In her short life, Marilyn Monroe managed to be one of the most photographed women of the 20th century and you probably think you’ve seen most of those photos. Nope, LIFE magazine has a bunch more of her that has never been published.
Coinciding with Marilyn’s 83rd birthday today, LIFE.com is running a batch of pictures taken by photographer Ed Clark in 1950 at L.A.’s Griffith Park (there’s an option for you to buy them as framed prints). The negatives were only recently found as part of LIFE’s attempt to digitize their photo archive. The site says: “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.'”
In the photos, Marilyn is already transformed from Norma Jeane and is undeniably beautiful but still unpolished and innocent, not quite the sex symbol she would soon become. It’s kinda cool for me to see her roaming around a familiar area where I’ve spent loads of time.
What do you think of the photos? After looking at them, raise a glass to Marilyn and sing “Happy Birthday” to her in your breathiest voice.