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Milton H. Greene (March 14, 1922 in New York City - August 8, 1985 in Los Angeles) was a fashion and celebrity photographer. He was active for over four decades. He is best known for the photoshoots he did with Marilyn Monroe.
Born in New York on March 14, 1922, Milton Greene began taking pictures at the age of 14. Although he was the recipient of a scholarship to the renowned Pratt Institute, a heightened awareness of the photographic image diverted his attention to the camera and its versatility. He soon apprenticed himself to photojournalist Elliot Elisofen. Before long, his regard for fashion and the camera found him assisting Louise Dahl-Wolfe, the fashion photographer known for her covers and fashion pages for Harper's Bazaar. At the age of twenty-three, Greene was referred to as "Color Photography’s Wonder Boy".
Along with other eminent photographers such as Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn, and Norman Parkinson, he is credited for bringing fashion photography into the realm of fine art.
Greene was initially renowned for high-fashion photography, but he is best known for his portraits of artists, musicians, film-, television- and theatrical celebrities. His ability as a director enabled him to capture the qualities that personified the real person, as he converted his vision into photographic art. He wanted to capture people’s beauty, which was in the heart, and to show people in an elegant and natural way. His gifts were his timing as well as creating rapport in which to allow oneself to be seen.
The range of Milton Greene’s subjects include such people as Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly, Marlene Dietrich, Sammy Davis, Jr., Elizabeth Taylor, Cary Grant, Sophia Loren, Groucho Marx, Audrey Hepburn, Andy Warhol, Judy Garland, Giacometti, Lauren Hutton, Alfred Hitchcock, Romy Schneider, Laurence Olivier, Ava Gardner, Steve McQueen, Claudia Cardinale, Paul Newman, Lauren Bacall, Dizzy Gillespie, Catherine Deneuve and Norman Mailer as well as many others. But it was his friendship, business relationship and ensuing photographs of Marilyn Monroe for which he is best remembered.
Greene first encountered Marilyn Monroe on assignment for Look Magazine. They quickly became close friends and ultimately formed their own film production company, which produced Bus Stop and The Prince and the Showgirl. Before marrying Arthur Miller, Monroe lived with Greene and his family in their Connecticut farmhouse. During this period, Greene captured some of the most famous photographs taken of Monroe. During their four years together, Greene photographed Monroe in 52 photographic sessions, including the famous "Black Sitting".
Monroe entrusted Greene with her autobiography, called My Story. He would later collaborate with Norman Mailer on a fictional auto-biography of Monroe, entitled Of Women and Their Elegance.
His photography won him many national and international honors, medals and awards; among them the American Institute of Graphic Arts and the Art Director’s Club of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Detroit. One of his last awards was from the Art Director’s Club of New York for his work in Harper's Bazaar.
Milton H. Greene was married to model Amy Greene and they had two sons, Anthony & Joshua.
American Institute of Graphic Arts Art Director's Club (New York/Chicago/Los Angeles/Philadelphia/San Francisco, and Detroit).
Executive Producer - Prince and the Showgirl, starring Marilyn Monroe and Sir Lawrence Olivier; Warner Bros.
Visual/Technical Consultant - Bus Stop,
starring Marilyn Monroe and Don Murray; 20th Century Fox.
Executive Producer - NBC Paris Special, with Lauren Bacall, Christian Dior, Yves St. Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro, and Marc Bohan; NBC TV.
Executive Producer - A Half Hour with Candice Bergen,
sponsored by The Wool Bureau; CBS TV.
Executive Producer - Film Titles, Sammy Davis Show, A Weekly Series; NBC TV.
Producer/Director - Coty Awards.
The Milton H. Greene Archives website is the main source of this article.