When Norma Jean met Bruno Bernard as she left the dentist's in 1946, little did she know she was taking the first step towards becoming one of the biggest icons in movie history.
Spotting the blonde beauty, Bernard, the now-legendary Hollywood photographer, invited her for a "strictly-professional" photoshoot.
After starting out as a pin-up model, films, fame and the commonly known moniker Marilyn Monroe soon followed. She would later muse, "Remember, Bernie, you started it all."
Marilyn: Intimate Exposures showcases Monroe's journey from fresh-faced wannabe Norma Jean to the glamourous household name. Here Bernard's daughter, Susan, speaks to HuffPost and remembers the special relationship between Monroe and her father.
Marilyn and attorney Jerry Geisler driving away after press conference in Hollywood annoucing her divorce from Joe DiMaggio, 1954
What was it like growing up with a father who had such a glamorous job?
I came to understand that one must have an enduring passion for the creative work they do and a resilience like steel and there is abundance that will be bestowed upon you. And yes, this can happen in Hollywood.
What was your experience of Marilyn like?
Marilyn has been my guardian angel. She picks me up when I am down and gives me strength. She empowered women way before Women's Lib. Marilyn, the writer Anais Nin, and my mother are my inspirations.
Before she was famous: Marilyn in 1949
How do you think celebrity photography has changed since your father was involved in the industry?
Since the human condition is so accessible through social media, privacy no longer exists. Celebrities can no longer trust their photographers who often become close friends - as many of the legends did with my father during his lifetime. So much trust is gone and replaced with anxiety with tainted ambition.
Why do you think Marilyn continues to fascinate people now?
Marilyn had a love affair with the camera and in person she had the same charisma. There are more books written about Marilyn then the heads of state. Marilyn was unique. She had a combination of endearing innocence and sensuality which my father captured in his photographs. His photographs and so many other photographers document and allure and great joie de vive, the qualities that continue to give joy and perpetuate the fascination with the Marilyn mythology that grows stronger each year.
Marilyn: Intimate Exposures Photographs by Bruno Bernard, Proud Chelsea, 1 August - 9 September 2012
Suggested For You
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more