Marilyn Monroe let photographer Lawrence Schiller take nude pictures of her on the set of her last movie, Something’s Got to Give, in 1962. However, she had once condition: he would not publish the pictures in any magazine featuring Elizabeth Taylor.
Throughout her career, Monroe remained envious of her contemporary Elizabeth Taylor, who earned a sizable sum more than her for the movies she was appearing in. Monroe told Schiller that Fox Studios had paid Taylor $1 million for her performance in Cleopatra, while Monroe herself received only $125,000 for her last film, Something’s Got to Give.
To prove that she had more traction with the audiences, Monroe agreed to pose nude for Schiller on the set of her movie, given that he would not approach magazines that featured Taylor.
Schiller agreed, and Monroe jumped into a swimming pool on the sets of Something’s Got to Give and told him to take pictures of her coming out of it naked.
These iconic pictures are now being auctioned off at the Heritage Auctions in New York. The 12 pictures taken by Lawrence Schiller were enough to make him famous for a very long time, and the photographer, only 25 years old at the time of the photoshoot, had the foresight to know this. According to Nigel Russell, the director of photographs, the pictures will sell for $35,000.
Schiller first met Marilyn in 1960 while she was filming Fox’s Let’s Make Love, and remembers her fondly to this day as the woman that gave him access to her life. It was this candid friendship that led to her allowing him to take nude pictures of her two years later.
Monroe also posed nude before her steep success in 1949, when she modeled for photographer Tom Kelly for a mere $50. This was before the actress received fame for her roles in Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve. She also appeared on the cover of Playboy in 1953 as the Sweetheart of the Month.
Something’s Got to Give was Monroe’s last movie: she was fired only 32 days after production due to her erratic behavior and was replaced by actress Dorris Day. The movie was released as Move Over Darling. Monroe committed suicide a few months later.
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