Sheringham photographer Andy Gotts captures screen icons in charity book

The click of Andy Gotts' camera is capturing the faces of showbiz icons and raising millions of pounds for charity.

His family live at Sheringham and his career began with a shot of Stephen Fry at college in King's Lynn.

But nowadays he is travelling the world to meet the rich and famous and freeze their features in atmospheric portraits.

His recent efforts range from veteran movie actress Lauren Bacall and modern day screen star Daniel Radcliffe looking quite different to his Harry Potter persona.

And his skills have seen him win a string of national prizes along with an honorary doctorate.


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Mr Gotts, 40, has already done one book, Degrees, containing more than 100 A-listed actors from Paul Newman to Brad Pitt which raised about �3m for diabetes research.

His growing reputation resulted in his current project iCons which will generate funds for Sir Elton John's aids charity. It sees him mopping up legends he missed out on for the first book, along with many more stars of screeen stage and the music world.

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Last month he was in New York where the frail but still striking 87-year-old Lauren Bacall 'puffed on a cigarette and told tales of Humphrey Bogart, Spencer Tracy and Audrey Hepburn.'

Mr Gotts said: 'For a movie buff like me it is beyond your dreams.

'I concentrated on her eyes. She has a reputation for being moody. I did not want her to smile and I got the stare during the lighting test shot.'

While there he also did a shoot with Daniel Radcliffe, who is appearing in a Broadway play, and star-fan roll was almost reversed.

'He is movie fan too, but young, and wanted to hear all about the stars I had worked with such as Al Pacino. I was the elder statesman rather than the boy like I am with the older stars.'

Mr Gotts' pared back technique operating on his own with no entourage seeks to make the stars relaxed.

He chose to shed the Harry Potter specs for Daniel and go for a straight head and neck shot 'like a golf ball on a tee.'

Also in the portfolio is the last ever portrait of Tony Curtis - taken four weeks before he died .

'I had been after him for years, because there are not many of the Hollywood icons left. He was very poorly and limited on what he could do, but he was known as the American prince and he let me paint the stars and stripes on his face then light it from the side to show his piercing eyes.'

It was a shot that won a gold award from the British Institute of Professional Photographers. He also won silver and bronze with pictures of Clint Eastwood and Ozzie Osbourne.

Mr Gotts has also just been made an honorary doctor of arts by De Montford University in recognition of his photography work, which he described as a 'huge honour.'

The quest for more stars continues before a January deadline with Dolly Parton Madonna, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Bob Dylan all on his wish list.

Before the end of the year he is also has the small matter of doing a 30-picture exhibition project for Princess Stephanie of Monaco.

He recently got impressed feedback on his pictures from Stephen Fry - his first celeb client cheekily grabbed when he visited the Lynn college where Andy was doing a BTEC photography course.

During a question and answer session after a presentation Mr Gotts asked if he could take the comic actor's picture and he agreed - providing a watershed moment in his life 21 years ago this summer.

Although he is now based in London Mr Gotts is a 'Norfolk boy at heart' and a frequent visitor to the family home in Sheringham where away from the night lights of the showbiz world he loves the peace and being able to 'open the window and hear nothing.'

See more of Andy's work at www.andygotts.com

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