Before she was famous, Marilyn Monroe was known as Norma Jeane Dougherty, and in 1946 she and her lover, photographer André de Dienes, traveled to Malibu beach where the 20-year-old future blonde bombshell posed for this series of photographs. In his own words, the photographer said:
“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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