In an article for the Salisbury Post, Mark Wineka interviews Hap Roberts, nephew of Ralph Roberts.
“On one New York visit , Ralph Roberts took Hap to the spacious New York apartment of Lee Strasberg … The Strasberg residence also held a white baby grand piano that had once belonged to Marilyn Monroe.
Through much of his life, Ralph Roberts seemed consistently drawn to famous or soon-to-be-famous people, through a combined career of acting and massaging. Marilyn Monroe was his most famous connection.
For the last three-plus years of Monroe’s life, Roberts served as her personal masseur and, probably, closest friend. By most accounts, Roberts was the last person Monroe tried to contact the night she died in 1962 of a drug overdose in Los Angeles.
As a boy in the spring of 1960, Hap Roberts wrote to his Uncle Ralph after hearing he had a part in the movie The Misfits. Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe were the stars.
Hap asked whether Ralph could have Monroe autograph a picture to him and also one to his 9-year-old girlfriend, Kay Snider.
A month later, the pictures came in the mail. His said simply, ‘To Hap, Marilyn Monroe,’ but she also had signed the cover of a Life magazine with her and actor Yves Montand.
Hap Roberts still has it.”