August 2, 2012

Marilyn Monroe at the Club Del Mar, Santa Monica, Calif., 1952

It’s a scene straight out of a movie — but in this case, it’s nothing less than a pivotal moment in a real-life Hollywood legend’s life: Clad in a show-stopping velvet dress and fur stole, a young Marilyn Monroe glides across the floor of the Club Del Mar in Santa Monica, Calif., in January 1952. The starlet is there to pick up an award from Hollywood’s Foreign Press Association.

The blonde bombshell captivates the room. She’s single, after all, and few men at the party that night can possibly fail to notice her. But in more ways than one, and to a degree that no one present can possibly imagine or foresee, the 25-year-old Marilyn’s life is about to change. Just a month and a half down the road, in March 1952, she will go on her first date with a major league baseball legend named Joe DiMaggio. They will wed in 1954 (although the seemingly storybook marriage will last a mere nine months, before Monroe files for divorce on the grounds of “mental cruelty”).

(Photos: Loomis DeanTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images)


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