Celebrity | Vintage

Rare Photos Of Marilyn Monroe Gives Us A Glimpse Into Her Life Before Fame

William Carroll

Many of us know Marilyn Monroe as the iconic Hollywood starlet who dominated the entertainment industry throughout the 1950s. She was adored by everyone - men wanted her and women wanted to be her.

It's been over five decades since Monroe's untimely death, but the blonde bombshell is still very much idolized and considered one of the world's most famous sex symbols. But what many people never got to see is what life was like for the actress before her rise to fame.

Biography.com

Monroe, whose birth name was Norma Jeane Mortenson, was born in Los Angeles, California, and although her early childhood was stable, things took a turn when her mother was deemed unfit to raise her. As a result, she spent most of her childhood in orphanages and foster care, bouncing from family to family.

The entertainer had a tough time growing up, but there were some happy times, some of which have been immortalized in photographs. Some of these images are now a part of a new book titled "Making Sense of Marilyn" by Andrew Norman.

Daily mail

In the book, Norman claims to offer a "brand new perspective" on Monroe through black and white photographs of her childhood, teenage years, and early days of fame.

"By teasing out what is authentic from what is inauthentic, it is possible to shed new light on the enigmatic character of Marilyn Monroe, who is regarded, arguably, as the world's most famous ever movie star," Norman explained.

Amazon.co.uk

So what are these special photos like?

Unlike the usual magazine photos and  movie posters of Monroe we're used to seeing, the snaps published in Norman's new book show Monroe as the girl next door.

Take a look:

Monroe (front left) as a toddler beside her mother, Gladys, during a family beach day.

Pen and Sword/Daily Mail

A young Monroe, around the age of 10, is seen playing in a garden.

Teenage Monroe posing in a stylish outfit before taking up a career as a model.

A rare photograph of 16-year-old Monroe on her first wedding day. She married 21-year-old factory worker James Dougherty on June 19, 1942.

The actress, slightly older, poses in a swimsuit for a photo shoot.

Here she's seen out boating with friends.

Norman also included photos of Monroe at the height of her fame, alongside her second and third husbands, baseball player Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller, respectively.  

Norman explained that Monroe's life was too complicated to understand, so "to make sense of this complex, endlessly fascinating, and all too fragile person, it is necessary to embark on a journey that proves to be both rewarding, and an infinitely moving experience."

"Making Sense of Marilyn" will be released on February 2, and is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.