Tom of Finland Erotic Art Foundation


2006 Artist Hall of Fame Inductee


Born in North Carolina, Michael Childers attended the UCLA Film School where he directed student films and began his photography career by studying with Robert Heineken and Edmund Teske.

Childers created the mixed media work for the record-breaking run of the hit off-Broadway musical "Oh! Calcutta!" for Kenneth Tynan. It was Tynan who subsequently invited Michael to work for Sir Laurence Olivier's National Theater in London. He remains the only American photographer invited to photograph productions at the National Theater. He went on to become a founding photographer for Andy Warhol's Interview and After Dark magazines. For Dance magazine, he produced many covers including those featuring the Joffrey Ballet, The Royal Ballet, and the Alvin Ailey Dance Company as well as co-authored a book Bejart: The World of Dance.

From his Melrose Avenue and Venice Beach studios Childers photographed over 200 magazine covers including GQ, New York, TV Guide, Esquire, Los Angeles, Elle, Paris Match, Life, London Sunday Times Magazine, and both English and Italian Vogue. He created more than 100 film posters for major motion picture studios and worked as a special photographer on dozens of films including Grease, Marathon Man, The Year of Living Dangerously, Coal Miner1s Daughter, Pennies from Heaven, The Terminator, Hammett, Torch Song Trilogy, Endless Love and The Champ.

Childers' celebrated portraits include not only "Icons and Legends;" however. In the mid-1990s and reaching into the early 2000s, Michael was the west coast correspondent for Elle Décor. His stunning architectural and interior photographs from this period added to his illustrious career.

Michael has been involved in fundraising events for AIDS service organizations, foundations for the performing arts, and film organizations since 1989. In Los Angeles, Santa Fe, New York, and Palm Springs, events he has founded or helped produce have raised over twelve million dollars for these worthy causes. In 2003 he co-produced The Palm Springs Internetional Film Festival and in Los Angeles he also co-produced the BAFTA [British Academy of Film and Television Artists] Britannia Awards with Russell Crowe, Peter Weir, Angela Lansbury, Hugh Grant, Sandra Bullock, Alan Cumming, Robin Williams and Billy Connelly.

Michael's work is in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Marion Museum of Photographic Studies in Santa Fe, the University of California Riverside photographic collections, the Palm Springs Desert Museum photographic collection, the Chiat Day Collection in Santa Monica, The Palm Springs Desert Museum, the Lincoln Center Library of Performing Arts in New York, and the Laguna Art Museum.