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Phil Stern, a photographer whose images of film stars have become iconic, died on Dec. 13. He was 95.
Geoff Katz, Stern’s licensing representative, confirmed his death to The Hollywood Reporter.
Director Brett Ratner remembered Stern by posted an Instagram pic Sunday of himself with the photographer, whom he called his “good friend.”
See more Hollywood’s Notable Deaths of 2014
“Legendary photographer with an amazing life!” Ratner captioned the photo. “Grateful that I was there for his 95th birthday!”
Stern served as a U.S. Army Ranger in World War II, where he photographed his fellow soldiers. After the war, he moved to Los Angeles, where he became a staff photographer for Look magazine. He also worked for LIFE magazine.
Stern was a still photographer on a number of film productions, allowing him access to legendary film-industry personalities. His images of such film stars as James Dean and Marilyn Monroe and musicians like Louis Armstrong are among his most recognized work.
Asked in a LIFE interview for the keys to becoming a successful photographer, Stern replied: “Access and a level of comfort with your subjects. They need to feel at ease. I think [celebrities] felt comfortable with me. They allowed me to photograph them undisturbed. It was just pure luck.”
Ratner’s Instagram post can be seen below.
A photo posted by brett ratner (@brettrat) on
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