In pictures: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

A collection of rarely seen portraits of Marilyn Monroe, by Milton H Greene and Douglas Kirkland, have gone on show in London.

Image copyright Milton H Greene / Archive Images
Image caption As Ballerina Awaiting Her Cue, NY, 1954 - Milton H Greene / Archive Images

Born Norma Jeane Mortenson in Los Angeles on 1 June 1926, she signed her first studio contract with 20th Century Fox in 1946 and changed her name to Marilyn Monroe.

Image copyright Milton H. Greene
Image caption As A Seductive Ballerina, NY, 1956 - Milton H Greene / Archive Images

Monroe died in 1962, but her image continues to captivate the public imagination.

Image copyright DOUGLAS KIRKLAND
Image caption In Bed with Marilyn - Douglas Kirkland 1961

One of her last photo shoots, naked under a silk sheet, was with Kirkland.

Image copyright DOUGLAS KIRKLAND
Image caption In Bed with Marilyn - Douglas Kirkland 1961

The 1961 series, An Evening with Marilyn Monroe, consists of photographs of her posing sensually in bed. Kirkland says it was as though he and Monroe "were in a beautiful dance".

Image copyright Milton H. Greene
Image caption The Rock Sitting, LA, 1953 - Milton H Greene / Archive Images

Milton H Greene died in 1985 after a career working for magazines such as Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and Life.

Image copyright Milton H. Greene
Image caption The American Airlines Session, Los Angeles, 1956 - Milton H Greene / Archive Images

He photographed many of the world's biggest stars, including Audrey Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich and Cary Grant.

Image copyright Milton H. Greene
Image caption Playing With A Red Veil , NY, 1957 - Milton H Greene / Archive Images

Monroe and Greene first met in 1953 on assignment for Look Magazine.

Image copyright Milton H. Greene
Image caption The Hooker Sitting, LA, 1956 - Milton H Greene / Archive Images

In 1956, they formed Marilyn Monroe Productions, which produced the films Bus Stop and The Prince and the Showgirl.

Image copyright Milton H. Greene
Image caption In A Black Derby And Not Much Else, NY, 1954 - Milton H Greene / Archive Images

By the end of their four-year relationship, Greene had photographed Monroe in 52 different sittings, producing more than 5,000 images.

Image copyright Milton H. Greene
Image caption Winsome In White Fur, NY, 1955 Milton H Greene / Archive Images

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes starring Marilyn Monroe by Milton H Greene and Douglas Kirkland is at The Little Black Gallery, London, until 27 February.

All images courtesy: Milton H Greene / Archive Images and Douglas Kirkland 1961

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