Max Factor Finds Their ‘Marilyn’

South African model Candice Swanepoel – best known for her Victoria’s Secret ads – will impersonate Marilyn for a new Max Factor promotional campaign, reports Vogue. ‘It is the ultimate look that defines glamour – nothing else compares,’ says Pat McGrath, Max Factor’s global creative director. ‘Ruby Tuesday, inspired by one of Marilyn’s favourite Max Factor lipsticks, is still my go-to red today for an instant shot of glamour, and continues to be one of the most popular shades for both make-up artists and real women.’

You can read more about Max Factor and Marilyn here.

Mini Marilyn Set For China

The Mini Marilyn brand, launched last summer by ABG – the official licensing arm of Marilyn’s estate – is heading to China, reports the Wall Street Journal.

“Chinese film company DMG Entertainment has struck a deal with brand-development firm Authentic Brands Group LLC to develop projects for Mini Marilyn, a cartoon version of the late American actress. The two companies plan to develop the character for film, merchandise and in forthcoming retail and entertainment projects, said Dan Mintz, DMG’s chief executive and co-founder. He declined to disclose the financial details.

The companies are betting that Mini Marilyn, a cutesy cartoon version of her blonde bombshell image, will strike it big with Chinese audiences the way that characters like Hello Kitty and Mickey Mouse have.

While Marilyn Monroe isn’t a household name in China, Mr. Mintz said most Chinese consumers know ‘Meng Lu,’ Ms. Monroe’s Chinese name, and are familiar with the image of her holding down her white dress in the film The Seven Year Itch.

They also hope Mini Marilyn will have appeal beyond China. ‘This is a global play,’ said Mr. Mintz. ‘When you look at Marilyn and the figure that she is, no one comes close. Everyone knows her.’

DMG hopes Mini Marilyn will pull in women, who are driving the box office in China and in the U.S, said Mr. Mintz. While there’s little data breaking down China’s movie audiences by gender, e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said that growth of its online movie tickets is driven by women. In the U.S., 52% of moviegoers are women, according to data from the Motion Picture Association.

Mr. Mintz said Mini Marilyn will come to life in short previews over the next few months and then eventually in feature films, TV shows, short form digital content, video games, mobile apps, music and live venue attractions.”


‘Secret Life of Marilyn’ Trailer Unveiled

Entertainment Weekly has posted a trailer for the upcoming mini-series, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, on their website today. To be aired on the US cable channel, Lifetime, on May 30-31, the drama is based on J. Randy Taraborrelli’s 2009 biography.

While the scenes between Kelli Garner (as Marilyn) and Susan Sarandon (as her mother, Gladys) look interesting, it seems to exaggerate their closeness. And while Marilyn certainly battled depression, to equate her experiences with Gladys’s far more severe mental illness (she was diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenic, and spent much of her adult life in psychiatric hospitals) is rather misleading.

Death in Hollywood: Amber Tamblyn on Marilyn

Actress Amber Tamblyn – who has appeared in TV shows including Joan of Arcadia, House M.D., and Two and a Half Men, and films such as Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and The Ring – is also an accomplished poet.

Her third collection, Dark Sparkler, focuses on tragic Hollywood actresses. “While Sharon Tate is the most infamous death, Marilyn Monroe is the most famous out of all of the women in there,” Amber told “So I thought less is more. In reading her coronary reports, there was something about how her hand was found on her pillow next to her head, and that her hair was wrapped very, very tightly around her index finger, so much so that there was blood circulation cut off in the tip of her finger. When they were formally investigating it, those are things that need to be written down because it could mean, ‘Was she struggling?’ There just could be any kind of detail, as far as was it a homicide or a suicide, or what was it?”

Interestingly, Amber’s father, actor Russ Tamblyn – best-known for his roles in West Side Story and Twin Peaks – appeared in one of Marilyn’s early films, As Young As You Feel, in which she was cast as a secretary. Aged seventeen, Tamblyn played Willie McKinley (the son of Marilyn’s boss), and was billed as Rusty.

Russ Tamblyn in ‘As Young As You Feel’ (1951)

South Korea Plans Monument to Marilyn

The mountainous Inje County in Gangwon, South Korea, will set up a special monument commemorating Marilyn Monroe, who performed several times for US soldiers following the Korean War (1950-53), reports  The county will place the monument at Inje Catholic Church, where Monroe performed for American soldiers on a make-shift stage in February 1954.

UPDATE: Stars and Stripes, the daily newspaper for the US military community, has published an article about the planned monument – with links to archive stories about Marilyn. You can read it here.

Don Dondero: Marilyn in Reno

The camera equipment of photographer Don Dondero will be auctioned at the Holabird Western Americana Office, Reno, on April 17, reports Reno Gazette-Journal. The Reno-based photographer chronicled much of Marilyn’s 1960 stay in the city, including her arrival; a press conference with the cast of The Misfits, and a birthday party for John Huston at the Mapes Hotel; a weekend break at the Cal-Neva Lodge; and her return to the city after a week’s rest in hospital.

Marilyn with Arthur Miller and Clark Gable at a press conference for ‘The Misfits’.

With director John Huston on his birthday, August 5.

You can view Dondero’s photos of Marilyn at Getty Images.

“In the second half of the 20th Century, if a photograph from Reno appeared in a national or international publication, it likely came from the camera of the late Don Dondero.

When he died in 2003 at age 83, the lifelong Nevadan was eulogized by then Gov. Kenny Guinn, who said, ‘Thanks to Don Dondero, future generations of Nevadans will have a glimpse of our state’s history.’

Born in Ely and raised in Carson City, Don Dondero took his first ‘celebrity’ photo at age 12 when he snapped a shot of President Herbert Hoover outside the state capital.

He graduated from Carson High School in 1937 and enlisted in the Navy after Pearl Harbor, becoming a pilot and flying bombers. In 1944, his plane was shot down over the Philippines as he bombed a Japanese merchant ship in Manila Bay. Dondero parachuted safely into the bay and was hidden in the jungle by Filipino guerrillas for 40 days until he could be rescued. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for sinking the enemy vessel.

After the war, Dondero returned to Carson City and married his high school sweetheart, Elizabeth Franks. He worked for the state of Nevada for several years before moving his growing family to Reno to open his own photography business.

Affable, talented, intelligent and dependable – he never missed a deadline – Dondero became Reno’s go-to photographer from the 1950s into the 1990s. His work appeared in publications around the globe. As longtime newspaperman Warren Lerude said, ‘Dondero owned the Reno dateline.’

Reno was the divorce capital of the world at the time and photos of celebrities in town to get ‘the cure’ were in high demand. In addition, the Mapes, Riverside and other downtown hotels were bringing in top-name entertainment. He photographed celebrities including Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, John Wayne and Frank Sinatra and political leaders including John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.

‘He promoted Reno more through his photos than any one individual,’ said Harry Spencer, a former Mapes publicist and longtime friend of Dondero.”

Marilyn chats with Frank Sinatra after a concert at the Cal-Neva Lodge, August 13. (Arthur Miller at left)

Marilyn is welcomed back to Reno by producer Frank Taylor after a hospital stay. Photo by Don Dondero, August 20.

Flying Visit: Marilyn at Shannon Airport

It’s a little-known fact that, while returning from England in November 1956 (after filming The Prince and the Showgirl), Marilyn and her husband Arthur Miller enjoyed a brief stopover in the West of Ireland – or at Shannon Airport, to be exact – where they were photographed sampling an Irish coffee.

Though it can hardly be termed a holiday, this fleeting appearance can be added to the small handful of countries Marilyn visited in her short lifetime (along with Japan, Korea and the Caribbean.) Incidentally, Miller would return to Ireland alone in 1960 (while Marilyn was filming Let’s Make Love), to discuss their upcoming project, The Misfits, with director John Huston at his Galway home.

Along with Bob Hope, Gene Kelly and other famous names, Marilyn’s visit will be commemorated in a display of memorabilia in Shannon Airport’s transit lounge, reports the Limerick Post. Anyone with items they wish to have included in the collection such as photographs, autographs, posters and souvenirs purchased at the airport, should contact Dorothy Quinn, Terminal Operations, Shannon Airport. Tel. 061 712218 or email [email protected].