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David Steen recalls: I’d been in Cannes photographing Harold (The Carpetbaggers) Robbins and he invited me to join his guests – including Soraya Khashoggi – on his motor yacht. We speeded off heading up the coast to lunch in Monte Carlo, closely followed by a smaller boat carrying Soraya’s three bodyguards. We dropped anchor a short distance out to sea and I dived overboard to swim. As I came up our host was shaking his head disapprovingly. ‘You shouldn’t have done that,’ he said. ‘Nobody swims off this coast. Turn around and take a look.’ I did. I saw, or rather what I didn’t see, was the coastline. It was obliterated by thick mist. Only this wasn’t mist it was smog. ‘It’s pollution,’ he said…’Now look down.’ The water was foul. Waste everywhere.  ‘Their sewage is a scandal,’ he said, ‘this is the dirtiest place in the Mediterranean.’
 Cannes, South of France
Year: 1972
Biography: The son of Russian and Polish immigrants, Robbins was born in New York City in 1916 and grew up in an orphanage. He made his first million by the age of 20 selling sugar, but by the outbreak of World War II had lost it all. Moving to Hollywood and working at Universal Pictures, he published his first novel in 1948; Never Love a Stranger was based on his own childhood as an orphan and caused an outrage with its graphic depictions of sex. It was to become a recurring theme through more than 20 novels, often based on historical fact and real people, but always fuelled with a mixture of sex and melodrama. It was a winning formula that sold him over 50 million books and led to many of his titles being made into films, including King Creole (1958) starring Elvis Presley and based on his 1951 novel A Stone for Danny Fisher. He died in 1997.
Print Type: Digital C-Type
Printed by: Metro Imaging, London
Limited Editions: All prints are limited editions, no further prints are produced once sold
Bespoke: All prints are bespoke and printed to order, stamped and numbered
Presentation: Prints are supplied to clients flat in an acid-free box or rolled in a tube
Watermark: Watermarks will not be present on an original print
Tags: harold robbins, american author, writer, 1972, movies, hollywood, the carpetbaggers, king creole, 79 park avenue, a stone for danny fisher, where love has gone, the betsy, the pirate, the storyteller, goodbye janette, dreams die first, memories of another day, where love has gone, the adventurers, the inheritors
Copyright: © David Steen / The David Steen Archive