Cornel Lucas: Creating Icons

NPG x127031, Self-portrait, 1952, © estate of Cornel Lucas

Cornel Lucas, one of Britain’s foremost and best-loved portrait photographers has died aged 92. One of eight children, he was born in Highbury, London in 1920. Lucas studied photography at the Regent Street Polytechnic. During World War Two he worked at the RAF Photographic School at Farnborough, before joining Denham Studios in 1945.

His career was firmly established by his now legendary sitting with Marlene Dietrich, while she was in England to film No Highway in the Sky (1951) opposite James Stewart. Dietrich had fallen out with the first photographer assigned to her, and Lucas recalled this pivotal encounter for Time magazine (11 September 2012):

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