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Sunday 31 August 2014

From Bardot to Bono: Terry O'Neill is home after clicking with stars

Georgina O'Halloran

Published 17/01/2013 | 05:00

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He has captured some of the most iconic showbusiness images, including this one of U2 frontman Bono. Now legendary photographer Terry O'Neill is holding an exhibition in his family homeplace of Cork
Amy Winehouse Portrait for the Sunday Timesby Terry O'Neill See Georgina O'Halloran story
London-born Terry O'Neill (74), his father hailed from Cork city.

HIS lens has captured some of the most famous faces in rock music. Now after 65 years the world-renowned photographer Terry O'Neill is returning to his family home of Cork.

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London-born O'Neill (74), whose father hailed from Cork city, has captured images of some of the biggest names in entertainment in a career spanning more than six decades.

He will open a major exhibition of his work in Cork next week and the Rolling Stones, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn and Bruce Springsteen will feature in the collection.

Images of Sean Connery on a ' James Bond' set and of French screen siren Brigitte Bardot smoking a cigar are among the other captivating portraits going on show.

Pictures of The Beatles, Elizabeth Taylor, and tragic singer Amy Winehouse will also be on display.

They will all go on public display at the CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery and at Cork City Hall. It will be the first time the legendary photographer has exhibited in Cork, but his father grew up on Blarney Street and O'Neill always felt the city was a home from home. O'Neill said he was delighted to be coming back to Cork, where he spent many happy summer holidays as a child.

"My parents took me there for every summer holiday. We used to stay at the top of Wyse's Hill and I used to look forward to it each year," he said. "They were fantastic holidays. I've always longed to go back and at last I have the chance."

O'Neill began his career in London as a press photographer in the 1960s.

He later worked in Hollywood where his subjects included Frank Sinatra, Paul Newman and Ava Gardner.

Recalling the Brigitte Bardot picture, which was shot on location in Spain in 1971, he said: "That was the last frame in a roll of 35 millimetre.

"The wind blew and I took the picture . . . I only had one crack at it and it turned out to be a stunner."

O'Neill has also photographed U2 frontman Bono, who he described as "truly fascinating".

He will attend the opening of the exhibition on January 24 at CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery and will host a book signing there on January 25.

Irish Independent

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