Before Marilyn: The Blue Book Modeling Years
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Before Marilyn tells the story of Marilyn Monroe's modelling career, during which time she was signed to the famous Blue Book Agency in Hollywood. The head of the agency, Miss Emmeline Snively, saw potential in the young woman and kept detailed records and correspondence throughout their professional relationship and beyond.
On the day of Monroe's funeral, Snively gave an interview from her office, talking about the girl she had discovered, before announcing, rather dramatically, that she was closing the lid on her Marilyn Monroe archive that day - to 'lock it away forever'.
This archive was purchased by Astrid Franse, and together with bestselling Marilyn Monroe biographer Michelle Morgan they draw on this collection of never-before-seen documents, letters and much, much more.
Before Marilyn explores an aspect of Monroe's life that has never been fully revealed - by charting every modelling job she did, and illustrating the text with rare and unpublished photographs of the young model and her mentor.
intimidating at times, but she was excellent at her job, gaining her high-class fashion models so much work that she became one of the most respected women in Hollywood. ‘Some people can play the violin, others can cook. My talent is my photographic eye,’ she said in 1961. ‘I can pick the one girl from fifty who will be a success.’ ‘I can pick the one girl from fifty who will be a success’ One model who worked for Webb Davis in the 1940s remembers that the girls were encouraged to stay away
various techniques involved. Footage of his time with Marilyn shows the model in the same swimsuit she had worn for the Group 13 photographs, moving slowly in a circle while occasionally flicking her hair, crossing her legs and talking to the camera. This natural awareness was something that impressed Caloia to a great degree, especially as there had been no rehearsal or practice run before shooting began. While he enjoyed filming Marilyn, Caloia could be forgiven for thinking the event was
of Miss Snively reading the letter from Norma Jeane. Tucked away behind Collingwood, but just in view, is the statue of Nefertiti that she had kept on her desk since the days when Norma Jeane was signed to the agency. The model must have seen this ornament many times when she skipped happily into Miss Snively’s office, and it surely brought back memories for the agency director. Telegram to Miss Snively from her friend Betty Ames. (From the archive of Ben and Astrid Franse) In the days and
with one of your representatives. I will take care of my own expenses but I will not mail or leave the photographs without a definite contract. We have releases on all of the photographs we plan to include in the publication. Our present selection for a title is And so it was but we are willing to discuss changes. While the book is an effort on the part of Miss Snively, Mr Moran and myself, I will handle all contract negotiations. Even though Marilyn has been dead for over seven years I believe
1945. ‘The LAPD maintained a close watch.’ A former 1940’s model further explained that the Blue Book Agency was known to expect certain ‘social responsibilities and social efforts from the girls there. None of the agencies I worked with did that, but there was a definite rumour that Blue Book was a house of mischief and I wanted nothing to do with it.’ Advertisement for the Blue Book School. (From the archive of Ben and Astrid Franse) It would appear that for the most part the women interested