Bruno Bernard, trademarked as "Bernard of Hollywood", was considered the most sought-after photographer of Hollywood’s Golden Era and the pioneer of pin-up photography.
He was born in Germany in the first decade of the 20th century but, as a leader of the Jewish Youth Organisation, was forced to escape from Nazism in 1933. He moved to America, where he settled in Hollywood and founded his first darkroom in the basement of a tiny Hollywood apartment. On the principle that "no one knows the name Bernard, but they all know Hollywood, so I will name my photo studio ‘Bernard of Hollywood’ ", he established the studio and the trademark signature which for decades represented the image of Hollywood glamour.
Eventually, Bernard established three landmark studios: one on the fabled Sunset Strip, one at The Palm Springs Racquet Club, the exclusive hideaway to the stars, and a third in Las Vegas’s Riviera Hotel. Stars photographed by Bernard of Hollywood include Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Gregory Peck, Marlene Dietrich, Clark Gable, Ginger Rogers, Rita Hayworth, John Wayne, Tyrone Power, Spencer Tracy and Brigitte Bardot. In particular, he was associated with Marilyn Monroe, for whom he took some of the most famous images for which she is remembered today.
He was the first stills photographer to be honoured by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in 1984 with a 50-year retrospective of his work. In his speech to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Bernard declared: "My aim has been to capture the human essence of my sitters and transfer it to the sensitive emulsion of film." In 1999 the New York Museum of Modern Art chose Bernard of Hollywood as the symbol of photography for the 20th Century.
Bernard of Hollywood died in 1987.