Before her introduction to the world as Marilyn Monroe, she was just Norma Jean Mortenson. In 1946, 20 years old Norma Jean separated from her husband James Dougherty. Norma Jean had dreams of becoming an actress.
The same year, 20 years old Marilyn met lover and photographer Andre di Dienes. Smitten by Marilyn Monroe and eager to help Marilyn start her Hollywood career, Andre suggested the two travel to Malibu Beach. Both set off for Malibu. They started their shoot in Malibu beach. Andre took photos of Monroe in her natural state, in swimwear etc.When taking a break during the photo shoot, Andre decided to do a photo series of Marilyn Monroe. The photo series were intended to capture different expressions of Marilyn Monroe.
In his own words, Andre di Dienes said:
“She was twenty and had never experienced the intoxication of success, yet already there was a shadow over her radiance, in her laughter. I asked her to react instinctively, without giving herself time to think, to the words happiness, surprise, reflection, doubt, peace of mind, sadness, self-torment… and death. When I said ‘death’ she took hold of the folded dark-cloth and covered her head with it. Death to her was blackness, nothingness. I tried to coax another reaction from her. Death might be a beginning, the hope of an everlasting light. She shook her head: ‘That’s what death is for me.’ She turned towards me, her face set and despairing, eyes dulled, her mouth suddenly bereft of colour. To her, death was the end of everything.”
Also see: 12 Less-Known Facts About Marilyn Monroe