GalleryBook GalleryBiographyThe Story Behind the PhotoRequest a Print

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.