Mario Casilli

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Mario A. Casilli
Born (1931-01-22)January 22, 1931
Died April 25, 2002(2002-04-25) (aged 71)
Altadena, California, U.S.
Education Cleveland Institute of Art
Occupation Celebrity photographer, nudes
Years active 1957–2002

Mario A. Casilli (January 22, 1931 – April 25, 2002)[1] was an American photographer. Among other photos, he worked for Playboy magazine between 1957 and 1996 and his first photoshoot there was of Jacquelyn Prescott, as Playmate of the Month of September 1957.


Casilli attended the Cleveland Institute of Art at only 14 years of age.[2]


After his time at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Casilli served in the US Navy. Upon his return, He moved to Hollywood where he worked at Paul Hesse Studios. This is the place where he learned the business of photography. After four years of working at Paul Hesse Studios, Casilli decided to open up his own studio and begin his career as a professional photographer. He had the opportunity to photograph big celebrities such as Dolly Parton, Sally Field, Will Smith, and Halle Berry. Casilli had a unique style which separated him from the rest.[3] His style is said to have been iconic and defined the photography of the 1980s.[4]

From 1962 until 1981 he photographed fifty-seven Playmate pictorials, including Playmates of the Year Linda Gamble, Christa Speck, Jo Collins, Connie Kreski, Claudia Jennings and Dorothy Stratten. He also photographed several covers for Playboy, as well as celebrities such as Valerie Perrine, Victoria Principal, Joan Collins and Mariel Hemingway.[5] In addition to his work with Playboy, Casilli also contributed stills to the films Star 80 (1983) (which was about murdered Playmate Dorothy Stratten) and Nuts (1987).[6]

Casilli also photographed many album covers, including The Judds 1985 album Rockin' with the Rhythm.

In his later years, Casilli taught at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. He also continued to shoot photography while continuing to maintain his studio in Southern California.[2]


Casilli was able to photograph for the following publications:


He died of a long illness in 2002 in Altadena, California.


  1. ^ Silva, Horacio (April 6, 2009). "Now Eulogizing – Fanzine 137". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ a b c "Mario Casilli- Fine Art, Rock, Music Photography". Rock, Paper, Photo. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  3. ^ Kirkova, Deni. "BIG hair, bold make-up and piles of bling: 80s stars revealed in all their gaudy glory in book celebrating snapper Mario Casilli". Daily Mail. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Doggett, Peter (2013). Mario Casilli. Reel Art Press. ISBN 9781909526051. 
  5. ^ "Mario Casilli, Playboy Photographer". Vintage Playboy Mags. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  6. ^ [1]

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