In March 1961, while Marilyn was recovering from illness, ex-husband Joe DiMaggio invited her to join him for a relaxing break in Florida. According to today’s Orlando Sentinel, Marilyn visited the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel during her stay…
“The New York Yankees once made the hotel their home during spring training, and it is said that a chunk of the bar remains missing, where the former owner broke it off so Marilyn Monroe could sign it.”
Marilyn Monroe’s Ceil Chapman evening gown is displayed next to Anna Nicole Smith’s custom painted Marilyn Monroe dresser at Julien’s Auctions annual summer sale at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino June 24-27, 2010, in Las Vegas,Nevada.
Scott Fortner has noted on his blog that while beautiful, the gown is partially damaged due to neglect over the years since Marilyn died. Sadly, this is true of many of Monroe’s former possessions – but still, they continue to sell at high prices. Another Chapman gown belonging to the star sold at Christie’s for $100,000 in 1999.
“Ceil Chapman began her career in New York, her first company was ‘Her Ladyship Gowns’ started in 1940 with partner Gloria [Morgan] Vanderbilt. The she went on to another company labeled ‘A Chapman Original’ which later became simply ‘Ceil Chapman’. She was a popular, talented designer through the early 1960’s. Known for her exquisite draping that enhanced the female form, she became a favorite among many stars of the era, such as Deborah Kerr and Elizabeth Taylor. Rumor has it she was the favorite designer of Marilyn Monroe.
Her specialty was evening, formal wear, done in silks, taffeta, chiffon and organdy, embellished with beading and lace. She designed a great deal for movies and television.”
A recipe for Planter’s Punch, a favourite tipple among guests at the Jamaica Inn, close to where Marilyn and Arthur Miller stayed during their honeymoon at Moon Point on the Caribbean island in January 1957.
Now open to the public for the first time at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin.
“One of the series of images that should be in constant demand is the photographic record of the filming of the 1961 John Huston film The Misfits, which stars Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable. That photo set, which was displayed at Connecticut’s Bruce Museum in 2004, includes seductive images by a surprising group of nine of Magnum’s photographers — from Bruce Davidson to Cornell Capa — that offer beautiful traces of the film’s stars wrangling wild horses out in the desert.”
A 1965 FBI file, now released in uncensored form, concerns one Jacqueline Hammond, a then 40 year-old divorcee living at New York’s Carlyle Hotel, who alleged that Jack, Robert, and Edward Kennedy had participated in ‘sex parties’ at the hotel, alongside Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Peter Lawford and his wife Pat (sister to the Kennedy brothers), and Marilyn Monroe.
“An FBI statement accompanying the released of the papers said: ‘[The file] contains a report of a rumour from an informant suggesting that elements of the Mafia wanted attack the character of Edward and Robert Kennedy and their brother-in-law Peter Lawford by working through associates of Frank Sinatra to compromise them at a New York party. Both Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe were to be involved.’
After looking into the claims, the FBI is said to have decided the information was not ‘solid’ enough and no other mention of it appears.”
What comes across most strongly when one peruses the Kennedy files is FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover‘s dislike of the Kennedys, and his almost obsessive crusade to discredit them.
However, it is possible that the Mafia might have planned a plot of this kind, as some writers have argued that mob bosses helped the Democratic Party to win Chicago in 1960’s election, and were deeply angered by Attorney General Robert Kennedy’s subsequent war against organised crime. The Mafia are also believed by some to have ordered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
But all of these theories are controversial, and rank among the many rumours surrounding the Kennedy family and the murders of both John and Robert.
What I find harder to believe is that Marilyn was really involved in these so-called orgies, and even less likely, that the Kennedys’ own sister would have wanted any part of it (as this would have verged on incest, after all.) Personally, I feel that the allegations are, at least partly, myth – but still the rumours persist.
As Marilyn Monroe’s most recent biographer, J. Randy Taraborrelli, has noted, FBI files are not always transparent:
“The less one relies on the FBI’s accounts of anything having to do with Marilyn Monroe, the better. Here’s the truth: None of it means a thing … any wacky ‘informant’ could say anything about a celebrity and it would end up in the FBI’s files as fact. This is one of the reasons why these files are so tantalizing to some historians … However, how much of it was just J. Edgar Hoover’s paranoia being passed down to his agents?”
Journalist Liz Smith, who has covered the entertainment industry for almost fifty years, makes this interesting observation in her column today…
“I’ll say this: Frank Sinatra really loved Marilyn. He was devastated by her death. He actually wanted to marry her in an effort to ‘save’ her. (Their mutual lawyer Milt Rudin advised against it—’what if she killed herself while you two were married? You’d be ruined!’) I once spoke with Nancy Sinatra about MM, and she said, ‘Oh, my father adored her.’
I honestly don’t believe Sinatra would have exposed the actress, especially in her fragile condition, to such scenarios. But, lots of people want to believe it, just as they want to ignore Marilyn’s mental problems, and make her a murder victim rather than the suicide she probably was.”
This photograph of Marilyn with the Kennedy brothers, after the president’s birthday gala at Madison Square Garden, attracted much media attention when collector Keya Morgan announced his intention to auction an original print, earlier this month.
Many news outlets have described the photo as ‘rare and unseen’, but in fact it was first published during the 1990s, and has even graced a book cover.
Furthermore, it is not the only photo of Marilyn and the Kennedys – two other photos from that night show both MM and JFK, one during the performance and another group shot from the party. Can you spot them?
However, MM devotees will be interested to note that the first picture was taken by White House photographer Cecil W. Stoughton, and that singer Harry Belafonte and his wife can be glimpsed in the background.
Kennedy’s aide, historian Arthur Schlesinger, is facing Marilyn to the right, and later wrote in his diary:
“I do not think I have seen anyone so beautiful; I was enchanted by her manner and her wit, at once so masked, so ingenuous and so penetrating.”