marilyn monroe birthday
Marilyn Monroe looking every inch the sex symbol of her day in 1954. Getty

She will always be remembered for her platinum blonde hair, red lips and white dress, but now rare intimate pictures of Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe in her birthday suit are going on sale in New York later this month.

The collection of intimate pictures show the star skinny dipping and admiring the sparklers on her birthday cake. The top ticket lot featured in Heritage Auctions event showing the unguarded blonde bombshell in a new light is expected to between $25k-$35k (£19k-£26k).

The coloured pictures were taken in 1962 by photographer Lawrence Schiller and are believed to be from one of her last ever photoshoots.

She was found dead in the bedroom of her Brentwood home by her psychiatrist, Dr Ralph Greenson, in the early morning hours of 5 August 1962. The toxicology report later revealed that her cause of death was acute barbiturate poisoning.

Monroe, born Norma Jeane Mortenson, was famous for her roles in classic movies, such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), The Seven Year Itch (1955) and Some Like It Hot (1959). Her last completed film was The Misfits (1961).

Her images will being auctioned off along with other rare photos of Frank Sinatra, The Beatles on Abbey Road, Bruce Springsteen and Muhammad Ali. Two alternatives to The Beatles Abbey Road cover, where the Fab Four strutted over the crosswalk, are estimated up to make $25,000 (£18,000).

In 1993, McCartney had his photo and sheepdog digitally inserted into the famous Abbey Road photograph for a live album, titling it "Paul Is Live", poking fun at the age-old "Paul is Dead" rumour created by the Abbey Road LP cover itself.

"Over the years, Iain Macmillen personally issued only a handful of hand-signed and numbered limited edition prints of his images taken that day at Abbey Road with The Beatles, before his untimely death in 2006," Nigel Russel, Director of Photographs for Heritage Auction, said. "These unused alternative images from the Abbey Road cover shoot are extremely rare."

Heritage Auctions is largest the collectables auctioneer and third largest auction house in the world. The striking array of celebrity images will be available on 11 October.