Norma Jean Before Marilyn

I usually do a Marilyn Monroe post on our shared birthday, June 1st, but I decided to wait a couple days and look back on Marilyn before she was MARILYN.

I have this wonderful book by Andre de Dienes, Marilyn – Mon Amour – The private album of Andre de Dienes, her preferred photographer.  In 1945, Andre had searched agencies for a model to pose for his photographs.  With a great amount of luck, 19 year old Norma Jean Baker introduced herself to him.  They soon set off to travel through the western states as Andre captured her in a variety of settings.  Of course Andre fell madly in love with his protege.  Norma Jean refused his marriage proposal but they remained close friends, and Andre became her favorite photographer.  Here are a few of her very first photographs:


Marilyn Monroe 1945 Photo: Andre de DienesGoodness.  A barefoot brunette in braids out in a field.  Norma Jean is looking very fresh and rather Boho.








Signed “Love, Norma Jeane”, she is striking a somewhat Pinup pose while wearing a frilly pinafore apron.Marilyn Monroe 1945 Photo: Andre de Dienes








Marilyn Monroe 1945 Photo: Andre de DienesNorma Jean goes western, with boots and a wagon wheel.  I think she looks like a teenaged Shirley Temple here – dimples, curly ringlets and all!








Striking a pose with a car.  Hair up and jaunty striped top.Marilyn Monroe 1945 Photo: Andre de Dienes








She was on her way to becoming the magical and fabulous Marilyn Monroe that we all know and love.  What an eventual transformation!



“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” –Marilyn Monroe



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