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Photographer remembers Marilyn Monroe

Photographer remembers Marilyn Monroe

Aug. 7, 1962: Photographer Andre de Dienes looks at a photo he took of Marilyn Monroe early in her career.

After the Aug. 5, 1962, death of Marilyn Monroe, the Los Angeles Times interviewed photographer Andre de Dienes, whose images helped launch Monroe’s career.

Writer Jack Smith reported in the Aug. 8, 1962, Los Angeles Times:

A Hollywood photographer who loved Marilyn Monroe and launched her career — only to lose her to success and fame — added a bitter chapter Tuesday to her brief, unhappy life.

“I was the first one to photograph her,” said Andre de Dienes as he looked through dozens of glossy prints of Marilyn in his home. …

“I put her face on magazine covers. I made her famous. I loved her. I was going to marry her. And she never mentioned me — not in 15 years.

“It was the only fact of her life she didn’t throw out to the press. And I’ve never mentioned it to anyone before. But I have ego, too. That’s why I’m willing to talk my heart out now.”

The French-born photographer said he met Marilyn — then the 19-year-old Norma Jean Dougherty — in 1945 when she was sent to his apartment in Hollywood’s famed Garden of Allah by a model agency.

“There came this lovely little girl,” he recalled, “in a pink sweater and checkered slacks. I fell right away in love with this girl.

“In my subconscious I wanted to marry this nice young girl. What was wrong with that? I was a nice young boy myself.” …

The above photo accompanied Smith’s article in the Aug. 8, 1962, edition of the Los Angeles Times.

Andre de Dienes passed away in 1985. The website has a page dedicated to De Dienes’ images.

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