Terry O’Neill

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Terry O'Neill photographed the most notable figures in film, fashion and music that defined the second half of the twentieth century, including The Beatles, Audrey Hepburn, David Bowie and Brigitte Bardot.

Terry O’Neill Prints

Artist Biography

Terry O’Neill

United Kingdom

B. 1938 – 2019


Terry O’Neill was born in London in 1938. O’Neill started his career working in a photography unit at London’s Heathrow Airport. In 1959 he was employed by The Daily Sketch, a British tabloid newspaper, where he began taking professional portraits. O’Neill’s work has been featured on the cover of albums, film posters, and magazines, featuring a number of pop culture icons and politicians, to members of the royal family.

Beginning his career at the start of the 1960’s, Terry O’Neill focused his lens on youth culture, film, music and fashion, capturing the frontline of fame for over six decades. Photographing icons such as The Beatles, David Bowie, Elton John, Twiggy and The Rolling Stones, O’Neill quickly developed a reputation as the defining photographer of the ‘Swinging Sixties’. Continuing to work closely with stars throughout the following decades, O’Neill’s photographs became popular covers of international magazines and newspapers such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, and The Sunday Times.

Terry O Neill and Charlotte Rampling, October 1988

O’Neill’s work is exclusively held in The National Portrait Gallery’s collection in London, where they look after 77 of his prints. He has received a number of awards and honours, including a Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship at the Royal Photographic Society, and a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 2019 for his services to photography. He has been the subject of artistic literature including Bowie by O’Neill: The Definitive Collection with Unseen Images published in 2019l, and Sinatra: Frank and Friendly- A Unique Photographic Memoir of a Legend published in 2007. He died in 2019.


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