Photographs have been an important part of the Hollywood publicity machine since its earliest days. With legions of beautiful stars and starlets, the movie studios easily mastered the simple publicity image and many of these photographs are now treasured by collectors of cinematic ephemera.
Just look at this original portrait of Greta Garbo from 1926. She had just moved to Hollywood from Sweden and was about to take the world by storm. It's an image of immense beauty and valuable due to its scarcity. Today's actresses manage their profiles via digital images distributed on Instagram and Twitter - it's just not the same as a vintage photograph that's almost 90 years old.
Our selection below also includes many other legends of the silver screen including Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Sean Connery, Dorothy Lamour, Harold Lloyd, Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth. Some are posed, others are candid. Many are signed.
Several AbeBooks bookseller specialize in collectible photographs and their inventories are worth browsing for even more wonderful vintage photography. We recommend Walter Rueben from West Hollywood, Royal Books from Baltimore, and Ira Joel Haber from Brooklyn.
Framed photograph of Maureen O'Hara who recently passed away, with an inscription "To Richard, Maureen O'Hara".
1940 photo of Clark Gable signing the world's most valuable kettle drum
Publicity photograph of Joan Crawford, possibly from The Gorgous Hussy from 1938
1951 photo of Marilyn Monroe from the film Home Town Story.
One of 74 photographs from the set of Rosemary's Baby filmed in 1968.
Signed Rock Hudson publicity photo for film Pillow Talk, where Tony Randall is lighting Hudson's cigarette.
A 1932 photo featuring two hollywood actresses, Joan Marsh and Mary Carlisle playing a game of beach dominoes.
Still of Stefania Sandrelli and Dominique Sandra dancing from the 1970 film The Conformist.
Photograph of Charles Bukowski from 1969.
A collection of 9 photographs of Ellen Burstyn from different films.
One of three stills from the 1936 film Anything Goes starring Ethel Merman and Bing Crosby.
Signed photo of the most popular entertainer of his time, Fred Astaire.
Still photo of Doris Day and James Cagney from the 1955 film Love Me Or Leave Me
Signed photo of Superman from the 1950's TV series The Adventures of Superman.
Portrait of Wendy Barrie - an English actress known for her relationship as a mistress with mobster Bugsy Siegel.
Signed photo of Roy Rogers from the 1940s
Autographed photo of Walter Matthau and Jill Clayburgh, from the 1981 film First Monday in October.
One from a collection of Martin Scorsese phototgraphs.
Still photos of Patsy Montana - the Queen of Western Music and the first female performer to sell more than one million records.
Portrait of Marlene Dietrich from the 1932 film The Blonde Venus.
Photo of actor Robert Stack who starred in the popular TV show The Untouchables
Photo by Ray Jones of Ellen Drew in The Imposter from 1944.
Signed photo of Jack Lemmon for film Save the Tiger from 1972
Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda in the 1941 film The Lady Eve
1920 photo of silent screen star Blanche Sweet
Photograph of Tamara Dobson who starred in Cleopatra Jones (1973) as a United States special agent.
A 1940's publicity portrait by Eugene Robert Richee of a starlet in a bunny outfit sitting on giant carrots - as one does
Vintage borderless black-and-white studio still photograph from the Italian release of the 1968 film, Barbarella. Jane Fonda, in full regalia, stands next to her angel, Pygar (John Philip Law)
Glossy black and white photograph of a 22-year-old Elizabeth Taylor taken during her most stylized 1950s period. Photograph taken August 25, 1954.
Original print of Ann-Margret who starred in The Cincinnati Kid with Steve McQueen, 1965.
A beautiful rare original 8" x 10" publicity portrait of Lillian & Dorthy Gish for their 1924 film Romola which was directed by Henry King.
1973 photograph from the Emperor of the North Pole of Lee Marvin who portrayed one of a group of hard-boiled men working on the railroad during the Depression.
Black and white 8" X 10" photograph inscribed "To Mark / Best Wishes / Shirley Temple Black / 1995" in black ink.
Autographed photograph, ca. 1945. 6.5"x5". Shirley Temple (b. 1928), about age 16-17, around the time of her first marriage to John George Agar.
Signed print portrait of Bob Hope from the 1950s.
Still of Richard Burton and Sophia Loren from the set of Brief Encounter - a TV movie that aired in 1974.
Inscribed and signed portrait of Julie Newmar as Catwoman, 1966.
Candid photograph of Alfred Hitchcock, Rod Taylor and Suzanne Pleshette on the set of The Birds, 1963.
Candid photograph from the set of All About Eve starring Bette Davis, Celeste Holm and Thelma Ritter, 1950.
Undated photo of an early airplane stunt.
Signed photograph of Eartha Kitt striking a sultry pose, 1955.
Photo of Edward G Robinson whose career spanned 57 years but never won or was even nominated for an Oscar.
A candid shot of the four Beatles on the set of A Hard Day's Night, 1964.
A publicity photo still from an early M.G.M. sound musical featuring a reclining chorus girl in cowgirl costume with a lasso, 1929.
Candid shot of John Ford, Will Rogers & Walter Winchell on the set for "Dr. Bull.", 1933.
Set of four original photos from the 1961 film, Peeping Tom.
Seven original photos containing key scenes with all of the major characters including Charlton Heston and Kim Hunter, 1968.
A still from the set of Badman's Territory featuring Randolph Scott and a bedridden James Warren, 1946.
Original photograph from John Ford's Stagecoach - a film that received seven Oscar nominations in 1939 - John Wayne is far right.
A still from The Godless Girl starring Lina Basquette with George Duryea - from 1928.
A still photograph of Agnes Moorehead and Tim Holt from Orson Welles's great film The Magnificent Ambersons, 1942.
Staged photo of the stars and crew of The Misfits including Marilyn Monroe, Arthur Miller and Clark Gable. Signed by Arthur Miller, 1961.
Photo stills from the classic and some would say the best sci-fi film of the 1950's The Thing, 1951.
A candid, humorous photograph from Thunderball in which Bond girl Martine Beswick fends off bad guys in scuba gear, 1961.
Five original stills from the early film career of actress Vanessa Redgrave, 1966.
Photo of Lon Chaney Jr. in full Wolf Man make-up for Frankenstein meets Wolf Man in 1943.
Photograph of Basil Rathbone by George Hurrell from 1937. Rathbone's most famous character was Sherlock Holmes which he would debut in 1939 in The Hound of Baskervilles.
An undated photograph of the gifted bandleader, signer and actor, Cab Calloway. Photo taken by James J. Kriegsmann in New York City.
A 1928 still photograph of Carole Lombard - a Hollywood actress of the 20's, 30's and 40's who died tragically in a plane crash.
A 1937 still of Dorothy Lamour (who was crowned Miss New Orleans in 1937) with her baby crocodile during the production of The Jungle Princess
A photograph of Dustin Hoffman on the set of the 1974 film All the President's Men
Beautiful full portrait of Lizabeth Scott from the 1946 movie Dead Reckoning
Still photograph of Errol Flynn from the 1940 UK release of the film The Sea Hawk - a movie about swashbuckling pirates who fall in love
Candid still photographs of Gary Cooper & director Otto Preminger taken during the filming of the 1955 movie The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell
Full figure portrait of Gloria Swanson taken for film Father Takes A Wife. Photos most likely by Ernest Bachrach, 1941
Portrait of Gloria Swanson taken in 1921.
Reprint still of Gordon Scott posing as Tarzan which he played in six different movies, beginning in 1955.
1948 photograph from one of a famous series taken by Van Vechten of the 23-year-old Truman Capote posing in slacks and t-shirt, in front of a theatrical backdrop of marionettes
An oversized photograph of Greta Garbo as Anna Karenina and Fredric March as Vronsky on the set of Anna Karenina from 1935.
Portrait photograph of Greta Garbo from the 1926 film The Temptress
A small 5x7 staged portrait of Harold Lloyd wearing his trademark straw hat and glasses - photograph taken in 1921
Still photograph of Jennifer Jones and Robert Walker from the film Since You Went Away. The two actors were married briefly and appeared together in the film after they were divorced
Scene still from one of Joan Crawford's early talking films "Untamed" from 1929. Joan is pictured sitting on the lap of Ernest Torrence
Another still photograph of Joan Crawford from the 1929 film Untamed. Crawford pictured with Don Terry
Signed photograph of Joan Fontaine - a movie star of the 1930s, 40s and 50s
A candid shot of Katharine Ross arriving at Jackson Hole, Wyoming for the shooting of the 1968 movie, Hellfighters
Portrait of Kay Francis, by the great studio photographer Gene Robert Richee. The 1931 image promoted the film "Vice Squad"
1930 Portrait of a very young Lena Horne, taken at the start of her legendary career. Photographer stamp of Herbert Mitchell on the back
Columbia Studios 1941 publicity portrait of Loretta Young in costume for "The Men In Her Life." The film, directed by Gregory Ratoff is forgotten today and starred Ms. Young as a 19th century ballerina.
Marilyn Monroe and Robert Mitchum in a candid shot of them leaving a plane after filming River of No Return. Monroe nearly broker her leg on set and is seen in this photograph on crutches with her leg bandaged.
Original portrait of Mary Miles Minter from the film South Of Suva. Minter was only 20 when she made this film and became involved in a very big Hollywood scandal involving the murder of director William Desmond Taylor.
The romantic scenes of the "morning after" between Mata Hari and Lt. Alexis Rasanoff appeared in the original Deca. 1931 release prints, but have not been seen since
8 x 10 photo portrait of Hollywood icon Maureen O'Hara which she has signed and inscribed in bold black marker
Four still photos from Laurence Olivier's 1945 film version of Henry V. The stills are most likely from an early re-release and include three beautiful portraits of Olivier and one portrait of Olivier with Renee Asherson
Collection of five vintage single weight photographs from the UK release of the 1955 film, Mr Arkadin. Three of the photos feature the film's star, Orson Welles
A collection of five original photographs from 1943 of Peter Lorre from various films
Undated signed photograph of Randolph Scott who appeared in dozens of shoot-em ups during his long film career
Two original sepia-toned still photographs of Rita Hayworth in 1935 - an early look of a true movie star
Two vintage still photographs from the 1979 film, The Main Event, featuring Ryan O'Neal
Vintage borderless black-and-white candid press photograph on March 28, 1963, when Sean Connery met the "new Bond girl" Daniel Bianchi at a media event for From Russia With Love
Sharon Tate in a 1969 still photograph wearing an outfit designed by Moss Mabry who designed all the costumes for the film The Wrecking Crew.
Original 8" x 10' candid still of the three lead actors Montgomery Clift, Burt Lancaster & Frank Sinatra relaxing between takes on the set of "From Here To Eternity."
A close-up of Sophia Loren from "Lady L?" that has been inscribed and signed by Loren.
Beautiful rare original 8 x 10 publicity portrait of a Hollywood starlet in a very elaborate wedding gown. The still is not credited but it looks to be from an early sound musical.
This photo was taken in 1929 and features Joan Crawford wearing a Howard Greer get-up.
Collection of two vintage sepia single weight still photographs from the US release of the 1958 film, The Buccaneer, starring a young Yul Brynner.
A 1935 head shot of Talullah Bankhead who was famous for her rolls in "Devil and the Deep" (1932), which starred Gary Cooper and newcomer Cary Grant, and Hitchcock's "Lifeboat" (1944)
Signed photograph of American actress, Norma Shearer of the Golden Era, best remembered for her Academy Award winning performance in "The Divorcee" (1930) and for her marriage to movie mogul Irving Thalberg
Inscribed 1938 photo showing Gary Cooper in a medieval-looking costume (possibly in "The Adventures of Marco Polo"), with hands on hips and a slightly quizzical expression