NEW YORK, NY.-
On Wednesday, June 1st, what would have been screen goddess Marilyn Monroe's 85th birthday, the Washington Square Hotel
showcased an exhibition of rare, never-before-seen photos of Marilyn Monroe from the personal archives of legendary Hollywood photographer Murray Garrett.
Murray Garrett was one of Hollywood's most sought-after photographers from the early 1950's to the late 1970's, the "go-to" photographer for stars, movie studios and personal publicists. Garrett filled a very special niche -- covering personal, off-screen events, both formal and informal, for celebrity clients. He was the acknowledged master at capturing stars in unguarded moments.
Garrett first photographed Monroe at a charity celebrity baseball fundraiser, when the budding Hollywood starlet threw out the first ball at a game between teams captained by Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope. Their photographic relationship continued throughout Monroe's career, from gala movie premieres to quiet, off-screen moments.
Garrett, who curated the current exhibition of Monroe photos and was present for the June 1st opening, opines: "Fifty years after her death, Marilyn Monroe is still the most compelling and recognizable icon in Hollywood. The mystique surrounding her life and the mystery surrounding her death continues to capture and captivate fans worldwide."
Garrett exclusively covered Frank Sinatra's private, surprise 21st birthday party at Romanoff's for Natalie Wood, was the only photographer invited to cover Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton's Disneyland outing (where they had the use of Walt Disney's personal apartment) and was the photographer of record at Bob Hope's daughter's wedding, where for security reasons, Garrett was the only photographer cleared to be in the church filled with dignitaries from Hollywood, the US Armed Services and the US government.
Hope noted his personal appreciation for Garrett: "There are photographers and then there is Murray Garrett. He has the visual sense of a paparazzo and the tact of an insider. He has a magic eye or a secret device in his camera that captures something different, something special that is missed by other photographers."