Andre De Dienes. The Photographer who discovered Marylin Monroe

The year 1945 would be a highly notable one for Andre de Dienes, for this was the year he would first meet and work with the young lady the world would later come to know as Marilyn Monroe. At the time the nineteen year old Norma Jeane Baker was a model on the books of Emile Snively’s Blue Book Model Agency, and after taking a call from de Dienes and being informed of an idea for a project involving artistic nude shots Ms Snively informed him of Norma Jeane, a new name on her books who she thought might be interested in the job with de Dienes. And after suggesting as much to Norma Jeane, a meeting was arranged and she was sent on her first assignment that day, being given de Dienes address upon where she arrived later that afternoon. In his memoirs, de Dienes remembers the first time he met Norma Jeane vividly and with much affection and enthusiasm;

‘When Norma Jeane arrived at my bungalow later in the afternoon, it was as if a miracle had happened to me. Norma Jeane seemed to be like an angel. I could hardly believe it for a few moments. An earthly, sexy-looking angel! Sent expressly for me! The impact Norma Jeane had on me was tremendous. As minutes passed, I fell more and more in love with Norma Jeane; there was an immediate rapport between us. She responded to everything I said. She started to look around in my room examining all the pictures I put on the walls and began asking questions. I had the immediate feeling that she was something special, something different from most girls and models I had met before her, mainly because she was so eager to ask questions about me and the pictures I put on the walls. She wanted to know many things right away, she was interested in me! She was utterly sincere; she did not wish to speak about herself, except when I asked her my own questions. She was sincere in wanting to know who I was and what I was doing with my life, and I began to amuse her exceedingly with all sorts of stories that ran through my mind and I just kept dishing them out to her. I still
remember it as clearly as if it happened just recently’.