Page last updated at 12:44 GMT, Saturday, 6 February 2010

Unseen Marilyn Monroe photos up for sale

Marilyn Monroe
Monroe said she had had her hair colour matched with Carl Sandburg's

Previously unseen photos of Marilyn Monroe taken nine months before she died have been unveiled after being held privately for nearly 50 years.

The black and white pictures show a seemingly relaxed and happy Monroe at the New York apartment of photographer Len Steckler in December 1961.

Steckler took the shots when Monroe arrived at his flat unexpectedly to visit his friend, poet Carl Sandburg.

The photos, entitled Marilyn Monroe: The Visit, are being sold online.

"It was serendipitous with these two icons in their moment and me here with my camera," Steckler told Reuters news agency.

He added that he was "like a fly on the wall" while he took pictures of Monroe, then 35, and Sandburg, 83, chatting and holding hands.

As we know, Marilyn loved older men, she loved the intellectuals and Carl was very parental with her
Photographer Len Steckler

The pictures show the film star wearing pointed, thick-rimmed sunglasses and a short-sleeved dress.

Sandburg had said to Steckler on that afternoon that they would soon have "a visitor".

"Hours later I went to open the door and there I was face-to-face with Marilyn Monroe, and she looked more ravishing than on the screen," Steckler said.

"She said 'I am sorry I am late. I was at the hairdresser's, matching my hair to Carl's.'"

After Steckler, a former fashion and beauty photographer, had taken the pictures they all drank Jack Daniels whiskey, he recalled.

"As we know, Marilyn loved older men, she loved the intellectuals and Carl was very parental with her. It was a lovely thing to see," he added.

The actress died in August 1962, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Sandburg seven years later.

Steckler said he had decided to sell the photos after his son discovered the negatives when going through his father's work.

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