Collections Crossover: Youthful Celebrities
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Collections Crossover: Youthful Celebrities

We started offering film imagery in 2009 and to date have 1,154,383 images under that category online. Which even we admit is a lot of pictures to wade through. So we think it's sometimes useful to focus on one aspect of our cinema collections and this week, we're looking at film or TV stars and celebrities when they were young or, at least, in the early stages of their career.

The Studio Canal Archive, which we exclusively represent, is an excellent source for photographs of some of Britain's best-loved thespians in early roles such as Vanessa Redgrave in 'Morgan - A Suitable Case for Treatment', Julie Christie in 'Far From the Madding Crowd' or Tom Courtenay in 'Billy Liar'. There are a few curveballs too. 'That'll be the Day' (1973) and Stardust (1974) both feature David Essex in his teen idol prime with an eclectic mix of co-stars that include Keith Moon, Ringo Starr, Karl Howman, Adam Faith and Larry Hagman! There are also some delightful images of a schoolboy Richard O'Sullivan in the appropriately-named 1956 film, 'It's Great to be Young'.

Both Everett and Keystone USA are a comprehensive record of famous types from the past one hundred years and remember too that we represent or own the copyright to a number of portrait photographers. There is a very young Judi Dench captured in experimental solarisation photographs by Madame Yevonde, as well as a good number of drama kings and queens seen through the lens of Sandra Lousada, including James Fox, James Bolam, Helen Mirren and Joan Plowright.

For this particular newsletter we've focused on actors still living and there are some amazingly long careers apparent, especially among those, like Petula Clark or Hayley Mills, who were child actors. Perhaps most impressive are Marsha Hunt (born in 1917 and approaching her 104th birthday next month) whose earliest films date to the mid-1930s, and Glynis Johns (now 97) who made her screen debut in a film version of Winifred Holtby's 'South Riding' way back in 1938. Leslie Phillips, also 97, may have begun his film career earlier than the 1950s had he not served as an officer during the war! We've many more of actors and entertainers who are now in their eighties or nineties, notably Leslie Caron, Eileen Atkins, Sylvia Sims, Shirley Bassey, Angela Lansbury and the evergreen Joan Collins.

This selection is by no means comprehensive but offers a peep into the glamorous past of many famous figures. Do bear us in mind whenever you're reaching (or maybe just searching) for the stars.

As always, get in touch if we can help with picture research, a quote or any other aspect of our service. You can email us at or call 020 8318 0034.

Mary Evans Picture Library Ltd.  59 Tranquil Vale  Blackheath  London  SE3 0BS. United Kingdom.
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