The last ever professional photos of Marilyn Monroe taken just weeks before her untimely death have emerged for sale. The poignant pictures of the screen siren were taken by close friend George Barris on July 13, 1962, destined for a book about Monroe. But just three weeks later Monroe was tragically found dead at her Los Angeles home aged 36 - making Barris's pictures of the world's biggest star hugely valuable.
This appears to be one of the final pictures taken by a professional photographer of Marilyn Monroe, shot by close friend George Barris on a beach in Santa Monica on July 13, 1962. The two had become good friends - which shows clearly in the relaxed shots taken by Barris.
Devastated by the loss of his friend, Barris scrapped plans for the book - Marilyn: Her Life In Her Own Words - and for years afterwards he refused to allow the images, the last professional shots ever to be taken of Monroe, to be published.
Twenty-five years later Barris, alongside Hollywood glamour photographer collector Edward Weston, did finally publish the 'Last Photos' from his original negatives.
They made a limited edition of 99 prints from eight photographs.
Barris had planned to include the pictures in a book about Monroe he was putting togetherbut Barris scrapped plans for the book, and refused to publish the pictures for years after her death after her death, Barris moved to Paris, where he lived for the next 20 years.
The images include two of Marilyn wrapped in a towel on a Californian beach and another of he playing around in the surf.The eight chromogenic prints, that are 10ins by 7ins, are expected to sell for £1,000 each at Bloomsbury Auctions in London on June 4.
Barris had first met Monroe on the set of her film The Seven Year Itch in 1954. 'When I first saw her I thought she was the most beautiful, fantastic person I'd ever met,' Barris told the Los Angeles Daily News in 2012, ahead of an exhibition to mark what would have been the film star's 86th birthday. 'She completely knocked me off my feet.' The two remained firm friend. Barris told the Huffington Post: 'What I particularly liked about Marilyn was that she didn't act like a movie star.
'I was most impressed that Marilyn was always polite and friendly to everyone on the set. She was no phony or snob.'
Barris revealed to the Daily News that the final shot he ever took of Monroe was on the beach, wrapped in a blanket.
'She puckered up and said, `This is just for you, George,' and blew a kiss to me. That's the last picture I took of her,' he said.
A print of that picture among the six on sale, along with a two more from the beach in Santa Monica, while two are taken inside a house in Hollywood.