In 1961 Gloria Steinem came to my studio to look at my photography to see if I would be qualified to shoot for the magazine she was working for, Help! magazine. The creator of Help!was (the then very famous) Harvey Kurtzman, the original creator of MAD magazine. While we were going over my portfolio, I told Gloria she had beautiful eyes. That night, I took her to her home on W 81 Street (opposite the Museum of Natural History) and we had sex on the fire-escape since it was too hot in her apartment.
This is at the beginning of my career, before I became rich and famous. I shot many covers for Help! magazine. Some of the celebrities that I shot for Help! were; Woody Allen, Tom Poston, Jonathan Winters, and of course many others, as you can see in the listing here: http://www.helpmag.com/. I also shot all the “fumettis” (the Italian word for photo comics) for Gloria Steinem when she was an editor at Glamour magazine . The “fumetti’s” were an ongoing story about two working girls in Manhattan, who lived together. This was the first time that main stream media implied the sexual behavior of and between two girls. This was the pre-curser to “Sex in the City”, in the way that the magazine told the story of real women and how they really live.
I shot the above cover photo of Jonathan Winters in my studio at 480 Lexington Avenue, Room 801. As usual I set up the photo before the talent arrived. When he arrived for the
shooting (late), he demanded that the shooting had to be done in twenty minutes since that was all the time he had (this is typical of most comedians that I have shot). I finished the shooting in about thirty minutes. Jonathan then proceeded to tell jokes for the next two hours.
Gloria is the model in the background of the Help! cover with Winters, the one with her back to the camera. Gloria also founded MS Magazine
and is considered one of the founders of the “feminist movement” .
Come Up to Beauty! – Ron Harris