Henry Grossman, a photographer who was greatest identified for his formal portraits of celebrities and different public figures — however who additionally, much less famously, immortalized the Beatles on movie in 1000’s of unscripted antics whereas juggling a aspect profession as a Metropolitan Opera tenor and a Broadway bit participant — died on Nov. 27 in Englewood, N.J. He was 86.
His son, David, mentioned he died in a hospital a number of months after sustaining accidents in a fall.
Mr. Grossman produced paradigmatic portraits of Eleanor Roosevelt, Richard M. Nixon, Elizabeth Taylor, Martha Graham, Leontyne Worth, Leonard Bernstein and Nelson Mandela. He photographed new Metropolitan Opera productions for Time journal and was the official photographer for a lot of Broadway reveals.
His portraits of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson have been revealed on the entrance web page of The New York Instances on Nov. 23, 1963, accompanying the information that the younger president had been assassinated in Dallas and succeeded by his vice chairman the day earlier than.
Mr. Grossman’s sensitivity to classical portraiture’s interaction of shadow and lightweight was impressed by his father, the artist Elias M. Grossman, an immigrant from Russia whose etchings have been acquired by quite a few establishments, together with the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork.
By the point Henry graduated from Brandeis College in Massachusetts in 1958, he had compiled a formidable portfolio of portraits of visitor audio system on campus and pictures of stage productions there. His fledgling second profession as a singer would imbue him with an empathy for performers that helped him set up an uncommon bond with movie star topics.
He was solely 27 — barely older than the Beatles themselves — when he was commissioned by Life journal in 1964 to cowl the band’s American tv debut, on the favored CBS selection collection “The Ed Sullivan Present.”
Mr. Grossman photographed the hirsute quartet juxtaposed towards a jungle of tv cameras, amplifiers and different backstage impedimenta, and he shot from the balcony to seize their electrifying impact on the viewers. His inventive eye could be mirrored in an archive of some 7,000 photographs he would take of the Beatles over the following 4 years.
That only some dozen have been revealed and even printed on the time — most famously a 1967 portrait for Lifetime of the newly mustachioed band members — left different photographers (amongst them Robert Freeman, Dezo Hoffmann, Astrid Kirchherr, Jürgen Vollmer and Robert Whitaker) extra carefully related to the Beatles than Mr. Grossman was.
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