"Stars Thru My Lens"
Photographer Bob Deutsch
Photographer Bob Deutsch began shooting
photos of movie stars in the 1960s. As a resident of New York
City, he was able to get up close and personal with many stars
by hanging around Broadway Theatres. He later began freelancing
for Time, Newsweek and People magazines. He also was invited to
many star-studded parties and spent many evenings at Studio 54.
His exhibit, "Stars Thru My Lens" includes photos from this time
period with shots of Barbra Streisand, Carol Burnett, Bette
Midler, Tony Danza, Kevin Bacon, Liz Taylor and many more.
“Stars Thru My Lens” will be on exhibit through December. There
is a ‘Meet the Artist’ reception this Friday, Nov. 19, from 7
p.m. to 9 p.m. at
Dennis Dean Galleries located at 2440-B Wilton Drive,
Wilton Manors. Bob talked with Mark Magazine about his
upcoming exhibit and career in photography.
MARK: When did you first realize that you
wanted to be a photographer capturing movie stars? What was so
appealing to you about shooting celebrities?
BOB DEUTSCH: I started going to television
shows in New York when I was 14 years old. They were and are
free to attend. At that time, I started getting autographs of
the stars I would see, but I soon realized that a signature on a
piece of paper wasn't what I wanted. I bought myself an
inexpensive camera and started asking stars to pose for me. Ever
since I was a teenager, it was fairly easy to get close to these
inspired you to finally display your photography in an exhibit
and why did it take so long?
I stopped my photography career in the early
1980's and went on to become a real estate broker for the next
25 years. Since then, these photos have been in files in my
closet. I have had a few slide shows for friends and people kept
telling me that I must do something with these valuable
pictures. I went to Dennis Dean Galleries and showed him and his
business partner Mario some of my work, and they agreed to allow
me to exhibit my photos there.
What is your fondest memory of photographing
celebrities? Who stands out the most to you?
I guess what stands out the most is
befriending Vivien Leigh while she was appearing in "Tovarich"
on Broadway. I was 19 years old and she took a liking to me and
allowed me into her dressing room many times to photograph her.
I have photos of her in all her costumes from that show and when
she returned to London, we kept up a writing friendship. Also, I
photographed Elizabeth Taylor many times, but the other
memorable shooting was when I was invited to the first dress
rehearsal of "The Little Foxes" here in Fort Lauderdale at the
Parker Playhouse. I flew down from N.Y. and was the only one in
the theatre for this performance. The following week, my photo
appeared in Newsweek and it was the first press that the show
Was anyone particularly difficult to work
Can't really say difficult, but Barbra
Streisand always scared me because I was in such awe of her
talent and still am. What was it like being around the Studio 54
crowd? I had a love/hate relationship with Studio 54. I went
quite often and had to schlep my cameras around the dance floor
while everyone was partying. I just wanted to join in and
sometimes I did—checked my cameras and danced and....
You left photography when it seemed your
career was taking off? Do you regret not pursing it further? If
you had, where do you think your life would be now?
By the time I left, the whole atmosphere had
changed and I had burned out. I was spending many hours in my
darkroom processing and printing all my own photographs and was
getting overwhelmed. There were a lot of crazy paparazzi around.
When I did it, there were maybe 10 of us, and, by the early
80's, there were perhaps 25-30 people hanging around trying to
get "the shot.”
How do you think photos of celebrities now
differ from when you were in the game?
As I said, it's gotten much crazier
nowadays. Celebrities are more fearful and more guarded. It just
isn't the fun that it was back when I did it. nd more guarded.
It just isn't the fun that it was back when I did it.