MM: The Personal Archive

SYNOPSIS: There is no more recognized actress of the twentieth century than Marilyn Monroe. She starred in some of the greatest films ever made and had relationships with some of the most famous men in the world. Even after death she has continued to be surrounded by interest and controversy. Through over 170 beautiful photographs and approximately 20 rare and removable facsimile documents, “Marilyn Monroe: The Personal Archive” will uncover the private life of the star, revealing her crippling stage fright, insecurity, difficult childhood and her ambition to be the greatest actress the world had ever known.

CONTENTS: A Child at Heart; War Bride; Goodbye Norma Jeane; The Talk of Hollywood; Gentlemen Prefer “Dumb” Blondes; A Guy Named Joe; The Eight-Year Itch; The Egghead and the Hourglass; Some Like it Hot; The Misfit; Something Had to Give; A Bright Future Ended.

Cindy De La Hoz is a film historian who has written extensively on cinema and legendary cinematic figures. Her books include ‘Lucy at the Movies’; ‘A Touch of Grace: How to Be a Princess, the Grace Kelly Way’ and ‘Lana: The Memories, the Myths, the Movies’, which Leonard Maltin called “one of the best books about a star I have ever read”. Cindy also wrote Marilyn Monroe: Platinum Fox.

Capote Wanted Marilyn to Play Holly Golightly

Photo by Bert Stern

‘Marilyn would have been absolutely marvellous in (Breakfast at Tiffany’s). She wanted to play it, too, but Paramount double-crossed me in every conceivable way and cast Audrey (Hepburn). The book was really rather bitter, and Holly Golightly was real – a tough character, not an Audrey Hepburn type at all. Holly had to have something touching about her – unfinished. Marilyn had that. Audrey is an old friend and one of my favourite people but she was just wrong for that part.’

Truman Capote

*I agree with Capote that Marilyn could have played Holly wonderfully, and perhaps brought more grit to the role. However, it would be churlish to begrudge Audrey Hepburn her most iconic performance, and I’m glad she took the part.

‘The Girl’ and Eddie Fisher

“I have the biggest thing for Eddie Fisher…”

So says Marilyn Monroe as ‘The Girl’ in The Seven Year Itch (1955.) One of the most popular singers of the post-war era, Fisher’s career was later overshadowed by his messy love life (as Liz Smith noted in her column yesterday.)

He also starred with then-wife Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8 (1960), and was the father of actress and novelist, Carrie Fisher (his daughter from a previous marriage to another movie star, Debbie Reynolds.)

Marilyn met Eddie Fisher for real at least once, in 1961, when he performed at The Sands, Las Vegas, alongside Frank Sinatra.

Fisher died last week in Berkley, California, of complications following hip surgery. He was 82.

Thanks to Robert Siney

Essence of Marilyn

Photo by Ben Ross

“Marilyn was a master of the true star’s technique: drawing out the process of emoting, so those watching could see every iota of reaction on her face…She hid nothing physically, an instructive habit for any performer to emulate.”

An interesting article by Kathleen Lake, exploring Marilyn’s charisma and screen technique, with some good advice for actors and lookalikes.

When Marilyn Hid From Norman Mailer

In a few clips about Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe, the narrator states that Mailer had visited the Miller home, but Marilyn was not there. It turned out she was upstairs sequestered in a bedroom because she did not want to meet Mailer.

Carole Mallory’s review of a new documentary, Norman Mailer: An American, alludes to Mailer’s fruitless pursuit of Marilyn Monroe, then married to his literary foe, Arthur Miller. After her death, Mailer would make Monroe the subject of two bestselling, if controversial books: the ‘factoid’ biography, Marilyn, and a fictional memoir, Of Women and their Elegance, both lavishly illustrated; and finally an off-Broadway play, Strawhead, in which Mailer’s daughter, Kate, played Marilyn.

How Roslyn Saved the Horses

A wonderful article by environmentalist Carly Wilson about Marilyn’s enduring love for animals and nature, and her pioneering role in The Misfits:

Just as the final horse is roped up and forced to the ground, Roslyn jumps out from the truck and starts screaming in a high pitched panic “Murderers! Murderers!” The men are so shocked by the outpouring of intensity from this very shy and innocent-seeming young woman that they agree to untie and set free the horses. This scene is probably the most effective animal welfare message I have ever witnessed in a motion picture and the fact that it was filmed in 1960, before even the civil rights act had been signed, is incredible and way ahead of it’s time.

You can watch Roslyn’s speech here