Mona Rae Miracle, daughter of Bernice Miracle and niece of Marilyn Monroe, has spoken to The Mirror about her famous aunt.
“‘Norma Jean told me she was very pleased to meet me and I could tell she really was. She loved children. She would tumble about on the grass with us and the dogs and just loved it.’
It was the start of a warm bond between Mona and and her aunt, just 14 years her senior. ‘She was tons of fun,’ says Mona. ‘She could really appreciate a good joke – she was a prankster.’
‘She certainly wasn’t the dumb blonde she made out to be. She was intelligent and loved reading.’
As Marilyn’s success as an actress began to soar, Mona and her mum started to realise just how generous the star could be. ‘She’d send us parcels of clothes she didn’t want any more,’ Mona recalls. ‘What a thrill that was. We weren’t wealthy, but we had these terrific outfits.’
As Mona grew up, she turned to her aunt for advice about boys. ‘She would tell me: Just be yourself. Don’t pretend,’ she says.
And when she was found dead of an overdose of barbiturates at her home in August 1962, her niece was devastated. ‘I was 22 and in my first year of teaching. I went straight to the chapel and fell to my knees,’ recalls Mona.
Ironically, while rich and famous Marilyn’s life was cut short, hard-up housewife Berniece is still alive at 93. ‘Mother was just as beautiful as Marilyn really – and she is still very beautiful,’ says Mona Rae.
‘It is that facial structure. I am sure that Marilyn would have been just as beautiful if she had lived.'”