O'Neill's story begins back in 1959, having grown up just outside of Heathrow, a young Terry began his working life as a photographer for an airline at the airport. Completely by chance, O'Neill took a photograph of a sleeping Rab Butler, who, unbeknown to him, was the current home secretary. His talent for capturing the candid made Fleet Street editors jump and on the back of this image, O'Neill was offered a job at the Daily Sketch.

"Within two weeks I had photographed the Beatles and the Stones…nobody ever fazed me after that,'' O'Neill explained in an interview with the Telegraph in 2014.

Whilst photo-journalists around the world were capturing natural disasters, war and political events, O'Neill looked to the stars for inspiration. His photographs of rock royalty and the faces of the silver screen offered escapism and a chance for the public to see the fabulous and famous in their truest form.

Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, even the British Royal Family, the list goes on. Fashion, film and culture was becoming breaking news and Terry's photographs perfectly documented the young generation's hunger for celebrity. By 1965, every major publication around the world wanted O'Neill's photography.


One of O'Neill's most recognisable photographs is of his then-girlfriend actress Faye Dunaway, sat by the pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel the morning after winning the Academy Award for Best Actress for Network in 1977. With a faraway look - and perhaps a sore heard - Dunaway is surrounded by newspapers with her Oscar statuette sat beside her.

David Bowie On the floor by Terry O’Neill David Bowie On the floor by Terry O’Neill

O'Neill's photography for Bowie's 1974 album 'Diamond Dogs' O'Neill's photography for Bowie's 1974 album 'Diamond Dogs'

Last year, in tribute the late David Bowie, O'Neill's electric photographs of the star were shown at the Mouche Gallery in Beverly Hills in an exhibition entitled Bowie By O'Neill.

All photographs in the gallery above will be featured in Lots Road's auction on 19th March, 2016. Check out the full catalogue here.