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April 13, 2022

Rare Photos of Young Norma Jeane Baker and Her Friend Bette Westcott in 1940–41

Very rare photos of young Norma Jeane and her friend Bette Westcott in 1940–41. They went to Ralph Waldo Emerson Junior High School together.

Bette spent some of her early teen years palling around and double-dating with a “very shy, sweet girl,” who would later blossom into one of Hollywood’s most famous starlets. “I did not know Marilyn Monroe, I knew Norma Jeane Baker,” Bette said. “We went to junior high school together.”

The two lived in the Sawtelle district in Los Angeles, where they attended Ralph Waldo Emerson Junior High School, graduating in 1941. “Here’s Norma Jeane, we were up at Arrowhead,” Bette said, flipping through a notebook filled with photos of Bette and the future movie star.

Norma Jeane Baker (aka Marilyn Monroe) on the left and Bette Westcott, in front of Norma’s white wood framed house at 11348 Nebraska avenue between Corinth and Purdue avenues in West Los Angeles (Sawtelle), California, 1940, the year she was attending Emerson Junior High School, 8th Grade.

Bette Westcott and Norma Jeane flanked by two friends in Sawtelle, California.

Norma Jeane, far left and Bette Westcott (center) picnic with friends.

Front: Norma Jeane and Bette Westcott with friends at Lake Arrowhead, California.

Norma Jeane Baker in Sawtelle, California.

Norma Jeane Baker in Sawtelle, California.

Norma Jeane’s Ralph Waldo Emerson Junior High Class of 1941 photo.

Norma Jeane signed the back of Ralph Waldo Emerson Junior High School Class of 1941 photo. “To a really cute girl – Bette, Lots of luck with Melvin!” (Bette’s boyfriend at the time).

(Photos courtesy of Bette Westcott)


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