The photos are part of the collection of Hollywood photographer Nat Dillinger who died in 2006 at the age of 94-years old. His widow Harriet passed on his portfolio of some 58k pictures to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2012. The intention was for the photos to be shown as part of the regular collection of the Academy’s new museum.
Dillinger was friends with many of the great and the good during the heyday of Hollywood and those friendships gave him unrivalled access to photos of the stars at play during the many private parties he was invited to.
Some of the photos that have just been released show Marilyn Monroe with her fellow movie stars from the 1960 George Cukor directed film Let’s Make Love. THey are shown relaxing off-set at a private party being held at the Beverly Hilton.
In several of the photos Marilyn is seen looking very closely attached to Yves Montand, her French co-star in the movie. The pair embarked on what was seen as the time as a scandalous affair whilst working together on the movie. At the time Marilyn was married to the writer Arthur Miller and Montand was married to French actress Simone Signoret.
As well as the photos of Marilyn Monroe there are many other Hollywood stars who were captured by Dillinger’s camera. These include Cary Grant, Elvis Presley, Jane Fonda and Frank Sinatra. There are also photos of a very young Elizabeth Taylor, with one shot showing a 13-year old Taylor eating food from the hand of Ray Bolger, the actor best-known for playing the part of the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.
We will have to wait for a little while before the Academy’s new museum opens but it is certain to be worth the wait. The museum, which will be situated in LA, will contain many items from the Academy’s collection of over 10m photos, 46k original movie posters and numerous other items of interest.
The museum is currently scheduled to open around 2017 and will without doubt be one of the must-see sites on future trips to LA.