44 Candid Marilyn Monroe Photos As The Girl Next Door

Published August 24, 2017
Updated March 12, 2024

These Marilyn Monroe photos provide a unique look at the person behind the icon, whether she's goofing around or relaxing at home.

Laughing Marilyn Monroe Picture
Playing On The Beach
Laying On The Floor
Candid Marilyn Monroe
44 Candid Marilyn Monroe Photos As The Girl Next Door
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Marilyn Monroe photos showcase a sex symbol, a goddess, an icon. She was beautiful, there's no doubt about that. After all, it was her looks that got her out of her anonymous life before fame in the first place.

Monroe had spent her childhood years in foster homes and orphanages before getting married at the age of just 16. Shortly after, Monroe (then still known as Norma Jeane Mortenson) was working at an aviation factory when she was spotted by military photographer David Conover who was there to capture photos of female workers in order to boost wartime morale. Monroe's looks dazzled Conover, and she soon embarked on a successful modeling career.

Monroe's seductive photos landed her a number of minor film roles that eventually led to bigger roles in more popular films, and before Monroe knew it, she was a major movie star.

Unfortunately for Monroe, she was almost always typecast as the "dumb blonde." Practically all of her notable films, including The Seven Year Itch, Some Like It Hot, and Bus Stop, showcase Monroe as little more than a sex object. Monroe was devastated; she deeply wanted to play serious roles in serious films. Alas, no one took the blonde bombshell seriously.

Since it was Monroe's appearance that turned the previously beautiful albeit anonymous woman into a movie star, she was terrified of losing her good looks. To create the woman captured in iconic Marilyn Monroe photos, she supposedly washed her face up to five times a day to prevent breakouts, slathered her face in olive oil to keep it hydrated, and sewed marbles into her bra to create the appearance of hard nipples.

Likewise, much to the annoyance of directors, Monroe spent hours in her changing room, applying makeup and doing her hair. Every element of her appearance had to be perfect before she was ready to be captured on camera. Monroe was constructing a character, and she knew exactly how to act in front of the camera in order to seduce her audience.

As the photographer Ernest Cunningham once said:

"I worked with Marilyn Monroe. A rather dull person. But when I said 'Now!' she lit up. Suddenly, something unbelievable came across. The minute she heard the click of the camera, she was down again. It was over. I said, 'What is it between you and the camera that doesn't show at any other time?' She said, 'It's like being screwed by a thousand guys and you can't get pregnant.'"

Monroe's charm is indeed evident both in her movies and her still photos. But Cunningham was wrong: Monroe was no less charming when her charisma was turned off, when she was caught off guard, when she wasn't "on."

See for yourself in the gallery of candid Marilyn Monroe photos above.

Marilyn Monroe Death Podcast
History Uncovered Podcast
Episode 46: The Death Of Marilyn Monroe
Go inside the story of Marilyn Monroe's sudden death, from her bizarre final hours to the mystery of what caused her demise that's lingered ever since.

After viewing these beautiful Marilyn Monroe photos, check out this gallery of Norma Jeane Mortenson before she became Marilyn Monroe. Then, have a look at some of the most memorable Marilyn Monroe quotes.

Laura Martisiute
Laura Martisiute is a freelance writer based in Tramore, Ireland. In her spare time, she likes to explore secret beaches, pet cats, and read.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.
Cite This Article
Martisiute, Laura. "44 Candid Marilyn Monroe Photos As The Girl Next Door." AllThatsInteresting.com, August 24, 2017, https://allthatsinteresting.com/marilyn-monroe-photos-candid. Accessed April 21, 2024.