LOS ANGELES, May 29 (UPI) -- CNN says it was given permission to publish early photographs of Marilyn Monroe a New York collector purchased at a garage sale 30 years ago for $2.
Photographer Anton Fury told the U.S. cable news broadcaster he found original negatives of photographs of Monroe, who died of a drug overdose in 1962 at the age of 36, and her friend, actress Jayne Mansfield, at a garage sale three decades ago.
CNN said it would publish some of the pictures, possibly taken in the 1950s, ahead of what would have been Monroe's 85th birthday June 1.
Fury said he purchased the negatives in Parsippany, N.J., and after identifying Monroe, he put the 70 negatives in a box and stored them.
"I took it home, put them on the lightboard with a loupe and, needless to say, these are Marilyn," Fury said of his find. "That was probably my greatest garage sale discovery ever."
The photographs were taken in the Hollywood area and show Monroe modeling swimming suits and short pants.
"The only thing we're sure of is who," Fury said. "We don't know where, we don't know why, we don't know when, we don't know who shot them. But we do know it is Marilyn."
This past week, Fury showed the negatives to Beverly Hills art dealer and appraiser David W. Streets. He is familiar with early photographs of Monroe and said the pictures were probably taken in the 1950s, shortly after Monroe became an actress.
"I've looked for early photographs, early test shots, magazine shots, books, and haven't been able to find anything yet, so the mystery we're just beginning to unravel," Streets said.
"I know they were taken here in Los Angeles from the backgrounds that we see in the photos. You see Hollywood Hills, Hollywood 1950s architecture."