ANDRE DE DIENES AND GEORGE BARRIS PHOTOGRAPHS
André de Dienes was the first photographer to ever photograph Marilyn Monroe, De Dienes came to the US from central Europe in 1938. He settled in California and here, in the wide-open landscapes and under the near-constant sunshine, he made a speciality of plein-air photography of the nude. His encounter with one particular young model was an epiphany. He recounts how he called a lady model agent he knew, Emmeline Snively, who had the Blue Book Model Agency at the Ambassador Hotel, and explained to her that he was back in Hollywood again and needed models. Miss Snively said there was a pretty girl in her office, waiting for her first modeling assignment, who had just started in the profession. Miss Snively said she would send the young lady to see him right away and that her name was Norma Jeane Baker.
De Dienes recorded their meeting in his diary: ‘When Norma Jeane arrived in my bungalow later in the afternoon, it was as if a miracle had happened to me. Norma Jeane seemed to me like an angel! I could hardly believe it for a few moments. An earthly sexy-looking angel! Sent expressly for me!’
George Barris was the last person to ever photograph Marilyn Monroe. Barris had a lifelong interest in photography, and as a young man he worked for the US Army’s Office of Public Relations. Many of his photographs of General Eisenhower were published. After the war, he became a freelance photographer and readily found work in Hollywood. He photographed many stars of the 1950s and 1960s, including Liz Taylor, Marlon Brando, Charlie Chaplin, Frank Sinatra, Clark Gable, Steve McQueen and many more. He is perhaps best known for his work with Marilyn Monroe whom he photographed in 1954 on the set of the Seven Year Itch, in Santa Monica beach and the Hollywood Hills in 1962 “The Last Photos”. George Barris took the last photograph of Marilyn Monroe on July 13, 1962