Mario Casilli attended the Cleveland Institute of Art at the young age of 14. After school he served in the Navy and, upon his return, moved to Hollywood. He worked at Paul Hesse Studios where he learned the business of photography. After four years he opened his own studio and embarked on a long, distinguished career. He photographed celebrities such as Dolly Parton, Sally Field, Will Smith and Halle Berry for many publications from Playboy to TV Guide. His iconic photographic style is considered to have defined the photography of the 1980s. In his later years Mario taught at the Art Center in Pasadena and continued shooting, while maintaining his studio in Southern California until he passed away in 2002.