Fashion photographer Garry Gross dies at 73
Garry Gross, a fashion photographer known for his 1970s nude images of Brooke Shields, taken when she was 10, has died in Manhattan, his sister said Tuesday. He was 73.
His sister, Linda Gross, said he died Nov. 30 from a heart attack at his home.
Though Garry Gross earned his reputation as a celebrity image-maker — his pictures graced the covers of albums by Whitney Houston and Lou Reed — in 2002 he switched careers and became certified as a dog trainer.
Most recently, he had turned to photographing portraits of canines. But it was the 1970s images of Shields that marked his career most significantly.
In 1975, the actress' mother, Teri Shields, consented to allow her daughter, then a child model, to be photographed nude for a Playboy Press publication. She and her mother earned $450 for the shoot, which included a full-frontal nude image of the girl standing in a bathtub.
When Shields' acting career took off years later, she said she was embarrassed by the continued circulation of the images. At 17, Shields sued Gross in New York to stop him from selling the images, arguing they were an invasion of her privacy and caused her embarrassment.
But after a lower court granted her an injunction, the state's Court of Appeals decided 4 to 3 that the teenager could not break the contract signed by her mother that allowed Gross to take the pictures.
The court said Gross could continue to market the photos except to pornographic publications.
The photo shoot continued to make headlines decades later. In 2009, one of the images, appropriated by American artist Richard Prince for a work, had to be withdrawn by the Tate Modern museum in London after Scotland Yard warned that the image could break obscenity laws.
Gross was born in New York City on Nov. 6, 1937. After college, he studied under photographers Francesco Scavullo, Lisette Model and Richard Avedon.
After winning the court case against Shields in 1981, Gross went to Italy, where he worked for an agency. Upon returning to the United States, he left the fashion industry and became a dog trainer in 2002.