NEW YORK (AP) – Martha Holmes, a former Life magazine photographer known for her signature pictures of famous people including painter Jackson Pollock and film stars Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, has died at age 83.

Holmes died at home in Manhattan on Sept. 19, said Bobbi Baker Burrows, a Life picture editor who worked with Holmes and other members of the magazine’s famed group of photographers. She said family members reported the death was from natural causes.

A native of Louisville, Ky., Holmes was hired by Life in 1944 from the Louisville Courier-Journal, after another Life photographer on assignment there noticed her work. She was the third female addition to the elite magazine staff after Margaret Bourke-White and Marie Hansen, and worked mainly out of Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and later New York.

“Martha Holmes was a rarity among professional photographers, because everybody liked her,” former Life managing editor Ralph Graves said in a statement. “She made people feel she cared just as much about them as she did about getting her pictures.”

In 1949, she photographed Pollock at work with a cigarette dangling from his mouth. The image became a U.S. postage stamp, “with the cigarette airbrushed out,” Burrows said.

Holmes depicted Bogart and Bacall standing by a table at a House Un-American Activities Committee hearing on Communist influence in Hollywood in 1947, CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow driving a tractor on his Connecticut farm, and Eleanor Roosevelt walking in woods with a group of orphans.

Other notable subjects were United Mine Workers president John L. Lewis, comedian Groucho Marx, jazz immortal Louis Armstrong and singer Frank Sinatra.

“Above all, Martha Holmes was a photographer of people. She sought to bring out the personal side of public figures,” Burrows said.

She was married for 46 years to Arthur Waxman, a theatrical executive and early general manager of the Actors Studio. Waxman died in 1998.

Holmes is survived by two daughters, Anne Holmes Waxman, of Manhattan, and Terry Holmes Waxman Koshel, of Mount Vernon, N.Y., and two grandchildren. A memorial service is planned.

AP-ES-09-24-06 1216EDT

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