05/15/1995 at 01:00 AM EDT
Even 32 years after her death at age 36, she lingers in our consciousness—and in book, T-shirt and beach-towel shops—as an icon of beauty. Could there be an unpublished image of Marilyn Monroe? In fact, yes. Here, for the first time, are the fruits of a friendship that began in 1953, when Monroe, then 27, met photographer Milton Greene, 31. "There was a rapport," says his son Joshua, 41. "They could play like children." In the next four years, Greene took 2,500 photos of Monroe for LIFE, Look and for his and Marilyn's amusement. These exclusive, never-before-seen images, restored after Greene's death in 1985, are the grist for a new film, Marilyn Monroe: Life After Death—and a reminder of one star's enduring power to intrigue.