Last in life of Marilyn Monroe. This is how they have been. Interested to take a peak?
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“If a photographer cares about the people before the lens and is compassionate, much is given,” Eve wrote later. “It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument.”
Photographer Mary McCartney admires Eve’s portrait of a melancholy prostitute leaning on the bar of a Havana brothel in 1954. “You get a sense of her vulnerability – you feel that her life has been difficult, but that Eve is not judging her,” McCartney observed.
However, Eve failed to win over at least one tough-minded critic. When her photos of the first five minutes of a baby’s life were published in ‘Life’ magazine in 1954, Eve’s mother, Bessie, asked, “What’s to admire?”
Eve had her first experience of working with a movie star when she photographed Marlene Dietrich during a recording session, for ‘Esquire’, the upmarket men’s magazine. Some time later, Eve met Marilyn at a party given by John Huston at Manhattan’s 21 Club. “Marilyn asked – with that mixture of naïveté and self-promotion that was uniquely hers – ‘If you could do that well with Marlene, can you imagine what you could do with me?’” Arnold has recalled.
“At this time, she was a starlet and still relatively unknown,” Eve continued. “She had just appeared in a small part in ‘The Asphalt Jungle’.” That movie, directed by Huston, was released in 1950. (It may well be the case that Eve first met Marilyn shortly after, as they were introduced to each other by photographer Sam Shaw, Marilyn’s friend since 1951. However, the Dietrich story was published in 1952, by which time Marilyn was becoming a household name.)
All a girl really wants is for one guy to prove to her that they are not all the same. Read more Marilyn Monroe quotes
East of Eden, 1955
Eve’s earliest photos of Marilyn were taken at the premiere of ‘East of Eden’ at New York’s Astor Theatre in March 1955. One shows her being interviewed by a female reporter for NBC. Over the previous five months, Monroe had separated from her husband, Joe DiMaggio, abandoned her film contract and moved to New York, where she established a production company with photographer Milton Greene.
The premiere was a benefit for the Actor’s Studio, and Marilyn was present as a ‘celebrity usherette’. “Although she was to me consistently beautiful,” wrote super-fan James Haspiel, who was outside her hotel when she left for the theatre, “there were few moments, this being one of them, when Marilyn looked so outrageously gorgeous that it was actually hard to look at her…She went onto the premiere, and the word quickly spread throughout Times Square that ‘Marilyn Monroe is over at the Astor Theatre!’ Soon people in the thousands picked up that information along Broadway.”
‘Bringing Art to the Masses’
In early August of 1955, Marilyn – a lifelong insomniac – telephoned Eve in the dead of night. She was flying out next morning to Bement, Illinois, a town where her idol, Abraham Lincoln, had stayed in 1858, during a famed series of debates with Senator Stephen Douglas.
“I’m going to bring art to the masses,” Marilyn said. She wrote a speech about Lincoln on the plane to Chicago, and rehearsed it with her hairdresser, Peter Leonardi, and Eve, who remarked, “As she whispered the words of the talk about ‘our late, beloved President,’ it sounded like Eisenhower, not Lincoln, had just died.”
After a stopover in Chicago, they were driven to Champaign, and then taken by automobile cavalcade with the governor’s own motorcycle escort to Bement. The local media was alerted and chaos ensued.
By the time they reached Bement, Marilyn was exhausted. After a short rest, she was ready to face her public: she judged a group of bearded men in a Lincoln lookalike contest, admired the few pieces of art on display at Bryant Cottage, and finally, gave her speech.
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