Over 3,700 unpublished Marilyn Monroe images and a treasure trove of photos of movie icons Steve McQueen, Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor are to go under the hammer at a Profiles in History auction in Los Angeles next month (Jul13).

Dubbed "the most important archive of iconic 20th century glamour and fashion photography" by auction house bosses, the Milton H. Greene collection will be sold with copyright on 27 July (13).

Greene was a prominent fashion photographer, whose work in the 1950s and '60s appeared in national publications including Glamour, Harper's Bazaar, Town & Country and Vogue. His photography won him international honours and awards from institutions and organisations such as the American Institute of Graphic Arts and the Art Director's Club of New York.

He became one of Monroe's favourites in the early 1950s when Greene was commissioned to photograph her for Look Magazine - she famously sent him two dozen roses after the shoot and called his snaps "the most beautiful pictures" she had ever seen.

Monroe and Greene became close friends and ultimately formed their own film production company, Marilyn Monroe Productions, which resulted in the movies Bus Stop and The Prince and the Showgirl.

Monroe lived with Greene and his family in their Weston, Connecticut farmhouse during a hiatus from Hollywood in 1955, and during this time, Greene captured some of the most celebrated and intimate photographs taken of Monroe.