Jayne Mansfield photograph featured in new photography book: The Way We Were – The Photography of Julian Wasser

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The Sunset Strip, 1964: Julian Wasser, a young photographer on assignment for Life magazine, brings Zubin Mehta, the director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, to the Whisky à Go-Go, a brand-new nightclub. “I thought he’d get a kick out of it,” Wasser said recently, flipping through a box of old prints in his apartment in West L.A. “He hated it: ‘Ach, my ears.’ ” Wasser, on the other hand, was the proverbial pig in mud. Everywhere he looked there were stars, unguarded and un-self-conscious, enjoying a golden moment in a golden town. Wasser snapped a picture of the actress Jayne Mansfield in a tight spaghetti-strap dress doing the Jerk with a civilian in a blazer. “His father was a billionaire who owned cemeteries in Florida,” Wasser confided. The photograph is featured in The Way We Were: The Photography of Julian Wasser (Damiani), a collection of Wasser’s Hollywood candids, which just came out. Three years after the picture was taken, Mansfield was killed in a car accident in Louisiana. Wasser still sees the cemetery heir in the lobbies of five-star Paris hotels during Fashion Week.

Jayne dancing at Whiskey a Go Go in 1964 by Julian Wasser / Life Magazine

Jayne dancing at Whiskey a Go Go in 1964 by Julian Wasser / Life Magazine

Read more:

Julian Wasser stood witness to 50 years of Hollywood—lucky for us, he brought his camera.

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