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The Man Who caught Katharine Hepburn Sleeping in an Airport

June 26, 2012 at 3:44 PM | by | ()

If there's that gets us as excited about modern air travel, it's retro air travel. You know we're nerds for airplanes of any era really, so when we run across vintage in-flight magazines, as we did recently with United's Mainliner, we just have to share. It was in the June 1962 edition that we first heard about a photographer who specialized in getting those glamorous, movie-star-exiting-the-jet images at Chicago's Midway Airport and now, we're hearing about Mr. Mike Rotunno again.

Yesterday, the Chicago Tribune wrote an article on the man, because as it turns out, there's a full-fledged book—"When Hollywood Landed at Chicago's Midway Airport: The Photos and Stories of Mike Rotunno" by Chicago author Christopher Lynch—coming out on Rotunno's life as the original airport paparazzo and his mob ties.

Still, his run-in with Al Capone isn't as interesting as one little story about a certain celeb who had airport habits similar to our own: Katharine Hepburn:

In one dust-up in 1933, Rotunno ambushed movie star Katharine Hepburn at 4 a.m. at Midway as she slept on a bench with her hair and clothes a mess while waiting for a flight, Lynch related in the book.

'I could have made a picture of (you) looking like a tramp, and I could have sold it to the syndicate newspapers,' Rotunno told an angry Hepburn. Instead, Rotunno waited for the A-list movie star to go to the restroom and freshen up. He then escorted her to the tarmac, where she posed radiantly in front of a United Airlines plane.

If only the LAX paparazzi could be so accommodating these days, but then the news cycle moves much faster, jets fly much faster and celebrities flee through baggage claim MUCH faster.

[Photo: Jaunted]

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