strobe f@#!ed: through the lens of a hollywood paparazzo
words & photos by gary lewis foreword by lindsay wagner afterword by priscilla presley
jack nicholson, harry dean stanton & dustin hoffman party until the wee hours on the sunset strip at the private club, â€˜on the rox.â€™ looks like while jack & harry dean appear fresh as daisies, dusty looks a bit wilted.
a celebratory bruce springsteen leaves the roxy theater after appearing in a sold out concert to publicize his hit album, â€˜born to run.â€™
a paranoid, and almost unrecognizable, steve mcqueen, shows his love for speed while riding his motorcycle in point dume, ca. at this point in his life he had been diagnosed with cancer and remained pretty much a recluse.
elvis in the driverâ€™s seat leaving his ladera circle residence in holmby hills, ca. elvisâ€™s stepbrother, ricky stanley, hands up, trying to shield elvis from posing since he had a canker sore on his lip. elvis would always pose for his fans. they were his life.
daryl hannah gets an eyeful of dolly parton’s voluptuous assets as they arrive for the premiere of, ‘steel magnolias’ in century city, ca.
tom cruise at los angeles international airport. at the time he was doing â€˜risky businessâ€™ and made sure he even molded his image then. furious at photographer, ralph dominguez, tom was in choking mode when the old cruise control kicked into place, and the moment i raised the camera, tom put a smile on his face slipping expertly by and avoiding a very lethal situation caught on celluloid.
a famished, and make-up free, doris day after bicycling around beverly hills ﬁnds time to stop at her favorite haunt, nate ‘n al’s deli, to chow down on some of their delectable treats.
jack nicholson & michele phillips backstage at the mcgovern fundraiser at the forum canâ€™t seem to keep their hands off of each other. they look just a little bit interested in getting mcgovern elected and a lot more interested in making a quick getaway bound for a hot tryst.
“f@#! you.” - john lennon
cary grant clowning around while hosting a charity event with raquel welch in las vegas. years later when asked if heâ€™d had an affair with the sizzling temptress, he would grin ear to ear and utter not a word. the old saying seemed to ring true here, one picture is worth a thousand words. thatâ€™s probably what cary thought too.
how ironic that warren beatty, as he waited for a friend at the beverly wilshire hotel by a closed door, was shocked when through the open door comes his old ﬂame, natalie wood, surprising him with second time around husband, robert wagner, on her arm. a very awkward moment indeed since warren beatty was the cause of natalie’s ﬁrst divorce from robert wagner, sweeping her off her feet while ﬁlming passionate love scenes in ‘splendor in the grass.’
richard gere exits a screening on the mgm studio lot, hiding at ďŹ rst, he then decides to undo his belt and lowers the zipper of his pants to give me a photo i couldnâ€™t refuse. alas, his girlfriend talked him out of it. too bad he had a date that night.
“i’m going to get that camera. i want that ﬁlm. i’ll smash that camera.” - bob dylan
â€œyou know my schedule better than i do.â€? - madonna
about gary lewis gary lewis was born gary louis aloian in st. louis, missouri in 1952. he was struck by the bright lights of tinseltown at a very early age. he visited hollywood with his mother and her girlfriend, an avid starstruck scatterbrain, who thought she could be the next clara bow or marilyn monroe. around age 5, gary’s mother and her friend took him to the garden of allah hotel on the sunset strip, famed haunt of the most elusive ﬁlm stars and owned by alla nazimova, the silent screen goddess. after touring the bungalows on the property, gary got his ﬁrst view of a nude woman at the pool and was then whisked away from the hotel and back to st. louis, but gary was now starstruck himself. visiting hollywood at 10, he marveled at disneyland. a couple of years later at age 12 he met natalie wood on the santa monica pier ﬁlming, inside daisy clover, and became a lifelong friend of natalie’s. an ecstatic gary received photos that natalie sent him when her ﬁrst daughter, natasha, was born. returning home for high school in st. louis. gary was now deﬁnitely celebrity crazy taking photos everytime he visited los angeles. back in st. louis, he attended st. louis university high school, playing hookey throughout, always getting those notes from home that sickness was the cause of his truancy. meanwhile gary was going to ann-margret’s 1967 opening at the riviera hotel in las vegas or elvis’ 1968 opening at the international hotel, also in sin city. upon graduating from high school in st. louis, gary picked a jesuit college, loyola university, near lax, to attend so he could be closer to his celebrity subjects. after becoming friends with nancy anderson, west coast editor for photoplay magazine, during his jaunts to hollywood, he was now getting assignments from photoplay shooting home layouts of celebrities and his photos graced the covers and inside pages of the magazine. gary had also become quite adept at spying on celebrities and delighted in taking long lens photos of stars such as elvis & priscilla presley, steve mcqueen, barbra streisand and robert redford without their knowledge, becoming one of the very ﬁrst known paparazzi.
one star knew lewis had incriminating photos and even sent hired goons to relinquish the photos. gary didn’t comply. lewis, whose photos appeared in rolling stone when it was just a newspaper, almost got john lennon deported back to england after lennon roughed him up outside the troubadour nightclub in west hollywood. later lewis became the ever present scathing rant of starsky & hutch’s, david soul in a tv guide cover story. on the ﬂip side of the coin, however, bruce springsteen would sing lewis’s praises even calling him his “paparazzi pal.” rona barrett, gossip queen in 60’s and 70’s hollywood, took notice of lewis and used him to write juicy celebrity stories with photos to go along with the articles. getting blindsided with trying to attend classes at loyola university and always on call for a celebrity stakeout or shooting photos on the soundstages of la or on remote locations, college came to an end after two years. now lewis could concentrate on what he loved the most, celebrities. lewis, between supplying gossip and photos to rona barrett for her metromedia channel 11 television show, and her fan magazines, as well as working with photoplay magazine, and shooting on ﬁlm sets, had a lot on his plate. gary later became lindsay wagner’s photographer at universal on bionic woman and her television special, another side of me in the mid-seventies to early 80’s. in the mid-eighties the hollywood of fan magzines took a backseat and lewis became a lone wolf continuing to represent his own photos for sale but branching out into television shows. lewis’s photos can be seen in many e! entertainment true hollywood stories and e! even did a spotlight segment highlighting lewis and his photography and selling skills. presently lewis still shoots photos, reluctantly a lot of times, since he no longer feels that star magnetism and charisma in the personalities he is forced to photograph. he is quite saddened by the turn the ﬁlm business has taken, however, gary lewis relished his life today for the mere fact he has had the honor to meet and photograph so many truly great celebrities and even became friends with a few. celebrities who had humility and kindness not only to their co-workers but also their fans. lewis would be the ﬁrst to tell you he’s had a helluva life and he wouldn’t trade it for anything. lewis always says, “because of the life i’ve lived, i’ve become a party favor at all the events with people wanting to hear my stories and hear about my life. i certainly would have hated living life as a plumber.”
“if i ever see you again, i’ll tear your head off!” - david soul
Published on Apr 7, 2018
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