Faye Dunaway's post-Oscar Breakfast, by Terry O'Neill

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Faye Dunaway's post-Oscar Breakfast, March 29 1977
Faye Dunaway's post-Oscar Breakfast, March 29 1977Photography by Terry O'Neill

A triumphant and breakfasting Faye Dunaway – captured by her husband Terry O'Neill the night after receiving her Oscar for Network – has scooped the Loves vote this week...

Breakfast, “the most important meal of the day”, is for most eaten at a kitchen table in pyjamas or workwear. However in this photograph of American actress Faye Dunaway, taken by her friend at the time and later husband Terry O’Neill, it is eaten poolside at the Beverley Hills Hotel in a silk dress and stilettos. Shot on March 29 1977, the unusual early morning glamour and decadence is due to the fact that Dunaway has just woken up (or stayed up) after winning an Academy Award for her role in Network. Slouched in a pool chair, a contemplative Dunaway is surrounded by a mass of newspapers (with Oscar headlines no doubt) and taking centre stage on the table, next to her Beverley Hills Hotel breakfast, is the gleaming Oscar statuette.

Whilst Dunaway was basking in the glory of her triumphant night before, O’Neill unknowingly captured what would be one of his most iconic photographs. "She isn’t sure quite who she is any more. I waited for her to look away from the camera, and I got the shot,” explains the photographer on the moment,  “I look at this picture often, and I’m still so proud of it. It’s still the best Oscar picture ever taken. And modern photographers should take that as a challenge."

The Most Loved post on AnOther Loves stream this week, we speak to editor-in-chief of A Tale of Three Cities Alex Tieghi-Walker about why he chose this photograph and what he would eat for breakfast after winning an Oscar.

Why did you choose to Love this image?
I think there’s something incredibly sublime about the whole scene – it’s that Southern Californian dawn light; she’s just popped on a pair of heels and silks to go with her pot of Earl Grey, or perhaps she never went to bed, either way it’s beautiful. I think it’s a moment I’d quite like to live at some point.

What’s your favourite Faye Dunaway film and why?
I love Bonnie and Clyde – the ultimate road trip rampage (along with Thelma and Louise). I have to shut my eyes for the last scene though when the police ambush their (rather beautiful) car.

She is a definite vintage style icon – what is your favourite look of hers and why?
Anything she wears in the Thomas Crown Affair, specifically her beach outfit – crisp white jeans and a camel turtleneck – she’s actually dressed as a beach. The sexiest yet possibly most impractical shoreline getup you could imagine.

If you had just won an Oscar what would your next-day breakfast be?
Something very, very hearty. Maybe several breakfasts, like a breakfast crawl. I'd be one of those people with pancakes and a smoothie and pastries AND eggs on my table.

Where is your favourite place to eat breakfast and what do you have?
I’m really in to solitary breakfasts sat on my roof reading a travel guide with a strong, strong caffetiere. The best breakfast I ever ate though was at the Casa Privata in Amalfi, Italy, they had about 20 different types of jam, including kiwi.

What was the last thing you bought?
A Nigel Cabourne Surface jacket. It justifies every single day of rain we’ve had in July and green is my favourite colour so all the boxes have been ticked.

What is your favourite online shop?
I keep eyeing up Aesop.com – I’m slowly working my way through their collection to replace my teenage bathroom cabinet.

Text by Lucia Davies