February 5, 2012

18 Rare Early Photos of Marilyn Monroe in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, 1950

Few Hollywood stars of the 1950s and 1960s were so compelling, so utterly unique, that they actually came to define the era in which they worked and played. Marilyn Monroe was one of those stars.

From her earliest days as an actress until late in her career — when she had, against her will, been cast in the public eye as the century’s ultimate Sex Goddess — Marilyn posed for LIFE magazine’s photographers. Many of those pictures never ran in the magazine — and, in fact, were never published anywhere. This gallery changes all that.

These pictures were taken by LIFE's photographer Ed Clark, a Tennessean with a profound talent for capturing the essence of people, whether they were world famous or utterly obscure. His pictures of Marilyn offer a rare glimpse into the early days of an eventual pop-culture icon's career, when a young actress was blissfully unaware of what the coming years would bring and was, it seems, just happy to be in "the industry" and getting noticed.



















(Photos: Ed Clark—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)




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