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Monday, April 15, 2013


Photo by Milton Greene
MYSTIQUE MAKERS—This blog has posted items on Marilyn Monroe before because she is interesting copy today as she was in America’s remarkable 50s & 60s.  Personally, I was a Kim Novak aficionado as a pubescent teen, much as I preferred the Rolling Stones over the Beatles and the Giants over the Dodgers and Ike over Stevenson and the Kingston Trio over Elvis.

Marilyn with Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1953
But as legends go, Marilyn far outshone Kim Novak, who was no shrinking violet thanks in part to a remarkable cadre of photographers, who became famous in their own right as chroniclers of all things Marilyn.

The Internet is rife with the stories of Marilyn’s photographers and each has a remarkable story.  She had a great report with the media, especially photographers.  She was smart.  Cameramen created and maintained her Hollywood persona.  That image translated into cash. “Shall I be her,” she reportedly said to Colin Clark in “My Week with Marilyn."

PBS aired a feature on MM's photographers and can be found at:”

By Sam Shaw
The Monroe mystique probably began when photographer Tom Kelley posed Marilyn Monroe nude on red velvet for a 1949 calendar session.  She was paid $50.  The calendar soon grossed $750,000.

Sam Shaw was a studio photographer and one of Marilyn’s first photog buddies.
By Colin Clark
The famed billowing skirt shot was taken September 15, 1954 during the filming of the “Seven Year Itch,” by photographer Sam Shaw. For more shots by Shaw link to:
By Tom Kelley
            Shaw’s coffee table book titled simply “Sam Shaw,” contains many Monroe shots that remain fairly out of the mainstream.  Videos using Shaw images dot YouTube:
            For a decent bio of Marilyn by History Channel link to

Another photographer/friend was Milton H. Greene, whom she partnered in a production company.   Here’s a fascinating tribute website:

Then for a brief shining moment in England, there was Colin Clark, who was recently a character in the film, “My Week with Marilyn,” starring Michelle Williams.  In his own words, Colin Clark describes is week:

By George Barris
Later in her career, Marilyn was photographed by long time studio/publicist/lensman George Barris.  He snapped some of the last images of Marilyn in 1962.

By Bert Stern

However, Bert Stern, who at age 33, is credited with Marilyn Monroe’s last photo session. His best known work is arguably The Last Sitting, a collection of 2,500 photographs taken of Marilyn Monroe over a three-day period, six weeks before her death, taken for Vogue. Stern published “Marilyn Monroe: The Complete Last Sitting in 1992.”

Bert Stern with still of MM from Vogue, 1962

Arnold Newman photographed Monroe in 1962 as part of a photo session including Marilyn and icon American poet Carl Sandburg.  The black and white image below is an inset take from a larger Newman photograph.
By Arnold Newman

Above: Famed mid-century photographer Phillipe Halsman was commissioned by Life Magazine for a cover shoot, which hit the newsstands on November 9, 1959. Below: Halsman had a schtick, where he made his photo subjects jump into the air as seen with MM at the Life session.
Tom Kelley, 1953. The image on the calendar became
the first centerfold for Playboy Magazine.
By George Barris, 1962 (Barris in mirror image)

Above:  Here’s a twist.  This image of photographer 
Andre de Dienes was taken by Norma Jeane Baker 
on one of her first location shoots, circa 1945 
in the California desert.  
Below:  Image by de Dienes: North of Malibu, 
California, 1946, Gelatin silver print 14 x 11 in.

Image of 19 year old Norma Jeane Baker by Andre de Dienes, 1945

Above: Milton H. Greene, photographer and MM manager, 1957;
Below: Iconic image of MM by Greene:

Sam Shaw with Marilyn on the set of "Viva Zapata," 1952

Above: Darlene Hammond snapped this classic image of a distracted Humphrey Bogart while Bogie’s wife and film co-star, Lauren Bacall looks on.  Event was a Hollywood studio dinner for the debut of the 1953 film “How to Marry a Millionaire.”

Above: Roy Schatt, a studio and paparazzi-style photographer in New York took many street candids of Marilyn Monroe and others.  This image is from the Actor’s Studio, circa 1955.

By Ben Ross, Hollywood, 1953

Above: Young California photographer Lawrence Schiller was commissioned by Paris Match to cover her last film “Something’s Got to Give.” He became a prolific photojournalist and motion picture director/producer. Pool sequence was shot May 23, 1962. Below: Schiller at an exhibition of his work.  Image in front of Schiller appeared on the cover of Life magazine, August 1962.

Reportedly MM's first nude session (above).  Photographer Earl Moran, 1947
Richard Avedon photoshoot (above)
Douglas Kirkland

Fifteen year old Peter Mangone captured MM on a Manhattan street (above)
Anthony Beauchamp Entwistle "Yellow Bikini Series," 1951

Life Magazine photographer John Florea with Marilyn, 1953

Austrian-born Ingeborg Morath was the set photographer during the filming of "The Misfits," starring Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe.  The image of Inge was taken in 1958 by Yul Brenner before her "Misfits" assignment.

By Inge Morath

On the set of "The Misfits" by Inge Morath
Marilyn Monroe was Arthur Miller's second to last wife. Inge Morath later became the playwrights last wife.

By Henri Cartier Bresson

EVE ARNOLD (below)

Eve Arnold with Marilyn, Circa 1955

Nickolas Muray, 1952
From John Vachon's new book of lost Look Magazine images by Dover Publishing

Above: While working as an assistant with Bert Stern during a June 1962 photo session, Leif-Erik Nygard snapped the iconic nude of Marilyn as the shoot wrapped up.  Below. Nygard at an exhibition of his work.

British photographer Ted Baron snapped Marilyn in 1954 during a visit
to her Palm Springs home.
Below: Baron at the same photo shoot.

By Elliott Erwitt

Above: In New York, George S. Zimbel, was one of the  photographers called by studio PR types to attend what became an iconic MM photo op for the 1954 “The Seven-Year-Inch.” Below. Zimbel in later years at an exhibition of his work.


John Loengard, New York City, 1957

Above: Classic image of Marilyn Monroe’s amazing camera presence—this time captured by photojournalist Ed Feingersh, who followed her and her entourage for four days in 1955 in and around Manhattan.  Below. Feingersh’s selfie.

Above: Cecil Beaton on assignment for Harper’s Bazaar magazine, Feb. 22, 1956. Below:  Beaton is photographed with Monroe by his photo assistant Ed Pfizenmaier at the Ambassador Hotel on same date.

Bob Henriques was a buddy and professional photographer. Image taken in 1955
while Marilyn was filming "The Seven Year Itch."

Above: Marilyn Monroe staring up at photographer Phil Stern.  He photographed celebrities after the war but it was his wartime photography that made Sgt. Stern famous and earned him a Purple Heart for being wounded in battle.

John Deprey, New York Daily News

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