R.I.P. Boris Spremo

August 23, 2017 | Eric

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Toronto's first peek at the $100,000 sculpture was obtained when Star photographer Boris Spremo sprawled at Nathan Phillips Square and stuck his camera inside the protective case, 1966
Toronto's first peek at the $100,000 sculpture was obtained when Star photographer Boris Spremo sprawled at Nathan Phillips Square and stuck his camera inside the protective case, 1966

Boris Spremo was a news photographer, born on October 20, 1935, in Susak, Yugoslavia and died yesterday in Toronto, Ontario, at the age of 81.

Spremo graduated from Belgrade's Cinematographic Institute, and almost immediately immigrated to Canada in 1957, settling in Toronto.

In 1962, he joined the staff of the Globe and Mail but in 1966 left for a position with the Toronto Star, where he remained for over 30 years.

Spremo photographed dramatic news events including the Vietnam War and the plight of Kurdish refugees during the Iraq War in 1991.

Boris was also well known for his portraiture of entertainers, royalty and politicians as well as many stunning images of Toronto, notably, his death defying photographs of the construction of CN Tower in 1974. 

 

Spremo's photographs have been published in books dedicated to his work, including Boris Spremo: Twenty Years of Photojournalism (1985) and Boris Spremo and His Camera Look at  Toronto (1967).

Toronto Public Library is  honored to house many of Spremo's photographs as part of our Toronto Star Photo Archive, housed in the Marilyn and Charles Baillie Special Collections Centre at Toronto Reference Library

We are very pleased to share some digitized versions of his work from our Digital Archive in this blog, which is intended to highlight the wide variety of subject matter Mr. Spremo captured throughout his career. 


Royalty:

Princess Diana, Halifax, 1983
Princess Diana, Halifax, 1983
Princess Diana and Pierre Trudeau, 1983
Princess Diana and Pierre Trudeau, 1983
 
Charles, Prince of Wales, at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, 1996
Charles, Prince of Wales, at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, 1996
 
Royal Family at the Princess of Wales Funeral, 1997
Royal Family at the Princess of Wales Funeral, 1997

Sports:

Wayne Gretzky, 1990
Wayne Gretzky, 1990
Clyde Gray of Toronto, Canadian and Commonwealth welterweight boxing champ, 1973
Clyde Gray of Toronto, Canadian and Commonwealth welterweight boxing champ, 1973

$450,000: That's what jockey Sandy Hawley expects to earn this year. 1973.
$450,000: That's what jockey Sandy Hawley expects to earn this year. 1973.
Steve Fonyo, 5 AM, 20 miles east of Summit, 1985
Steve Fonyo, 5 AM, 20 miles east of Summit, 1985
Jim Harrison, Maple Leaf centre, scrambles for puck with Andre Boudrias of St. Louis Blues, 1969
Jim Harrison, Maple Leaf centre, scrambles for puck with Andre Boudrias of St. Louis Blues, 1969
 
The official opening of the dome ushered in a new era for the followers of sports in Toronto, 1989
The official opening of the dome ushered in a new era for the followers of sports in Toronto, 1989

Politicians: 

Mikhail Gorbachev and Brian Mulroney, 1990
Mikhail Gorbachev and Brian Mulroney, 1990
Barbara Hall, 1994
Barbara Hall, 1994
Metro chairman Paul Godfrey, 1973
Metro chairman Paul Godfrey, 1973
Mike Harris, 1997
Mike Harris, 1997
Ambassador Averell Harriman: Speaking at Canadian Press annual dinner, 1966
Ambassador Averell Harriman: Speaking at Canadian Press annual dinner, 1966
 
Mimico Mayor Hugh Griggs, 1966
Mimico Mayor Hugh Griggs, 1966

Toronto:

CN Tower construction, 1974
CN Tower construction, 1974
How many Torontonians does it take to change a light bulb? While thousands of people watched yesterday, the flashing red light atop the 1,815-foot-high CN Tower was replaced with a 200,000-candlepower flashing strobe light, 1982
While thousands of people watched yesterday, the flashing red light atop the 1,815-foot-high CN Tower was replaced with a 200,000-candlepower flashing strobe light, 1982
The attractiveness of the City Hall complex puts into sharp focus what we lack in other parts of the city, 1972
The attractiveness of the City Hall complex puts into sharp focus what we lack in other parts of the city, 1972
Workmen erecting the steel base for the new Top of Toronto restaurant at the Sky Pod level last year grinned back at photographer Spremo balanced on a steel girder just above them, 1974
Workmen erecting the steel base for the new Top of Toronto restaurant at the Sky Pod level last year grinned back at photographer Spremo balanced on a steel girder just above them, 1974

Conflict:

Iraq border, food arrives to Kurdish refugee camp, 1991
Iraq border, food arrives to Kurdish refugee camp, 1991
Isikveren refugee camp, Turkey-Iraq border, 1991
Isikveren refugee camp, Turkey-Iraq border, 1991
Vietnam, 1972
Vietnam, 1972
Vietnam, date unknown
Vietnam, date unknown
   

Entertainers:

Phyllis Diller, 1983
Phyllis Diller, 1983
Leonardo Dicaprio, 1994
Leonardo Dicaprio, 1994
Ella Fitzgerald, 1985
Ella Fitzgerald, 1985
Jane Fonda, 1970
Jane Fonda, 1970
Sir John Gielgud at the Royal Alexandra, 1972
Sir John Gielgud at the Royal Alexandra, 1972
Farrah Fawcett-Majors, 1978
Farrah Fawcett-Majors, 1978

See more photographs by Boris Spremo.

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