Monroe, changed into a bikini top, relaxes with a script. Why LIFE never published this gold mine of photos after Marilyn became a superstar remains a mystery. The only clue: a brief note about the shoot we found in our archives, addressed to LIFE's photo editor and saying that "this take was over-developed and poorly printed."
Lounging in the shade, Monroe studies lines of an unknown script. It was still early in her career, and she'd just begun to grab attention: Three months before this shoot, she appeared as a crooked lawyer's girlfriend in The Asphalt Jungle, and two months after, she had a small role as an aspiring starlet in All About Eve. Read more: http://life.time.com/icons/marilyn-never-published-photos/#ixzz1nbEbazZD
Marilyn gets her feet wet. Though it looks like a beautiful day here, the note LIFE found in its archives about this shoot reads, "The weather has been poor, which has held up our outdoor shooting on her."
Marilyn - always fabulous. Here is an early photo! "She was unknown then, so I was able to spend a lot of time shooting her," Clark recalled. "We'd go out to Griffith Park and she'd read poetry. I sent several rolls to LIFE in New York, but they wired back, 'Who the hell is Marilyn Monroe?' Later, though, they did a cover of my shot of Marilyn and Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.