>Just weeks before she died in August 1962, Marilyn Monroe bared all for photographer Lawrence Schiller on the set of her last film, Something’s Got to Give. As the 50th anniversary of her death approaches, Schiller, author of the memoir Marilyn & Me (and a limited-edition Taschen photo book featuring previously unpublished shots), opens up about those rare nude images and the tortured soul behind the beauty.

MELANCHOLY & MISUNDERSTOOD

After a string of flops and several miscarriages, Monroe “was battling demons,” says Schiller. It was her idea to hop in the pool on-set with a suit on—and emerge without. On Aug. 4, the day before she died, they had a tense run-in over the shots; some she finally approved for Playboy. “She didn’t feel respected. Her body was her last resort,” he says wistfully. “But she had this childish vitality that was unbelievable. And boy, those legs.”

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