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die hard is a xmas movie | by maryann johanson

question of the day: What do you think of the previously unknown photos of Marilyn Monroe just released?

UPDATE: Life staffer Colleen McMillen asks me to alert you to many more new Marilyn photos available at Life.com

Editors at Life.com, the online photo archive of the long-running magazine, recently uncovered photos of Marilyn Monroe in its collection taken before she became a star. This is my favorite:

Four others are available to view at CNN.com, which also includes details of the photos’ discovery:

“She hasn’t really exploded as a star, yet she was on the brink of something big,” says Dawnie Walton, deputy editor at Life.com, a Web site harboring more than 7 million Life magazine photographs. The site was launched in March.

Last month, Walton stumbled upon the rare photographs while combing through the company’s digital photo archives. Apparently, no one at Life.com even knew they were ever taken.

Upon investigating the photos, Walton says, she found there were few notes left on the negatives. She says the photos were probably taken for a cover shoot that was never used. Monroe appeared on her first Life magazine cover in 1952.

“It just got lost and stowed away,” Walton said. “It was just … somewhere in a warehouse in New Jersey.”

Life.com staff members say there are 15 billion photographs in the Life archive dating back to the late 1850s, even before Life officially began publishing in 1936. Two years ago, the publication began slowly transferring the photographs into a digital archive.

The first thing these photos make me think is the waste of talent and charisma we lost when Monroe died so young. The second thing is: I want to know what else is in that Life archive that we’ve never seen. It sounds like the photo equivalent of the big warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, full of mystery and wonder…

As an aside, today would have been Monroe’s 83rd birthday.

What do you think of the previously unknown photos of Marilyn Monroe just released?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me.)



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