Gene Lester; Photographed Celebrities
Gene Lester, 84, pioneering Hollywood photographer who memorialized celebrities for the Saturday Evening Post. A native of Worcester, Mass., the former Lester Eugene Dephoure dropped out of journalism studies at Boston University because of the Depression. His first job was as a singer on a Worcester radio station, and eventually, he sang on NBC’s nationwide “Capitol Theater Family Hour.” But photography had always been a hobby, and soon he began photographing his better-known colleagues for Radio Guide magazine. The publication moved Lester to Hollywood, where he later opened his own studio. In 1940, he became West Coast correspondent for the Saturday Evening Post, a position he retained for 30 years. Lester also made short films. In 1959, he produced a CBS television special with Art Linkletter titled, “Christmas in the Holy Land.” On Dec. 1 in North Hollywood of congestive heart failure.