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Marilyn Monroe: The Ballerina Sitting
August 19th, 2015 10:04 am     A+ | a-

Marilyn Monroe photographed by Milton H. Greene, New York City, 1954

"The first Christmas Marilyn spent with us, I thought it would be nice to get her some Anne Klein clothes. I went to Ben, told him what I wanted and he sent over six outfits. When it arrived, I put a big ribbon on the box without opening it. Christmas day, I gave the box to Marilyn. She was like a squealing child; each dress was heaven. She especially liked the white ballerina dress with an under slip. Two separate pieces. “Milton, you have to photograph me in this,” she said. The following week, we all went to New York, her hair and makeup was done and now it came time to slip into the famous ballerina dress. Marilyn wasn’t fat; but she wasn’t what I would describe as trim. She was on a perpetual diet, drinking one glass of wine at dinner. There was no bloat, just that the damn dress was a size too small. My mistake!
She came out of the dressing room disappointed. She so had been looking forward to this. When told of the problem, Milton said, “It doesn’t matter. Get into whatever you can and leave the rest opened.”  Which is exactly what they did. I love her red toenails in the full-frame pictures and in the most well-known image from that sitting, there again is the line, from the red toenails, to the knees, ending with the index finger pointing to the red lips and soft smile. That is the true story of the famous ballerina sitting.

Excerpted from But That's Another Story, by Amy & Joshua Greene. Published by powerHouse Books.
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