Allan Warren

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Allan Warren
Allan Warren portrait.jpg
Warren in 2010
Michael Allan Warren

(1948-10-26) 26 October 1948 (age 72)

Michael Allan Warren (born 26 October 1948) is an English portrait photographer, primarily known for his images of members of high society. Warren is also a Wikimedia Commons contributor.


Early life

After growing up in post-war London with his mother, Warren attended Terry's Juveniles, a stage school based in the Drury Lane Theatre. It was during this period that he attended auditions through which he received several assignments. One such piece of work was as a child presenter in "The Five O'clock Club", which afforded him the opportunity to associate with a variety of people, including a young Marc Bolan (then performing as "Toby Tyler") who would later employ Warren as his first manager. [2] [3]


Warren started his photographic career at the age of 20, when he was acting in Alan Bennett's play Forty Years On with John Gielgud in the West End at the Apollo Theatre. [1] Around this time Warren bought his first second-hand camera and began to take photographs of his fellow actors. His first major assignment was when his friend Mickey Deans asked him to cover his wedding to Judy Garland, which marked the beginning of Warren's work as a professional photographer. [4] When in New York for personal reasons, he attended an audition for the Broadway production of Minnie's Boys. However, he later declined the role offered to him, in favour of returning to London and pursuing photography as his vocation.[ citation needed ]

After this decisive event, Warren embarked on his photography career, throughout which he took portraits of personalities including many actors, writers, musicians, politicians and members of the British royal family. [5] [6] In the early 1980s Warren embarked on a quest to photograph all 30 British dukes. [7] Together with Angus Montagu, 12th Duke of Manchester he set up the Duke's Trust, a charity for children in need. [8] [9] [10] Warren has uploaded many pictures from his archive to Wikimedia Commons. [11]

In the early 1990s, Warren embarked on writing plays. One of his works, The Lady of Phillimore Walk, [12] was directed by Frank Dunlop and critics went as far as comparing it to Sleuth, a thriller written by Anthony Shaffer. The cast of "The Lady of Phillimore Walk" consisted of Zena Walker and Philip Lowrie; [13] and saw productions in the United States. [14]

Warren invented the Hankybreathe, a handkerchief which allows the user to inhale air through a carbon filter at the mouth, to filter out the noxious effects of exhaust emissions. The invention, which is meant to be dabbed in eucalyptus oil, harks back to the nosegay and stems from Warren's experience with asthma in heavily polluted London. [15] [16] [17] In January 2018, Warren was used as a clue in the Times Daily Quiz. [18]

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Photographs by Allan Warren at Wikimedia Commons


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  1. 1 2 Pride Life, No.03 Autumn 2008
  2. Paytress, Mark (2006). Bolan: The Rise and Fall of a 20th Century Superstar. Omnibus Press. ISBN   1-84609-147-0. Google books
  3. The Hollywood Reporter, Vol. CCLI, No. 43 Friday, 2 June 1978
  4. Washington Times, November 2012
  5. The Confessions of a Society Photographer – Allan Warren (Jupiter, London, 1976) ISBN   0-904041-68-9 ISBN   978-0-904041-68-2
  6. Nobs & Nosh : Eating with the Beautiful People – Allan Warren (Leslie Frewin, London, 1974) ISBN   0-85632-100-1 ISBN   978-0-85632-100-9
  7. The Spectator, 3 April 1999
  8. Daily Express, 25 March 1988
  9. Marcus Scriven – Splendour and Squalor: The Disgrace and Disintegration of Three Aristocratic Dynasties, Atlantic Books, Limited, 2010 ISBN   978-1-84354-125-7 Google Books
  10. Washington Times November 2012
  11. Grigas, Victor; Ha, Yoona (23 April 2015). "Celebrity photographer Allan Warren shares the big shots on Wikipedia". Diff. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  12. "University of Glasgow" . Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  13. Allen Wright The Scotsman, 20 January.1992
  14. "Francis Wilson Playhouse, Florida". Archived from the original on 15 April 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  15. "Inventor Tries to Clear the Air, One Car at a Time", Los Angeles Times, 16 August 1999
  16. "The fume-fighting handkerchief that makes good scents", Evening Standard, 15 June 1998
  17. Natasha Narayan "Handy 'Hanky' may ease smog effects", Time Out, 17–24 June 1999
  18. The Times, Wednesday January 3, 2018 No 72422