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A beautiful eye: remembering superstar photographer Francesco Scavullo, who helped to define an era.

When Francesco Scavullo died of heart failure on January 6 at 82, he was minutes away from a photo shoot of CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, a rising star at the network who had caught the legendary fashion photographer's eye. Scavullo's partner of over 30 years, Sean Byrnes, had also arranged for Cooper's mother, style maven Gloria Vanderbilt, to attend the shoot. "He'd mentioned to me that he'd photographed her when they were young ... for Town & Country," Brynes says.

It was classic Scavullo--always in tune with the new but still in touch with his roots. Best known for lensing Cosmopolitan's covers from 1965 through 1995, the Staten Island-born Scavullo captured with his camera practically every celebrity worth knowing: Andy Warhol, Madonna, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Grace Kelly, Muhammad Ali, Elizabeth Taylor, Brad Pitt, Paul Newman, Cindy Crawford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cher, Mick Jagger, Gore Vidal, Janis Joplin the list goes on and on.

One of Scavullo's closest relationships was with Gia Carangi, the iconoclastic lesbian model who died of AIDS complications in the mid 1980s. "It was like working with a wild young horse.... Once I got used to working with her, she spoiled me," he said of Gia in an interview with Miamigo magazine.

He reportedly discovered Brooke Shields when sire was 11 months old. He convinced Diana Ross to go sans make-up for the cover of her 1980 album Diana. His work appeared on the cover of Time, Rolling Stone, and Vogue, and he published several books, from 1976's Scavullo on Beauty to 2000's Scavullo Nudes. Quite simply, Scavullo defined--and dominated--fashion photography for over 40 years. How did he do it?

"He loved beauty, and people and children, dogs, flowers, cats--you name it, he loved beauty," Byrnes fondly recalls. "He strived for beauty all the time." Vary also writes for Entertainment Weekly.

Vary also writes for Entertainment Weekly.
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Title Annotation:in memoriam
Author:Vary, Adam B.
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 17, 2004
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