Richard Avedon, [Marilyn Monroe impersonating Theda Bara], 1958
Theda Bara. The movies’ first heavy-breathing temptress and the original vampire was Theda Bara–and this is Marilyn Monroe as this most famous of all vamps. In A Fool There Was and 40 other films made between 1915 and 1921, Theda played the heartless siren who toys with her men, ruins them and tosses them aside. Her greatest line of dialogue was, “Kiss me, my fool”–and millions of men recklessly wished that they could be her fool, just for one kiss. She puzzled Marilyn who, as she fell into Theda Bara’s famous Cleopatra pose, giggled, “What am I supposed to be thinking of?”
This photo, in color, can be seen here.
Zapruder Film © 1967 (Renewed 1995) The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza