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exhibition

National Portrait Gallery

A booklet containing short biographies and photgraphs of some of our featured portraits


Marilyn Monroe Probably the most celebrated of all actresses, Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson, 1st June 1926

At sixteen she worked in an aircraft plant and married a man she called Daddy, they divorced in 1946

She was married three times, none which lasted more than five years

She died on the 5th August, 1952 to a drug overdose, only featuring in 30 films she still remains one of the most iconic actresses

Her marriage to playwright Arthur Miller was a surprise, she had no veil to match her beige wedding dress so she dyed one in coffee


a young Marilyn on Breechwood beach

portrait by James Fitzchell


Marilyn starring alongside Michael Patrick in Diamonds

sat with Tony Curtis in Some Like It Hot

shaking Queen Elizabeths hand whilst visiting Surrey


Brad Pitt Brad Pitt was born in 1963 in Oklahoma, as William Bradley Pitt. In highschool he was involved in sports, debating, student government and school musicals

Attended the University of Missouri, where he majored in journalism with a focus on advertising. He occasionally acted in fraternity shows. Before acting, he supported himself by driving strippers in limos, moving refrigerators and dressing as a giant chicken while working for “el Pollo Loco.�

Banned from entering China because of his role in Seven Years in Tibet

Lives in Los Angeles, Malibu, Goleta, California, Benerville, France and New Orleans, Louisiana


portrait photograph by Martin Schoeller

still from Benjamin Button, sees Pitt as a 65 year old man


17 year old Brad, a highschool head shot

still from the Oscar winning film, Babel

one of Pitt’s latest films, ‘A Tree called Life’


Jimi Hendrix Jimi Hendrix was born in Seattle, Washington, on November 27th 1942 as, John Allen Hendrix. His father, was fighting in World War II, his mother raised him alone His Father renamed him James Marshall Hendrix and taught him to play an acoustic guitar. In 1959 Jimi dropped out of high school and enlisted in the U.S. Army, but was soon disenchanted by the idea Jimi discovered the music scene in Greenwich Village As his music career began he also became involved in drugs such as, marijuana, pep pills and cocaine

Dying at 27, Jimi’s life was short, but his impact on rock guitar is still being heard and very much appreciated


Hendrix mingles with the crowd at the Festo’s speech

one of his first, local concerts, where his career kicked off


recording Foxy Lady

posing in Montagu Place, London

Jimi holding his guitar, one of the most replicated guitars in history


Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler was born on 20th April, 1889, in the small Austrian town of Braunau near the German border Alois was a strict father to Hitler and savagely beat his son if he did not do as he was told He is responsible for the deaths of over 46 million people

His three serious relationships, resulted in the women attempting suicide, two of which were successful

He commited suicide alongside his ex girlfriend, there bodies were burnt as requested. It is said he was holding a photograph of his Mother

In school, he was popular with other pupils and was admired for his leadership qualities. He was a deeply religious child and for a while considered the possibility of becoming a priest.


Hitler as a child

hail Hitler, saluting his soldiers


Hitler’s rally, walking up the steps of Graftznik, 1942

mugshot of Hitler taken in his hotel room


Albert Einstein Albert Einstein was born at Ulm, in Württemberg, Germany, on March 14, 1879 He trained to be a teacher of physics and mathematics. However, he later obtained a doctor’s degree

In 1909 he became Professor Extraordinary at Zurich. In 1933 he emigrated to America to take the position of Professor of Theoretical Physics at Princeton

Einstein’s gifts inevitably resulted in his dwelling much in intellectual solitude and, for relaxation, music played an important part in his life

He died on April 18, 1955 at Princeton, New Jersey.


Albert confronted by paprazzi

cycles whilst on holiday in France


young Albert

Albert on his boat in Cyprus

one of his many mathematical equations


Michael Jackson Jackson was born August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana, to an African-American working-class family

His father formed the Jackson 5, in which Michael was the lead vocalist, showing remarkable depth and range for such a young perfomer At the age of 13, Jackson launched a solo career in addition to his work with the Jackson 5

Throughout his career, he had sold over 750 million albums and had performed to his fans over 1,880 times On June 25, 2009, Jackson suffered cardiac arrest in his Los Angeles home. He died later that morning. He was 50 years old.


Photograph of Michael, taken by John Wright

Michael at his Grandmothers, balancing rats on his shoulders


young Michael, when he was part of The Jackson Five

a still from the music video of Michael’s most iconic song, Thriller

live at Berlin, performing Beat It


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Generously supported by the The Blavatnik Family Foundation


£ 4.99


national portrait gallery booklet