Category Archives: Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe in Photographs: Celebrity (1946-1962). Rising Star.

Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) is one of the great celebrities of all time. This collection of images catalogs some of the glamorous and dramatic highlights in her public life as well as private moments. For more photographs of film’s most iconic sex symbol and star, see my blog posts “Marilyn Monroe in Photographs: The Films (1947-1962)” (July 2019) and “Marilyn Monroe in Photographs: The Modeling Years (1946-1962)” (October 2019). This post, “Rising Star,” follows Marilyn from the beginning of her career to around 1954.

Rising Star.

Marilyn Monroe on February 8, 1952 at the Del Mar Club on 1910 Ocean Front Avenue in Santa Monica. She was just awarded the Henrietta Award for “The Best Young Box Office Personality” given by the Foreign Press Association of Hollywood.

Marilyn appeared on The Jack Benny Show on Sunday night, September 13, 1953. Since her Fox contract prohibited Marilyn from earning money outside her work for the studio, she accepted a new model Cadillac convertible as her fee.

Marilyn in her 1952 Cadillac 62 Series convertible. In May 1954, with new husband Joe DiMaggio in the passenger seat, Marilyn drove the car into the back of a little MG. The couple was sued for $6000 (the case was settled out of court for $500).

By 1952 Marilyn was receiving 5,000 fan letters each week.

Norma Jeane, 1945. Photograph by Andre de Dienes.

Norma Jeane, 1945. Andre de Dienes.

Norma Jeane, 1946. Photograph by Andre de Dienes.

Norma Jeane (Marilyn), 1946. Photograph by Andre De Dienes.

Norma Jeane, 1947. Photograph by Earl Thiesen.

Norma Jeane, 1947. Photograph by Earl Thiesen.

Marilyn on the telephone as producer Jerry Wald looks on. During the filming of Clash by Night (1951) Marilyn was loaned out by Fox to RKO to play a young cannery worker. Although she received plenty of attention during the production — and to the vocal consternation of one of the film’s stars (Paul Douglas) — her unexpected absences received an unsympathetic hearing from Fritz Lang, the 1952 film noir’s director. Photograph by Bob Landry.

Marilyn in Banff in summer 1953.

Marilyn at home, 1953. Photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt.

Marilyn, 1953. Alfred Eisenstaedt.

Marilyn, 1953. Alfred Eisenstaedt.

Marilyn, 1953. Alfred Eisenstaedt.

Because of the mountain of positive attention Marilyn gained by her small but memorable role in All About Eve (1950), Marilyn Monroe was made a presenter at the 23rd Academy Awards Ceremony on March 29, 1951 at the Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Boulevard. She presented the Oscar for Sound Recording to the 20th Century-Fox Studio Sound Department and Thomas T. Moulton, its Sound Director for All About Eve. That year All About Eve received 14 Oscar nominations, breaking the record for the most Oscar nominations that was held by Gone With The Wind with 13 nominations since 1939.

Marilyn is photographed wearing a low-cut mull dress which she selected from the Fox wardrobe for the 23rd Academy Awards on March 29, 1951.

Marilyn presents Oscar, March 29, 1951. 23rd Academy Awards.

Marilyn is a presenter at the 23rd Academy Awards.

Marilyn attends the Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Annual dinner at Ciro’s on February 21, 1951.

February 21, 1951.

Marilyn in a swimsuit on August 4, 1951 at the Farmer’s Market in Hollywood. Wearing a chef hat, she cuts into a layer cake.

Marilyn at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market, August 4, 1951.

Marilyn in 1951.

Marilyn Monroe, 1951. Photograph by Phil Burchman.

Phil Burchman.

Phil Burchman.

Phil Burchman.

Marilyn, 1956. Photograph by Phil Burchman.

Marilyn in December 1951. Photograph by Larry Barbier, Jr.

Marilyn, 1952. Philippe Halsman.

Marilyn, 1952. Philippe Halsman.

The Los Angeles Press Club selected Marilyn Monroe as their first Miss Press Club in 1953.

Miss Press Club, 1953.

Marilyn Monroe in 1953. Photograph by Frank Powolny.

Marilyn, 1952. Photo by Frank Powolny.

Marilyn, 1952. Frank Powolny.

Marilyn, 1952. Frank Powolny.

Marilyn, 1952. Photograph by Frank Powolny.

Marilyn, headshot, 1952. Photograph by Frank Powolny.

Children’s benefit, December 4, 1953. Photograph by Phil Stern.

Children’s benefit, December 4, 1953. Photograph by Phil Stern.

Marilyn in the early 1950’s.


The year is 1951. In March Marilyn makes publicity photographs with Chicago White Sox professional baseball players Gus Zernial and Joe Dobson. In June Marilyn does a photo shoot with Nick Savano, Craig Hill and Mala Powers for the September 1951 issue of Modern Screen.

Marilyn at a party at Ciro’s, June 1951.

Marilyn in 1954 at the St. Regis hotel in New York City.

Marilyn, 1952. Ernest Bacharach.

Marilyn in 1952. Photograph by Bob Sandberg.

Marilyn in 1952 looks at a drawing of herself between two flower arrangements. Photograph by Nickolas Muray.

Photograph by Nickolas Muray, 1952.

Nickolas Muray, 1952.

Marilyn posing on a mattress cot. Early 1950’s.

Marilyn at Ciro’s at 8433 Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood in 1953. Marilyn is between movie columnist/radio commentator Walter Winchell (1897-1972) and film executive Joseph Schenck (1876-1961). This was right after Gentleman Prefer Blondes was made that had the whole movie-going world fall in love with Marilyn Monroe.

On May 13, 1953, Marilyn and Sheilah Graham at the party given by Walter Winchell in movie columnist Louella Parsons’ honor, at Ciro’s. 

At Ciro’s, May 13, 1953, with nationally-syndicated movie columnist Sheilah Graham.

Marilyn poses at the bottom of an imaginary ascending staircase.

On the runway.

Marilyn in New York, 1954.

Marilyn Monroe at Romanoff’s in Beverly Hills, 1954.

Marilyn, 1954. Photography by Ted Baron.

Marilyn Monroe and Mitzi Gaynor at the reception on March 5, 1953 for nationally-syndicated American movie columnist Sheilah Graham’s wedding that had been held on February 14, 1953.

March 5, 1953.

At Sheilah Graham’s wedding reception, March 5, 1953.

Marilyn with Sheilah Graham, March 5, 1953.

Sheilah Graham’s wedding reception, March 5, 1953.

Marilyn attended Sheilah Graham’s wedding reception on March 5, 1953 with movie columnist Sidney Skolsky.

Marilyn, 1952. Photograph by Philippe Halsman.

Marilyn, 1952. Philippe Halsman.

Marilyn, 1952. Philippe Halsman.

Marilyn, 1954. Photograph by Philippe Halsman.

Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable at the premiere of How To Marry a Millionaire in November 1953. Made by 20th Century Fox, the American romantic comedy starred Lauren Bacall along with Monroe and Grable as three resourceful gold diggers in New York City. It was the first film ever to be filmed in the new CinemaScope widescreen process, although released shortly after The Robe that was also filmed in CinemaScope. These two films were the top earners for the studio that year and in the top ten of highest-grossing films of 1953. The premiere Of How to Marry a Millionaire was on November 4, 1953 at the historic art-deco Fox Wilshire Theatre in Beverly Hills, California. The Los Angeles landmark was renamed the Saban Theatre in 2009.

Two shots from Marilyn Monroe’s first photo session with 31-year-old photographer Milton H. Greene in September 1953. Greene had come to Los Angeles to photograph Marilyn who had been working on River of No Return, a Technicolor American Western, directed by Otto Preminger and co-starring Robert Mitchum. The 20th Century Fox film was the first CinemaScope picture made in Canada though upon its release in April 1954 critics were divided as to whether it was the Jasper and Banff National Parks or Marilyn Monroe that nature had more munificently blessed.

Top: Marilyn on crutches in August 1953 following her leg injury during filming on location for River of No Return.

Above: Marilyn returned to California to shoot indoor/raft scenes for River of No Return in September 1953 from Alberta, Canada. She still had a damaged leg.

To be Continued…

Marilyn Monroe in Photographs: The Modeling Years (1946-1962).

It has been said that Marilyn Monroe is the most beautiful woman in the world– of her time, and ours. For this iconic mid-20th century sex symbol there continues to be an almost insatiable demand for her many photographic and other images through a career in the public eye of around 15 years. From the beginning, in nearly every photographic image, Norma Jeane Baker (or Mortenson)/Marilyn Monroe exuded an irresistible natural beauty and sexiness. Marilyn was the girl next door and glamour’s Queen. The world recognized that she had a special and seemingly irreplaceable affinity for the camera as a model, celebrity, and movie star. Marilyn’s ability to communicate her radiance by way of the photographic image lifted her personal and physical qualities into a universal language and appeal. After 19-year-old Norma Jeane was discovered during World War II working in a factory on behalf of the war effort until Marilyn Monroe’s tragic and untimely death in August 1962 at 36 years old, the myth of Marilyn Monroe is defined through the lens of the still camera as much as her star qualities and trajectory as an actress in motion pictures. These images from Marilyn Monroe’s lifetime of modeling in front of the still camera hopefully works to tell the story of a special love affair between model, photographer and lens that is Marilyn’s special gift to the world.

Norma Jeane in 1945.

Norma Jeane portrait. Photographer unknown.

Norma Jeane in portrait by Richard C. Miller.

Norma Jeane. Photograph by Richard C. Miller.

Amateur model. Photo of Norma Jeane by David Conover, c. 1946.

Marilyn sweater girl. Photograph by David Conover.

Norma Jeane among the foliage. Photograph by Andre De Dienes.

Marilyn, the girl next door. Photo by Andre De Dienes.

Norma Jeane draws in the sand. Photograph by Andre De Dienes.

Norma Jeane. Photograph by Richard C. Miller.

Norma Jeane/Marilyn Monroe in 1946. Photograph by Richard C. Miller.

Marilyn Monroe in her first modeling job. Industry show hostess.

Norma Jeane in gloves. Photograph by Edwin Steinmeyer.

Glamour photograph of Marilyn Monroe by Edwin Steinmeyer.

Marilyn in 1946. Unknown photographer.

Marilyn’s image is featured in an advertisement for Nesbitt’s orange drink in 1946.

Marilyn in color publicity photograph by John Michle.

Marilyn becomes a bleach blonde for the first time. Photo: H. Maier Studio.

Marilyn in her first cheesecake shot. Photo by Earl Moran.

Marilyn’s “girl next door” image transformed. Photo: Earl Moran.

Marilyn in a photograph with artist Earl Moran. Photo: Joseph Jasgur.

Marilyn poolside. Unknown photographer.

Marilyn in a red bathing suit.

Marilyn in a red-striped bikini.

Marilyn in a head shot, c. 1947.

Marilyn Monroe in publicity shot, 1949. Photo: László Willinger.

Marilyn in a gorgeous publicity shot.

Marilyn in a publicity head shot.

Marilyn golfing. Unknown photographer.

Marilyn in t-shirt and rolled up jeans atop a shiny Cadillac in 1946. Photo: Richard Whiteman.

Norma Jeane at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Photo: Joseph Jasgur.

Marilyn in floral bikini. Fox Studio publicity photograph.

Marilyn with Ruffles the dog. Fox Studio publicity photograph.

Marilyn in an early Fox Studio publicity photograph.

Marilyn modeling in a fashion show. Photo: Larry Kronquist.

Marilyn in 1950. Photo: J.R. Eyerman.

Favorite model at the Pacific Coast Antiques Show.

Marilyn Monroe in Life, 1950. Photo: Ed Clark.

Marilyn, California coast, April 1951.

Cover girl Marilyn Monroe, Look, September 9, 1952.

Classic Marilyn Monroe, Life, April 7, 1952. The talk of Hollywood.

Marilyn in New York, 1952. Photo: Eve Arnold.

Marilyn in a park with a book of Irish literature, 1952. Photo: Eve Arnold.

Modern Screen, December 1952. Photo by Fox Studio publicity.

Marilyn Monroe for Modern Screen, 1952. Photo: Gene Kornman, Fox Studio.

Marilyn Monroe at the Hollywood Bowl with photographer Bruno Bernard, July 1953. Photographers loved that the camera loved her — and that Marilyn loved the camera back.

Marilyn in Beverly Hills, Fall 1954. Photo: Ted Baron.

Marilyn, 1957. Photo: Milton H. Greene.

Marilyn, Stars & Stripes, 1950. Marilyn was popular with the american troops fighting in Korea so much so that they named a mountain peak there after her.

Marilyn in a Fox publicity photo.

Marilyn, aspiring starlet.

Marilyn Monroe in Photographs: The Films (1947-1962).

Marilyn Monroe breaking the ice in this promotional color photograph on the train for Some Like It Hot. She plays Sugar “Kane” Kowalczyk, the ukulele player and singer in an all-women’s traveling band. Upon its release in the spring of 1959, the Billy Wilder black-and-white film became an immediate smash hit with audiences and critics alike and remains one of the all-time great comedy film classics.