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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More About ‘Liz and Marilyn’


Becoming Jewish: Warhol’s Liz and Marilyn, the current exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York, has been favourably reviewed by the Daily Beast‘s Emily Shire.

“The exhibition features soundless footage of Monroe as a glowing bride in a relatively informal white dress and short veil enjoying a small reception at the home of Miller’s agent, Kay Brown, in Katonah, New York, hours after that ceremony.

The exhibition is rather small, a single room that takes no more than 30 to 40 minutes to fully explore. But the space fosters a sense of intimacy, enhancing the deeply personal revelations about two of the most famous and photographed women in American history.

While the exhibition includes clips of Miller and Monroe arm-in-arm at press conferences and plenty of photos of them, it doesn’t capture the same sense of gushing affection that is so apparent between [Mike] Todd and Taylor.

Fewer markers of Monroe’s connection to Judaism are on display, though the ones present are quite special.

One that particular stands out is Monroe’s beautiful, simple musical menorah, which played the Israeli national anthem, ‘Hatikvah.’

There is less information or, for that matter, evidence of Monroe’s connection to Judaism after her marriage to Miller ended in 1961—though that may very well be a sad consequence of the little life she had left to live.

Nevertheless, according to letters from Rabbi Robert E. Goldburg, who oversaw Monroe’s conversion, the blond bombshell told him she had no intention of renouncing Judaism after the divorce.

She also, apparently, remained very close to Miller’s children and father until her passing.

Becoming Jewish features two detailed letters from Goldburg: one from September 7, 1962, barely a month after Monroe was found dead, and another from August 6, 1986. His descriptions of Monroe provide a new perspective on one of the most iconic and enduring celebrities.

Goldburg wrote about his first time meeting Monroe at her apartment on Sutton Place after Miller invited him and how he was ‘struck by her personal sweetness and charm.’

Unlike Taylor’s draw to Judaism, Monroe’s does not necessarily seem driven by a romantic-related desire.

Goldburg’s letters describe how Marilyn expressed her respect for Jewish individuals. Albert Einstein and his book of essays, Out of My Later Years, were especially significant to her.

Goldburg also wrote that she felt no connection to the ‘Fundamentalist’ Christianity she was raised with in her foster home. Instead, she was attracted to Judaism’s ‘concept of close family life.’

Perhaps most eerily poignant to those of us who have poured of the tragic details of Monroe’s short life—from her tattered childhood to her struggles to be taken seriously as an actress to her failure to conceive the children she so wanted—is Goldburg’s line that Monroe sought Judaism because she ‘often identified with the underdog.’

‘I have always felt that she was an extremely lovely person who was not able to overcome the terrible emotional burdens, which were a part of her childhood and which were aggravated by her tremendous fame,’ Goldburg wrote.”

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Conversations With Arthur Miller

miller conversations

The centennial of Arthur Miller’s birth falls this Saturday, October 17. Perhaps more revered in Britain than the US, the playwright will be honoured this week with two dedicated programmes on BBC Radio 4: The Life and Times of Arthur Miller, a play focusing on his early years; and Attention Must Be Paid, a documentary presented by his biographer, Christopher Bigsby.

Additionally, Conversations With Miller – originally published in 2002 – is being reissued. Here’s the blurb:

“Published to mark the centenary of Arthur Miller’s birth, this new edition of Conversations of Miller features a new Foreword by Richard Eyre, former Artistic Director of the National Theatre, and an Afterword by publisher Nick Hern, in which both reflect on their own conversations with America’s greatest playwright.

New York Times drama critic Mel Gussow first met Arthur Miller in 1963 during rehearsals of After the Fall, the play inspired by Miller’s marriage to Marilyn Monroe. They then met regularly over the following forty years.

Conversations with Miller records what was discussed at more than a dozen of these meetings. In the book, the author of Death of a Salesman, A View from the Bridge and The Crucible is astonishingly candid about everything from the personal to the political: his successes and disappointments in theatre, his role as an advocate of human rights, his staunch resistance to the United States Congressional witch hunts of the 1950s. He also speaks forthrightly about his relationship with Monroe.

Personal, wise and often very funny, the result is a revealing self-portrait of one of the giants of twentieth-century literature, who was both a ‘regular guy’ and a fiercely original writer and thinker.”

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Jack Kerouac, Marilyn and ‘Marylou’

kerouacWe can now add beat novelist Jack Kerouac to the list of male authors hopelessly infatuated by Marilyn, as described by Dave Krajicek in an article for Salon. Kerouac never met Marilyn, though she owned a copy of his classic 1957 novel, On the Road.

Kerouac made a rather crass remark about Marilyn’s passing, saying she was “f—– to death.” He also nurtured a rescue fantasy towards MM, and made similarly puerile remarks about the tragic deaths of Jean Harlow and Carole Lombard.

“Sir, I would have given [MM] love,” he told his friend Lucien Carr. “By telling her that she was an Angel of Light and that Clifford Odets and Lee Strasberg and all the others were the Angels of Darkness and to stay away from them and come with me to a quiet valley in the Yuma desert, to grow old together like ‘an old stone man and an old stone woman’…to tell her she really, is really, Marylou.”

Here is an extract from Krajicek’s article:

“‘Marylou’ refers to another character in On the Road, a ‘beautiful little chick’ based on Luanne Henderson, Neal Cassady’s real-life adolescent bride. Kerouac wrote, ‘Marylou was a pretty blonde…But, outside of being a sweet little girl, she was awfully dumb and capable of doing horrible things.’ It seems absurd that Kerouac conflated or equated Monroe, one of the most powerful women in Hollywood, with Cassady’s child-wife, who was fifteen when they married. But it’s also a telling detail that Kerouac imagined – saw himself as – Monroe’s protector, her superhero.

Kerouac’s misogyny already has inspired a cottage industry of commentary. One contemporary writer calls the Beats ‘immature dicks.’ Another suggests it is unrealistic to consider Kerouac (or any writer) outside the context of his or her times.

So Kerouac was ‘of his time,’ to use a tired phrase. And some use the same excuse for the Ku Klux Klan.

In 1962, the inaugural edition of Ms. Magazine was still a decade away. But Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique was in the publishing pipeline that year, and the English-language edition of Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex had been available since 1953.

Kerouac’s Monroe letter must be regarded as exceptionally repulsive. And the passage of time adds context that makes its content even more significant. Marilyn Monroe has advanced in stature from a sex symbol to a cultural icon to an influential proto-feminist figure. She has transcended mere sexuality—for those able to see beyond her exterior.”

Krajicek’s outraged response is, perhaps, another kind of rescue fantasy. Contrary to myth, Marilyn was a strong woman, who didn’t need a man to save her. She doesn’t need one now, either – despite all the mud that has been slung her way, the ‘angel of light’ will never be forgotten.

But Krajicek is right to condemn Kerouac’s creeping misogyny. Norman Mailer, who wrote a ‘factoid biography’ of Marilyn, was also fixated by her sexuality – but at least Mailer credited her with some strength and intelligence, too.

“In fact, Jack, you don’t deserve her—never did, never will,” Krajicek concludes: and it’s hard to disagree.

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Marilyn, JFK and the Mythmakers


Over at Buzzfeed today, Immortal Marilyn’s Marijane Gray debunks some of the rumours about Marilyn and President John F. Kennedy.

“Because of Robert Slatzer, who kept selling ever more lurid tales to the tabloids, the myth of the actress and the President has snowballed out of control and has been repeated so often that the general public just accepts it as fact even though it’s fabricated.

The image of Marilyn that is projected through this tabloid lens is not that Marilyn that her fans know and admire. She is portrayed as a a needy, clingy, pathetic, vindictive woman who was utterly delusional….and that’s not who she was at all…

Look for proof. Learn who in Marilyn’s life was a credible source and who was not. Don’t repeat something as if it’s true because you maybe sort of heard it somewhere one time. Get comfortable with the idea that something you were certain was true just might not be.”

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Marilyn, Tony Curtis and THAT Kiss


In an article for the Huffington Post, Brian Cronin revisits one of the most vicious insults in Hollywood history, asking ‘Did Tony Curtis say that kissing Marilyn Monroe was like kissing Hitler?

“One of the most famous legends about an on-screen kiss is what Tony Curtis supposedly said about kissing Marilyn Monroe when they filmed the classic Billy Wilder film Some Like It Hot together in the summer of 1958.

While filming Some Like It Hot, Monroe was habitually late, ruined scenes and was overall an extremely difficult person to be around. Director Billy Wilder did not even invite her to the wrap party for the movie.

When asked what kissing Monroe was like, Curtis reportedly said it was ‘like kissing Hitler.’

The story became an instant Hollywood legend, the sort of thing that would be repeated no matter the veracity.

As to the truth of the quote, Curtis muddied that up when he denied saying it a number of times.

Where it came from was a screening room during the making of Some Like It Hotwhere most of the crew were watching the dailies of the film. Someone commented that Curtis’ kissing scene with Monroe looked like he was really enjoying himself, so they asked what it was like. Curtis blithely responded that it was like kissing Hitler. It got a big laugh, although it greatly upset Paula Strasberg, who in the room (Strasberg was Monroe’s acting coach, and her confidante – she was on the film as a sort of mini-entourage for Monroe). Monroe was not in the room at the time, but she of course was filled in soon enough by Strasberg. The room was filled with plenty of witnesses to the quote, though.

Soon before his death in 2010, however, Curtis finally admitted to the story, only he argued that it was not serious, he was just trying to get a laugh and to also make fun of the absurdity of the question.”

In his 2009 book, Some Like it Hot: Marilyn, Me and the Movie, Curtis made the bizarre claim that they had an affair. In my review, I explored the many contradictions in Tony’s tales of Marilyn.

“In recent years, Curtis has largely retired from acting. Now 84, he has published an autobiography, American Prince (2008), and regularly appears on television chat shows. Unsurprisingly, he is frequently asked to relate his memories of Some Like It Hot, and Marilyn in particular. Over time a vivid, but contradictory picture of his relationship with Monroe has emerged.

In American Prince, Curtis claimed to have had an affair with Marilyn in 1948, when she was still a struggling actress. Curtis has also stated in some interviews that the affair took place when Marilyn was 19, which would place it three years earlier. However, in 1945, Marilyn was not yet an actress, but a married factory worker and sometime model, still known as Norma Jeane Dougherty (she did not change her name or take up acting until the following year.)

Curtis’s latest memoir, Some Like It Hot: Me, Marilyn and the Movie (2009) dates their alleged romance at 1950, by which time Marilyn was no longer a ‘nobody’, but after key roles in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve, on the brink of stardom. Curtis was then a bit-player at Universal Pictures, on Hollywood’s ‘Poverty Row’. (He too would soon find fame in 1952’s Son of Ali Baba, shortly after marrying actress Janet Leigh, and Curtis later won praise for his performances in two 1957 films, Sweet Smell Of Success and The Defiant Ones.)

There is no record of an affair with Curtis in the many biographies of Monroe. All that is certain is that they did meet at least once in 1951, when they and several other young hopefuls were photographed together for a Life magazine feature, entitled ‘Stars of Tomorrow’.

In his autobiography, Curtis claimed that his supposed affair with Monroe was rekindled on the set of Some Like It Hot. All the more peculiar, then, that he should compare the experience to kissing Hitler. Now, in Some Like It Hot: Me, Marilyn and the Movie, Curtis makes an additional claim – that Marilyn became pregnant with his child during filming.

Curtis details a one-night stand with Marilyn early on in the shoot, and later, a confrontation with Monroe’s husband, Arthur Miller, where she implied that Tony was the father of her unborn baby. (Curtis’s wife, Janet Leigh, was also then expecting their second child, daughter Jamie Lee Curtis.)

In December 1958, shortly after Some Like It Hot wrapped, Marilyn suffered a miscarriage. Her pregnancy had lasted at least three months. Curtis has never before claimed that he might have fathered her child until Some Like It Hot: Me, Marilyn and the Movie was published earlier this year – even 2008’s American Prince, which covers Curtis’s relationship with Marilyn in detail, omits this scenario.

‘Tony Curtis’ new book…’ observed Mick LaSalle, ‘underscores one of the unsung advantages of longevity: If you live long enough, you can claim to have had sex with any of your contemporaries, so long as they’re not around to deny it.’”

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Lost in Time: Marilyn’s Hollywood Oath

sweeeetSo many rare photos of Marilyn have resurfaced over the years, and it’s impossible to cover them all. However, Everlasting Star members have uncovered a series of photos relating to an early public appearance that was hitherto unknown.

eXrn44bADkAMMOn April 15, 1947, Marilyn attended the annual ceremony and presentation of Honorary Colonels at the Hollywood Legion Stadium, wearing the same dress that she had also worn for colour and sound tests at Twentieth Century-Fox that month.

Click to enlarge the photos below for more details…



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Fox Brings Marilyn to Australia


After recent reports that Marilyn: Celebrating an American Icon is heading to Australia in 2016, comes news of a second, original exhibition. Marilyn Monroe, presented in association with Twentieth Century-Fox, will have its world premiere at the Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria, and includes items from the collection of Scott Fortner, such as the black cocktail dress worn by Marilyn when she accompanied Arthur Miller to an awards ceremony in 1959.

Here’s the blurb:

“Marilyn Monroe remains one of the most celebrated and enigmatic film stars in history, she transformed herself from ordinary girl next door, Norma Jeane Baker into a glamorous and universally-recognised screen goddess. This comprehensive exhibition brings together authentic artefacts, clothing and other objects belonging to Marilyn. More than 20 original film costumes from some of Marilyn’s greatest films such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire and Love Nest feature alongside numerous dresses and accessories from Marilyn’s personal wardrobe. The ground-breaking collaboration with Twentieth Century Fox will allow unprecedented access to the 12 films Marilyn completed with the studio, including glamorous studio portraits, wardrobe test photographs, lobby cards and film posters. Curated by Bendigo Art Gallery, the costumes, personal clothing and artefacts have been drawn from private collections around the world and have never been seen before in Australia.

To complement the exhibition, Bendigo Art Gallery has secured Seward Johnson’s iconic eight metre high sculpture of Marilyn Monroe, Forever Marilyn. This sculpture has been seen in Chicago and Palm Springs, USA and makes its international debut in Bendigo.”

More details in The Age:

“The gallery has worked with film studio Twentieth Century Fox to bring together items from collections around the world, including a pleated gold lame gown seen in Gentleman Prefer Blondes, costumes from films including How to Marry a Millionaire, accessories and even the star’s personal address book.

Curator Tansy Curtin has been hunting for pieces across the US and Europe, particularly some sold at a large auction of items owned by the actress Debbie Reynolds in 2012. On her wish list is a version of the famed white dress from Some Like it Hot, also designed by William Travilla. A request for a dress has been made (there are multiple versions, part of the ‘mystery and falsehoods’ surrounding Monroe’s costumes, Curtin said), and the Bendigo Art Gallery hopes to lock in its final inventory within weeks.”

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Hollywood’s 65th Birthday for ‘All About Eve’

allabouteve_3Hailed as ‘the ultimate theatrical backstage story’, All About Eve will be screened at at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Laemmle’s Royal in West Los Angeles on Tuesday, October 13 – exactly 65 years after its release.

If you’d like to know more about the making of this classic movie – and how Marilyn got her big break – read Sam Staggs’ book, All About All About Eve.

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Marilyn’s Bombshell Beauty Guide


A well-researched article about Marilyn’s beauty routine, including direct quotes from MM herself, is published today by Vogue.

“Despite its great vogue in California, I don’t think suntanned skin is any more attractive . . . or any healthier, for that matter. I’m personally opposed to a deep tan because I like to feel blond all over.”

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DiMaggio Doctor Tells All About Joe, Marilyn

Marilyn and Joe DiMaggio, 1961

Marilyn and Joe DiMaggio, 1961

Dr. Rock Positano, podiatrist to Joe DiMaggio, has written a tell-all book about his former friend, reports the New York Post‘s Richard Johnson.

“Positano — the Hospital for Special Surgery expert known for his non-surgical approach to treating foot disorders — befriended DiMaggio in 1990 when he cured the Yankee Clipper of painful bone spurs.

Though DiMaggio was famously irascible and standoffish, he took a shine to his fellow Italian-American. During their many meals and travels together, DiMaggio revealed his innermost thoughts to Positano and other members of his ‘Bat Pack.’

Rock has finally shared his fond memories of DiMaggio with his lawyer brother, John Positano, who wrote it all down in Dark Icon, a loving tribute recently sent to publishers.

The manuscript I read states clearly that Monroe was the love of Joe’s life. ‘When we got together in the bedroom, it was like the gods were fighting,’ Joltin’ Joe told Rock. ‘There was lightning and thunderclouds above us.’

The sex bomb’s alleged infertility was the breaking point. ‘Marilyn was hurt by the woman thing . . . her inability to have children,’ DiMaggio told his friend.”

Positano also claims that DiMaggio blamed the Kennedys for Marilyn’s demise, and that impotency prevented him from marrying again.

However, as DiMaggio rarely talked about his private affairs – even among close friends – Positano’s claims should probably be taken with a large dose of salt.

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