Legendary Hollywood red-carpet photographer Bill Jones dies

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Legendary Hollywood red-carpet photographer Bill Jones died on Saturday, June 25, 2106.

Hollywood has lost a trailblazer, as famed African-American photographer Bill Jones died on Saturday. Regulars to the red carpet knew the face of Jones, who spent his life taking pictures of their faces.

For more than 50 years, Jones took photos of celebrities, specializing in African-American stars.

Actress Halle Berry may have been Jones' biggest fans. He started taking photos of the future Oscar winner early in her career.

Jones' work appeared in publications including "Jet," "Ebony," and "Essence." Over the years, he photographed such greats as Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, Muhammad Ali, Oprah Winfrey and President Barack Obama.

He was beloved in the business and he helped pave the way for other African-American photographers who followed.

Jones photographed NWA and Prince, and he was there when Michael Jackson got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

But the red carpet was his domain and his peers knew it and respected what he brought to the carpet.

"I know that every great black legend and every big star, black star, that I came across on the red carpet were always looking for Bill. 'Hey Bill!' Bill was the guy. He was the one," veteran photographer Bob Freeman said.

Photographer Nina Prommer knew Jones for more than 20 years.

"If sometimes they wouldn't look in his direction," she said. "They heard his voice and they would, like, stop and freeze and turn around and pose for him. And if I happened to be next to him, I would get the fall-off."

When the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture opens later in 2016, it will include 79 of Jones' historical images.

In a statement released to ABC7, Jones' family said, "We would like to thank everyone for the overwhelmingly love and support they have shown us through this difficult time."

A candlelight memorial service will be held for Jones on July 14 at 7 p.m. A location will be announced at a later date.

A spokesperson for the family said Jones' estate was "very complex" and that the family was in need of financial assistance to help with expenses.

Those interested in helping Jones' family can send donations to his granddaughter, Latoya Jones, who was with the famed photographer when he passed away after suffering from dementia.

Donations can be mailed to: 20435 Califa Street, Woodland Hills, CA, 91367

Jones' family said funeral services were still pending.
Related Topics:
entertainmentphotographyobituaryHollywoodLos Angeles
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