Welcome!

Welcome to our new Everlasting Star blog, dedicated to keeping you updated on all the latest news relating to the one and only Marilyn Monroe.

You’re welcome to join us here in celebrating this wonderful woman. Read and comment on our posts, and to learn more and meet other fans, join our thriving community – online since 2001.


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Celebrating Marilyn in Colorado

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The touring exhibition, Marilyn: Celebrating an American Icon, comes to Fort Collins Museum of Art in Colorado from November 1-December 27, reports The Coloradoan. 

“The museum will feature the exhibition depicting various stages of the screen goddess’s career beginning Saturday. It showcases 115 works by more than 50 artists, including Andy Warhol, Milton H. Greene, Cecil Beaton, Eve Arnold, Antonio de Felipe and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

‘It takes you on a little journey through Marilyn’s life, presented from the perspective of our perception of her,’ Lorenz said.

The show, a smaller part of an earlier international tour, is divided into several stages — showcasing her changes from her early years as a wholesome, girl-next-door model to a sex symbol and her marriages to Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller; a section on her movie career including film stills from The Misfits and Some Like it Hot; and a look at the cult of celebrity that was created around her.

‘You really see in each of these, a lot of her and her vulnerability,’ Lorenz said.

Paintings by artists like Andy Warhol also examine Monroe via a different viewpoint.

‘The way they are presented really does show how we, as a public, have responded to her,’ Lorenz said. ‘They show her via her appreciation as this icon of American culture… It’s not so much about her, but the societal and cultural response to her.’

Lorenz said the show is a strong reflection of the cult of celebrity that began at the time and has continued on to today, as well as a reflection of one of the world’s most beautiful women.

‘She was gorgeous and never took a bad picture.’”


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When Nikita Met Marilyn…

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Time magazine profiles Cold War Roadshow, an upcoming documentary about Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev’s historic visit to the US in 1959, on its website today – including footage of an evasive Marilyn being interviewed by reporters after a luncheon in Khrushchev’s honour at Twentieth Century-Fox.

Marilyn’s reluctance to comment may have been as a result of her husband Arthur Miller’s persecution by the rabidly anti-Communist House Un-American Activities Committee. Miller had been acquitted just a year before.

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In 2010, it was announced that a dramatisation of Khrushchev’s trip would be produced for HBO, but this has yet to materialise. Cold War Roadshow will be broadcast on PBS in the US on November 18: a DVD is also available.


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Marilyn – A Wonderful Role Model

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So much of the mainstream media coverage focuses on wildly exaggerated rumours about Marilyn’s private life and her death. All the more refreshing, then, to find an article highlighting her strengths and achievements. ‘10 Reasons Marilyn Monroe Is a Wonderful Role Model‘ was posted by Ekaterina at Amerikanki.

While there are a couple of points I might dispute – Marilyn was not known to have ever taken an IQ test, and Ella Fitzgerald may not have been barred from the Mocambo Club because of her race – all in all, this is an excellent piece.

“It would be hard to find anyone who didn’t think Marilyn Monroe was a vision. A half-century after she’s passed away, she remains a symbol of beauty not only in the English-speaking world, but everywhere else as well. For someone who didn’t live past her 30s, her achievements personifying beauty and elegance for generations are considerable. With the troubled life that she lived, Marilyn Monroe isn’t often thought of as a role model. Anyone who achieves her level of success in life, though, cannot but have done a lot in life that was right. Here are ten reasons Marilyn Monroe is a wonderful role model.”

 


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Kelli Garner Cast in Marilyn Mini-Series

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Actress Kelli Garner, best-known for her role as Kate Cameron in TV’s Pan-Am, will play Marilyn in Lifetime’s upcoming mini-series, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, reports TVLine. As previously reported, Susan Sarandon will play Marilyn’s mother, Gladys.

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Garner, who is 30, won critical acclaim at an early age for her performances in Bully (2001) and The Aviator (2004.) In recent years, she has starred in several well-received independent films, including Thumbsucker, Dreamland, Lars and the Real Girl and Taking Woodstock, as well as more mainstream movies like Man of the House and Going the Distance.

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Kelli has just completed When I Live My Life Over Again with Christopher Walken, and is currently filming Americana, described as ‘Hollywood Noir’. While she may not look like exactly like Marilyn, she has a quirky, innocent quality that may be quite effective. A native Californian, Kelli is also a talented musician.


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‘Marilyn: Missing Evidence’ on Channel 5

UK television’s Channel 5 will broadcast a new, hour-long documentary – Marilyn Monroe: Missing Evidence – tonight at 8 pm. It is produced by Dan Chambers, the channel’s former Director of Programmes, and David McNab, who has an extensive track record in innovative, CGI-led factual TV. Director Renny Bartlett is best known for his work on the Animal Planet series, I Shouldn’t Be Alive.

The synopsis seems to indicate a theory akin to Donald Wolfe’s in his controversial book, The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe, while the claim of recordings made inside Marilyn’s home suggests either detective John Miner’s widely-disputed ‘transcripts’ of tapes made by Marilyn for psychoanalyst Dr Greenson (still not found), or Private Investigator Fred Otash’s unconfirmed allegations of wire-tapping.

At this stage, it’s very unlikely that any new or conclusive evidence will emerge. I remain sceptical, but will give you my verdict after I’ve seen the documentary.

“Investigating the evidence that supports some of the world’s most notorious conspiracy theories. Though she officially committed suicide, some people have long claimed that the FBI, the Mafia and even the Kennedy family may have been involved in Marilyn Monroe’s death. This programme looks at some of these claims, and also reveals the contents of tape recordings made inside Monroe’s house on the fateful day of August 5, 1962, which suggest her psychiatrist may have been responsible for her death, working under pressure from eminent individuals in high places.” - Radio Times


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Marilyn’s Jamaican Honeymoon

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On January 3, 1957, Marilyn flew to the Caribbean with her husband Arthur Miller for a belated honeymoon. They spent several days at Moon Point, Jamaica, in the luxurious villa of Lady Pamela Bird, an English aristocrat, before returning to New York on January 19. It was one of Marilyn’s rare trips abroad. This photograph of the Millers dining at the Jamaica Inn is featured in a new book by Hermes Mallea, Escape: The Heyday of Caribbean Glamour,  published by Rizzoli and reviewed in Architectural Digest.

“A nostalgic celebration of the glamour of warm-weather destinations in the Caribbean and Florida, from the great estates of ambitious patrons to the most exclusive resorts of the mid-twentieth century. Through iconic photography capturing the cultural mood at the moment when social codes relaxed from the formality of the Gilded Age to the spontaneity of the jet-set era, Escape: The Heyday of Caribbean Glamour takes the reader inside a world of beach parties and costume balls set in lush tropical landscapes, of rarefied resorts and fairy-tale private estates. Escape presents the visual history of the region’s outstanding getaways, chronicling their transformations from pristine idyllic settings to personalized retreats where responsibilities could be left behind. Joseph Urban, Oliver Messel, Paul Rudolph, and other talented designers made these dreams reality, relying on regional design traditions to express the spirit of places like Antigua, Barbados, Cuba, and Jamaica, and sometimes inventing a new vernacular using fantasy imagery to emphasize the notion of escape from the pressures of urban living. Among these idealized settings blossomed the resort lifestyle of international celebrities, from Marjorie Merriweather Post to Babe Paley, Princess Margaret to David Bowie, whose escapades are spectacularly captured in these pages to make the region’s bygone glamour come alive.”


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Juno Temple Inspired by Marilyn

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In an interview with the Toronto Star, 25 year-old British actress Juno Temple (Killer Joe, Maleficent) reveals that Marilyn is one of her idols.

“My room at home was covered in posters of Marilyn Monroe. She has been a huge inspiration for me. The thing that I find so absolutely bewitching about her was her beauty and animalism and sexuality … and this crazy innocent vulnerability and sometimes deep-rooted sadness on camera. And I’ve always loved her for that. And she was so funny.”


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Newly Published: Marilyn Book + DVD Set

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A new book and DVD set has just been published by Parragon (who also released another Marilyn title earlier this year.) This mixed media package is a reissue of their 2012 set, and while the cover is different, the content is the same. The book includes text by Marie Clayton which has been reissued in several different formats since its first appearance in 2003 (as Marilyn Monroe: Unseen Archives.)

Photo by Fraser Penney

Photo by Fraser Penney

2012 edition of the Book + DVD set

2012 edition of the Book + DVD set

Some earlier editions (without DVD)


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Myth-Busting: Marilyn and JFK

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Over at Buzzfeed today, there’s a helpful visual guide to some of the more persistent myths (including auction hoaxes and faked photos) about Marilyn’s alleged romance with President John F. Kennedy, and her performance of ‘Happy Birthday’ at Madison Square Garden in 1962.

“The so-called relationship between Marilyn and JFK has taken on a life of it’s own and has spawned a cottage industry of books, newspaper articles, rumours and conjecture. Contrary to what Google or Pinterest will tell you, there are only three photographs of Marilyn and JFK in the same room together. Any other photo purporting to be them is a FAKE.

Contrary to rumour Jackie Kennedy didn’t decide to stay away because of Marilyn’s presence. She didn’t care for these big political fundraisers and had always planned to be participating in a horse show elsewhere.

Rumour has it that Marilyn was drunk and her actions while performing were wildly out of control. Not true. It is also good to remember that this was a political fundraiser for the Democratic party. It wasn’t exactly an intimate dinner. Marilyn was one of many people performing at the fundraiser and she didn’t even close the night.

Marilyn Monroe is probably the most iconic movie actress in the world. She is also the most maligned. Not a month goes by without a lurid story being splashed across the tabloids and the internet. And everyone knows if it’s on the internet it must be true right? Wrong. With a little research (something biographers seem to be lacking) you can uncover the truth.”


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When Miss Mizzou Met Marilyn

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In a new book, Miss Mizzou: A Life Beyond Comics, J.B. Winter explores how, back in 1952, a rising star called Marilyn Monroe was rumoured to have inspired cartoonist Milton Caniff to create Miss Mizzou, a trench-coated blonde bombshell, featured in his popular Steve Canyon adventure series about an Air Force pilot. She became a cult figure, and was even the subject of a lookalike contest, reports CAFNR News.

‘For some time I had been mulling over a girl character who would be what a Marilyn Monroe type might be like if she had not hit the jackpot in Hollywood,’ Caniff once said in an interview. ‘Every college town has girls who live and work on the edge of the campus and who are very much a part of the life of the school,’ Caniff is quoted as saying in a letter to the Missouri Alumnus magazine in 1954.” – Columbia Missourian

According to Wikipedia, the Marilyn connection was confirmed in the May 1953 issue of Pageant magazine, although it was actually actress Bek Nelson-Gordon (nee Stiner) who provided Caniff with a visual model. Another character, Madame Lynx, was based on Madame Egelichi, the spy played by Ilona Massey in the 1949 Marx Brothers swansong, Love Happy, which also featured MM - and Massey also posed for Caniff. ’Pipper the Piper’, who appeared just once, was modelled on John F. Kennedy.

A cartoonist himself, Winter – who lives in Columbia, Missouri – talked about Miss Mizzou and her local connections in an interview with Move, student magazine of the University of Missouri (or ‘Mizzou’.)

“Winter said he seeks to prove that the Miss Mizzou character was not simply a ‘one-line footnote in local history.’ Though his nonfiction book originally arose from pure curiosity, his research, which included sifting through plenty of microfilm, soon became much bigger.

‘I found out about Miss Mizzou in 2007,’ Winter says. ‘There was a blog post on a comic historian’s website. He just posted a picture or two, not a lot of context. So, I was just like, What is this character? I thought it was just a character who appeared and that was it. I had no idea that there was all this campus interest. That continually surprised me.’

Dirk Burhans, a fellow cartoonist and creator of the Epiffany Jones comic strip, helped Winter with his book by reading early versions and making comments and suggestions. Burhans said he is also familiar with the importance of Caniff in the comic world.

‘Caniff was such a big deal,’ Burhans says. ‘Caniff’s Terry and the Pirates and Steve Canyon were the archetypal adventure strip that others used as their model. His artwork was characterized by simple lines and strong, confident use of light and shadow.’

Oddly enough, Caniff was not even a Columbia native; he lived mostly in New York City. Caniff only spent 24 hours in Columbia, to give a speech entitled ‘Comic Strips Are Serious Business.’

Those hours must have been serious business for Caniff, because three years later, Miss Mizzou made her seductive grand entrance, dressed only in a golden trench coat.

‘It’s such a strange story,’ Winter says. ‘Caniff only came here for 24 hours and for it to just be such a big thing, it’s just strange.’

The Marilyn Monroe-influenced Miss Mizzou immediately gained popularity. Winter cites numerous reasons for her fame, especially the inspiration behind her character and alumni interest.

‘Initially I think it might have been Marilyn Monroe, the fact that Marilyn Monroe was becoming popular the same time Miss Mizzou was,’ Winter says. ‘When Caniff made that character, I don’t think he realized how big Marilyn Monroe was going to be.

‘You also have alumni interest. Specifically, you have a journalism school. They were interested because they were newspaper people, so they were interested in a newspaper strip.’

Burhans also says Miss Mizzou gained popularity because she wasn’t like any other female comic character.

‘Caniff’s strips cycled through a number of sexy femme fatale characters who had the thick eyelashes and pouty lips. Miss Mizzou does not seem to be one of these, but rather was an ally of Steve Canyon’s,’ Burhans says.”


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