'The Morning After', Faye Dunaway at the Beverly Hills Hotel
‚I look at this picture often, and I’m still so proud of it. It’s still the best Oscar picture ever taken. And modern photographers should take that as a challenge.’ Terry O’Neill
‘I wanted to capture the look of dazed confusion, to capture that state of utter shock that Oscar winners enter, where they go to bed thrilled, then overnight, it dawns on them that they’ve changed, that they’ve just become a star. And not just a star, a millionaire.’
One of O’Neill’s best-known photographs shows Faye Dunaway the morning after Oscar night at the pool of the Beverly Hills Hotel. The image beautifully conveys the slight melancholy and after-party sentiment, whilst also revealing the true nature of fame behind the scenes. Dunaway had gone to bed at 3am and yet agreed to photograph with O’Neill at 6:30am before anyone else was at the swimming pool. She is dressed in a silk gown and high heels, dozing on the pool lounger, the ground scattered with that day’s newspapers. Faye’s own achievement which she had won for her performance in Network is placed casually on the breakfast table. Terry O’Neill wanted to show a more honest image of an Oscar winner and give the standard press photos a rejection. O’Neill had a long-term relationship with Faye Dunaway in the 1980s. No other photographer captured her effortless glamour so perfectly. That’s why “The Morning After”, as rightly nicknamed by O’Neill, became a true icon of Hollywood photography.