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Devilish Duo

LIFE magazine assigned me to photograph Rex Harrison and his new bride, Kay Kendall.  They were honeymooning at Noel Coward's home in Blue Harbor, Jamaica.  It was in a remote part of the island, far from Montego Bay.  I had photographed Rex many times, when he was starring in "My Fair Lady" and we knew each other quite well. I had also photographed Kay when she was appearing on the London Stage. I liked her enormously.

After several cablegrams, everything was arranged.  I flew to Jamaica, and took the long taxi ride to Blue Harbor. When I got to the house, I asked the driver to wait.  The maid who answered the door said, "I'm sorry, he's not here".  I told her who I was and that Mr. Harrison was expecting me. She replied, "He's in New York."

I went back to the cab, told the driver what had happened, and that we were going back to the airport. He said, "Wait a minute, let me look around."  A few minutes later, he came back & said, "He's here!  He's in the swimming pool with some lady!"

I told him to unload my cameras, but to hang around, just in case - - .  I walked to the back of the house & saw Rex & Kay skinny - dipping in the pool overlooking the ocean.  I yelled down, "Hey, Rex! How are you? He said,"Ormond, my good man, come down and have a swim."  So I picked up my equipment & returned to the pool, ready for what I knew would be a tough photo session.  I knew I'd have difficulty getting Rex & Kay to sit still for photographs. They didn't take the whole thing very seriously.  When the time came, I had them dress in reddish shirts & jeans and started shooting.  Along the way I asked them to hug each other.  Rex seemed up-tight; I couldn't get him to smile. So wonderful Kay took over, at first cracking jokes, and finally I saw her hand reach out slowly, and slip it down inside his pants, saying, "Smile for Ormond."  He did!  I got my shots, and my Life Cover.




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