Playboy pays nude tribute to Marilyn Monroe on 50th death anniversary

Marilyn Monroe

Playboy magazine is paying a special tribute to screen icon Marilyn Monroe on her 50th death anniversary by publishing rare nude photos of the actress.

The magazine dug deep into its archive of 10 million photos to publish the photographs in the December issue, the Daily Mail reported.

"It's really all about the collection and the way its composed," said Jimmy Jellinek, Playboy's editorial director.

"This is the first time we've shown the totality of our collection, from the beginning to almost days before the end of her life. it showcases the arc of her life," Jellinek said.

The issue also features editorials by Roger Ebert, Kim Morgan, recollections from Playboy Publisher Hugh Hefner and an excerpt by novelist John Updike.

The very first issue of Playboy had Monroe as the cover girl. That famous photograph by Tom Kelley, with Monroe on red velvet cloth, was purchased by Hefner.

The classic nude photos range from her first days as a pin-up girl to her final pictorials with the world's leading photographers.

One of the photos by Lawrence Schiller is the last nude photo ever taken of Monroe, taken just two days before her death. Many of the photos were taken on the fly. Some of her were taken on movie sets, and some in bed at her home or by her pool.

Recalling his memories of Monroe, Hefner said, "She was most in control when she was in the nude. What would be a position of vulnerability for others was a position of power for her."

Monroe, born as Norma Jeane Mortenson, was found dead in her bedroom on August 5, 1962 at the age of 36.

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