Obituary

Jeremy Grayson obituary

My father, Jeremy Grayson, who has died aged 90, was a professional photographer who worked over the years for clients including the BBC, Radio Times, Talk of the Town and the London Palladium.

He photographed a plethora of famous people: Shirley Bassey, Sammy Davis Jr, the Beatles, Marlon Brando, John Mills and Harold Macmillan to name a few. From the 1960s onwards his photos were used in advertising campaigns, on record and book covers, and in magazines.

Born in London, the son of Brian Grayson, who formerly owned a publishing company, and his wife, Sofia (nee Buchanan, Jeremy was educated at Worth school in West Sussex and Downside school in Somerset, after which he completed his national service in the RAF. He trained in photography during the 50s in Bond Street in London at the studios of the Austrian portrait photographer Lotte Meitner-Graf, and at the photographic shop run by Wallace Heaton, in the same road, before turning freelance.

Jeremy met Sara Upton, a secretary/journalist, when they were living in the same shared house, and they married in 1958, going on to raise six children in the thriving, bohemian community of Chelsea during the 60s and 70s. This gave the family privileged access to an exciting world of film sets, theatres, TV studios and some wonderful people from all walks of life.

Despite his professional and personal links with some famous figures my father remained down to earth and committed to his local community. During the 70s and 80s he became involved with the running of a playground for disabled children in Chelsea, fighting hard to ensure its survival. He was very popular with the children and staff and, more generally, was incredibly caring and generous to those less fortunate than himself. He also later volunteered for the Riding for the Disabled Association.

A generous man with a wonderful sense of humour, he provided us children with the most exciting of upbringings, based around his warmth, fun and love of people and the outdoors.

In 1998 he and Sara moved to East Stoke, then later Winfrith Newburgh, both in Dorset, where he enjoyed painting, gardening, exploring the countryside and reading.

He is survived by Sara, his children Simon, Caroline, Anna, Paul, Lucy and me, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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