When Famous People Jumped

Born in Latvia, photographer Philippe Halsman began his long career in Paris. But like so many artists forced to flee Europe during WWII, Halsman arrived in the United States in 1940. He established himself as a portraitist, working for nearly every major magazine and shooting a record 101 covers of LIFE. And Halsman liked to end his portrait sessions by asking his subjects to do one last thing — jump!

In all, over 200 good sports, from Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot to Salvador Dalí and Jean Cocteau, took the leap of faith — now compiled in a reprint of the seminal 1959 book of the same name, Jump (Damiani). “Life has taught us to control and disguise our facial expressions, but it has not taught us to control our jumps,” he said. “I wanted to see famous people reveal in a jump their ambition, or their lack of it, their self-importance or their insecurity, and many other traits.”

Audrey Hepburn

Marilyn Monroe

Jean Cocteau


Lilly Christine, aka the Cat Girl

Eartha Kitt


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Salvador Dalí

Kim Novak

Edward Steichen

Duke and Duchess of Windsor

Jacques Tati


Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis

Eva Marie Saint

Grace Kelly

Janet Leigh

Jayne Mansfield

Jean Seberg

Shirley MacLaine

Anthony Perkins

Models at Daytona Beach

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