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15 Rare Photos of Marilyn Monroe on Her 90th Birthday

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Rare Photos of Marilyn Monroe You've Never Seen Before

Even if you haven’t seen any of her movies, odds are you know something about Marilyn Monroe thanks to her standing in the pop-culture canon. Born Norma Jean Mortenson in 1926, the actress—who would have been 90 years old today—quickly rose to become the world’s biggest sex symbol, thanks to her trademark platinum-blonde hair, breathy voice, and killer curves.

Monroe is also often name-checked as a style icon, but perhaps it would be fairer to say that the Girl—her character in “The Seven Year Itch”—is truly the icon that should be referenced. A quick Google search reiterates that idea, as the first images that surface of Monroe are varied portrayals of the actress in that iconic white halter dress standing above a subway grate. Second to those images are photos in the other outfit we all reference: The hot-pink dress and gloves accentuated by giant diamonds from 1953’s “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”

MORE: 30 Underwear Models from the 1940s to Today

Both outfits are, by all accounts, iconic, though they’re costumes. Monroe—despite having made 29 movies—has become synonymous with one very specific look—the blonde bombshell—even to people who haven’t ever seen her work. In the interest of expanding your view on the actress, we’ve compiled rare photos taken during her short life that don’t include her signature costumes. Click through the gallery above and check ’em out!


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