• Slideshow Photos

    Ed Clark / Time & Life Pictures

    Portrait Of Marilyn Monroe

    ‘Hot tomato’ Monroe

  • Portrait Of Marilyn Monroe

    ‘Hot tomato’ Monroe

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    Fresh face -

    LIFE magazine recently discovered and released never-seen photographs of actress Marilyn Monroe. The images were captured by LIFE photographer Ed Clark in 1950 at Griffith Park in Los Angeles.

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  • Portrait Of Marilyn Monroe

    ‘Hot tomato’ Monroe

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    Marilyn who? -

    A legend and Hollywood icon, Monroe wasn't always so well known. In 1950, 20th Century Fox studios had just signed the young beauty, calling her "a hot tomato." They offered Clark the chance to photograph her, but when he sent the shots to editors at LIFE, they were less than impressed. "Who the hell is Marilyn Monroe?" they wrote back in a telegram.

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    Talk of the town -

    Two years later, Marilyn Monroe was a household name and in April 1952, LIFE put the star on its cover with the headline "Marilyn Monroe: The Talk of Hollywood."

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    Prime of life -

    The photos, which were found when staffers were digitizing the magazine's photo archives, show Monroe as a carefree 24-year-old. Monroe died in 1962 after overdosing on barbituates. She would have been 83 years old this year.

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    A star is born -

    In this photo, Monroe is dressed in shorts and a bikini top, as she lies back on a wooden bench and reads a script. The actress starred in classic hits such as "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and "How to Marry a Millionaire" in 1953 as well as "Some Like It Hot" in 1959.

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    Hidden gem -

    “She was unknown then, so I was able to spend a lot of time shooting her,” Clark said of Monroe in a 1999 interview.

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