Lawrence Schiller, who photographed Marilyn on the set of her last film, Something’s Got to Give (and later served as art director on Norman Mailer’s Marilyn) has written a new book about his experiences.
Marilyn & Me: A Photographer’s Memories will be published in June, currently priced at £11.48 on Amazon UK. A deluxe, limited edition version from Taschen, available in May, will set you back a jaw-dropping £450.00 (or £337 from The Book Depository.)
‘”You’re already famous, now you’re going to make me famous,” photographer Lawrence Schiller said to Marilyn Monroe as they discussed the photos he was about to shoot of her. “Don’t be so cocky,” Marilyn teased, “photographers can be easily replaced.” The year was 1962, and Schiller, 24, was on assignment for Paris Match. He knew Marilyn already – they had formed a bond two years earlier when they met on the set of “Let’s Make Love” – but nothing could have prepared him for the day she agreed to appear in the nude for his camera during the swimming pool scene in “Something’s Got to Give”. Her chronic lateness and absence soon got her fired from the film, but the worldwide publicity the photographs garnered – her first nudes since the calendar she posed for as a young starlet – guaranteed she would be hired back. But this victory was truly a pyrrhic one: two weeks later, she was dead. “Marilyn & Me” is an intimate tale of a legend before her fall and a young photographer on his way to the top. Via words and pictures, Schiller takes us back to that time, and to the surprising connection that allowed a star of her stature to open up to a kid from Brooklyn with a lot of ambition but very little experience. Onset, backstage, in her dressing room, at her house, in her car, they made pictures, made deals, and talked and talked, quite intimately at times. When Schiller asked her if she always wanted to be Marilyn Monroe, she answered candidly, “I never wanted to be her – it just happened. Marilyn’s like a veil I wear over Norma Jeane.” A unique addition to the lore of Marilyn Monroe, Schiller’s is a story that has never been told before, and he tells it with tact, humor, and compassion. It is a story brought to life by the photographs he took – from those headline-grabbing nudes to the almost surreal pictures from the day of her funeral, the tragedy of her death hanging heavy in every frame. And if Schiller isn’t already famous from his work as a photographer, director, producer, and writer, this book will surely change that.’