Michael Jackson, Andy Warhol, and More: Ron Galella’s Greatest Hits (PHOTOS)

Ron Galella’s work is the subject of several books. His latest, Paparazzo Extraordinaire, which is out this month, includes some his most famous photographs, from Michael Jackson to Mick Jagger; Greta Garbo to Elizabeth Taylor, to Jackie O.

Ron Galella

Ron Galella

Ron Galella’s work is the subject of several books. His latest, Paparazzo Extraordinaire, which is out this month, includes some his most famous photographs, from Michael Jackson to Mick Jagger; Greta Garbo to Elizabeth Taylor to Jackie O.

Ron Galella

Jackie Onassis

“She was my golden girl,” Ron Galella says of Jackie O. The photographer followed her for years—around the Upper East Side (here, on Oct. 15, 1970, on her way out of the Bonwit Teller department store), on a bike through Central Park, on the tennis court, and even to Greece, where he disguised himself as a Greek sailor in order to snag pictures of her in a bikini. Onassis eventually filed a lawsuit against him, and Galella was required to stay 100 yards from her home and 50 yards away from her and her children. But that hasn’t stopped Galella’s thirst for all things Jackie. He’ll release a book in the fall called Jackie: My Obsession, which will feature his pictures of the former first lady.

Ron Galella

Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall

It may seem that Mick Jagger wasn’t happy to see Galella when he snapped the rocker and Jerry Hall arriving at a luncheon at the Mizuno Gallery in Los Angeles in 1983. But Galella maintains that he and Jagger had a rapport. “Once he was interviewed by Lisa Robinson from Rolling Stone, and she asked him about the press,” Galella says proudly. “He said, when I’m in New York, I have to watch out for Ron Galella.”

Ron Galella

Greta Garbo

Galella got this shot of Garbo in June 1978 on a tip from a fan. He heard she was inside the Rizzoli bookstore on 52nd Street and raced to the scene, where he hid in a phone booth down the block. When she approached, he popped out to take her picture. But Garbo quickly covered her face with a tissue.

Ron Galella

Alfred Hitchcock

Galella admits that the dance between celebrities and paparazzi is all about mystery. Stars hold on to their mystery and photographers try to tease it out of them for the public. On April 29, 1974, Galella shot the father of mystery: Alfred Hitchcock, as he attended a Film Society Tribute in his honor at Lincoln Center (with Grace Kelly on his arm).

Ron Galella

Elizabeth Taylor

Galella was on hand to photograph Elizabeth Taylor on May 8, 1983, as she swanned out of the Tavern on the Green, where she had attended the opening party for Private Lives. He recalls that she was on her way back to Rock Hudson’s apartment on 80th Street.

Ron Galella

Liza Minelli

“Liza was very cooperative, she was very nice,” Galella says. He photographed her in 1974 leaving the Pips Club in Beverly Hills, Calif., where she attended the 46th Annual Academy Awards Pre-Party.

Ron Galella

Sean Penn

Galella followed Sean Penn and Madonna one night in late August 1986. He followed them from Lincoln Center to the Ginger Man, a restaurant down the street. He staked them out and then followed them to their apartment down the street with a group of other paparazzi. “The second we stepped on the courtyard, Sean Penn said, ‘Now you did it, you’re on private property,’ and began swinging. Madona was at the door saying ‘Stop it, stop it.’” The boxing match ended quickly when the photographers retreated—but Penn managed to clock one paparazzo in the nose. “I don’t think he was drunk,” Galella says. “He was just nasty.”

Ron Galella

Michael Jackson and Brooke Shields

Galella photographed Jackson on numerous occasions—but met him only once; here with Brooke Shields (and Emmanuel Lewis) at the Grammys at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Feb. 29, 1984. As Galella told The Daily Beast’s Isabel Wilkinson in 2010, upon the occasion of the publication of his book about Jackson: “I personally think he did himself in; I think he committed suicide. That’s what I said, but [the publisher] took it out of the book. He was too weak to do any more concerts.”

Ron Galella

Andy Warhol

The godfather of New York’s downtown art scene was prepared when Galella flashed him at the Council of Fashion Designers of America awards at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Jan. 13, 1985—and snapped back with a photo of his own.