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Nicolas Roeg

2 of 5 portraits of Nicholas Roeg

© Dudley Reed / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Nicolas Roeg

by Dudley Reed
bromide print, 1985
12 1/2 in. x 10 3/8 in. (316 mm x 265 mm)
Purchased, 1989
Photographs Collection
NPG x32172

Sitterback to top

  • Nicolas Jack Roeg (1928-2018), Cinematographer and film director. Sitter in 5 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Dudley Reed (1946-), Photographer. Artist of 25 portraits.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Rogers, Malcolm, Camera Portraits, 1989 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 20 October 1989 - 21 January 1990), p. 305 Read entry

    Nic Roeg began his film career as a cinematographer, working on The System (1963), The Caretaker (1966), Far from the Madding Crowd (1968), and many other films. He is now recognized as one of Britain’s leading modernist directors, whose enigmatic, shocking and highly original films are always controversial and rarely commercial. His first was Performance (1970), starring Mick Jagger, which he co-directed with Donald Cammell. This was followed by Walkabout, set in Australia (1971), the psychological thriller Don’t Look Now (1973) and The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976). Recent works include Castaway, Track 29 and a section of Aria. He is a meticulous craftsman, with a cameraman’s eye for a sumptuous shot, who has done much to establish the acting careers of Jenny Agutter, Donald Sutherland and David Bowie. He has also made some of the most inventive of commercials – ‘when I do a commercial, it’s not just a technical exercise done for the money. Interesting things happen’ – including Tombstone, the first to publicize the threat of AIDS.

    Dudley Reed studied at Guildford School of Art (1968-71), before working as assistant to Adrian Flowers and Lester Bookbinder. He began freelancing in 1974, and has worked for The Tatler, American Vogue, GQ, and The Sunday Times. He had his first one-man show in 1985, and his work was included in ‘Twenty for Today’ (1986) at the National Portrait Gallery. He photographed Roeg in company with David Hockney’s photographic collage (‘joiner’) Nude 17th June 1984. This is a portrait of Roeg’s second wife the actress Theresa Russell, and consciously imitates Tom Kelly’s pin-up portrait photographs of Marilyn Monroe. It was commissioned by Roeg for his film Insignificance (1985), in which his wife plays the leading role of Monroe.

Events of 1985back to top

Current affairs

55 people die in the Manchester air disaster when a British Airtours Boeing 737 bursts into flames after an aborted takeoff at Manchester International Airport.

Art and science

Bob Geldof and Midge Ure organise Live Aid, a rock concert in London and Philadelphia, to raise funds for famine relief. The biggest names in popular music, including Paul McCartney, Queen, Status Quo, The Police, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, U2, The Who, and Led Zeppelin, performed to a TV audience of 1.5 billion.
The British Antarctic Survey discovers a hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica.


Reformer Mikhail Gorbachev comes to power as first secretary of the Soviet Communist party. He calls for 'glasnost' (openness) in Soviet life, and pursues a policy of 'perestroika' (reconstruction).
French intelligence operatives sabotage Rainbow Warrior, the Greenpeace vessel. The ship was leading a protest against French nuclear testing in New Zealand when it was bombed and sunk, killing one of the twelve on board.

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