On July 13, 1962, photographer George Barris met his close friend on a beach in Santa Monica, California, for a photo shoot. His friend was none other than Hollywood starlet and iconic sex symbol Marilyn Monroe. The eight breathtaking images captured by Barris were to be used in a photo book about Monroe titled Marilyn: Her Life in Her Own Words. 

Unfortunately, these were the last professional photographs ever to be taken of Monroe before her sudden death just three weeks later. On August 5, 1962, Monroe was found dead inside of her apartment from an apparent overdose. Out of respect for his dear friend’s passing, Barris decided not to go forward with the book and wouldn’t allow his photos of Monroe to be published. 

In 1987, after holding on to the negatives for 25 years, Barris released 99 limited-edition prints of Monroe. He finally sold the eight chromogenic 10″ x 7″ original prints of Monroe at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions in London on June 4, 2015. The series, titled “Last Photos,” included images of Monroe in her Brentwood, California, home that were also taken during her final photo shoot. Although these rare photos of the witty blonde are no longer available for purchase, at least you can view them here. 

“I don’t look at myself as a commodity, but I’m sure a lot of people have.” 

“I want to say to the people, if I am a star, the people made me a star. No studio, no person, but the people did.” 

“Creativity has got to start with humanity and when you’re a human being, you feel, you suffer.” 

“It’s all make believe, isn’t it?”

“Fame has a special burden, which I might as well state here and now. I don’t mind being burdened with being glamorous and sexual. But what goes with it can be a burden.”

“I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it.” 

“Frankly, I’ve never considered my own figure so exceptional; until quite recently, I seldom gave it any thought at all.” 

“I’m not interested in money. I just want to be wonderful.”