Ned Scott The Man
Ned Scott's friend, Peter Stackpole, shuttered this image of Ned while he was resting between takes on the set of John Ford's epic film "The Long Voyage Home" in 1940. Stackpole was on the set for Life Magazine to cover the activities of nine renowned artists who were commissioned by producer Walter Wanger to paint scenes from the films' production.
Ned Scott was born Edward Norman Scott, Jr. on April 16, 1907 in Paris, France. The middle child of three children, Ned was the only male. By all accounts, his birth was a happy occasion. Ned's early childhood years were his happiest, but this was to end abruptly with the outbreak of World War One in 1914. To protect their children, Ned's parents sent him along with his two sisters to Swiss boarding schools to continue their education out of harm's way. It was the beginning of a long series of boarding school internments, none of them particularly successful or fruitful.
Ned became interested in photography as a young adult at the age of 22. Through connections only imagined at this point, Ned joined the Camera Club of New York in 1930-31. He was influenced strongly by the photographers actively working there at the time, and consequently, he made his first foray into the American Southwest to photograph such well traveled Camera Club icons as Ranchos Iglesia de Taos. He remained an active member of the Camera Club through 1934 until Camera Club member Paul Strand requested his help on a Mexican propaganda movie he was producing near Vera Cruz, Mexico. Redes was the Mexican title of this movie, and it was Ned's first assignment as a still photographer. He served without pay.
Following his Mexican film assignment in December, 1934, Ned moved to Hollywood along with other production members of the film to try his luck in the film industry even though he had no formal schooling in photography. These men all set up housekeeping at 7900 Honey Drive, North Hollywood in a bachelor apartment complex which still exists in the same capacity today. From that fortuitous embarkation point, these men all went on to successful and productive careers in film. As a budding film still man, Ned began to receive assignments almost at once, but these assignments were not continuous. He filled his between-time productively with commercial work until he became a contract portrait photographer with Colombia Studios in 1945. Ned served as a film still photographer until 1948, after which he became an entrepreneur in the publishing industry, never taking up his cameras again in a professional capacity.
In 1964 Ned died of heart failure due to alcoholism in La Canada, California at the age of 57. His final remains are interred in a family mausoleum in Tarrytown, New York