Clarence Bull

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Clarence Bull (May 22, 1896 - June 8, 1979), usually credited as "Clarence Sinclair Bull", was one of the great portrait photographers who worked for the movie studios during the "Golden Age of Hollywood". He was head of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer stills department for nearly forty years.

Original studio publicity photo of Greta Garbo for film Ninotchka
Publicity photo for film The Barretts of Wimpole Street taken by Clarence Bull
American actress Lynne Carver - publicity still taken by Clarence Bull


Clarence Bull was born in Sun RIver, Montana on the date of May 22, 1896.[1] His career began when Sam Goldwyn hired him in the year of 1920 to photograph publicity still shots of the stars in the studio. When Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was founded in the year of 1924, Clarence Bull was appointed to be the photographer publicity stills of the studio's stars. He is mainly popular for his photographs of Greta Garbo during the years of 1926-1941. Clarence Bull's first portrait of Garbo was a costume study for the Flesh and the Devil, and it was photographed on September 1926.[2] Bull was able to study with the great Western painter, Charles Marion Russell. He also served as an assistant cameraman in the year of 1918.[3] Clarence Bull was skilled in the areas of lighting, retouching, and printing.[4] Clarence Bull was commonly addressed as C.S. Bull.[5]

Clarence Bull died on June 8, 1979 in Los Angeles, California. His burial site is at the Sanctuary Of Devotion.[1]


Clarence Bull's most famous portraits include following celebrities:

  • Clark Gable
  • Joan Crawford
  • Katharine Hepburn
  • Hedy Lamarr
  • Gary Cooper
  • Elizabeth Taylor
  • Vivien Leigh
  • Spencer Tracy
  • Ava Gardner
  • Grace Kelly
  • Greta Garbo[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Clarence Bull". Hollywood Grave Hunter. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "Clarence Sinclair Bull - The man who shot Garbo -". Garbo Forever. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "Clarence Sinclair Bull (American, 1895-1979)". ArtNet. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "The Great Hollywood MGM Photographer Clarence Sinclair Bull". Vintage Movie Star Photos. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "ABOUT CLARENCE SINCLAIR BULL’S LIFE". Andrew Weiss Gallery. Retrieved 25 July 2013.