Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A. L. Whitey Schafer

At Columbia Schaefer photographed Rita Hayworth for more than five years.  When he photographed her, she was still known as 'the girl down the street' in several movies.  The studio realized that Hayworth had the potential to become something dynamic, but they weren't sure if she would be their Ann Sheridan or their Hedy Lamarr.  Hayworth had the physical presence of Sheridan--her body's energy and thrust were American--but the facial expression--withdrawn, languid, enigmatic--was European.  Both strains are apparent but not yet connected.  But Hayworth emerged.  She is American vitality combined with European allure.  With Hayworth the studio broke through and created for the first time an American exotic--Wedekind's 'Lulu' without the final sting.

A. L. Whitey Schafer, who had been in the top position at Columbia, went on to replace Eugene Robert Richee at Paramount.  During Schafer's first years at Paramount he took most of Veronica Lake's portraits, and at the beginning of the next decade worked with many new stars, such as Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift when they made 'A Place in the Sun', before his death in 1951.

(Excellent article:  Popular Science Feb. 1943 Vol. 142 No. 2--get it on ebay or amazon if you can. It's an article on photography by him).

Here is a excellent link to the man and shows his 'most' famous photo:


Here are a sample of his great works of art:

Hedy Lamarr

Veronica Lake

Elizabeth Taylor

Rita Hayworth

Loretta Young

Marlene Dietrich

Joan Crawford

Dietrich again

Constance Bennett

Lucille Ball

Fay Wray: top and bottom

Maureen O'Sullivan

Shirley Temple

Back of Temple photo showing his famous stamp.

A different stamp

Whitey smiling at work with some sexy legs.

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