Never-Before-Published Photos of Marilyn

from LIFE.com

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.

from LIFE.com

from LIFE.com

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    ScriptPimp
    June 1, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Well, these pictures are….very….um, oh my…um…

    Much preferred over any Maxim layout.

  • Reply
    le0pard13
    June 1, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    It seems that no matter where she was, or who shot the photograph, the camera loved this woman. She draws you in.

  • Reply
    Julien
    June 2, 2009 at 8:03 am

    Thanks for letting us know that, PCN!
    The pictures are great and it’s so cool to discover never seen before clichés after all this time!
    Happy Birthday Marylin! 😉

  • Reply
    EnduringLove
    June 2, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Hard to believe there are still unseen photos of Marilyn. These are lovely.

  • Reply
    Reader#9
    June 2, 2009 at 11:28 am

    These are truly beautiful pics! Thanks for making me aware of these, PCN.

  • Reply
    popculturenerd
    June 2, 2009 at 11:59 am

    I found it incredible that every photo ever taken of Marilyn hasn’t been published yet. This was an entire shoot LIFE didn’t even know it had in its archives. What else is in there that we haven’t seen? A close-up of Bigfoot? Reverse angle on the grassy knoll?

  • Reply
    Lizabeth Ann
    June 2, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Stunningly beautiful! Thank you.

  • Reply
    Shelley P
    June 3, 2009 at 1:31 am

    Yes, thanks so much for featuring this, PCN. She really was one of a kind.

  • Reply
    yeti9000
    June 8, 2009 at 1:09 am

    Wow!! Awesome pics! Now if they could just find those Bigfoot and grassy knoll shots you spoke of…I’d die a happy man! 🙂

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