6.02.2009

                   
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Never Before Published Photos Of Marilyn Monroe




This was a last minute post because these beautiful black and white photos of a young Marilyn Monroe, taken in 1950, had never before been released until today, June 1st, 2009. Marilyn was only 24 at the time when she was shot by Life Magazine photographer Ed Clark. The photo shoot is believed to have taken place in Los Angeles' Griffith Park. All images and captions below are courtesy of LIFE magazine Time & Life Pictures.

Marilyn Monroe's Day in the Park

Photo: Ed Clark/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Aug. 01, 1950
August 1950: A 24-year-old Marilyn, wearing a simple button-down shirt monogrammed with her initials, leans against a tree in Los Angeles' Griffith Park for LIFE photographer Ed Clark.
The negatives for these photos were recently discovered during the ongoing effort to digitize LIFE's immense and storied photo archive, including outtakes and entire shoots that never saw the light of day.

Read on to see more stunning shots of Marilyn, plus the reason why they may never have been published...

Marilyn Reads a Script

Lounging in the shade, Monroe studies lines of an unknown script. It was still early in her career, and she'd just begun to grab attention: Three months before this shoot, she appeared as a crooked lawyer's girlfriend in "The Asphalt Jungle," and two months after, she had a small role as an aspiring starlet in "All About Eve."
Photo: Ed Clark/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images Aug 01, 1950

Wonder Woman

A barefoot Monroe balances on rocks over a tiny brook. In a 1999 interview with Digital Journalist, photographer Clark described how in 1950 he received a call from a friend at 20th Century Fox about "a hot tomato" the studio had just signed: Marilyn.
Photo: Ed Clark/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images August 01, 1950

That Gorgeous Face

Marilyn turns to the camera. "She was unknown then, so I was able to spend a lot of time shooting her," photographer Clark recalled in the 1999 interview. "We'd go out to Griffith Park and she'd read poetry. I sent several rolls to LIFE in New York, but they wired back, 'Who the hell is Marilyn Monroe?' Later, though, they did a cover of my shot of Marilyn and Jane Russell in 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.' "
Photo: Ed Clark/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images August 01, 1950

Marilyn Lies Down

Monroe, changed into a bikini top, relaxes with a script. Why LIFE never published this gold mine of photos after Marilyn became a superstar remains a mystery. The only clue: a brief note about the shoot we found in our archives, addressed to LIFE's photo editor and saying that "this take was over-developed and poorly printed."
Photo: Ed Clark/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images August 01, 1950

Bright Eyes

Marilyn flashes a brilliant smile. It's hard to believe that just four years earlier, she was Norma Jeane Dougherty, the wife of a Merchant Marine and a worker in a munitions factory. (See LIFE's "Before She Was Marilyn" photo gallery.)
Photo: Ed Clark/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images August 01, 1950

Making a Point

Monroe appears to be acting out a scene. At the time, she was under the instruction of legendary acting coach Natasha Lytess.
Photo: Ed Clark/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images Aug 01, 1950

Natural Woman

Marilyn gets her feet wet. Though it looks like a beautiful day here, the note LIFE found in its archives about this shoot reads, "The weather has been poor, which has held up our outdoor shooting on her."
Photo: Ed Clark/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images Aug 01, 1950

Marilyn, in Dappled Sunlight

Photo: Ed Clark/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
August 01, 1950


Marilyn Gets Serious

Monroe, beautifully framed by the foliage. She was discovered in 1946, after 20th Century Fox exec Ben Lyon noticed the modeling Marilyn on magazine covers and arranged a screen test for her. "It's Jean Harlow all over again," he is reported to have said.
Photo: Ed Clark/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images Aug 01, 1950

Casual Marilyn

Today, of course, Monroe is remembered as the ultimate sex symbol -- but Ed Clark's camera captures something else here: a not-yet-packaged young woman unaware of what lies in store for her.
Photo: Ed Clark/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images Aug 01, 1950

Fixing Her Hair

Marilyn pats her curls. Naturally a brunette, Monroe reportedly dyed her hair blonde during her modeling days, after hearing that's the look agencies wanted.
Photo: Ed Clark/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images Aug 01, 1950
Innocently Sexy

Monroe leans over a railing, her short-shorts riding up. Four years later, she'd famously show off those legs again during the subway-grate scene of "The Seven Year Itch."
Photo: Ed Clark/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images Aug. 01, 1950

Straight-On Marilyn

Photo: Ed Clark/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images Aug 01, 1950

Marilyn Walks Away

A glimpse of the future superstar as she walks -- in adorable saddle shoes -- down a trail.
Photo: Ed Clark/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images Aug 01, 1950


Less Than Two Years Later...

Marilyn is "The Talk of Hollywood": She makes the cover of LIFE magazine on April 7, 1952.
Photo: Philippe Halsman/Time & Life Pictures Jan 01, 1952


Now, if you never saw my post comparing Bert Sterns' stunning last photo shoot of Marilyn with his recent recreation with Lindsay Lohan, you must see that here.

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