Schiller Talks Marilyn With CBS

This preview shot from the upcoming Vanity Fair special (June issue) is featured on the CBS website, alongside an interview with photographer Larry Schiller.

‘”I start shooting her from the dressing room,” he recalls. “And she says, ‘You know, you’re not going to get a good picture from there. But if you go over there you’re going to get something really nice.’ And so I go over there and she turns over her shoulder, and she looks at me and she’s just a different woman. She’s Marilyn Monroe.

“But basically I lifted another camera and I shot just one frame. It’s just an extraordinary first real portrait I ever did of her.”

The Xs on Schiller’s proof sheet are from Marilyn’s own hand. Of all of his shots that day, she only approve done. “That was the moment that I knew that Marilyn knew more about photography at that moment than I did,” Schiller said.

But he would learn.’

Schiller’s photography will also be the subject of an exhibition at New York’s Steven Kasher Gallery in June. Check the website for rare photos of Marilyn!

All About Schiller’s Marilyn


This lovely portrait of Marilyn – taken during filming of Let’s Make Love – adorns the cover of Lawrence Schiller’s Marilyn & Me (due out in May, currently £11.32 at Amazon UK), though rather disappointingly, this standard edition only contains 18 photos.

The boxed set edition from Taschen is an altogether more spectacular affair – but then, it will set you back £650.00 (or a slightly more reasonable £487.50 from The Book Depository.)

While I’m sure Taschen’s version is beautiful and will certainly become a collector’s item, I think it’s rather unfair on ordinary fans. Hopefully a more affordable photo book will be published in future.

Meanwhile, Schiller’s work with Marilyn will also be featured in an upcoming issue of Vanity Fair.

Lawrence Schiller: ‘Marilyn & Me’

 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.’

 

Bert Stern Returns to Bel Air

Carrie White of the Huffington Post reports on the launch of Bert Stern’s new Marilyn book for Taschen, with text by Norman Mailer, at the Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles, where Stern photographed Monroe in 1962.

Guests included legendary music producer Quincy Jones, actresses Penelope Ann Miller and Julie Newmar (who played Catwoman in the cult 1960s TV series, Batman), and comedian Chris Tucker. (Interestingly, some guests were as shocked as me by the book’s $1,000 price tag!)

Stern was introduced by Lawrence Schiller, who photographed Marilyn during filming of the pool scene in the unfinished Something’s Got to Give.

While at the launch, Stern spoke to the Los Angeles Times about his memories of the shoot. The suite where he photographed Marilyn is now part of the hotel’s La Prairie Spa.

‘”I didn’t want any clothes. I wanted things — jewelry, scarves, objects,” said Stern of the Monroe session. As usual, she showed up three hours late but thinner then he had expected. The 36-year-old Monroe sipped on her favorite Dom Pérignon champagne, picked up a few scarves from off the bed and giddily danced around while Stern snapped away. “She was in a terrific mood, a lot of fun,” Stern said. “She wanted to be in Vogue.”

“She got fed up with the dresses and wanted to go back to less things,” recalled Stern, who didn’t want a glitzy showbiz photo. An admirer of Edward Steichen’s black and white portrait of Greta Garbo, he wanted something more intimate, that definitive, immortal picture.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime event. I knew I’d never shoot her again.”‘

Schiller Remembers Marilyn


Lawrence ‘Larry’ Schiller, whose nude photos of Marilyn during filming of Something’s Got to Give are currently on view at the Duncan Miller Gallery in Los Angeles, has spoken to the Hollywood Reporter.

“I knew Marilyn over a two-year period. I met her first on a movie called Let’s Make Love. I photographed her at that time on and off through the time of her death. I was 22 years old and she was 34 or 35. The relationship was not a sexual relationship. It was very much a relationship of a young guy who isn’t even that good of a photographer yet and how she teaches him how to take pictures of her. She shows me how the light would be better from this angle or that angle…The dumb blonde was a great performance. She had shaped this voice to go with it.”

Schiller Exhibit at Venice Beach

12 Photographs‘, a selection of nudes taken by Lawrence Schiller during filming of the pool scene in Something’s Got to Give, will be on display at the Duncan Miller Gallery, Venice Beach, from October 21-November 26.

While you’re in Venice Beach, why not check out the work of pop artist Ron English at Post No Bills (featuring a screenprint, ‘Marilyn Comic‘.)

Marilyn on Film: An Untold Story

Catherine Hicks‘s performance in the 1980 made-for-television biography Marilyn: The Untold Story is generally regarded as the best biographical portrayal of Marilyn Monroe. Produced by Lawrence Schiller, the photographer who took the famous nude photos of Marilyn on the set of Something’s Got to GiveMarilyn: The Untold Story was based on Norman Mailer’s ‘novel biography.’

The film was enhanced by the participation of three talented directors, including Hollywood veteran Jack Arnold. The impressive roster of behind-the-scenes personnel ensured pleasant entertainment, but the three-hour drama lacks insight into Marilyn’s personality and fails to add anything new to the Monroe lore and literature.

Hicks, whose thoughtful performance is the highlight of the production, managed to capture Marilyn’s voice and mannerisms and suggest her alluring presence without resorting to caricature.

Hicks received a well-earned Emmy nomination. (In an ironic twist, Monroe ‘replacement’ Sheree North appears in this film in the role of Marilyn’s mother.)” – Susan Doll, author of Marilyn: Her Life and Legend

The opening scenes from this hard-to-find biopic are now on Youtube, with more to follow.