‘Mad About Marilyn’: Issue 26

‘American Blondes’, my essay comparing Marilyn Monroe with Lana Turner (originally posted here), is republished in the latest issue of the excellent Mad About Marilyn fanzine, which also features Marilyn’s 1956 interview with Elsa Maxwell; a profile of photographer Gene Lester; and a feature on the Moon of Baroda diamond.

If you would like to subscribe to Mad About Marilyn, please email emmadowning@blueyonder.co.uk

Shaw Archive Marks Centennial

Sam Shaw, photographer and friend to Marilyn, was born almost 100 years ago, on January 15, 1912. A newly relaunched Shaw Family Archives website have announced a variety of exciting projects marking this important anniversary. including: 100 Photos for Press Freedom, a magazine tribute; a statue based on Shaw’s most famous shot of Marilyn, on location for The Seven Year Itch, to be placed in the French city of Boulogne-Sur-Mer; the ongoing ‘Marilyn in New York‘ subway exhibit; and Shaw’s inclusion in the Ferragamo Museum’s Monroe exhibit, which ends on January 28th.

Interestingly, the Shaw family recently collaborated with art publisher Taschen on a tribute to James Bond. Imagine what they could do for Marilyn!

Thanks to Chris at Club Passion Marilyn

Peter Mangone Has Died

Peter Mangone, who made headlines when he found rare footage of Marilyn in New York, filmed when he was a teenage fan, passed away on December 11, 2012.

The home movie was first shown in a 2003 BBC documentary, The People’s Hollywood.

Earlier in 2012, an exhibition and book, Marilyn Monroe: NYC, 1955, was announced. Sadly, the opening of the display – now at New York’s Danziger Gallery – was delayed after Hurricane Sandy devastated the city.

“I used to get up every day and put on a shirt and tie, because I read she was coming to New York to go to the Actor’s Studio and that she would stay at the Gladstone Hotel, so I used to get up every morning, dress up, get on the train, cut school and wait for hours. Some days I didn’t see her, some days I’d get a glimpse of her. Then I finally stood across from the hotel one day and I saw her. The next day I went in front of the hotel with a piece of paper, she signed it and she said, ‘You were here yesterday. You had a red tie on. Weren’t you cold?’ Because it was freezing. But she noticed. She really cared, you know.”

UPDATE: You can read my tribute to Peter Mangone here.

Gloria Pall 1927-2012

Actress Gloria Pall, aka TV’s ‘Voluptua’, died on December 30, aged 85, reports the Los Angeles Times. Gloria attended the party to celebrate bandleader Ray Anthony’s 1952 hit, ‘My Marilyn’, where Marilyn herself was the guest of honour.

In recent years, Gloria was a regular guest at the annual service for Marilyn at Westwood Memorial Park. She also penned a book about MM, The Marilyn Monroe Party, in 2002.


Marilyn and Her Feline Friend

A rare photo of Marilyn – with Siamese pal – has been published by King Rose Archives. It was taken by Robert Vose in Marilyn’s dressing room, during filming of Let’s Make Love in 1960. She is wearing the dress from the restaurant scene with Yves Montand.

Another shot, taken on the set while Marilyn sang ‘My Heart Belongs to Daddy’, has also emerged. A photo of Marilyn with Arthur Miller is also credited to Vose (although I’ve previously seen it attributed to John Bryson.)

The photos are part of the Look collection in the US Library of Congress.

Marilyn Un-Redacted

Marilyn with Jean Pierre Piquet, manager of the Hilton Continental, during her trip to Mexico in 1962

Writing for the Associated Press, Anthony McCartney reports that previously redacted FBI files relating to Marilyn have been released in full by the FBI after a request was made under the Freedom of Information Act.

The new information refers mostly to the FBI’s monitoring of Marilyn’s allegedly left-wing colleagues in her production company, her Jewish wedding to Arthur Miller, and her friendship with Fred Vanderbilt Field, the expatriate communist whom she met on a trip to Mexico.

“For all the focus on Monroe’s closeness to suspected communists, the bureau never found any proof she was a member of the party.

‘Subject’s views are very positively and concisely leftist; however, if she is being actively used by the Communist Party, it is not general knowledge among those working with the movement in Los Angeles,’ a July 1962 entry in Monroe’s file states.”

Hal Schaefer 1925-2012

Photo by John Florea (1954)

Hal Schaefer was an accomplished jazz pianist and vocal coach to Marilyn. They became close while she was unhappily married to Joe DiMaggio, and Hal was with her on the night of the infamous ‘Wrong Door Raid’. He died on December 8th, 2012.

You can read my tribute to Hal Schaefer here.