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The unseen photos of John Verzi, Hollywood’s unlikely celebrity photographer




Brad Pitt and Winona Ryder from John Verzi’s collection.
Verzi Collection/John Verzi/ Los Angeles Public Library

  • John Verzi spent six decades amassing 25,000 autographs and over 12,000 photos of celebrities. 
  • After his death in 2018, his collection of photographs sold at auction for over $140,000.
  • The Verzi collection has hundreds of never-before-seen photographs of celebrities.

John Verzi spent decades photographing everyone from A-list Hollywood celebrities to lesser-known niche stars.

His private collection is now being prepared for the public to view at the Los Angeles Public Library. 

After his death in 2018, Verzi’s exclusive photos bounced among collectors and auction houses before it found its permanent home at the central branch of the LAPL in Downtown Los Angeles. The library bid over $140,000 for the collection. 

Verzi was born in Santa Clara County, California, and spent much of his adult years in San Francisco and Los Angeles. He was not a paparazzi and was not, by any official accounts, a professional photographer, but he was taken with the world of Hollywood. 

While the collection is still being scanned and studied, the LAPL has granted Insider access to some never-before-seen photos from the collection.

John Verzi took photos of celebrities across Los Angeles and even obtained press credentials to attend carpet events.

Bruce Lee attends an entertainment industry event. The date handwritten on the slide is November 26, 1966.
John Verzi/ Verzi collection/ Los Angeles Public Library

Christina Rice, the senior librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library associated with the photo collection, said that Verzi had a friend at a film publication in the 1960s who helped him gain the necessary credentials.

Los Angeles librarians have used their collective knowledge and archival resources to determine locations and possible events some of the celebrities might be attending in Verzi’s photos. 

But not all of Verzi’s photos were taken at events.

Elvis Presley sits in the backseat of his car as he leaves a movie studio lot. The date handwritten on the slide is June 7, 1962.
John Verzi/ Verzi Collection/ Los Angeles Public Library.

Some were taken on a whim, like this photo of Elvis in the backseat of his car as he leaves a movie studio.

Some of Verzi’s photos feature celebrities at the Hollywood unemployment office — a frequent stop for stars who were in between jobs.

Charles Bronson stops for a photograph in a parking lot, possibly for the Hollywood unemployment office at 6725 Santa Monica Blvd.
John Verzi/ Verzi Collection/ Los Angeles Public Library.

Verzi would frequent the Hollywood unemployment office in his search for celebrities.

Verzi also had a penchant for finding stars attending dinner parties throughout Hollywood and Beverly Hills.

Lucille Ball arrives at Romanoff’s restaurant in Beverly Hills for a dinner honoring director Billy Wilder. The date handwritten on the slide is September 10, 1961.
John Verzi/ Verzi Collection/ Los Angeles Public Library.

All of the photographs in the Verzi collection are in color, which is one of the unique factors that sets his collection apart from others taken around the same time. 

Of the 4 million photos in the Los Angeles Public Library’s collection, a majority of them are black and white, Rice said.

The fact that Verzi’s photos are in color and dated aids the librarians in understanding the context around them. 

Some photos in the Verzi collection offer one-of-a-kind glimpses of celebrities, like Marilyn Monroe going to a dinner party in Los Angeles.

A glimpse of Marilyn Monroe is captured by the photographer as she leaves a dinner party honoring Billy Wilder at the Beverly Hills restaurant Romanoff’s. The handwritten date on the slide is September 10, 1961.
John Verzi/ Verzi Collection/ Los Angeles Public Library.

This photo of Marilyn Monroe getting in her car after attending a dinner party at Romanoff’s is the only one that exists. 

“There’s no other known photos of her at this event. It’s known she went to this event, but nobody else photographed her,” Rice said. “So it is not only is it one-of-a-kind Marilyn image, but it’s truly one-of-a-kind that nobody else photographed her at this event as far as we know.”

Verzi didn’t only focus on movie stars. He collected photographs of musicians, models, Broadway stars, and amateur adult film stars as well.

Jimi Hendrix is photographed in the back seat of a car. The date handwritten on the slide is March 28, 1969.
John Verzi/ Verzi Collection/ Los Angeles Public library.

One of the photos in the Verzi collection is of Jim Morrison outside of a theater. Thanks to Verzi’s handwritten dating, Los Angeles librarians have been able to determine that Morrison was attending the play, “The Beard.”

The play centers around a fictional encounter between the famous outlaw, Billy the Kid, and the 1930s actress, Jean Harlow. The two communicate with each other with four-letter expletives, and the play culminates in a scene of simulated intercourse between the two. 

The play was considered so controversial that it only ran for a couple of weeks and the actors in it were arrested frequently. 

Verzi once photographed 300 celebrities in an 11-month span between 1960 and 1961, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Aretha Franklin attends an industry luncheon. The date handwritten on the slide is March 5, 1973.
John Verzi/ Verzi Collection/ Los Angeles Public Library.

Verzi was known to be reclusive at moments and not easy to get along with.

Judy Garland, in a silk brocade evening coat, following her sold out performance at the Hollywood Bowl. The date handwritten on the slide is September 17, 1961.
John Verzi/ Verzi Collection/ Los Angeles Public Library.

In one instance, actress Sylvia Sidney reportedly said, “Get that man out of here,” upon seeing Verzi.

Verzi continued taking photos of a new generation of up-and-coming stars through the 1970s and 1980s.

Harrison Ford is photographed, possibly while working as a carpenter. The date handwritten on the slide is August 24, 1975.
John Verzi/ Verzi Collection/ Los Angeles Public Library

The LA Times reported Verzi moved to Las Vegas in 1989, where he lived in a trailer until he died in 2018.

Verzi’s collection of a lifetime of photographs sold for $144,000 to the LAPL.

Brad Pitt attends an evening event. February, 1988
John Verzi/ Verzi Collection/ Los Angeles Public Library

To the librarians who found and bid on the collection, it’s worth every penny. The collection gathers photos that might not exist anywhere else, and many of the photos themselves add new visual context to history. 

“To have such incredible snapshots of time that might not exist elsewhere,” Rice said, “I don’t know that you can really put a price on it.”

Now that the collection is being digitized, librarians at the LAPL hope that the images can be useful to the public.

Winona Ryder attends the premiere of “Sex, Lies, and Videotape” in Century City. August 3, 1989.
John Verzi/ Verzi Collection/ Los Angeles Public Library

The Verzi collection displays a different view of celebrities and stars in Hollywood in the 60s.

Sharon Tate attends an evening event. The date handwritten on the slide is March 30, 1967.
John Verzi/ Verzi Collection/ Los Angeles Public Library.

His photos are those of an avid fan and collector and contextualize an otherwise inaccessible lifestyle.

“It definitely tells a story of what’s going on in the city and that our entertainment industry isn’t just the Academy Awards — sometimes it’s just people hanging out at restaurants or collecting unemployment,” Rice said. “So it kind of tells a fuller story of what it is to be in the entertainment industry in our city.”

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15 Celebrities Who’ve Denied Using Ozempic & 13 Stars Who Admit They Have




Ozempic is a once-weekly injectable medication formulated to help adults with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar.

The medication is also known for being a solution to weight loss, which some celebrities have used for that reason, and that reason alone.

Despite Ozempic being a growing weight loss trend, a plastic surgeon confirmed to Us Weekly in March 2023 that it was never meant for people who are near their ideal weight, and that “it’s not even approved by the FDA for casual weight loss.”

Despite that, some celebrities have and still take Ozempic for weight loss. Others have spoken out when accused of taking the drug. With that in mind, we’re looking at celebrities who’ve denied and admitted to taking Ozempic.

Find out what the celebrities have said about Ozempic…

Photos: Getty Posted to: Alexia Nepola, Dolores Catania, Emily Simpson, Erika Jayne, Golnesa Gharachedaghi, Gracie McGraw, Jackie Goldschneider, Jameela Jamil, Jennifer Fessler, Jessica Simpson, Julia Fox, Keke Palmer, Khloe Kardashian, kyle richards, Lala Kent, Lauren Manzo, Mark Wahlberg, meghan mccain, Ozempic, Patti Stanger, Remi Bader, Sharon Osbourne, Slideshow, Sophie Turner, Tracy Morgan

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20 Celebrities Who Love Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour As Much As We Do




taylor swift the eras tour santa clara, ca

Celebs Who Have Attended Taylor Swift’s Eras TourJeff Kravitz/TAS23 – Getty Images

The Eras Tour is kind of a big deal. The tour, which kicked off in March, has brought out millions (and millions) of fans and tons of amazing surprise guests (Ice Spice! HAIM! Maren Morris!) It’s also been the catalyst for countless new friendships, thanks to a friendship bracelet swap inspired by lyrics from “You’re On Your Own, Kid.”

But wait, there’s more. Throughout the tour, a long list of celebs have come out to support (and sing along with) the famous singer. You’re pretty much guaranteed to spot at least one star when you attend one of Taylor’s concerts. Pretty cool, huh? Scroll ahead to learn which A-list celebrities have attended Taylor’s Eras Tour so far—from Emma Stone and Cameron Diaz to Selena Gomez, Halsey, and beyond. Oh, and the tour runs through November, so we expect this list to grow. Celebs, they’re just like us.

Karlie Kloss

Karlie, who has been friends with Taylor for well over a decade, was in attendance for the singer’s August 9th performance at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. The model was featured in the singer’s 2014 music video for “Bad Blood.”

celebrities attend the chicago bulls vs new york knicks game october 29, 2014

James Devaney – Getty Images

Jessica Chastain

Actress Jessica Chastain went to one of Taylor’s Mexico City performances styled in a long black dress and trench coat. The two are seen smiling here while walking the red carpet for the 2014 Golden Globe Awards nearly a decade earlier.

71st annual golden globe awards arrivals

Jeff Vespa – Getty Images


After attending Taylor’s concert, Halsey took to Twitter to write: “I literally cried hysterically during tolerate it and then rep set started and I was like oh she did this on purpose cause now I gotta wipe my face it’s bad b*tch hours.”

2019 american music awards roaming show and backstage

Kevin Mazur/AMA2019 – Getty Images


The members of HAIM didn’t just attend the Eras Tour, but they also performed. Here, the sisters are seen rocking out with Taylor during one of the tour’s California dates.

taylor swift the eras tour santa clara, ca

Jeff Kravitz/TAS23 – Getty Images

Kerry Washington

Actress Kerry Washington also attended the August 9th show. Before she headed over to SoFi Stadium, she posted an Instagram video of her lip-syncing along to Taylor’s popular song, “August.”

kerry washington

Amanda Edwards – Getty Images

Reese Witherspoon

Reese, pictured here with the singer at the 2011 Country Music Awards, attended one of Taylor’s Nashville shows. The two recently collaborated in 2022 on Where the Crawdads Sing, a film released by Hello Sunshine, Reese’s production company. The songstress created the film’s title track, “Carolina.”

46th annual academy of country music awards backstage and audience

Kevin Winter/ACMA2011 – Getty Images

Julia Roberts

The Pretty Woman actress was also in attendance for one of Taylor’s Eras Tour dates. “@taylorswift I love you,” Julia posted on Instagram. “Thank you for being EVERYTHING WE EVER NEEDED! Ever. #Erastour #betty #13″

That’s not all, though. Taylor brought Julia on stage along with music legend Joan Baez years earlier during her 2015 tour.

2013 toronto international film festival

Stefanie Keenan – Getty Images

Alicia Keys

Alicia stopped by one of Taylor’s Los Angeles dates with her son Genesis.

2019 iheartradio music awards

Kevin Mazur – Getty Images

Drew Barrymore

Based on her Instagram post, Drew had an amazing time at the Eras Tour. “@taylorswift I cried so hard when you sang welcome to NEW YORK,” the actress posted on Instagram after the show. “I moved here not knowing where my life was going. And I actually found myself so happy in this chapter. I also cried watching my daughters and cousin Sadie watch and love and sing to someone so admirable. YOU. I LOVE YOU TAYLOR SWIFT!!!!!!!!”

covergirl celebrates their 50th anniversary red carpet

John Shearer – Getty Images

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban

The couple, who are now based out of Nashville, posted a video of themselves on TikTok singing along to “Style.”

academy of country music awards' artist of the decade backstage

Frazer Harrison/ACM2009 – Getty Images

Maren Morris

Maren was the surprise musical guest for one of the singer’s Chicago concerts. The duo sang Taylor’s song, “You All Over Me.” It was the first time it was ever performed live.

2019 iheartradio music awards

Jeff Kravitz – Getty Images

Cameron Diaz

Cameron had fun with fellow actresses Tiffany Haddish and Zoe Saldaña at one of the singer’s Los Angeles dates.

2011 teen choice awards backstage and audience

Kevin Mazur/TCA 2011 – Getty Images

Emma Stone

Emma was captured by fans dancing and singing along to Taylor’s hit song, “You Belong with Me” while at one of the Arizona tour dates.

2011 teen choice awards backstage and audience

Kevin Mazur/TCA 2011 – Getty Images

Sadie Sink

Sadie, who starred in Taylor’s short film-slash-music video for the ten-minute version of “All Too Well,” also took in an Eras Tour show.

2022 toronto international film festival in conversation with taylor swift

Amy Sussman – Getty Images

Selena Gomez

Selena supported her BFF by attending one of the Los Angeles concerts with her little sister, Gracie. The “Hands To Myself” songstress showed up to the arena in a Taylor Swift hoodie and a stack of colorful friendship bracelets that she traded with fans throughout the night.

iheartradio music awards backstage

Kevin Mazur – Getty Images

Gigi Hadid

The supermodel excitedly sang along with Taylor from the audience during the singer’s Santa Clara tour date. She was snapped having a fabulous time at one of the Nashville shows, too. There’s no doubt about it, Gigi is a certified Swiftie.

celebrity sightings in new york city may 29, 2015

Michael Stewart – Getty Images

Jack Antonoff

Taylor brought out Jack to perform a duet of “Getaway Car” during one of her MetLife shows. Jack, a native of New Jersey, has worked with Taylor on several of her recent albums.

night one of taylor swift the eras tour east rutherford, nj

Kevin Mazur/TAS23 – Getty Images

Ice Spice

Rapper Ice Spice shared the stage with Taylor during the singer’s May 26th show. The duo collaborated on a remix of “Karma,” which was released this past spring.

night one of taylor swift the eras tour east rutherford, nj

Kevin Mazur/TAS23 – Getty Images

Phoebe Bridgers

Phoebe opened for a handful of Taylor’s shows. Even better? The “Kyoto” singer was spotted in the audience with comedian Bo Burnham at Taylor’s May 14th show.

2023 iheartradio music awards backstage

Kevin Mazur – Getty Images

Camila Cabello

Camila was seen at one of Taylor’s MetLife stadium concert dates with old flame Shawn Mendes. The two even held each other and swayed in unison during “Lover.” How cute!

2018 american music awards inside

Jeff Kravitz/AMA2018 – Getty Images

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