Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Marilyn by the pool

Its been fascinating reading once again about those final months of Marilyn Monroe's life in 1962, which contained some of her best photo sessions and images. MARILYN & ME by Lawrence Schiller, a nice pocked size memoir, is a particular treat though it includes none of his colour shots of MM and that blue pool and  blue bathrobe. "Vanity Fair" though has printed a lot of them, and they are included in several of the MM books, particularly the Norman Mailer 1973 opus. The black and white shots are terrific though. 
So, in March 62 Marilyn had that trip to Mexico (meeting the likes of director Luis Bunuel - there is a photo of them in the MARILYN IN THE FLASH tome (along with pictures of her with Garland, Callas, and more). 

In May she was filming SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE, and looked great in the surviving footage, as per previous reports. This was when Schiller shot the pool images and other shots of her at that time, and later he took that photo of Joe De Maggio at her funeral.  His text is interesting too on meetings with her showing her determination to oust Elizabeth Taylor from the world's press. This was also when she sang Happy Birthday to the President at Madison Square Gardens, before the film was cancelled. 
In June she did the Bert Stern THE LAST SITTING images, containing some great shots.

In July she did the George Barris beach photos at Malibu, generally regarded as the last pictures of her - lots more on these too at MM label. And she also gave that final interview to LIFE magazine - here is a link to that text of her interview with Richard Meryman.

As Schiller (who first worked with her on LETS MAKE LOVE in 1960, when he was 23) says in his book, each photographer captures a different Marilyn - from the early shots by Andre De Dienes, though the great pictures by Milton Greene, Cecil Beaton, Jack Cardiff, Eve Arnold, Bob Willoughby, Stern, Barris, Avedon, Sam Shaw, and himself - each captures a different facet and look of hers. 

Then the events of August 4/5 unfolded. There was one final picture, which journalist Anthony Summers thought fit to include in his GODDESS book "investigating" her death, rehashing all the supposed rumours - a hot topic then fascinating the conspiracy nuts - that morgue shot, which once seen, is hard to unsee.
This 1992 Bonhams auction catalogue is a rich trove of all the MM photos from those early and final shoots. 

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