On the 1st June this year it would have been the gorgeous Marilyn Monroe's 90th birthday, so it wouldn't have just been Queen Lizzie's official birthday we'd have been celebrating last month. Sadly though on the 5th August 1962 Marilyn passed away at the age of just 36. It would have been great to have seen how she aged and see her beauty radiate throughout the years.
The world is still in love with Marilyn, who at the time was one of the most beautiful and fascinating people in Hollywood, but also incredibly fragile. We have her films to pour over and never seen before photos are still being unearthed. There is still so much intrigue into her death and many conspiracy theories, she has become one of history's most enduring stars.
Throughout June, Marilyn's birthday was celebrated in a pop-up photo exhibition at The Showroom Presents in Fulham, so I hope some of you managed to go and see it. It was presented by the Playboy Club London and online gallery ONGallery, where you can still have a look at the photos as the prints are available to buy from £100 to around £5,000, just search for Marilyn.
The show was called 'The Happy Birthday Miss Monroe Collection' and covered 16 years of her life, featuring well known and rarely seen images. Prints ranged from ones taken in 1946, when she was still Norma Jean Baker in LA, photos taken in studios or on set and photos taken by Bert Stern in 1962 which has now become known as "The Last Sitting" taken six weeks before she died.
Bert Stern took around 2,500 photos of her for Vogue over a three day period, which he published in a book called Bert Stern: Marilyn Monroe: The Complete Last Sitting in 1982 and again in 2000. The photos were fashion ones, portrait and nudes, of which only 20 were ever published, ones which we've become to know Marilyn by. The book included all 2,571 photos and is probably the largest tribute there is to her.
So it's great that some more photos have been released to the public from that shoot. The images include ones that Marilyn didn't like and had drawn a cross through the negative. All these pictures from the last sitting became very poignant just a few weeks later.
There were other images in the show from over 50 photographers including Andy Warhol's pop artist famous technicolor portraits and one of the most iconic photos of Marilyn taken by Frank Worth. It is the photo of Marilyn with her billowing white dress she wore in the 1955 film, The Seven Year Itch. The original picture sold for auction for a record breaking $4.6 million in 2011.
There were rarer images included in the collection, such as one signed by Hugh Hefner, which was a naked shot of Marilyn celebrating her first Playboy Sweetheart of the Month award, which helped launch Playboy's global success. For you ahem serious Marilyn fans sorry to disappoint but I'm not showing that photo, I don't want my blog to become one of those kind of sites that people search for, they'd be pretty disappointed once they see my obsession with vintage fashion and love of Rock Hudson.
As well as celebrating Marilyn (even though I'm over five weeks late) I just want to take this chance to pay tribute to the beautiful Caroline Aherne who died last Saturday. For those of you who don't know who she is or are in a different country she was one of the greatest comedy writers, performers and actresses in the UK.
Even though I knew Caroline was battling cancer for the third time in her life (she was even born with cancer), it came as a complete shock that we lost such a majestic talent at just 52 years old. Including Victoria Wood we've lost two wonderful comediennes to cancer in just a few short months, who should still have been with us for decades to come.
I'm a little too young to remember her in the Mrs Merton Show (thankfully I've been able to watch it on YouTube this week), I loved seeing Caroline in repeats of The Fast Show and especially adored her in The Royle Family which changed comedy formats forever. Who would have thought a family sitting around the TV just talking about general life would be so hilarious and win several BAFTA Awards.
|Courtesy of bbc.co.uk|
I've watched interviews with her and after having such hardships in life and so many of them, she radiated so much strength and humour. I'm so sad there won't be anymore of The Royle Family to indulge over, but thankfully there are three series and several specials we can reminisce in. Also the interviews her and Craig Cash her writing partner who also played Dave did for the documentary 'The Royle Family: Behind the Sofa' are just brilliant, it's lovely to see the rapour they had.
I think the whole nation, especially fans of The Royle Family should all raise a plate of Dairylea on toast to her. Caroline, you really will be sorely missed. I hope you, Victoria Wood, Ronnie Corbett, Terry Wogan, Alan Rickman and Harper Lee are having a hell of a party up there dancing to Bowie and Prince performing. Now that would be one hell of a party.
Second Hand Rose
Photographers shown include: Ed Croneweth (LA photo), Douglas Kirkland (bed photo), Milton Greene, Bert Stern, Frank Worth, Eugene Kornman (halter neck dress) among others.
Here are some other articles I've written about Marilyn: