LOS ANGELES - Phil Stern, an award-winning photographer who lugged his camera into combat during World War II and later became known for candid shots of Hollywood stars, has died. He was 95.
Stern died Saturday in Los Angeles after being hospitalized, said David Fahey, co-owner of the Fahey/Klein Gallery that displayed the photographer's work for decades. Stern, a longtime smoker, had emphysema, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Stern, who shot for Life, Look and other magazines, honed his skills as a war photographer during the 1943 Allied invasion of Sicily.
"His pictures of the invasion and its aftermath remain among the most outstanding documents in the annals of combat photography in any war, before or since," journalist Herbert Mitgang wrote in "Phil Stern: A Life's Work," a 2003 collection of Stern photos.
After the war, Stern gained fame for photos of icons like Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra in unguarded moments. Unlike the movie-studio portrait photographers whose images were idealized and airbrushed, Stern typically photographed stars candidly on the set, at home and at private gatherings.
One of his most memorable images is of Marlon Brando, in jeans and black leather jacket, walking the set of "The Wild One." Another captures John Wayne chatting with a cigar-chomping John Ford while shooting "The Alamo."