A new biography about Richard Avedon claims that he carried on an affair for decades with his close friend Mike Nichols.
This salacious story appears in the upcoming book ‘Avedon: Something Personal,’ which was written by the famed photographer’s former business partner of 30 years, Norma Stevens.
Avedon’s ‘secret affair’ with the EGOT-winning director lasted a decade writes Stevens in the book according to Page Six.
No other details are given, though it is well known that Avedon and Nichols were close after having first worked together in the early 1960s on a Harper’s Bazaar photo shoot featuring the then-comedian and his girlfriend, model Suzy Parker.
Nichols went on to marry four times, and had been wed to ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer for 26 years at the time of his death in 2014.
Avedon married second wife Evelyn Franklin in 1951 and the two were together until her death in March 2004. Seven months later Avedon passed away.
Closer: A new book set for release later this month claims that Richard Avedon had a relationship with Mike Nichols (John Richardson speaks with Dianne Sawyer while Avedon and Nichols talk in the background)
Best of buds: The two were friends for 50 years, but the ‘secret’ relationship lasted for just a decade according to author Norma Stevens (pair above at an event honoring Avedon in 1993)
Meet and greet: Stevens was Avedon’s business partner for 30 years, leaving the world of advertising to become his studio director (Nichols and Avedon in 1999 above)
Nichols spoke about the first time he worked with Avedon in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar just before his death.
‘Dick was a friend of mine, and he called up and asked if I’d like to do this gag on Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra,’ said Nichols of the photo shoot he did with Parker for the magazine.
‘I said, “Sure, why not?” I’d made fun of a lot of people at that point; it seemed like a great idea.’
The photos were meant to tell the story of a couple who fell in love on the set of their film Josephine and Napoleon and were now running through Paris trying to escape the paparazzi.
‘Dick had a genius for making it all really happen, so all you had to do was react,’ explained Nichols.
Avedon was married twice (book above)
‘Dick got the paparazzi all riled up; he got me all riled up. He was a director, really, and like all great directors, he knew how to bring an entire world to life.’
Nichols said that in the end he was ‘amazed by the photos his friend was able to capture, noting: ‘Every moment said something.’
He then added: ‘Dick saw things other people didn’t see.’
Avedon meanwhile was on hand in 1999 when Nichols was honored at Lincoln Center in New York City for his body of work.
In his 2016 book Focus: The Secret, Sexy, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers, Michael Gross revealed that Avedonw as bisexual.
The son of Avedon’s first wife Dorcas Nowell bsaid his mother told him that the photographer was a homosexual.
Avedon did have a son Christopher with his second wife.
In that same book a former assistant also said that Avedon had relationships with men, naming famed writer James Baldwin as one of his paramours.
Lovely ladies: Nichols said Sawyer was his great love (pair on left in 2008) while Avedon was often photographed with his beautiful subjects (on right with Audrey Hepburn in 1989)
Original duo: Nichols and his original comedy partner Elaine May (above in 1958) briefly dated before his first marriage
Long list: Nichols was linked to the likes of Carrie Fisher (left imn 1978), Candace Bergen (right), and Gloria Steinham
He started off in the world of comedy as part of the famed duo Nichols and May, and once the pair split began acting in regional theater productions.
Then, in 1963 he took on the task of directing the Broadway play ‘Barefoot in the Park’ starring Robert reford and won the first of his nine Tony Awards.
He moved to the silver screen three years later, directing Hollywood’s most famous couple Elizabeth taylor and Richard Burton in ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolff?’
Nichols was twice linked to Jackie Kennedy (above in 1983)
Nichols was nominated for his first of five Academy Awards for his work on that movie, and won the Best Director prize the following year with the release of ‘The Graduate.’
That film would eventually define the decade, and launched Nichols to the top of the Hollywood heap.
Soon, his love life was receiving as much attention as his pictures.
He was married to his first wife Patricia Scott for three years from 1957 to 1960; wed second wife Margot Calls in 1963 before divorcing and 1974; and walked down the aisle with the third Mrs. Nichols, Annabell David-Goff in 1975 before splitting in 1986.
In between he was linked to the likes of Carrie Fisher, Candace Bergen, Gloria Steinham and Jackie Kennedy – both before and after her second marriage to Aristotle Onasis.
It was an impressive list for the man who at the age of four lost his hair after being inoculated for whopping cough and wore wigs for the rest of his life.
He also dated May briefly but it was Sawyer he said was the love of his life.
My ultimate happiness began in 1988 when I married Diane. She is the perfect wife,’ said Nichols before his death.