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Marilyn Monroe Playboy

Updated on March 16, 2011

"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.

The maiden issue of Playboy magazine featuring Marilyn Monroe.
The maiden issue of Playboy magazine featuring Marilyn Monroe.

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.


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i have a pic of marylins golden dream in black and white

      how do i find out what its worth

    • profile image

      Joe micahel 

      8 years ago

      I have the Photo sets of Mariyln spreading her Legs wide apart... email me if anybody needs them..

    • profile image

      Mike olson 

      8 years ago

      i have an original calendar of marylin, the wrinkle 1953 calendar, how much is it worth? please Email me...

    • profile image

      michael Olson 

      8 years ago

      I have the original 1953 calander of marilyn monroe side shot. It's just a calander. How much is it worth?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Awesome hub! Even though Marilyn had a tough time many years back, she made it up to the top without worrying. I think that a strong desires, healthy dose of ambition just like she had, makes the difference!

    • stars439 profile image


      8 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Great hub. GBY

    • profile image


      8 years ago


    • profile image

      damien stone 

      8 years ago

      how much is and original worth? i have one and and curious to know what it is worth. please email me and let me know. might be interested in selling it. thanks, damien stone

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      its not so bad.i liked it

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 

      9 years ago from Northern, California

      wow. I just love what she represented to the movie industry back then. nice hub.

    • profile image

      Kevin Schofield 

      9 years ago

      Nice hub. Marilyn was a special human being and I loved reading about her in your hub. Kind regards, Kev.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I have a playboy centerfold of Marilyn Monroe. One side is the phote of the 1953 centerfold. The other is highlighted "the TV on". I am in question as to what this would be worth and hot to list for sale.

    • profile image

      Mark D. 

      10 years ago

      Dear Sir or Madam,

      I represent the owner, a friend of mine, who is in procession of a 1953 Marilyn Monroe calendar from my father’s estate. Your company printed it, and I am curious if you have any remaining or their whereabouts, or any records of its printing, distribution, etc. It once hang at a body repair shop on 455 West 37th Street in Manhattan I want to sell it once I can establish its value. Below are the history and description. Mine is complete with the original months and the body shop printing, etc.

      Any help you can offer will be greatly appreciated.


      Bob Peterson

      Henderson, Nevada


      I am 63 yrs old and I have had this calendar in a safe since 1953.that is my dad, who passed away last month has had it .

      1-top left hand corner printed in black letters "KEEP YOUR BODY IN SHAPE-under that-CALL LO 5-9244

      2-bottom right hand corner in very small print"MADE IN THE U.S.A

      3-top and bottom of calendar with loop on top have metal strips.

      4-calendar does not have the "after market" words posed by Marylyn Monroe

      5-calendar is not faded, nor are the staples rusted.

      Note: calendar has not seen the light of day nor the humidity in the air.

      6-Golden Dreams” is on the bottom center

      7-below the red velvet picture on the same paper is :DIAMOND AUTO REPAIR,BODY FENDER AND COLLISION WORKS (continues with address and detailed work. They do, hence this is where the play on words "keep your body in shape")

      8-the original 12 month calendar white background black lettering with all the presidents and famous person’s birthdays with their proper dates. the prior and upcoming months are on top of these dates the way calendars were made in those days.

      9-calendar is the full original size

      I believe I have the only original calendar that fits all these criteria. if I am wrong, please direct me to a website or a person that has this calendar. In 1953, when a person was given a calendar with a nude unknown girl on it, they usually tore of the months off as they passed and admire the blond girl for that year, then they would go to a calendar maker and try to duplicate the thrown away 12 months in order to make an original valuable copy. All the pics I have seen were with plain black calendars with no cartoon type pictures on 1/3 of the calendar.

      Here is a little history of what I have:

      In 1953, when I was 7 years old, my dad owned a parking lot on west 37th St. in New York City. Sometimes he would damage a car and have to bring it to DIAMOND AUTO REPAIR in order to have it repaired before the customer would return to pick up the car. At Christmas of 1952, he gave my dad a calendar of a naked blond lady, which he tried to hide from his young son. Instead of hanging it up in his office he took the calendar home and that was the last I saw of it. About 10 years ago he gave me the calendar and I framed it with all the months still attached starting with Jan. 1953.

      My dad died this past September 4th and I started to look at all the Marylyn Monroe calendar sites and I noticed all the “authentic” calendars were missing many of the words that were on my authentic calendar. Since it was first given to a body shop, the words in the upper left hand corner are, ”KEEP YOUR BODY IN SHAPE”.

      My question to you is, am I the only person with a real authentic calendar, and, if so, is the calendar worth more the other authentic calendars?



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