Unpublished Marilyn Monroe Photos Rediscovered and Shrouded in Mystery
Early photos of Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield were recently rediscovered by New Jersey photographer Anton Fury, almost three decades after he purchased them from a garage sale for two dollars.
The photos surfaced just in time for the actress’ would-be 85th birthday.
“I found an envelope of negatives, didn’t know what they were, but I realized they were old,” Fury told CNN. He didn’t know what he had found until he returned home to his studio.
Fury struck gold when his studio flooded recently and he was forced to go through all of his materials, rediscovering the images. If only we could all find gems like this when destruction hits.
The negatives, came in two envelopes. The first held 33 images of Monroe and the second, 71 of actress Jayne Mansfield.
In search of answers, Fury took the photos to Beverly Hills art dealer, appraiser, and gallery owner David Streets. Streets admits he has never seen these exact images before and believes them to have been taken around 1950, a big year for the up-and-coming actress. The young 24-year-old released both The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve in 1950, just after she cut her hair and became an iconic bombshell.
“I’ve looked for early photographs, early test shots, magazine shots, books, and haven’t been able to find anything yet, so the mystery we’re just beginning to unravel,” said Streets.
Streets determined that the background of some of the photos shows architecture of 1950’s Hollywood, and though we know where the photos were taken, we are left wondering who took them. According to Streets, there is a man present in photos with both girls at their respective shoots in different locations.
“Both photos show a man working with Jayne and working with Marilyn,” said Streets. “It could be a very good lead.” Photographer or mutual friend, this guy may give us some answers.
The search for these answers could lead Fury into a copyright debacle if someone claims rights to the images. Fury and Streets are focused on answering the questions regardless of what may surface.
“For me as an appraiser and as a researcher, I want people to call, I want people to e-mail and say, ‘This is where it is, this is what it is, this is who I think took it,’ ” said Streets.
Both Monroe and Mansfield graced the silver screen and the pages of Playboy, and are presumed to be friends and acquaintances. The blonde bombshells also share tragedy in their untimely deaths. The rediscovery of these images could open up some new doors and shed light on their pre-stardom lives.
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