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What does it take to become a star?  In the fall of 1948, Marilyn Monroe had just a few roles in box office flops on her résumé -- but LIFE photographer J. R. Eyerman apparently saw enough of a glimmer in the 22-year-old starlet to follow her through the showbiz training that promised to make her big.

What does it take to become a star? In the fall of 1948, Marilyn Monroe had just a few roles in box office flops on her résumé -- but LIFE photographer J. R. Eyerman apparently saw enough of a glimmer in the 22-year-old starlet to follow her through the showbiz training that promised to make her big.

Marilyn Monroe as a teenager.

Marilyn Monroe as a teenager.

A very young Marilyn Monroe, 1948

A very young Marilyn Monroe, 1948

MARILYN MONROE-1962    THE LAST PHOTO SESSION WITH BERT STERN BEFORE HER DEATH.

MARILYN MONROE-1962 THE LAST PHOTO SESSION WITH BERT STERN BEFORE HER DEATH.