NEW YORK -- Martha Holmes, a former Life magazine photographer known for her signature pictures of famous people including painter Jackson Pollock and film stars Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, has died. She was 83.
Ms. Holmes died at home in Manhattan on Sept. 19, said Bobbi Baker Burrows, a Life picture editor who worked with Holmes. She said family members had reported that the death was from natural causes.
A native of Louisville, Ky., Ms. Holmes was hired by Life in 1944 from The Courier-Journal in Louisville, after another Life photographer on assignment there noticed her work.
She was the third female addition to the magazine staff and worked mainly out of Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and later New York.
``Martha Holmes was a rarity among professional photographers, because everybody liked her," former Life managing editor Ralph Graves said in a statement. ``She made people feel she cared just as much about them as she did about getting her pictures."
In 1949, Ms. Holmes photographed Pollock at work with a cigarette dangling from his mouth.
The image became a US postage stamp, ``with the cigarette airbrushed out," Burrows said.
Ms. Holmes depicted Bogart and Bacall standing by a table at a House Un-American Activities Committee hearing on Communist influence in Hollywood in 1947, CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow driving a tractor on his Connecticut farm, and Eleanor Roosevelt walking in woods with a group of orphans. Other notable subjects were the United Mine Workers president, John L. Lewis; Groucho Marx, the comedian; Louis Armstrong, the jazz immortal; and Frank Sinatra.
``Above all, Martha Holmes was a photographer of people," Burrows said. ``She sought to bring out the personal side of public figures."
She was married for 46 years to Arthur Waxman, a theatrical executive and early general manager of the Actors Studio. Waxman died in 1998.