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Francesco Scavullo, 82; defined 'Cosmo Girl'

NEW YORK -- Fashion photographer Francesco Scavullo, who shot covers for Cosmopolitan magazine for more than 30 years, died yesterday of heart failure. He was 82.

Mr. Scavullo was preparing for an assignment when he complained of feeling weak and collapsed, his companion, Sean Byrnes, said.

Known for works ranging from enamel-on-canvas photo silkscreens to portraits of celebrities such as Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor, Mr. Scavullo was also recognized for his photographs of children. One of the most famous was his 1975 portrait of a young Brooke Shields.

"I have a passion for taking pictures of beautiful women," Mr. Scavullo told AP in 1985. "I was fascinated when my mother got done up. My mother made the transformation from Cinderella every day of her life." Born on Staten Island, Mr. Scavullo was one of five children whose father owned the old Central Park Casino. As a youth he got a job assisting the fashion photographer, Horst.

He later worked for Vogue and Seventeen magazines before launching a lucrative and lengthy career that included photographing covers for Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar, and other magazines. At the peak of his career, he commanded as much as $10,000 a sitting.

Mr. Scavullo was most known for the photos he did for Cosmopolitan. He said the pictures eclipsed the rest of his work. "It became an icon, and I became very famous because of the cover," Mr. Scavullo said in a biography on his website. "Everybody knew the Cosmo girl, and everybody wanted to be the Cosmo girl."

Etheleen Staley, director of the Staley-Wise Gallery in Manhattan, which handled Mr. Scavullo's work, remembered the photographer as a hard worker connected with the New York social elite. "He really did high-quality work, and he got to be famous as a personality because he was tied in with the Studio 54 crowd, like Halston and Liza Minelli," she said.

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