Milton Greene was born to a Jewish family in New York City, and would become one of the city’s most iconic fashion photographers. Following the footsteps of Irving Penn, and echoing the work of George Burris, Greene would shoot many of Hollywood’s most iconic stars and figures during the 1950s and 60s.
Greene first established himself in the 1940s through a series of photo shoots he did for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. After this initial work in fashion, he pivoted to celebrity portraits. Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Sammy Davis Jr., Ava Gardner and more all found themselves in front of Greene’s lens.
Greene’s life changed entirely once he’d met Marilyn Monroe. The two first met on the set of Look in 1953. Monroe soon left Los Angeles to study acting in New York. Greene offered her a place to stay with his wife and young son. She stayed in Connecticut with them, and the two eventually formed Marilyn Monroe Productions, a move Monroe made in an effort to try and re-capture her career.
Greene produced both Bus Stop and The Prince and the Showgirl, and they also collaborated to shoot 53 different sessions, including “The Black Sitting”. Greene’s shot of Monroe in a ballet tutu was one of Time Magazine’s three most popular images of the 20th century.
For a time, the two seemed inseperable until the production of The Prince and the Showgirl. Marilyn fired Greene over irreconcilable differences, and the two never worked together again. Greene died in 1985.