Here, on June 1, Marilyn Monroe’s birthday, LIFE.com presents a selection of LIFE photographer J. R. Eyerman’s rare photos of the young actress in 1949 as she studied with three coaches: bandleader Phil Moore (singing); dance instructor, and the ex-husband of the great Cyd Charisse, Nico Charisse (ballet); and a one-time European stage star, Natasha Lytess, who would serve as Monroe’s acting coach until the mid-1950s.
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Marilyn Monroe sings Happy Birthday to the President.
Norma Jeane Mortensen Baker (June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962) — May you find the peace in death that you could never find in life. God bless you.