Famed Hollywood photographer George Hurrell began his artistic life as a painter. He began to use a camera to photograph his artwork. Hurrell soon found out that he could make more money as a photographer. During this period he was introduced to actor Ramon Navarro by pioneer aviator Florence Lowe “Pancho” Barnes (Hell’s Angels) and took a series of photographs of the actor. Navarro was happy with the results and showed them to Norma Shearer who then requested Hurrell take a series of provocative photographs of her. Pleased with the results by both Shearer and her husband and MGM production guru, Irving Thalberg, he was hired by MGM to photograph their galaxy of stars. In later years, Hurrell would eventually move to Warner Brothers. Combined, Hurrell would have the opportunity to photograph some of the biggest of Hollywood stars including Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Jane Russell, Bette Davis, Ann Sheridan, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart and Joan Crawford.
In 1981, George Hurrell was hired to take a series of photographs of Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford for the film Mommie Dearest. Photographed in that classic Hurrell style, they were used as publicity shots and perfectly blend in with his earlier work.