Lawrence Schiller


Marilyn & Me: A new book shares unseen photographs of the icon

"You’re already famous, now you’re going to make me famous"

A new photography book, Marilyn & Me, shares the intimate story of the legend Marilyn Monroe and a young photographer starting his career. Lawrence Schiller captured more than 100 images of the Hollywood icon, including rare outtakes from the set of Monroe’s final films; The Misfits, which aired in 1961, and Something’s Got to Give – which was part filmed in early 1962 but never completed. She died aged 36 in August 1962. This new photography book shares a glimpse of the star in her final months.

“You’re already famous, now you’re going to make me famous,” Schiller said to Monroe, on the set for Something’s Got to Give in 1962 – a film which was never completed. “Don’t be so cocky,” she replied, “photographers can be easily replaced.” But he was right, of course; his intimate portraits of Monroe kickstarted his career as a photographer and were used on the covers of leading magazines at the time, such as Life, which used one of his shots for the cover of its August 1962 issue. “It’s the Marilyn I most remember,” recalls Schiller. “I was stunned to discover that they had used one of my photographs on the cover, the ethereal shot where she looked like an angel.”

Monroe, whose full name was Norma Jeane Mortenson, was known around the world as the glamorous actress and sex symbol that defined an era. She was born in Los Angeles in 1926 and had a difficult childhood, during which members of her family were institutionalised, resulting in her growing up in foster care. Monroe was determined to make a life for herself, so pursued a career in acting, dyed her brown hair to that iconic blonde, and called herself Marilyn Monroe. She was known for iconic films like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), The Seven Year Itch (1955), and Some Like It Hot (1959). In 1962, the star was found dead in her home at 36 years old following an overdose.

Here, we share a preview of the book and Schiller’s insight into his time spent with the icon in those last few months of her life.


Monroe in her dressing room, on the set of 'Let's Make Love' (1960)

“Looking over her left shoulder, she flashed a coy smile that told me all I needed to know about Marilyn Monroe: she knew who she was, she knew who I was, she knew what to do.”

Monroe celebrates her 36th birthday on set (1962)


“A huge birthday cake was brought in with sparklers for candles, and Marilyn posed behind it looking joyful and appreciative.”

Written By  |  Jessica Davis