Inimitable photographer Terry O’Neill died yesterday aged 81, following a long battle with cancer. Throughout his remarkable career, which took off in the 1960s, O’Neill captured rock stars, royals and cultural icons such as David Bowie, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, The Rolling Stones and the Queen, creating a body of work which would become a defining portrait of the era. “As one of the most iconic photographers of the last 60 years, his legendary pictures will forever remain imprinted in our memories, as well as in our hearts and minds,” read a statement yesterday from his agency, Iconic Images. Speaking to Another Man in an interview held earlier this year, O’Neill recalled his encounters with David Bowie and other cultural figureheads he shot during the 1960s and 70s. “[Elton John, Frank Sinatra, and David Bowie] taught me a very similar lesson, and that was to stay out of the way,” the image-maker told us. “Sinatra told me to be a fly on the wall. I came in and did my job. I tried not to get involved, not to interrupt what they were doing, and I tried to capture something through my images. The fact that here they are, so many years later, and people want to see them and want to talk to me about my experiences, well, it’s a gift. And I’m really humbled to be asked.”
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