She’s still the iconic image of the Hollywood blonde, even 47 years after her death – at age 36 – in 1962. With Monday marking what would have been the 83rd birthday of Marilyn Monroe, LIFE.com has posted a gallery of never-before-seen images of the then-rising star, taken in 1950 by Life photographer Ed Clark in Los Angeles’s Griffith Park.
Monroe, then 24, had already played the girlfriend of a crooked lawyer in The Asphalt Jungle and was soon to be seen as “a graduate of the Copacabana school of dramatic art” in the Oscar-winning All About Eve. Still ahead: the subway-swept skirt in 1955’s The Seven-Year Itch and her definitive comic performance, in 1959’s Some Like It Hot, to say nothing of the inspiration she continues to provide Madonna and Gwen Stefani.
– Stephen M. Silverman