Kelley’s studio in Hollywood was synonymous with class and style. There were few photographers shooting the “big stars” regularly in those days.


Tom Sr. with Myrna Loy



Kelley was retained to photograph the stars created by David O. Selznick and Samuel Goldwyn. His very first assignment was an unknown who was not to remain so for long, lovely Ingrid Bergman. Adding M-G-M publicity and Warner Bros. to the client roster, the studio produced photography that defined the Golden Age of Hollywood.

The studio files are full of classic portraits and early advertising shots with Hollywood’s big stars of the time. Some of the subjects are: Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Henry Fonda, James Cagney, Jane Russell, Carmen Miranda and Gene Kelly to name but a few.  For the photos licensing information please click here.

Following a long and profitable career helping to publicize motion picture personalities,
Tom Sr. drifted into the commercial and advertising photography field where he has remained as one of the leading celebrity photographers in the business.

On the photo, Tom Kelley Sr. on the set with Myrna Loy shooting an ad for a cosmetics company. Circa 1947. In 1991, Myrna Loy received an honorary Academy Award for her lifetime achievement in film with an incredible 129 motion pictures. In 1936, a poll of 20 million fans voted her "Queen of the Movies" and Clark Gable "King," and the two were subsequently teamed in a number of films.


Typical studio set up, with the large "hot lights" and cumbersome sheet film camera.

Typical studio set up, with the large "hot lights" and cumbersome sheet film camera.
Tom Sr. with Lana Turner. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6241 Hollywood Blvd.


With Robert Taylor




Candid shot of Tom Sr. and matinee-idol, John Payne
John Payne played a wide variety of roles in the Hollywood movies, everything from the tough-guy to musicals to thrillers. Payne's most popular role may be in his final film for Fox, that of attorney Fred Gailey in Miracle on 34th Street in 1947.





One of the photos taken of Carole Lombard - true elegance and beauty. At the time, she was one of the top stars at Paramount Studios. Tom mentioned that she was quite the comedienne during the session. Circa 1941. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6930 Hollywood Blvd.

Carole Lombard


A staged promotional shot in front of the Seward Street studio
in Hollywood, 1948.

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Edgar Bergen ( aka. Edgar John Bergen) and Candice Bergen. A very young Candy Bergen appeared with her father in advertisements and on the radio. To the public, she was "Charlie's Sister." A special Oscar was awarded -a wooden statuette with a movable mouth presented to Edgar Bergen for the dummy Charlie McCarthy. Charlie McCarthy, Mortimer Snerd and Effie Klinker are on permanent display at the Radio Hall of Fame.


Tom Sr. with Anne Baxter

Candid photo taken on the set with Oscar winner, Anne Baxter. Charming, beautiful, and at home in a variety of parts, Anne worked with many of Hollywood's most celebrated and accomplished directors (Welles, Hitchcock, Lang, Mankiewicz, Wilder, Wellman) and won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work in The Razor's Edge (1946).  Baxter has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6741 Hollywood Blvd.


Jerry Colonga

Jerry Colonna – In his early career, he worked as a musician and actually became a well-known trombonist with some of the major bands. Along the way, Colonna developed the wacky comic persona, growing a huge handlebar mustache for that purpose.
He skyrocketed to popularity as a combination stooge/heckler for radio comedian Bob Hope.
Colonna appeared in dozens of movies, many times simply playing himself.

Cigarette Ad

Very typical advertising photo for a cigarette company. Circa 1939.
Sharp looking, well dressed couple situated at a radio station (actually a studio set).


Although Marilyn was photographed a few times in the early days, Tom Sr. was the first to use her in both regional and national advertising. The famed "Red Velvet" calendars with Marilyn were shot in 1949 -
but that's a separate story.

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