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August 21, 2013

Amazing Portraits of Marilyn Monroe as 5 Different Celebrated Actresses, 1958

Actresses and models often pay homage to Marilyn Monroe—but did Marilyn ever pay homage to the Hollywood idols of yesterday?

In 1958, Life Magazine invited Marilyn Monroe and photographer Richard Avedon to recreate images of five celebrated actresses of different eras. Entitled Fabled Enchantresses, the piece was part of the magazine’s December 22 “Christmas” issue and included an article by Marilyn’s playwright husband, Arthur Miller, entitled My Wife, Marilyn.

Avedon found in Marilyn an easy subject to work with, “She gave more to the still camera than every other actress – every other woman – I had the opportunity to photograph…” He added that she was more patient with him and more demanding of herself than others and that she was more comfortable in front of the camera than when not posing.

1. Marilyn as Lillian Russell, turn-of-the-century American actress

2. Marilyn as Theda Bara, silent film star from 1914 – 1926

3. Marilyn as Clara Bow, the silent screen’s “It Girl”

4. Marilyn as blonde bombshell Jean Harlow

5. Marilyn as Marlene Dietrich



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