Marilyn’s bejewelled red bathing suit, designed by Travilla for the fashion show scene in How to Marry a Millionaire, is named by Cosmopolitan as one of the most iconic swimsuits in movie history. Other honorees include Esther Williams in Easy to Love; Jane Russell in The French Line; Deborah Kerr in From Here to Eternity; and Elizabeth Taylor in Suddenly Last Summer.
Marilyn wore the bathing suit (and matching robe) for numerous photo shoots in 1953.
Marilyn’s love affair with swimwear dates back to her first movie, Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! Unfortunately, her boating scene was cut, but a few photos still survive.
Marilyn’s pin-up status led to more swimwear scenes in Love Nest, Let’s Make It Legal, and Monkey Business.
As beauty queen Roberta in We’re Not Married, she earned her crown (twice) in bathing suits.
After Millionaire, Marilyn wouldn’t sport swimwear onscreen again for a few years. Her 1920s-style bathing suit in Some Like It Hot helped designer Orry-Kelly win an Oscar. For The Misfits, Marilyn wore a bikini – for only the second time onscreen – and then modelled another during wardrobe tests for the unfinished Something’s Got to Give. In the film’s much-publicised ‘pool scene’, however, she emerged from the water au naturel.