Screen goddess Marilyn Monroe bares her fabulous body in pictures that have lain unseen for half a century.
The star posed nude by a Hollywood swimming pool on a film set in what was to be her last photoshoot. She died two months later aged 36.
Marilyn, who would have been 86 on Friday, was the ultimate in glamour and iconic beauty.
But the close-up of her face captured a haunted, troubled woman with a vacant stare. Sitting naked at the poolside she arched her back and gave a seductive glance over her shoulder before turning around, arms tantalisingly covering her breasts.
Only when wrapped up in her robe did the voluptuous siren’s fragile state of mind show.
When these pictures were taken, on May 23, 1962, she was beyond the point of no return as a casualty of fame. It was on the set of the film Something’s Got To Give. Marilyn was notoriously unreliable and turned up for only 12 of 32 working days. The film was never finished.
Four days before she posed beside the pool, at the Fox film studios, Marilyn defied orders to remain in Hollywood because she wanted to fly to New York to sing Happy Birthday to President John F Kennedy.
She returned to a set seething with tension. By that time she was dependent on prescription drugs and a heavy drinker.
Her grip on reality was struck a devastating blow after Kennedy dumped her as a lover.
The studio fired her on June 8 and she died on August 5 after being found at her Los Angeles home in a drug-induced coma.
The photographer, Lawrence Schiller, now 75, never released all the pictures but is publishing them now – to mark the 50th anniversary of her death – in his book Marilyn & Me.
Lawrence said: “The photographs show the real Marilyn Monroe teasing you, yet there is still a little mystery left. I was so unguarded that she became unguarded with me.If Marilyn was alive now … I would say, very simply, thank you.”