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Ernest Bachrach (1900-1990)


Only Ernest Bachrach at Radio Keith Orpheum had a career at one studio that rivalled Clarence Bull's tenure at MGM. He joined RKO at its inception in 1929 and stayed until Desilu purchased the studio in 1958. Before coming to RKO, Bachrach worked in New York for Famous Players-Lasky. In the mid 1920s Famous Players-Lasky was consolidated with parent Paramount Pictures and production was moved to Los Angeles. Bachrach worked independently for a short period and photographed many of the silent beauties including Mae Murray and Gloria Swanson. According to Bob Coburn who during the 1930s assisted Bachrach in the RKO portrait studio, "Gloria [Swanson] thought he was the only photographer in the world and when she came back out here to work, he came with her." His portraits of Swanson testify to her feelings about the quality of his work. "Bachrach was an all-around man," Coburn told Kobal, "he could do anything photographic." 

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