"Because of his friendly and unaffected approach, his subjects opened up to him and his camera in a way that not many others have been able to accomplish," Orlando Suero's website reads

By Georgia Slater
August 21, 2019 10:47 AM
Gail Burton/AP/Shutterstock

Orlando Suero, the acclaimed photographer who captured Hollywood greats like Brigitte Bardot, Jack Nicholson, and Dennis Hopper, died Monday night. He was 94.

Suero died of natural causes in a nursing home in the Valley Village neighborhood of Los Angeles, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Born in 1925, the New York native started his long career in 1939 when his father gave him his first camera, a used Kodak Jiffy, according to Suero’s website. He went on to attend the New York Institute of Photography and worked at camera shops and photo labs before receiving major assignments.

The celebrity photographer also served with the U.S. Marines during World War II.

In his book, Orlando Photography, which was released last September, Suero opened up about his PTSD, adding that photography was “an escape from the war.”

“It allowed me to detach from it because when you come back, the war doesn’t end for you. It stays with you for life for the most part. Photography was my solace,” he added.

One of his first gigs — and biggest — was to document the lives of then-newlyweds Jacqueline and Senator John F. Kennedy.

In the spring of 1954, just a year after the Kennedys were married, the new couple was living in a modest red-brick townhouse in Georgetown where JFK was a junior senator for Massachusetts. At the time, the pair was still relatively unknown as a political couple.

Suero convinced McCall’s to let him shoot the glamorous duo for their magazine, and ended up spending five days with them, snapping pictures as they relaxed at home; he even played a game of football in the backyard with John and his brother Bobby while Jackie and Ethel  Kennedy looked on.

After Jackie saw the photo spread in the magazine, she sent Suero a note telling him how much she liked them: “If I’d realized what a wonderful photographer you were, I never would have been the jittery subject I was,” she wrote, PEOPLE previously reported.

She added, “They are the only pictures I’ve ever seen of me where I don’t look like something out of a horror movie.”

During his career, THR cited that he also shot stills on the sets of movies like Torn Curtain (1966), Hell in the Pacific (1968), Play It Again, Sam (1972), Lady Sings the Blues (1972), Save the Tiger (1973), Chinatown (1974), The Towering Inferno (1974), and Rocky II (1979), among others.

RELATED: See Rare Photo of Jackie Kennedy When She and JFK Were Newlyweds

“Because of his friendly and unaffected approach, his subjects opened up to him and his camera in a way that not many others have been able to accomplish,” Suero’s website reads.

Suero also captured some of the most famous Hollywood faces including Natalie Wood, Sharon Tate, Faye Dunaway, Kirk Douglas, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Julie Andrews, Tony Curtis, Diana Ross, and Bob Hope, THR reported.

According to THR, Suero is survived by his wife of 68 years, Peggy, his children, Wendy, Chris and Jim, his four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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