Photographer Bruno Bernard took thousands of photographs of Marilyn Monroe -- including the iconic white dress images as she stood over a subway grate. However, in a new book, Marilyn: Intimate Exposures, his daughter Susan Bernard reveals that, at Monroe’s first ever professional photoshoot, she felt upstaged by a dog!
"Bruno first laid eyes on Norma Jean on Sunset Boulevard right after a dentist appointment," Susan told me. "He gave her his business card and she came the very next morning to do the test shots. Those shots were enough to book her on her first job which was a bandage advertisement, where Norma Jean would be bandaging a dog that same week."
For the shoot, Bruno borrowed his dentist's dog, Rolf, who happened to be the closest dog in proximity to the studio. Everything was great at the shoot and Jean even fed the pooch treats from the box, which you can see in the image. But when she saw the images, she felt she was upstaged by the dog.
"And from that moment on, there was never a time when Norma Jean/Marilyn wasn't the most important thing in the room," Susan tells me.
After that, according to Susan, Norma became Marilyn and she was never professionally photographed with a four-legged friend again.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story did not attribute Monroe's refusal to be photographed with dogs. It was photographer Bruno Bernard's daughter, Susan who provided the information.