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Marilyn Monroe’s nude photograph by Leif-Erik Nygards


Leif-Erik Nygards’ one photograph of Marilyn Monroe. When he met her, Nygards was an assistant to photographer Bert Stern. Following a shoot, Nygards asked if he could take just one picture for himself: he got more than he asked for.


- Well, I worked for Bert Stern and we had a shoot with Marilyn in '62, in Los Angeles.

And we were to shoot Marilyn for several pages in 'Vogue' magazine.

When I got the picture, I was alone with Marilyn in the studio and she sat on the bed, wrapped in a sheet.

And her head just stuck out of the sheet so it looked like she was a mummy, more or less, sitting there, and I thought I must have a picture of Marilyn because all my friends in Sweden, they would just laugh at me if I said I met her, they would say, 'Tell us another story.'

And so I asked Marilyn, 'Can I take just one frame of you?'

And she said, 'Of course.'

And when I turned around, she had unwrapped herself from the sheet and lay totally nude on the bed.

And the first thing I thought, 'Jesus,' I thought, 'I can't show this picture to my mother.'

But I just acted like this was nothing and I took the picture.

When the flash went up, she lifted up her head and smiled.

I should have taken two pictures.

I was very stupid, but I asked for one picture to have as a memory and I got it and I should be grateful.


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