Marilyn Stafford (1925-2023)
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, in 1925, Marilyn Stafford (née Gerson) planned to become an actress and singer following her training at the Cleveland Playhouse. In 1946, she moved to New York City, where she was given small acting roles off broadway and in early television.
Stafford was given a Rolleiflex camera by a friend in New York in 1947, which first piqued her interest in photography and to support herself in between acting roles, she found work assisting US fashion photographer Francesco Scavullo.
Her photographic career was formally launched in autumn 1948, when she took her first portrait of Albert Einstein for friends who were making a documentary film about him. She was given a 35mm SLR camera for the first time and a quick lesson in how to use it in the back of the car on the way to his house in Princeton, New Jersey.