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Eugene Robert (E.R.) Richee (1896-1972)


Eugene Robert Richee headed Paramount's portrait studio from its inception and he worked with a talented coterie of associates including William Walling and Don English. Richee remains the least examined among the top Hollywood photographers although he was one of the finest - one needs to look no further than his sensational portraits of Paramount stars Anna Mae Wong , Clara Bow , Louise Brooks and Marlene Dietrich as evidence. Even a tireless researcher like Kobal had difficulty uncovering biographical information about Richee and it is only after Kobal's death that a few details have emerged about Richee's life including his 1896 birth in Colorado. He started at Paramount in 1921 and stayed for twenty years after which he left he left to take a job at Warner Brothers. Richee died in 1972 just before Kobal began exploring seriously the careers of Hollywood portrait photographers. Like Ruth Harriet Louise, Richee left scant biographical information behind but, again like Louise, he left a corpus of extraordinary work that may be seen as emblematic of the best of Hollywood photography.

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