Vintage 8″ x 10″ black and white press photo of Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier at the press conference for “The Prince and the Showgirl”. The event was held at New York’s Plaza Hotel, February 9, 1956. Photographed by Milton Greene.
This photo, from the private collection of Leo Sauvage (1907-1989), was consigned to us by his family. The celebrated French-American journalist is recognized for his profound impact on literature and journalism. Sauvage’s pencil notation appears on reverse.
The New York Press Conference
In the heart of New York City, the iconic Plaza Hotel played host to the grand press conference for “The Prince and the Showgirl” in February 1956. The city that never sleeps was abuzz with anticipation as Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier stepped into The Plaza’s opulent setting, turning the event into a Hollywood spectacle.
The Dress Strap that Broke at the Press Conference
At the press conference, Monroe donned an exquisite black velvet gown secured with spaghetti straps. However, a moment of unexpected drama unfolded as one of the straps snapped amidst the flurry of flashing cameras.
This dress later found its way to Julien’s Auctions, fetching $56,250. The auction listing references the distinctive feature of that broken right strap. The press conference dress originated from the renowned Christie’s 1999 sale, “The Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe”.
Filming “The Prince and the Showgirl”
During the filming of “The Prince and the Showgirl” in 1956, Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier had a complex working relationship as co-stars. The movie, directed by Olivier, brought together two iconic figures from different sides of the Atlantic, creating quite a dynamic on and off the set.
Despite the warring acting styles of the two stars, “The Prince and the Showgirl” (released in 1957) was significant for Marilyn’s career because it allowed her to work with the esteemed Sir Laurence Olivier, showcasing her versatility as an actress beyond her iconic comedic roles.
Monroe’s performance in a dramatic context demonstrated her acting chops and versatility, earning her respect in the industry and expanding her career horizons.
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