Rock Hudson and Claudia Cardinale.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held a retrospective of his photography work in Los Angeles in 2001.

Born in Vienna, Fuchs emigrated to New York with his family in 1939. He sold his first picture (of Eleanor Roosevelt) for $5 when he was barely a teenager, then quit school at 14 to apprentice at Globe Photos in New York. He struck out on his own two years later, working in Broadway nightclubs and as a glamour photographer for newspapers and magazines. After serving as a Signal Corps cameraman in Germany in the early ’50s, Fuchs stayed in Europe and was hired as a still photographer on his first film, “Magic Fire,” directed by William Dieterle.

He is survived by his son Alexandre, a photographer, producer and director.

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