Lawrence Schiller’s photo shoot with Marilyn Monroe is one of the most well known in the photographer’s career. Monroe had already appeared in 29 films by the time Schiller photographed her in May 1962. The world was unprepared for the moment when she jumped in the swimming pool in a flesh-colored bikini and came up out of the water au naturale. Schiller was able to capture this moment on the set of Something’s Gotta Give, just 2 months before her untimely death at the age of 36.
Though a childhood accident left him with impaired vision in one eye, he became an obsessive photographer; even while attending Pepperdine College, his pictures had already appeared in Life, Sport, Playboy, Glamour, and the Saturday Evening Post. Schiller’s interests and ambitions soon developed into a profession in print journalism, documenting major stories for glossy magazines all over the world, including Life, Look, Newsweek, Time, Paris Match, Stern, and the London Sunday Times. His iconic images of Robert F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Bette Davis, Barbra Streisand, Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali, and Madame Nhu, among others are tributes to his doggedness, ingenuity, and charm as well as to his technical proficiency.