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Marilyn Monroe Playboy
"We'll be running a beautiful, full color unpinned pin-up in each new issue of Playboy, but we're mighty pleased to have the famous nude Marilyn Monroe as a starter.
There were actually two poses shot au naturel back in '49, just before the gorgeous blonde got her first movie break. When they appeared as calendar art, they helped catapult her to stardom. We've selected the better of the two as our first Playboy Sweetheart."
-- Excerpt from the first issue of Playboy magazine.
It was 1949 and Norma Jean, a.k.a Marilyn Monroe, was broke. She could barely make ends meet. There were no movie offers and the modeling jobs are very few.
Tom Kelley has been asking Marilyn to pose nude for him but she refused repeatedly. With current financial troubles, Marilyn finally agreed on the condition that Tom Kelley's wife, Natalie, be there during the photo shoot.
It was 27th May in 1949 that Marilyn Monroe posed for Tom Kelley totally nude. From this set of photographs, the calendar pictures called "Golden Dreams" and "A New Wrinkle" will become very famous. These pictures practically catapulted Marilyn Monroe to super-stardom.
“Golden Dreams” is the picture that Playboy magazine used in its first issue. Playboy called it “the better of the two.”
Golden Dreams came to be the better known of the two nude pictures. It appeared on calendars, game cards, glasses, coasters, key chains and many other collectibles. There was even a 3-D version of Golden Dreams.
The two pictures became two of the most famous pictures in the history of Hollywood. Interestingly Marilyn Monroe only received $50 for the entire shoot. Tom Kelley made a few bucks after selling the two pictures to the Western Lithograph Company.
By the middle of 1950s, the sales of the original calendar reach 8 million copies. Add to that the countless number of pirated versions. Tom Kelley made 24 transparencies from the photo shoot. He only sold two of them. The other transparencies were stolen from a this studio.
Today, there's a website selling limited-edition printed copies of some of the pictures taken in the 1949 photo shoot.The website boasts that the prints are printed on museum quality 100 pound archival paper and includes a certificate of authenticity. The prints are also signed by Tom Kelley.
In 2005, Playboy released a replica of the 1953 maiden issue. If you're lucky, you can probably find one in Amazon. It originally sold for $25/copy.
Marilyn Monroe Featured in Playboy Magazine
- Marilyn Monroe 1953 Playboy
Marilyn's 1953 Playboy appearance as presented by a die hard fan.
- HowStuffWorks "Marilyn Monroe\'s Playboy Photographs"
Desperate for money, Marilyn Monroe posed for nude photos, one of which was used to launch the first Playboy magazine. Learn about Marilyn Monroe's Playboy photographs.
- Marilyn Monroe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Marilyn Monroe according to Wikipedia.