It's been awhile since I really confessed about anything important, but here goes. I may photograph celebrities, but I am always excited to meet one of my favorite gossip columnists; Claudia Cohen was right up there in the top 3. She was fun, and gossipy without being nasty and condescending; I think what made her so laid back was that she was loaded so she didn't have to do this for a living (She got an $80 Million settlement in her divorce from Ron Perlman). Then again I guess because she was so loaded I didn't see her on Kelly & Regis or at too many events wither. In the last two years I only saw her twice, almost a year apart to the day. Here she is at the Fashion Rocks 9/5/2005. I called to her and she looked over and I was excited to get this shot. She looked perplexed, like how did I know her or something.
About a years later I took this shot as she arrived at a private screening of the Black Dahlia. I was excited when she got out of the car, calling her name as the other paparazzi's groaned, "Its just a gossip columnist". They didn't know what they were talking about, as I gushed over Ms. Cohen and telling her how much I like her work and how I looked forward to seeing her on Regis & Kelly. She on the otherhand was embarrased and said that she was no celebrity, and instead she just dove in and had a good old chat with me about the movie she was about to see, and the long standing theories of what happened to the Black Dahlia. It went on so long that I almost forgot to run over and get a shot of Hilary Swank when her car pulled up. (the shot is a tad overexposed)
Tonight, when I was reviewing the photo wire services to see celebrity photos had been taken today, I saw that someone covered her funeral; I was shocked to learn that she had passed away on Friday. She died of Ovarian Cancer, a cancer that had been in remission for 6 years, but had come back suddenly to claim her life. Gossip columnist Claudia Cohen dead of cancer at 56!