June 1, 2009

‘New’ photos of Marilyn Monroe at 24 found

Previously unpublished photos taken of Marilyn Monroe at age 24, before she became a Hollywood sex symbol, have been discovered in the archives of Life.com.

The actress and model died of a drug overdose in 1962 at age 36.

In honor of what would have been her 83rd birthday Monday, Life.com posted Life photographer Ed Clark's 1950 pictures on its Web site. The photos discovered last month show the future bombshell looking pretty, but demure, wearing a long-sleeved, button-down shirt or bikini top, and short shorts while posing or reading in a Los Angeles park.

She hasn't really exploded as a star, yet she was on the brink of something big, Dawnie Walton, deputy editor at Life.com, told CNN about the collection of pictures. I was amazed looking at her face. Although she looks very innocent, there is something very ... sexy.

Walton said little is known about the rediscovered photos. She speculated they might have been taken for a Life magazine cover shoot, but never used.

It just got lost and stowed away, Walton said. It was just ... somewhere in a warehouse in New Jersey.

Monroe appeared on her first Life cover in 1952, CNN said.