Saturday 24 February 2018

Marilyn naked in a pool . . . it all went swimmingly

The year was 1962 and Lawrence Schiller, a 25-year-old American photographer, was on assignment for Paris Match magazine. Two years earlier, he had met Marilyn Monroe briefly on the set of Let's Make Love and she had liked him enough to call him back to take pictures when she appeared nude during a swimming pool scene for her final film, the uncompleted Something's Got To Give.

The pictures he took are now some of the most famous ever taken of Marilyn. It was just months before her death and, at 36, she was still as beautiful as ever.

Now, 50 years later, Taschen is publishing Lawrence Schiller's story, including more than 100 of his photographs, many never seen before. It's the story of the surprising connection that allowed Marilyn to bond with the young photographer from Brooklyn, a kid with a lot of ambition but very little experience. Schiller has never written his story before and he tells it with tact, humour and compassion.

The result is a poignant portrait that captures the star as her world began to collapse.

The book was launched at the Cannes Film Festival last week, where a special tribute was being paid to Monroe this year. -- S O'N

Marilyn & Me: A Memoir in Words and Photographs is published by Taschen in a limited art edition at £1,250, with cheaper editions to come later.

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