Donations in Rebecca’s name may be made to the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, in NYC.
Full Name: Rebecca Blake
Date of Death: Saturday, September 17, 2022
Rebecca Blake, the acclaimed music-video director and fashion photographer perhaps best known for her collaborations with music artist Prince, died from complications due to heart failure on Saturday, September 17 at Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, NJ. Her death was confirmed by her husband and partner, Dicran (Deke) Donelian, of Atlantic Highlands, NJ. Born in Antwerp, Belgium, Rebecca Blake came to the United States at a young age, and her European roots are evident in her work and aesthetics. She attended the prestigious High School for Music and Art as a Piano major, before attending New York University where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree studying English Literature, Music and Art History.
After graduating college, Blake quickly established a career as a successful commercial photographer, working with some of the world’s most prestigious fashion and beauty brands: Estee Lauder, Revlon, Elizabeth Arden, Yves St. Laurent and Clairol, among others. In 1977, she was hired by director Irvin Kershner, to work closely with both himself and actress Faye Dunaway as special photographic consultant on the feature film “The Eyes of Laura Mars”, which starred Dunaway as a New York fashion photographer who has premonitions of murders. At the same time, she was commissioned by Columbia Pictures to create a series of erotic
photographs which were featured in the film, alongside work by German fashion photographer Helmut Newton.
Blake quickly moved into directing commercials for clients such as L’Oréal, Pantene, Revlon, Shiseido, Victoria’s Secret, Guess, Maybelline, Citroen, and Volkswagen.
Over the course of her career, she worked with a long list of the top models, musicians and actors of our time: Angelina Jolie, Claudia Schiffer, Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford, Hallie Berry, Jessica Lange, Monica Bellucci, John Travolta, Christie Brinkley, U2, Duran Duran, Debbie Harry, Sheena Easton, Sheila E., Michael Bolton, KISS, George Benson, Pattie La Belle, Stephanie Seymour, Lauren Hutton, Paulina Porizkova, Brooke Shields, Grace Jones, Vanessa Williams, John Malkovich, Kevin Kline, Darryl Hall and Luis Miguel, to name only a few.
Rebecca was a trailblazer in many ways, being one of the tiny handful of women who were able to break into the traditional “boy’s club” of Advertising and Music Video production at a time when women were relegated to subservient roles.
Blake’s photography is in the permanent collections of the International Center of Photography, The Brooklyn Museum, The Mellon Collection of Surreal Art. Her work has been exhibited at The Rizzoli Gallery, Nikon House, The Hastings Gallery, The Witkin Gallery, The Light Gallery, among others.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by her brother, Jack Goodchild of Sherman Oaks, CA; his wife, Carrie, and their son Adam and daughter Sarah. She is also survived by her cousin, Benny Barmapov, of Staten Island, NY and Sunny Isles Beach, FL.