Marilyn Monroe

June 04, 2009

As you may have already heard, some never before published photos of Marilyn Monroe were released the other day from

I've been doing classic movie paintings and drawings for almost half a year now, and I've never painted or drawn Marilyn. For some reason, I've been reluctant to depict the huge icons (except Audrey Hepburn, just because.) and kept putting it off. But when I saw these pictures, I just had to draw one of them.

The photos were taken in between her roles in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve, just before she shot to super-stardom. She looks so fresh, young and happy in these pictures.

It's a common misperception that because Marilyn Monroe was beautiful, she couldn't act. But I actually think she was one of the best comediennes of the 1950's. Since I rely heavily on TCM for my classic movie supply, I don't get to see Marilyn Monroe's films very often. I have Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch and How to Marry a Millionaire on VHS but I don't watch them very often because, well, they're on VHS.

For a while, TCM was showing All About Eve almost every week (I'm guessing this was because they had temporary rights to show it, as it isn't scheduled anymore-- and by the way, when you search for "All About Eve" on TCM the ONLY result is "All About Steve" (2007)... what?! I had to search for Bette Davis, and then click on All About Eve through her filmography... odd!) anyway, when they were showing All About Eve every waking minute, I kept watching it over and over again, and after many viewings I realized that Marilyn Monroe may be the best part of the film. I'm surprised that it took two whole years for studios to give her a starring role after she did such a great job in this tiny role:

See what I mean? That part about yelling "Butler" just cracks me up :)


KC said...

I've had similar problems with TCM search. I wonder what's wrong with it? Anyway, great sketch and I totally agree with you about Monroe's comedic skills. She didn't just steal scenes because she was pretty!

Unknown said...

It is absolutely beautiful. It just took my number 1 spot out of all of your work! She was an amazing woman.

Rupert said...

Absolutely wonderful drawing!! Although Monroe as an actress wasn't one of my favorites, your rendering is exquisite. Thank you SO much for sharing!


Raquel Stecher said...

Beautiful drawing of Marilyn Kate!

The TCMDB search function craps out every once in a while, so don't be thrown off. :-) I've had lots of weird results.

Coming from someone who has watched every single Marilyn Monroe film except for 4 (yeah that's me!), you should take advantage of the fact that a lot of these films are on DVD. Do you only watch TCM for movies? Do you rent or watch Fox Movie Channel? Fox Movie channel has a lot of her movies on rotation since she was contracted for Fox I believe.


elena-lu said...

i loved her in the seven year itch its such a good story and shes so charming in it. gentlemen prefer blondes is another fave i love the pairing of her and jane russell

NoirGirl said...

I adore the Marilyn sketch! It's so well done!

The new Life photos really are inspirational. :) I love the shot of Marilyn chastising an invisible intruder!

I couldn't believe that constant showing of All About Eve, either. It started to annoy me, but I realized they were just taking full advantage of their right to show it. Marilyn really is the best part of that film. Anne Baxter is just so hateable, and Bette Davis isn't thrilling at all after a while, but Marilyn just sparkles no matter how many times I watch it.

Mykal Banta said...

Kate: I think this is one of the best sketches you've done. -- Mykal

charkstudios said...

Love your drawing of Marilyn. When you see her on screen one only focuses on her and you can't remember the other women in the scene. She had a unique way of using her mouth and eyes to charm the viewer...and she was well aware of this.