David Bowie; Dame Elizabeth Taylor

© Iconic Images/Terry O’Neill

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David Bowie; Dame Elizabeth Taylor

by Terry O'Neill
bromide print, 1975
15 7/8 in. x 10 3/4 in. (403 mm x 272 mm)
Purchased, 2000
Photographs Collection
NPG x88495

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  • Terry O'Neill (1938-2019), Photographer. Artist or producer of 80 portraits, Sitter in 2 portraits.

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Terry O'Neill described the circumstances to this photograph taken in Beverly Hills, California; 'David was two and a half hours late for his first meeting with Liz, which I had arranged at [the film director] George Cukor's house. He arrived dishevelled and out of it. Liz was pretty annoyed and on the verge of leaving, but we managed to persuade her to stay. She was thinking of asking him to appear in The Blue Bird (1976), but she went off the idea after that.' Bowie instead made Nicolas Roeg’s cult science fiction film The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976). Sharing a cigarette and with Taylor wearing Bowie’s hat, the two stars embrace.

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Current affairs

Britain votes to remain part of the European Economic Community. In the Labour government's referendum, 67% of voters answered 'yes' to the question 'Do you think the UK should stay in the European Community (Common Market)?'

Art and science

The rock band Queen release their epic single Bohemian Rhapsody which reaches Number 1 in the pop charts and stays there for nine weeks. It is the only single to have been a Christmas Number 1 twice, due to its re-release in 1991 following Freddie Mercury's death, and the promotional video is often regarded as the first real music video.


The communist organisation, Khymer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, takes over Cambodia renaming it Democratic Kampuchea. Khymer Rouge began its policy of forcible relocating the urban population to the countryside and brutally purging those sectors of society considered by Pol Pot to be a potential threat to the revolution: Buddhist monks, people with education, disabled people, and ethnic minorities.

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