In 1958, Life Magazine invited Marilyn Monroe and photographer Richard Avedon to recreate images of five celebrated actresses of different eras. Entitled “Fabled Enchantresses,” the piece was part of the magazine’s December 22 “Christmas” issue and included an article by Marilyn’s playwright husband, Arthur Miller, entitled “My Wife, Marilyn.”
Avedon found in Marilyn an easy subject to work with, “She gave more to the still camera than every other actress – every other woman – I had the opportunity to photograph…” He added that she was more patient with him and more demanding of herself than others and that she was more comfortable in front of the camera than when not posing.
Marilyn as Lillian Russell, turn-of-the-century American actress
Marilyn as Theda Bara, silent film star from 1914 – 1926
Marilyn as Clara Bow, the silent screen’s “It Girl”
Marilyn as blonde bombshell Jean Harlow
Marilyn as Marlene Dietrich