Home' South Florida Gay News : SFGN 010616 Contents 01.06.2016 • 47
Bob Deutsch was just a teen when he first
attended the filming of a television show
in Manhattan in the early 1960s, but the
experience would send him into a photography
career surrounded by the biggest names in stage,
television and film.
His photographs of these iconic personalities
are the subject of a new exhibit, “Star Struck,”
opening at the Stonewall Museum Wilton
Manors Gallery this week.
Deutsch was 16 and living in Queens when
a cousin who worked for CBS gave him tickets
to “The Garry Moore Show,” featuring a young
“TV show tapings were free and because I
liked them so much, I began sending away for
tickets,” recalled Deutsch.
He collected autographs from many of the
stars, but it was an encounter with Marilyn
Monroe at Madison Square Garden that would
send him on a career as a celebrity photographer.
Monroe was attending a 1962 salute to President
John Kennedy and Deutsch spotted her getting
out of her limousine, but she declined to sign his
autograph book. That’s when he “went out and
got a camera.”
In those days, it was easier to get close to the
stars. He would attend the performances and
then hang around outside the studios, theater
stage doors or even their hotels.
“We chatted and got friendly,” he said,
capturing shots of Burnett, Elizabeth Taylor,
Barbra Streisand, Natalie Wood and Jane Fonda.
Burnett would let him carry her bag from the
studio to her hotel after her television shows.
Deutsch was invited to photograph Robert
Goulet’s wedding and struck a friendship with
Vivien Leigh, who was starring in “Tavarisch” on
Broadway. Leigh invited him back to her dressing
room several times and when the actress went
back to London, they continued corresponding
It was all a hobby, however, until 1970,
when Deutsch started selling his photographs
to newspapers and magazines. He eventually
went to work for Newsweek, where he worked
He became a regular at the famed Studio 54
nightclub, capturing the celebrities who came
to see and be seen.
“It was such a great rush to walk past all
those people (waiting) in the line to get in,” he
said. “But, I guarantee you, I didn’t have as a
good a time as the people who were dancing.”
Deutsch is now a resident of Fort Lauderdale
where he resides with his husband, but at
the time, his parents owned an apartment
in Miami and his visits to Florida frequently
He was among the last to photograph Elvis
Presley who performed at the long-gone
Hollywood Sportatorium. Deutsch had a
$15 front row ticket and shot pictures of the
singer, who was overweight and obviously in
declining health. The pictures were published in
Newsweek and outlets across Europe. Some of
his images occasionally resurface in the tabloids,
earning Deutsch residuals.
“When I go to Publix, I always go through the
magazines,” he said.
Deutsch was also assigned to cover Elizabeth
Taylor’s 1981 pre-Broadway, out-of-town tryout
of “Little Foxes” at the Parker Playhouse in
Fort Lauderdale, one of his fondest celebrity
encounters. He photographed the first run-
through in an empty theaters, “a wonderful
“When it was all over, they called me up on
stage and asked me how I wanted (Taylor) to
pose. As I was doing it, I was saying to myself, I’m
actually directing Elizabeth Taylor,” he recalled.
The publicist was so thrilled with the images,
Deutsch was invited to photograph the opening
night party and presented with tickets later to
the Broadway opening.
Eventually, the long hours and late nights got
to Deutsch and he called it quits in 1983. Instead,
he became a very successful real estate agent in
Brooklyn, choosing not to speak of his previous
career, except for one party at his apartment
when he pulled slides from his closet.
Years later, his friend, Tony Timiraos, former
executive director of Our Fund, introduced him
to Stonewall National Museum and Archives
executive David Jobin, and suggested an exhibit
of his photographs. It’s been more than a year,
but 32 photographs and some mementos have
finally been assembled with the help of exhibit
curator Charles Ross.
More than three decades later, Deutsch has
fond memories of the experiences and the
relationships he struck with those stars, but
would never considering resuming his career.
everybody has a camera on their phones. When
I was a photographer it was all film and prints
and my cameras were too heavy even back then.
I can’t imagine all the pushing and shoving and
PhotogrAPhy exhibit celebrAtes gAy icons,
“Star Struck: Vintage Portraits of Gay
Favorites” with photography by Bob Deutsch will
be on display Jan. 7 – Feb. 14 at the Stonewall
Museum – Wilton Manors Gallery, 2157 Wilton
Dr. For more information and gallery hours, go
Interest FREE Financing Available! *
Find all you need
to begin the Year with fabulous style at
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