Rare Photos Of Norma Jeane Baker, Without Makeup, Before Marilyn Monroe

In 1945, André de Dienes (1913-1985) was the first professional photographer to photograph Marilyn when she was just a model named Norma Jeane Baker. One of Marilyn’s first lovers, de Dienes was an intimate of Marilyn and photographed her privately in 1945, 1946, 1949 and 1953. His iconic photographs capture her transformation from sensitive and ambitious ingénue into Marilyn Monroe troubled star.
In November 1945 de Dienes was a successful New York fashion photographer. He moved temporarily to Hollywood. His first task was to find a model for his experimental nude photography. De Dienes called numerous modeling agencies until an agency sent over a young lady who had been camping out in the office, eager to get her start in Hollywood. It was Norma Jeane Baker, a 19-year-old ‘miracle’ and ‘sexy looking angel’ as de Dienes wrote in his 1983 memoir.
It was love at first sight. De Dienes didn’t take any nude photographs of young Norma Jeane, but invited her on a five-week trip. Though the trip resulted in a brief marital engagement, de Dienes returned to New York and their romance did not withstand the distance.
When he returned to California some months later, de Dienes found that the young and innocent model he knew as Norma Jeane had been made over into the coy budding actress Marilyn Monroe. Still fascinated by Marilyn’s expressive face, he asked her to accompany him to a beach in Malibu to take photographs for a book of poetry and philosophy he wanted to illustrate. The rare large scale photographs he made in 1946 depict Marilyn acting out various moods including happiness, introspection, serenity and sadness.

Rare photos of Norma Jeane Baker, without makeup, before Marilyn Monroe

Rare photos of Norma Jeane Baker, without makeup, before Marilyn Monroe

Rare photos of Norma Jeane Baker, without makeup, before Marilyn Monroe

Rare photos of Norma Jeane Baker, without makeup, before Marilyn Monroe

Rare photos of Norma Jeane Baker, without makeup, before Marilyn Monroe

You Might Also Like