(born May 15, 1923, New York, N.Y., U.S.—died Oct. 1, 2004, San Antonio, Texas) U.S. photographer. He began studying photography in the U.S. merchant marine. In 1945 he became a regular contributor to Harper's Bazaar; he later was closely associated with Vogue. Avedon's fashion photographs are characterized by a strong black-and-white contrast that creates an effect of austere sophistication. In his portraits of celebrities and other sitters, he created a sense of drama by often using a stark, white background and eliciting a frontal, confrontational pose. Many collections of his photographs have been published.
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His first acting roles were as a child in TV commercials, mainly for Carnation Milk, The May Company, and other retailers. He also worked as a model, and appeared in a couple of martial arts films, such as Ninja Turf (1985), which were produced by his martial arts instructor Jun Chong.
Avedon got his main break as a martial arts film star, when producer Roy Horan phoned the dojo where Avedon was training, and asked if they had any suitable martial arts practitioners for the lead role in the film, No Retreat No Surrender 2 (1987). Avedon answered the phone, was given an audition, and won the lead role. He then signed a three film deal with Seasonal Films (the company which produced the No retreat No Surrender films). In this three film deal Avedon also played the lead role in the films, No retreat No Surrender 3 and King of the Kickboxers. Since then Avedon has starred in many more martial arts and action films, all of which have been B movies. In an interview Avedon said that he believed he would have had greater success in his film career (similar to the success of Jean-Claude Van Damme) if it had not been for poor representation and disagreements that he had with one or two other actors.(Lorenzo Lamas, Sherie Rose) He was offered a three film deal with film production company PM entertainment, but turned it down (the deal was given to Don 'The Dragon' Wilson) because he was holding out for a better deal. Avedon said that he now regrets turning down this deal.(True: Cannes 1991)
Avedon has also written and produced some of the films that he has starred in, such as, Silent Force (2000) and Deadly Ransom (1997).
He is the nephew of photographer Richard Avedon.