The personal shutterbug for Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton shares his behind-the-scenes impression of an age of glamour long gone.
As Bozzacchi (Elizabeth Taylor: The Queen and I, 2002) acknowledges, decades after the photos on which he built his reputation, “even if I got elected President of the United States, I’d still be remembered as the man who was once Elizabeth Taylor’s personal photographer.” He gives his readers what he knows they want: lot of photos of the star he knew as “Baby Boobs,” numerous anecdotes of the tempestuous couple (the author tried in vain to keep pace with Burton’s drinking), and some hit-and-run impressions of others who came into his orbit, often because he was in the famous couple’s orbit. Bozzacchi shot an official portrait of Princess Grace Kelly and her royal family as well as plenty of photos of her more casually posed (and shared here), largely because she had been so impressed with the way in which he captured the many dimensions of Elizabeth Taylor (who wrote the foreword to this book shortly before her death) and humanized her in the process. The author writes of the difficulties of shooting Picasso, of Al Pacino’s shyness, of his encounters with everyone from Rock Hudson to John Wayne to Elvis Presley to Raquel Welch (who may well have had a fling with Burton, though at least one of them was too drunk to remember). He insists that the famous cover of the Beatles crossing Abbey Road was his idea and that the band then took it to another photographer and that he recognized the potential in Rocky when it was still a screenplay. He also addresses the end of an era, as glossy magazines that prized beauty gave way to a thirst for scandal and photos that captured celebrities at less than their best.
A light entertainment.