Brian Seed: Photographing Marilyn

Native Londoner Brian Seed photographed Marilyn in 1956, in full movie star regalia at a theatre premiere with her new husband, Arthur Miller, on a night off from filming The Prince and the Showgirl in England, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

These rare pictures – unattributed until now – will be displayed at this year’s Ray Bradbury Dandelion Wine Festival, today at Bowen Park in Waukegan, Illinois, where Brian now lives.

“‘That Marilyn Monroe was a really smart cookie,’ said Seed, a retired freelance photographer for Life magazine.

Sifting through photos he took of the Hollywood icon in October 1956, he says: ‘Look at this picture — she’s looking directly at me, because she knows I’m likely the only photographer in there who’s working for a magazine, and that the photo that would result would not be used in one day’s paper and then gone forever.’

As it turned out, Seed’s photos from that night outside London’s Comedy Theatre would sit unseen for more than a half-century.

Though Seed was pleased with his results, Life editors didn’t use any of the images they commissioned of Monroe. The magazine would eventually release a career’s worth of negatives to Seed in the late 1970s and he filed everything away until recently stumbling across the images.”

2 Replies to “Brian Seed: Photographing Marilyn”

  1. Brian Seed has graciously offered to let me collaborate on the project to bring his captivating October 13, 1956 photos for LIFE Magazine to the world. Until we have a dedicated website I’ll try to provide periodic updates on the project of a lifetime. Yesterday Brian and I had a grand time sharing his fabulous photos with the many people who showed up at the Ray Bradbury “Dandelion Wine” Fine Arts Festival in Waukegan, Illinois.

    In a weird twist, the Chicago Sun Times, having fired their photography staff, stuck reporter Dan Moran (whom I have worked with on numerous occasions) with shooting video of my friend and colleague Brian Seed. Look at the result and see if the Sun Times management was idiotic in saying that they don’t need photographers. . .only reporters provided with the technology that could create this video:

    To me and others this is proof that the Sun-Time management summary firing a couple days earlier of their talented and award winning photo staff can lead to the public shifting to the competing Chicago Tribune in droves.

    Stay tuned!


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