Following the the end of Marilyn and Milton Greene’s friendship, their lives went in different directions. Milton carried on his photography and life with his young family, and Marilyn spent the next few years married to Arthur Miller and trying to start a family of her own. This proved more difficult than she imagined and thus led to the end of her marriage to Miller in 1960.
By July of 1962, Marilyn was, again, fighting Fox studios in a move that led to her being fired. As a result of the trouble she was going through, Amy Greene has said she had a dream about Marilyn and urged Milton to call her and check that she was ok. Marilyn was said to have been so happy to hear from him, and he offered to drop his current assignment and fly out to Los Angeles to be there for her, but she declined saying she was ok.
Milton called her again before the Greenes travelled to France for his assignment and reported that she seemed ok. While in Paris, the Greene’s had a picnic lunch at Fontainebleau on Sunday, August 5th 1962. Amy Greene was upset with Manhattan socialite, Alicia Corning Clark who had said something derogatory about Marilyn – and, upon their return to their hotel room, it was Corning Clark who arrogantly called them to tell them that Marilyn had just killed herself. Amy didn’t believe her, but once Milton had spoken to her and then called Arthur Jacobs (Marilyn’s publicist) it became apparent that Marilyn had died. He turned to Amy, ashen faced and said “You were right, I should have gone to her.” (It should be noted that Milton never believed she killed herself.)
Over the course of their friendship and beyond, there were some controversies that surrounded Marilyn and Milton:
1. Following Marilyn and the Greenes stay in a house on North Beverly Glen Boulevard in Los Angeles during the filning of Bus Stop in 1956, there was reported damage to the house. Architectural Digest reported that after just three months “the house was a shambles – the result of wild parties, an overburdened photographer trying to cope with his new responsibilites as a producer, an occasionally unstable star and an atmosphere in which there was a prodigious consumption of alcohol and drugs.” However, it was also reported that Milton and Marilyn were up at 6am, working all day and in bed by 11pm. Whatever the case, neither party ever commented publicly to confirm or deny the reports.
2. During his time on the board of MM Productions, Milton was said to have misappropriated funds for his own personal use. He had always denied the claims and no evidence of foul play were ever discovered.
3. In an interview for his book, Marilyn in 1972, Norman Mailer interviewed Milton and has quoted him as saying “Amy never knew about the sex.” The quote implies that the Marilyn and Milton had some sort of sexual relationship prior to his marriage to Amy – this may well be true (and, I think, given their closeness most fans would be inclined to believe it possible) but if it is, it means that they slept together despite him being in a very serious relationship with Amy, as they married in 1953.
Following Marilyn’s death, Milton’s dependence on drugs and alcohol grew. Milton died on August 8th 1985 of lymphoma at the age of 63. His ashes where scattered in the Pacific Ocean.
“All I did was believe in her. She was a marvelous, loving, wonderful person I don’t think many understood.” – Milton Greene