Mario Casilli attended the Cleveland Institute of Art at the young age of 14. After school he served in the Navy and upon his return, moved to Hollywood, where he got a job at Paul Hesse's Studio to learn the business of photography. After 4 years he opened his own studio and had a long, successful career. He photographed celebrities such as Dolly Parton, Sally Field, Will Smith and Halle Berry for many publications from Playboy to TV Guide. His photographic style was iconic and defined the 1980s. Mario occasionally taught classes at Art Center in the late 1970s. He continued shooting in his later years and had a studio in Southern California until his death in 2002.
"There's no question that Mario Casilli was one of the foremost glamour photographers of his time, and I was honoured to be the subject of many of his sumptuous portraits. His lighting expertise made any woman look exquisite. His portraits were larger than life and he was so brilliant with his lighting and clever backgrounds that each woman shone like a jewel. In fact, Mario loved women, and the more bejewelled, be-gowned and bee-coiffured they were the better the photos! I posed for him many times and we collaborated on countless TV Guide magazine covers and, of course, the unforgettable Playboy magazine cover." — Joan Collins
See all photos by Mario Casilli