Leilani

By Leilani

LifeBuzz Staff

The Story Behind These Famous Photos Reveals A New Side To Marilyn Monroe.

An exhibition titled Gentlemen Prefer Blondes starring Marilyn Monroe is on display at The Little Black Gallery in London from now until February 27. The gallery features rare portraits of the actress by Milton H. Greene and Douglas Kirkland, two men who developed strong connections -- and careers -- with the captivating actress.

Milton was a close friend, personal manager, and rumored fling. You will find a range of personalities and an overarching sense of familiarity between this celebrated photographer and Marilyn in his work. Kirkland didn't know her as well, but his sensual series will have you thinking otherwise. He has described her as the "girl next door," despite her reputation as a sex symbol and one of Hollywood's most legendary superstars.

View a selection of the photos below:

The Rock Sitting, LA,1953

When Marilyn studied acting with Lee Strasberg in New York, she stayed with photographer Milton Greene, his wife Amy, and their son Joshua. The young star met Milton when he photographed her for LOOK Magazine in 1953. They were said to have become "instant friends," and some even credit him as the reason for her break from the West Coast. Pictured here is one of his many riveting candids of the actress.

The Rock Sitting, LA,1953

Milton H Greene / Archive Images

At the home of studio boss Joseph Schenck, 1954

She was described as the "perfect house guest," who mostly kept to herself and refrained from asking or expecting too much from the hosts. To entertain herself, she read and took dance lessons.

At the home of studio boss Joseph Schenck, 1954

Milton H Greene / Archive Images

As Ballerina Awaiting Her Cue, NY, 1954

Milton insisted she move away from the "dumb blonde thing" and closer to more versatile images. They would try on different looks and personalities. Altogether, he captured Marilyn in 52 different settings and in over 5,000 images, many of which have never been available to the public. The photo below is among the most iconic of the 20th century.

As Ballerina Awaiting Her Cue, NY, 1954

Milton H Greene / Archive Images

Marilyn Goes Oriental with a Pekinese Dog, NY, 1955

According to Joshua Greene, his father introduced her to a very different lifestyle. They would hang around town with other big names such as Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra.

Marilyn Goes Oriental with a Pekinese Dog, NY, 1955

Milton H Greene / Archive Images

Winsome in White Fur, NY, 1955

Together, the gang stopped at jazz clubs to soak in the sounds of Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald. She was absolutely enthralled.

Winsome in White Fur, NY, 1955

Milton H Greene / Archive Images

The Hooker Sitting, LA, 1956

The two had an excellent friendship and business partnership. After the starlet broke away from her contract with Twentieth Century Fox, they started Marilyn Monroe Productions together.

The Hooker Sitting, LA, 1956

Milton H Greene / Archive Images

Marilyn and Greene outside her home

The family provided the sense of security that Marilyn had always hoped for, but "it all ended when she met Arthur Miller [who] played on her insecurities until she went nuts. He thought he could manage her career, but he had no idea," according to Joshua Greene.

Marilyn and Greene outside her home

Gene Lester / Getty Images

An Evening with Marilyn, Douglas Kirkland, 1961

In 1961, 27-year-old Douglas Kirkland photographed Monroe for the 25th anniversary issue of LOOK Magazine. He headed over to her apartment with a few colleagues for the job.

In an interview, 81-year old Kirkland revealed that "Marilyn didn't need direction." He also stated that the two began to flirt. At one point, the blonde bombshell asked everyone but Kirkland to leave and said, "Why don't you come down here, with me?"

Though he felt a strong sexual energy between them, he remembered his wife and kids back in New Jersey, and resisted. The tension, however, did wonders for the photographs.

Afterwards, Kirkland set himself on the ground and chatted with Marilyn about life.

An Evening with Marilyn, Douglas Kirkland, 1961

Douglas Kirkland

Check out The Little Black Gallery for more information.

Source: Telegraph

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