Champion International = Modern Screen = MARILYN MONROE

Champion-International Paper was a large paper manufacturer originally founded in 1937 as U.S. Plywood Corporation. There's a good bet that if you collect ephemera you've got something manufactured by Champion. Perhaps an old movie magazine like say...Modern Screen.

Modern Screen debuted in 1930 as a magazine providing pictorials and interviews with movie stars. Somewhere in this house I know I have an old copy of Modern Screen from the 1960s. The magazine ceased publication in 1985.

But at one point, specifically the April 1955 National Geographic, Champion-International and Modern Screen came together to use Marilyn Monroe. Didn't everybody use Marilyn Monroe? Did she get a piece of the action for this ad? Did her agent work out a deal or were laws so different then on how a celebrity likeness could be used that this was as much as a surprise to her as those who opened National Geographic and saw Marilyn smiling back at them?

Well Champion-International is now International Paper. Modern Screen is no more. And Marilyn? Marilyn is still out there hawking products whether she likes it or not.

Marilyn Monroe_Modern Screen_Champion-International_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger. (SOURCE: National Geographic April 1955)


  1. Very interesting blog post. Poor Marilyn, she was used and abused in print as well as in real life.

  2. I was certainly stunned to see her in National Geographic. I found some other real celebrity endorsement ads but none as strange as this.