Joe Eula’s Marilyn: The Story Behind the Sketch

Joshua Greene, son of photographer Milton Greene and owner of Archive Images, has shared this illustration by Joe Eula, based on Milton’s 1957 promotional shoot for The Prince and the Showgirl with Marilyn and Laurence Olivier. The two stars had clashed constantly during filming, and Marilyn’s business partnership with Milton was also on the rocks by the time of this session, one of their final collaborations.

Although The Prince and the Showgirl was a period piece, Warner Brothers requested that the photo session be in modern dress. Marilyn wore a beaded, halter-neck gown by Norman Norell. “I had to fly to London and accompany a very reluctant Larry to New York,” publicist Charles ‘Jerry’ Juroe wrote in his memoir (see here.) “We left the hotel to go to Greene’s studio where Olivier put on his costume, a polka-dotted silk robe. Madame arrived and after the briefest of greetings the session started. Two rolls of film later – only some twenty shots – our diva said, ‘That’s it!’ and left. As the saying goes, that was that!”

Joe Eula, Milton’s ‘closest and oldest friend,’ was a fashion illustrator, working for publications like Vogue and the New York Times, when he brought the Monroe/Olivier photos to life. Joshua Greene remembers Eula as ‘like a second father to me.’ After Milton parted ways with Marilyn, he teamed up with his old friend again. During the 1960s, they shared a New York apartment and collaborated on style stories for LIFE magazine.

Joe Eula went on to design sets and costumes for the theatre, and as creative director for the fashion designer Halston. He died in 2004.