Hello Norma Jeane


André de Dienes  1945
André de Dienes 1945
These rare photos of Marilyn Monroe, aged 20, reveal a glimpse of the star before fame took hold.

Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jeane Mortenson, was only 20 when these beautiful black and white photographs were taken.

Travelling through Malibu, the future blonde bombshell posed for a series of photographs taken by her then-partner, André de Dienes.

The images depict a carefree moment in the life of Norma Jeane, just a few years before the shy red-head would be catapulted to international stardom.

The images were recently re-released, with the following words from Dienes himself.

“She was twenty and had never experienced the intoxication of success, yet already there was a shadow over her radiance, in her laughter. I asked her to react instinctively, without giving herself time to think, to the words happiness, surprise, reflection, doubt, peace of mind, sadness, self-torment… and death. When I said ‘death’ she took hold of the folded dark-cloth and covered her head with it. Death to her was blackness, nothingness. I tried to coax another reaction from her. Death might be a beginning, the hope of an everlasting light. She shook her head: ‘That’s what death is for me.’ She turned towards me, her face set and despairing, eyes dulled, her mouth suddenly bereft of colour. To her, death was the end of everything.”






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