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Marilyn Monroe, in her teen modeling days. Photo by Andre de Dienes, 1945 (Reproduced with permission of Chuck Murphy. One West Publishing. www.1westpublishing.com).
Photo by John Florea, 1951 (Reproduced with permission of Melanie and Gwen Florea).
Grand Marshal of the Miss America pageant. Atlantic City, New Jersey, September 2, 1952 (Sabin Gray collection).
With Nancy and Ronald Reagan at Charles Coburn's birthday party. June 17, 1953 (author's collection).
Marilyn Monroe relaxes on the set of The Seven Year Itch, 1955. Photo by Frank Powolny (Kim Goodwin collection).
This shot from a Something's Got to Give costume test shows Marilyn's rarely seen navel. April 10, 1962 (author's collection).
We're super excited about Michelle Williams's new Marilyn Monroe flick, which opens tonight and chronicles one week in the world of the famous starlet. But this intimate portrait also has us curious about Monroe's entire life--from her rise to fame to her tragic death.
Marilyn Monroe: Metamorphosis, a new coffee-table book from independent curator and photographic preservationist David Wills, explores this history via gorgeous pictures courtesy of Marilyn's key photographers (including Richard Avedon, Georges Barris and Cecil Beaton).
The book begins with nearly unrecognizable shots of the bombshell in her teen modeling days, when she still had her brown hair, plumper figure and original name (Norma Jeane Mortenson). Next, we see her transformation into a sex symbol and Hollywood star--the patented beauty mark appears sometime around 1952--including never-before-seen press pics, behind-the-scenes screen tests and sultry glamour shots. We particularly love the candid glimpses of Marilyn at a dinner party with Ronald and Nancy Reagan and hamming it up on the set of The Seven Year Itch. The book ends with photos taken just weeks before her death.
Throughout, Wills includes poignant quotes from photographers, friends and costars, and the character who emerges is both very lovely and very tragic.
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