Playboy Photographer Douglas Kirkland Discusses Hef, Marilyn And His New Exhibit

On a rainy November night in 1961, a young and green Canadian photographer named Douglas Kirkland found himself in a Hollywood studio with nothing but his camera, a bottle of Dom and the most famous woman in the world. The shoot, which one of Kirkland’s earliest assignments, resulted in some of the most arresting images ever taken of Marilyn Monroe, who posed for Kirkland the year before she died.

The photos, which feature a giddy, sun-kissed Marilyn wrapped in a white silk sheet, have endured ever since, most recently in Kirkland’s new exhibit Beyond the Lens, opening tonight in Los Angeles.