Audrey Hepburn was 22-years-old and making her first big splash on Broadway in the title role of the musical Gigi when a mild mannered photo journalist, the late George Douglas, showed up at her dressing room and asked if he could photograph her.

“He would have called her ‘Miss Hepburn’ — he was terribly formal,” Shan Lancaster, Douglas’ longtime friend, tells Closer. “He was so unthreatening, he was like your brother or dad. It’s interesting Audrey allowed him to take photographs of her wearing nothing but a towel!”

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Audrey with actor William Holden in 1953.

Those weren’t the only revealing shots Douglas — who flew from England to shoot Audrey for Picture Post magazine — captured during their whirlwind trip around the Big Apple over the next few days.

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He caught candid pics of Audrey atop the Empire State Building, in Central Park and at the famed 21 Club with her then-fiancé, British industrialist James Hanson.

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Audrey in NYC in 1953.

“Audrey went out of her way to help George on the trip, and he said he fell in love with her,” says Lancaster, who discovered many of Douglas’ photos after he and his wife died and left them to her and her husband. “He meant it in the same way — everyone fell in love with her.”

For the full story on Audrey, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly on newsstands now!