In 1960, as part of an ongoing battle to get Fox to take her more seriously, and out of jealousy over Taylor’s success, Marilyn came up with an attention-grabbing plan: a poolside shoot in which she’d jump in the water with a bathing suit on-and come out without it. “Larry,” she said, “If I do come out of the pool with nothing on, I want your guarantee that when your pictures appear on the covers of magazines Elizabeth Taylor is not anywhere in the same issue.”
Marilyn was making only $100,000 for what would be her last film, Something’s Got to Give, in 1962, while Taylor was receiving a million dollars for Cleopatra. She wanted to show Fox that she could get the same kind of coverage as the publicity bonanza generated by Taylor’s very public affair with her co-star, Richard Burton.
When Hugh Hefner agreed to pay $25,000 for a nude shot of Marilyn-the most money Playboy had ever paid for a photograph- Schiller thanked her for creating such a big payday, joking, “See what tits ‘n’ ass can do?” “That’s how I got my house and swimming pool,” Marilyn said, laughing.
“There isn’t anybody that looks like me without clothes on.”
Lawrence Schiller is a noted American Pulitzer Prize Winner, Photographer, Film Producer, Director, and Screenwriter. Schiller began his career as a photojournalist for Life, Playboy, & Paris Match, photographing some of the most iconic figures of the 1960′s. Since then, Schiller’s photographs have been featured in Vanity Fair, Life, Look, Newsweek, Time, Paris Match, Stern, and The London Sunday Times.