Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton CBE (1904 – 1980) was an English fashion, portrait and war photographer, diarist, painter, interior designer and an Academy Award–winning stage and costume designer for films and the theatre. He was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1970.
Beaton is best known for his fashion photographs and society portraits. He worked as a staff photographer for Vanity Fair and Vogue in addition to photographing celebrities in Hollywood. He became one of Britain's leading war photographers, best known for his images of the damage done by the German blitz. Beaton often photographed the Royal Family for official publication. The Queen Mother was his favourite royal sitter, and he once pocketed her scented hankie as a keepsake from a highly successful shoot.
His most lauded achievement for the stage was the costumes for Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady (1956), which was made into a film musical, which earned Beaton the Academy Award for Costume Design. The film won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director.
Beaton photographed a wide range of movie stars including Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe, Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Mae West and Greta Garbo.
Other celebrities photographed by him include Jacqueline Kennedy, Georgia O’Keefe, Mick Jagger, Twiggy, Andy Warhol, Pablo and Paloma Picasso, Graham Green and Vita Sackville-West. Beaton was also known for his fashion photography.
His photos are held in many collections and galleries internationally including the Metropolitan Museum, NY, with a number of his photos from My Fair Lady being held in the National Portrait Gallery.
Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle
Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolitte in My Fair Lady