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Feature: Top 25 Celebrity Portraits of 2017, Captured by Joe Arce

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Average: 5 (5 votes)

Star10. Vanessa Redgrave

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Vanessa Redgrave
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

Like many in a certain generation of photographers, it was the film “Blow-Up” (1966) that first seduced me into the art of photography. This year I finally got to shoot my own portraits with the star of that legendary film, Oscar winner and activist Vanessa Redgrave. Simply hailed as the greatest living actress of our time by both Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams, the Grande Dame of the British stage is so badass she turned down an actual damehood in 1999 – she didn’t want to distract from her left wing humanitarian causes and appear too close to the establishment she still rails against. Vanessa Redgrave was given the Visionary Award at the Chicago International Film Festival, and attended the premier of her directorial debut “Sea Sorrow,” a documentary focusing on the plight of child refugees in the European migrant crisis.

LOCATION/DATE: Chicago International Film Festival, Chicago, October 16th, 2017

Star9. Neil Patrick Harris

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Neil Patrick Harris
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

From whiz kid to magic man to playing a fictionalized evil version of himself on film, is there anything that Neil Patrick Harris can’t conjure up? Does he win Emmys for hosting the Tonys or is vice versa? Let’s try to keep track. He’s a four time Tony host, and one time winner. He’s hosted the Emmys twice, and is a three time winner. He was the first openly gay actor to host the Oscars, and has filled in for Jimmy Kimmel. As if being the host with the most wasn’t enough the former “How I met Your Mother” sitcom star, Harris can currently be seen as Count Olaf in Netflix’s “A Series Of Unfortunate Events” and opposite Matt Damon in the recent film “Downsizing.” Harris also just released his first of four middle-school-reader novels “The Magical Misfits” to, of course, rave reviews. Neal Patrick Harris has plenty of tricks left up his sleeve, and this quadruple threat isn’t disappearing any time soon.

LOCATION/DATE: Bobak’s Signature Events, sponsored by Anderson’s Bookshop, Woodridge (Ill.), December 8th, 2017

Star8. Jeremy Piven

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Jeremy Piven
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

Chicago’s own Jeremy Piven, ironically, was the host of the Gene Siskel Film Center’s Renaissance Award Tribute to Kevin Spacey last May. And like Spacey, he has been called out for multiple allegations of sexual assault, which was a factor in the cancellation of his CBS series, “The Wisdom Of The Crowd.” Unlike Spacey, Piven vehemently denies every single allegation and went on the offensive, taking a polygraph test and releasing the results via Twitter. Also, in a PR push back that could have been inspired by his Ari Gold character in “Entourage,” Piven wrote a brilliant statement to the Hollywood Reporter, bemoaning the death of presumed innocence in the modern #MeToo movement. But shortly thereafter, a fifth actress came forward with allegations (Cassidy Freeman of “Longmire”). The jury remains out on Piven’s future, but assuredly that he doesn’t want any part of this newsworthy entourage.

LOCATION/DATE: Four Seasons Hotel, Chicago, May 13th, 2017

Star7. Caitlyn Jenner

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Caitlyn Jenner
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

Caitlyn Jenner hit her mark just as flawlessly as she once soared over those hurdles (as Bruce Jenner), during my exclusive Chicago shoot with her in April. She was appearing to discuss and sign her new memoir “The Secrets Of My Life” at the Union League Club of Chicago, and Jenner once again delivered the gold.

LOCATION/DATE: Union League Club, Chicago, April 29th, 2017

Star6. Helen Mirren

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Helen Mirren
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

What’s left that I could possibly say after getting the opportunity to photograph the divine Dame Helen Mirren… except Oscar, Tony, Emmy, the Olivier Award and international sex symbol. This red carpet photo shoot occurred before she received her Golden Hugo Career Achievement Award from the Chicago International Film Festival at their Spring Gala. She’s a killer Queen, “dynamite with a laser beam…”

LOCATION/DATE: Loews Chicago Hotel, May 24th, 2017

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