Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is a 1953 American musical comedy directed by Howard Hawks, and starring Marilyn and Jane Russell.  The role of Lorelei Lee was originally intended for Betty Grable, who had been 20th Century Fox’s most popular blonde, however was given to Marilyn on her 26th birthday, June 1, 1952.  Marilyn’s star was rising fast following her performance in Niagara and the studio wanted an actress who could appeal to both male and female audiences.  In preparation for her role as Lorelei, Marilyn attended the Broadway production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes starring Carol Channing every night for over a month.   Continue reading “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”

Interview with Elizabeth Winder – Part Two

Interview with Elizabeth Winder

In part two of my interview with Elizabeth Winder, the author talks about Marilyn’s legacy today,  why she chose to cover that particular time in Marilyn’s life and what she admires most about the actress.

What do you think is her legacy today & what part did her time in NY play in that?

I’m glad that Marilyn’s legacy is changing. For so long she’s been seen as this cliche sex symbol— but she was so much more than that. Marilyn was an artist of tremendous ambition, and I think that people are starting to understand that now. New York was a huge part of her professional and artistic life. When she broke her contract with Fox in 1954, she literally fled Hollywood under the cover of darkness. In Manhattan, she found freedom, acceptance, and felt safe enough to grow as an artist, take classes with Lee Strasberg, and even start her own production company. Continue reading “Interview with Elizabeth Winder – Part Two”

Interview with Elizabeth Winder – Part One

Interview with Elizabeth Winder

This week I’m focusing on an interview with Elizabeth Winder, journalist and author.  She lives in Washington, D.C. and has written Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, and more recently, Marilyn in Manhattan.

I spoke to Elizabeth last month about her reasons for picking Marilyn as a subject and what she learned in the process.  Here’s part one of our chat: Continue reading “Interview with Elizabeth Winder – Part One”

Marilyn and Arthur Miller – Part Two

Marilyn and Arthur Miller

In the period following their first meeting in 1951, Marilyn and Arthur Miller didn’t see each other.  Miller returned to his family, while Marilyn went on to date and eventually marry Joe DiMaggio in 1954.  The marriage shortlived, ending in divorce in October 1955.  It was also in 1955 that Marilyn decided to move to New York and study in the Actors Studio, under the tutelege of founder Lee Strasberg.  Whilst back on the East Coast and single again, Marilyn began seeing Miller.  His marriage was floundering and the appearance of Marilyn did nothing to help matters. Continue reading “Marilyn and Arthur Miller – Part Two”

Marilyn and Frank Sinatra

Marilyn and Frank Sinatra

Marilyn  and Frank Sinatra became friends during the making of The Misfits in 1960.  Not long after arriving in Reno the cast and crew were invited to his show at Cal Neva’s Indian room.  It is possible that they knew each other during her marriage to Joe DiMaggio (DiMaggio and Sinatra were friends that time) but that has not been fully established.  We do know that they mixed in the same circles and the attended the same parties but were not photographed together. Continue reading “Marilyn and Frank Sinatra”

Arthur Miller – The Early Years – Part One

Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller was born on October 17, 1915, in Harlem, New York.  He was the second of three children born to Augusta and Isidore Miller and was of Polish-Jewish descent.  Miller’s father owned a successful clothing manufacturing business and the family led a comfortable life.  They owned a home in Manhattan, had a summer home in Queens and also employed a chauffeur.

In the Wall Street crash of 1929, the family lost everything and moved to Brooklyn.  Miller delivered bread each morning before school to help the family financially.  After graduating high school in 1932, he worked at several jobs to pay his college tuition. Continue reading “Arthur Miller – The Early Years – Part One”

The Funeral of Marilyn Monroe

Funeral of Marilyn Monroe

The funeral of Marilyn Monroe was held on Wednesday, 8th August 1962 at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.

In the absence of Marilyn’s half-sister Berniece Miracle – who lived 500 miles away and was making her way to Los Angeles – her former husband, Joe DiMaggio, asked if he and Marilyn’s business manager Inez Melson, could help with the arrangements.  They decided to invite only her close family members and friends, excluding all her Hollywood friends as Berniece felt you couldn’t invite them all, and DiMaggio felt they contributed in part to her death.  Press and fans stood outside the cemetery gates and surrounding streets in their hundreds, while there was a police presence in the cemetary to keep the crowd under control. The funeral service was conducted at the cemetery’s chapel by Reverend A.J.  Soldan. Continue reading “The Funeral of Marilyn Monroe”

Loving Marilyn Monroe

loving marilyn monroe

I have been fascinated by Marilyn Monroe for over 20 years.

My first memory of Marilyn is that Some Like It Hot was on television every Christmas Day for years.  I always tried to watch it, but never saw the full movie as dinner interrupted it each time.

I can remember the year I finally got to see it and my dad telling me that it was one of the greatest ever comedies.  I was 12 years old – Marilyn was a vision on the screen and I immediately wanted to know more about her. Continue reading “Loving Marilyn Monroe”