Nearly 55 years after Marilyn Monroe’s death, the last professional images ever taken of the actress went up for auction last Wednesday.
The famous blonde bombshell died on August 5, 1962, at age 36 from a barbiturate overdose.
The online auction house Paddle8 confirmed to Fox News last week that they acquired the images, which were originally part of an assignment for Cosmopolitan magazine.
The images were shot in June 1962 on Santa Monica Beach in a midcentury home in the Hollywood Hills by George Barris, just weeks before Monroe’s sudden death.
“A private collector acquired three boxes of photos directly from Barris in the 1980s, and these three boxes are being offered on Paddle8,” wrote a rep from the auction house to Fox News. “They contain several never-before-seen images of the star. The boxes of images are still with the private collector right now … We facilitate the sale and shipment of the property directly from the consignor to the buyer, rather than taking possession of property.”
The auction highlights more than 150 photographs, with a large majority of them coming from the private collector. The price currently ranges from $8,000 to 24,000 and are signed by Barris.
“You can tell in these photographs, which are so open and honest, that she really trusted George Barris,” said Dean Harmeyer, who oversees entertainment and special collection property for Paddle8, to Vanity Fair. “Marilyn was one of the most photographed women of that age or any age … She loved the camera, the camera loved her. These photographs that Barris took are really amazing because she could really feel at ease with this photographer. There are a number of candids that you can just see that he’s catching her kind of in an off-guarded moment.”
Monroe, who was often perfectly coiffed in her images, stripped down her glamorous persona for Barris. Some pictures show Monroe barefaced and wearing nothing more than a bikini or towel. Viewers will spot the visible freckles and lines on her face, as well as the scar from her gallbladder surgery the year before.
“When I first saw her I thought she was the most beautiful, fantastic person I’d ever met,” Barris told the Los Angeles Daily News in 2012. “She completely knocked me off my feet.”
Barris died in 2016 at age 94.
This Fox News article is used with permission.