Ruth Harriet Louise

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Ruth Harriet Louise
Ruth Harriet Louise selfportrait.jpg
Ruth Harriet Louise (self-portrait)
Ruth Goldstein

(1903-01-13)January 13, 1903
New York, New York
DiedOctober 12, 1940(1940-10-12) (aged 37)
Los Angeles, California
Known forPhotography
Leigh Jason (m. 1930–1940)

Ruth Harriet Louise (born Ruth Goldstein) (January 13, 1903 – October 12, 1940) was an American professional photographer, the first woman photographer active in Hollywood; she ran Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's portrait studio from 1925 to 1930.


When Louise was hired by MGM as chief portrait photographer in the summer of 1925, she was twenty-two years old, and the only woman working as a portrait photographer for the Hollywood studios. In a career that lasted only five years, Louise photographed all the stars, contract players, and many of the hopefuls who passed through the studio's front gates, including Greta Garbo, Lon Chaney, John Gilbert, Joan Crawford, Marion Davies, and Norma Shearer. It is estimated that she took more than 100,000 photos during her tenure at MGM. Today she is considered an equal with George Hurrell Sr. and other renowned glamour photographers of the era.


Ruth Harriet Louise was born in New York City and reared in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She was the daughter of a rabbi. Retired from MGM in 1930, to marry director Leigh Jason, Louise died in 1940 of complications from childbirth. Her brother was director Mark Sandrich, who directed some of the great Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers musicals, and she was a cousin of silent-film actress Carmel Myers.


  • Dance, R.; Robertson, B.: Ruth Harriet Louise and Hollywood Glamour Photography, Univ. of California Press 2002; ISBN 0-520-23347-6.

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