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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New in Books: Tom Kelley, Styling the Stars

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After a year-long delay, Tom Kelley’s Studio has finally been published by Reel Art Press. It is a full retrospective of his career in glamour photography, with Marilyn on the cover.

Styling the Stars, a mammoth tome focusing on Twentieth Century-Fox, is also just released. This rare photo from the How to Marry a Millionaire set is captured here by Fraser Penney.

 


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Susan Sarandon Cast as Gladys in ‘Secret Life’

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Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon will play Gladys Baker, Marilyn’s ill-fated mother, in Lifetime’s upcoming adaptation of J. Randy Taraborrelli’s The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, according to the Hollywood Reporter. It is set to be filmed in Ontario and Los Angeles, reported GlobalNews.ca earlier this week.

Taraborrelli focused heavily on Marilyn’s relationship with Gladys, although some of his claims have been disputed (more details here.) Gladys was previously played by Sheree North (in the 1980 TV movie, Marilyn: An Untold Story) and Patricia Richardson (in Blonde, the 2001 mini-series based on an eponymous novel by Joyce Carol Oates.) As Gladys was only 24 when Marilyn was born, I would hope that Sarandon – now 68 – will be playing her in later life.

Finally, there are two major errors in Secret Life‘s synopsis: firstly, Gladys’s mother did not commit suicide; and secondly, Marilyn’s first marriage did not end because she was frigid. She divorced her husband because he disapproved of her career.

“Sarandon will portray the blonde bombshell’s mentally ill mother, Gladys Mortenson. The character is described as a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, who is the product of a mother who committed suicide as a result of her own mental illness, and a father who died of syphilitic insanity. Frequently delusional, sometimes violent, Gladys sexually adventurous in her youth but taught her daughter that sex should be avoided at all costs. Deeply devoted to Christian Science, she urges Marilyn to reject her reliance on drugs and that her salvation will be achieved by returning to the tenets of the faith. (The role of Monroe has not yet been cast.)

24 and The Kennedys‘ Stephen Kronish is on board to pen the mini, with Sherrybaby‘s Laurie Collyer attached to direct the Marilyn Monroe entry.

Here’s Lifetime’s official description of the mini: ‘Marilyn is both the personification of sex, whose first marriage ironically collapses because of her frigidity, and a fragile artist who seeks the approval and protection of men.  But after tumultuous marriages with Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller, she realizes she has the strength to stand on her own. She becomes the face and voice of an era, yet wants most of all to be someone’s mother and someone’s little girl. She’s the Marilyn you haven’t seen before, the artist who, by masking the truth with an image, gives her greatest performance.’”


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Nickolas Muray Exhibit in Genoa

Photographer Nickolas Muray is the subject of a new retrospective, opening at the Doge’s Palace in Genoa, Italy, and on display until February 8, 2015. Born in Hungary, Muray was also known for his passionate affair with the great Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo. His Hollywood portraits feature Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Caole Lombard and a young Elizabeth Taylor. Famed for his work in Kodachrome, Muray photographed Marilyn in 1952, in a unique, Renaissance style.

MOSTRA NICKOLAS MURAY, A GENOVA

Thanks to Eric and Tony at MM Fan Club Belgium

A catalogue for this exhibition can be ordered here


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Marilyn in Cologne

This 1953 pin-up shot by Bert Reisfield features in a new exhibition at In Focus Gallery in Cologne, Germany, until November 4th. This Marilyn retrospective also includes photographs by Eve Arnold, Andre de Dienes, Elliott Erwitt, Sam Shaw, George Barris, Edward Clark, Bruno Bernard, and Bert Stern.


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Marilyn Poster Pack at The Works

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This pack of eight mini-posters, each measuring 12 x 16 inches, is now available from UK bargain bookstore The Works for just £4.99.

Photo by Fraser Penney

Photo by Fraser Penney


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ABG Reveals Plans for Digital Marilyn

Marilyn sings - for real - to troops in Korea, 1954

Marilyn sings – for real – to troops in Korea, 1954

“That’s the trouble, a sex symbol becomes a thing. I just hate to be a thing.” – Marilyn Monroe, 1962

After recent news of a legal battle between ABG (Authentic Brands Group, the licensing arm of Marilyn’s estate) and a company known as Virtual Marilyn LLC, the Wall Street Journal reveals that ABG are planning to launch their own 3-D, digitised Marilyn. Crass hypocrisy or an exciting new venture? You decide…

“The iconic actress is getting digitally revived by Pulse Evolution, the company that brought to life Michael Jackson this past year at the Billboard Music Awards. They’ve signed a long-term deal with the rights holder to Monroe’s estate Authentic Brand Group(ABG) to develop a commercially viable digital replica of her for commercials, TV shows, films and even a live show.

The partnership was signed at the beginning of October and there’s already a four-year commercial deal in place that ABG CEO Jamie Salter says is with a Fortune 500 cosmetic company worth over $100 million dollars. The two companies plan to split profits 50/50 for revenue she generates through Pulse’s creation.

‘This is a digital asset that’s digitally distributal,’ says Pulse CEO Frank Patterson. ‘Popularly [they're] being referred to as holograms because people don’t know how to talk about it. We’re talking about the digital likeness of humans. Digital humans are new to us as a society. There’s a lot of spaces where digital humans will become very useful.’

Patterson says these aren’t true holograms and that we’re years off from developing that technology. Instead, they’re a ’3-D digital object.’

For Pulse and ABG, they’re proceeding with caution, while at the same time trying to monetize her with new technology. ‘There’s only one Marilyn Monroe in the world, and we’re going to be very careful with her,’ Salter says.

Still, while there may be just one Monroe, the possibilities of putting her into a live setting are much different than your typical real-life performer. ‘Unlike a typical show, Marilyn Monroe can be in more than one location at a time,’ Patterson says. ‘Why couldn’t we open a show in Vegas and Seoul at the same time?’

Pulse plans to hire a creative team of writers, directors, and costume designers to flesh out the live show Monroe would undertake. They’re already well underway in developing a show for Elvis Presley, who they secured a deal with in August.

‘We’re taking these assets and applying them to traditional business structures,’ Patterson says. ‘First having them appear in major venue installations – think of a casino appearance with a major, 52-week show commitment. Then rolling them out into touring presentations and special appearances, generating sponsorship and branded-content opportunities.’ He says that it would take about 18 months to roll out a show of this nature, including time to build Monroe’s digital persona. When asked about whether or not venues would be interested in something like that, the response was ‘overwhelmingly positive.’

For ABG, the focus seems to be more about continuing using Monroe’s image for commercial purposes, as she did in a 2011 commercial spot where her likeness was used alongside Charlize Theron for a J’Adore Dior ad. ‘We’re sticking with the best companies in that [fashion] space,’ Salter says. ‘We’ll be very careful when Marilyn Monroe takes a job from a model standpoint. We’re treating her no different than if Brad Pitt or Lady Gaga was our client.’”


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‘Bus Stop’ at BFI London

Bus Stop will be screened at London’s BFI on November 14-16, as part of ‘The Birth of the Method’, a season of movies celebrating great performances by Hollywood’s original Method actors.

“As with several Hollywood stars in the 1950s, Marilyn Monroe found in the Method a refuge from the typecasting she had come to resent; she became a regular at the Actors Studio, and had private lessons with Lee Strasberg. Her portrayal of a saloon singer who yearns to be respected for more than her looks, and who faces the overbearing affections of a naïve cowboy (a misjudged yet Oscar-nominated performance by Don Murray), is a model of the Method style – an exposing performance drawn from within.”


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MarilynGeek’s Guide to Niagara

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Melinda Mason has compiled an incredible guide to the locations in Niagara – and others visited by Marilyn during filming – for her MarilynGeek website.

And to all our readers in Ontario, don’t forget to visit the current exhibition of Melinda’s impressive collection at the Wellington County Museum, on display until January.


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Marilyn: A Woman For All Times

 

Marilyn appears in The Times magazine today, so if you’re in the UK you might still find a copy (the online version is for subscribers only.) As part of their regular feature, ‘Contacts: The Story Behind the Picture’ – in which Marilyn has already appeared several times – Monique Rivalland looks at photographer Sidney Martin’s shots of Marilyn and Arthur Miller arriving at Parkside House, Surrey, in July 1956. They would stay there for four months, while Marilyn filmed The Prince and the Showgirl.

Marilyn also appears – among distinguished company, including Eleanor Roosevelt, Dame Sybil Thorndike, and Marlene Dietrich – in a new book edited by Sue Corbett, The Times: Great Women’s Lives – A Celebration in Obituaries. On August 6, 1962, The Times noted that her career ‘was not so much a Hollywood legend as the Hollywood legend,’ adding that she had a ‘gift for comedy that some thought outshone Olivier’s.’

Thanks to Fraser Penney

 


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Elliott Erwitt: Regarding Women

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Rarely does a year goes by without a new book from Elliott Erwitt, often with Marilyn on the cover. Regarding Women includes rare photographs taken during filming of The Seven Year Itch.

“Photographic master Elliott Erwitt has created many noteworthy portraits of womankind over the years. Regarding Women is Elliott Erwitt’s evocative personal tribute to female strength, intelligence, and beauty. Conveying respect, admiration, and sometimes awe, these photographs portray all the complex elements that make up the feminine nature, whether formidable and tenacious, or occasionally capricious and coy. Through capturing their many varied facets, Erwitt shares his insights into how all kinds of women make their way in—not to mention their mark on—the world. The archival material spans several generations, with many images not previously published or rarely seen before. In these pages, readers will find romance and glamour, touches of sensuality as well as much affection, and those disarming flashes of candid everyday humor that are so quintessentially Erwitt.”

Thanks to Fraser Penney

 


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