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On June 5th, 1952 photojournalist Jock Carroll was sent to the set of the film “Niagara”, to photograph 26 year old actress Marilyn Monroe. On this day he would have lunch with Marilyn at the Rainbow Room in the Brock Hotel overlooking the falls, and over the course of many days Jock would follow Marilyn around photographing her. Jock was on assignment to do a photo spread of Marilyn, taking nearly 400 pictures for an article to be published in Canada’s Weekend Magazine.
On this day when they were to meet and have lunch, Marilyn arrived an hour late wearing checkered pants and a sweater. Jocks first thoughts to himself were “Full red lips, white teeth, those wide set innocent blue eyes. When she looked directly at you, it made you feel as though the two of you were sharing some naughty secret.” Jock was definitely awe struck by Marilyn, and also could not believe how young and beautiful she was. He called this period in her life “the prime of her life.” The two got along from the beginning, Marilyn fascinated by the fact that Jock was a war correspondent in Korea, where she would soon be going to sing for the troops. Jock was also taken to the fact that Marilyn, who was attending night classes at UCLA, new so much about reading, which he also enjoyed.
Towards the end of their lunch they were interrupted by some people who wanted Marilyn’s autograph. She signed them with a smile but did tell Jock “I look forward to the day when I’ll be free of all this, and perhaps free of depression.”
For the next few days Jock had been accepted by the cast & crew of Niagara, and by Marilyn... following her everywhere. One of the first places he went with her was on a publicity tour. They stopped at a factory where Marilyn loosened the straps of her blouse, and leaned over machinery for Jock. The camera, he felt like so many others, loved her. The publicity man, Frank Neill, who was helping Jock to him that Marilyn liked Jock because of the fact he was taking time to get to know her.
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On a day she wasn’t shooting, she had decided to go with Jock and take some color photographs. She had her make up man, and close friend, Whitey fix her up. Jock waited in the room while Whitey worked away with Marilyn, then a phone call from her boyfriend, Joe DiMaggio, interrupted things. At first Marilyn was extremely excited, as it seemed that Joe had asked her to spend the weekend together in New York. Then realizing the studio would need her to work she had to call him back and decline, this is when she became distraught. It seemed Joe didn’t understand and had hung up on her, Marilyn who’s mascara had run, needed her eyes done over again. They eventually went on their drive later that afternoon taking some beautiful colored shots.
Jock was having luck with candid photographs of Marilyn, but unlucky in an actual session. He set up a day to do an actual photo session for 10am that morning, however Marilyn wasn’t feeling well and pushed it back to 12. At 12 Jock came to her room where she was getting ready and invited him in. He observed her room seeing a folding clock by the bed, some clothes, lots of books and a photo of Joe. They chatted away with one another about make up tricks, books, relaxation… where Marilyn jogged around the room showing Jock how to relax & go limp by jogging. Jock loved watching this, so in awe he didn’t think to photograph her running around the room. They talked about Freud & childhood, where Marilyn spoke of happy memories.
After Marilyn was ready she suggested he photograph her learning to smoke, something in which she had to do in her film. She showed him her French inhale, rolling the cigarette in her mouth, many of the pictures were funny. Jock used a whole role of film, and for the last picture she sat up, leaned directly towards the camera & winked.
Neill interrupted them with some good news. Hy Gardner wanted to use Marilyn on his show tonight, to do an interview. Marilyn agreed to do it if she new the questions beforehand, and if nothing was said about Joe. However, Hy insisted that she speak about Joe and Marilyn declined due to the fact it was her personal life. Neill was a little upset by it but Jock agreed with Marilyn that it was an invasion of her privacy.
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In 1937, Walt Disney released one of the most groundbreaking films of all time.
John Rendall (right) and Ace Bourke (left) carry Christian the Lion down King's Road in London, England. The reaction to us buying Christian, remembers Ace, was universally: 'You've both gone mad, and it's quite dangerous, and you're stupid, and it'll end in tears.