Worth, Frank

Frank Worth (1923–2000) was an American photographer who befriended and photographed many Hollywood actors and actresses between 1939 and 1964. His black and white candid pictures are unusual for the era, when most stars limited themselves to carefully posed glamour portraits. He kept many of his photographs private so that they were not seen until after his death. He was rumored to have been intimate with several of his subjects including Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield; he confirmed his affair with Monroe shortly before his death.

Worth was born in New York City. He became interested in photography in high school. Moving to Hollywood, he was hired to photograph movie stars but quickly became a freelance photographer. He made friends with Rudy Vallee and his wife, who allowed him to live with them and introduced him to other stars. Among his early subjects was Rita Hayworth, then an unknown starlet. Worth became a friend of numerous well known actors and actresses including James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, James Cagney and Pat O’Brien. These friendships plus “a knack for being in the right place at the right time” allowed him to capture unique images of the stars. He was allowed onto the set of classic films such as Rebel Without A Cause and The Seven Year Itch. He filmed Elizabeth Taylor’s first wedding. He also did sports photography and was the original photographer for the Los Angeles Dodgers.