Home Celebrities Ron Galella, pioneer of the ‘paparazzi’ phenomenon, dies at 91

Ron Galella, pioneer of the ‘paparazzi’ phenomenon, dies at 91


The American photographer Rum Galellapioneer of the phenomenon ‘paparazzi‘ in the sixties, and author of some of the best-known snapshots of Jackie OnassisElizabeth Taylor Mick jagger or Sophia Lorenhas died at the age of 91 due to heart failure.

As reported today by US media, Galella (New York, 1931) died on Saturday at his home in Montville, New Jersey (United States) due to a heart problem. A death that leaves a hole in celebrity photography.

Galella portrayed characters like Jackie Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor, Mick Jagger, Sofía Loren or Marlon Brando, who in June 1973, after a chase through the Chinatown neighborhood in New York, hit him with a “right hand” that fractured his lower jaw and he broke six teeth, as he acknowledged to Efe when PhotoEspaña dedicated a retrospective to him in 2011.

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This incident caused a mythical photo some time later, in which Marlon Brando appears again and behind, with a baseball player helmet, Ron Galella, “just in case he missed another blow,” said the photographer himself.

For moments like this, and for his way of working in general, Galella admitted that he could be considered an “aggressive paparazzi”because he “stole” photos that celebrities didn’t want, “but by the time they realized it, I already had his photo”, he sneaked into parties and forged invitations to attend events in which they participated.

Among his list of celebrities are also Grace Kelly, Robert Redford or Warren Beatty, with whom he also managed to establish a friendly relationship.

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Regarding the so-called “stolen” photos, for Galella one of his favorites was the one he managed to capture of Jackie Onassis from the back window of a taxi on Madison Avenue. It was because she considered that it had the three basic qualities of the ‘paparazzi’ style: improvisation, catching the portrayed off guard and spontaneity.

Among the Spaniards portrayed by this photographer are Penélope Cruz, in June 2002 in New York, or Julio Iglesias, also in the city of skyscrapers but in 1982, on the occasion of Valentine’s Day.

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