x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

His weeks with Marilyn

Lawrence Schiller remembers his time with Marilyn Monroe.

…watching her on set

"Marilyn was all business when the cameras started rolling. It took her hours and hours to get herself psyched up to do each scene, but when she was ready to be the character the role demanded, there was no denying her power … Everyone was focused on Marilyn."

…photographing her

"Marilyn didn't have a preconceived idea of how she wanted to be seen by the public. All she wanted was to make sure that her face and body weren't deformed in any way. She didn't want to see her head or neck turned in a way in which lines or wrinkles might appear. If she was wearing, say, a tight dance outfit and was swinging around a pole, she wanted to be sure that her legs looked right."

…visiting her home

"The house wrapped around a nice-size pool in the back, and there was a guesthouse. There was no art on the walls, just a few pieces of furniture, and loose tiles were scattered all over the living room and kitchen floors. Later I would learn that her bedroom contained only a mattress and two small tables. There was nothing on the walls in there either."

…her death

"I just didn't understand it. Marilyn Monroe was dead at 36. I don't remember what I thought or discussed with Judi [his wife] on the drive back to Los Angeles, but I remember keeping the radio on all the way home. The early reports were of suicide, but she hadn't seemed suicidal when I saw her the previous morning."