Marilyn Sightings in L.A., Madrid

Fans have posted their latest Monroe sightings on the Marilyn Remembered Facebook group. Firstly, ChadMichael Christian Morrissette found this mural (based on Alfred Eisenstadt’s famous 1953 photo of Marilyn) on Highland in Hollywood.

And secondly, Lorenzo Presti spotted Marilyn gracing the cover of the ironically-titled Marilyn Had Eleven Fingers On Her Feet, a book of Hollywood-themed paintings by artist Maria Herreros on sale in Madrid. This portrait was inspired by Milton Greene’s 1953 Laurel canyon series. And of course, Marilyn had no extra fingers, or toes – this rumour was debunked by Snopes.

Incidentally, another of Maria’s portraits – based on another shot of Marilyn by Eisenstadt – is featured on the cover of Autobiografía de Marilyn Monroe, a novel by Rafael Reig.

The Sandusky Roots of Sugar Kane

Sugar Kane, as played by Marilyn in Some Like It Hot, is actually Sugar Kowalczyk from Sandusky, Ohio – as Matt Westerhold notes in a piece for the Sandusky Register about his hometown’s movie connections.

“I enjoy it when Sandusky is the center of attention, and always get geeked when I hear mention of our city on TV shows and films. I loved it the first time, and ever since, when I heard Marilyn Monroe in the movie Some Like It Hot, say, ‘Imagine me, a smalltown girl from Sandusky, Ohio, (marrying the heir to the Shell Oil Co.).'” 

He’s got the gist of it, but here’s the exact dialogue from the scene in which, after singing ‘I Wanna Be Loved By You’ in a Florida hotel, Sugar receives a bouquet from her admirer and eagerly shares the news with her best pals, Daphne and Josephine…

SUGAR: Josephine, just imagine. Me, Sugar Kowalczyk from Sandusky, Ohio, on a millionaire’s yacht. lf my mother could only see me now.

DAPHNE: l hope my mother never finds out.

Marilyn Collector’s Advice to Fans

Monroe expert and friend of this blog Scott Fortner has been interviewed by the New York Post, giving tips to other Marilyn collectors.

“According to Scott Fortner, a top collector of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia who works as a health-care executive, bodily fluids are an enhancement. ‘I have a dress of Marilyn’s with a sweat stain on the under­arm,’ said the 50-year-old Bay area resident. ‘That personal touch makes the dress . . . more valuable to collectors.’

Another gambit for increasing the worth of Fortner’s 200-plus-item Monroe collection: Putting together multiple elements to create documented ensembles. He had a mink collar, purchased in 2006 as part of a lot that went for $10,000, and sought the jacket to go with it. He ‘spent forever’ looking for the piece. In 2016, he bought it at auction for $10,000. Combined, the outfit would now sell for $50,000 to $60,000.

He does what he can to keep the value and the threads intact. ‘I [store] everything in a temperature-controlled environment,’ said Fortner. ‘I’m happy to not touch anything. Putting [these garments] on mannequins would stress the fabric.’ With that in mind, he adds that accessing the Monroe collection is beside the point. ‘I’m happy to know that I have it and to have the photos.'”

Marilyn: The Pretty Funny Girl

In a blog post for the 25 Years Later site, J.C. Hotchkiss looks back at Marilyn’s comedic roles in Monkey Business, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, The Seven Year Itch and Some Like It Hot.

“The ‘dumb blonde’ has more depth than you would first think. As someone who has played this ingénue of a character, the ‘ditzy’ blonde needs to know herself. She needs to know the jokes but is NOT the joke. She needs to command the scene, but not be so childlike that the audience stops rooting for her and gets annoyed with her immaturity. Marilyn navigated this fine line throughout her career …

Marilyn fought for a long time to be taken seriously in the acting arena in which she desperately wanted to excel and to be a true actress, not just a pretty face.  I believe all these performance showcase that brilliance … To me, she was more than just a beauty. In fact, the internal struggles she was fighting throughout her life made these performances even that much more poignant …

Marilyn was a trendsetter without even trying to be. She just wanted to make people happy, sometimes at the detriment of her own well-being. At least we have her bright smile and contagious laughter on celluloid whenever we need to laugh and remember just how funny and beautiful she was; to remind us of who Marilyn Monroe was and the legacy she wanted us to remember. “

Marilyn’s Owlwood Hideaway Up for Sale

Marilyn at Owlwood, 1953 (photo by Milton Greene)

Owlwood, once the home of movie mogul Joe Schenck, is up for sale again, as Taylor Boozan reports for Forbes. The Holmby Hills estate, described as ‘Los Angeles’ most coveted property’, comes with a price tag of $115 million. Owlwood was previously on the market in 2012 for $150 million (see here), and in 2018, it was reported that it was one of several Hollywood homes tied up in a Ponzi scheme.

It has become almost a cliché to link desirable properties to Marilyn, often with no factual basis – but Owlwood really was a part of her life, as while she may never have lived there, Marilyn often stayed in Schenck’s guest cottage, and later posed for photo shoots there with Milton Greene.

One can only imagine how this young starlet from a humble background (and with comparatively modest tastes) must have felt amid such opulent surroundings. After Schenck’s death in 1961, other famous occupants included Marilyn’s Some Like It Hot co-star, Tony Curtis, who sold it for $750,000 in 1974 to Sonny & Cher. And in 2017, rapper Jay-Z hosted a Grammy Awards after-party at Owlwood.

‘Divine Marilyn’ at Galerie Joseph

The Divine Marilyn exhibition (first reported here) has now opened at Galerie Joseph at 116 rue Turenne in Paris, through to September 22. You can read a report (in French) on the launch over here. (Photos by Joshua Greene, and Ma Zaz at Marilyn Remembered.)

We begin with Norma Jeane…
Through the starlet years…
And Hollywood stardom…
Marilyn in Korea
A fun feature…
The private Marilyn…
And finally, the icon.
Joshua Greene took some out with Marilyn…
He was joined by Suzie Kennedy, and members of the Shaw family.
And while you’re visiting Divine Marilyn at Galerie Joseph, don’t forget JACKIE!

Man Sentenced for Marilyn Statue Theft in L.A.

Photo by Lorraine

It gives me no pleasure to report that Austin Mikel Clay has been sentenced to one year in county jail and three years’ probation, plus $14,260 restitution, after pleading no contest to the theft and vandalism of a Marilyn sculpture from the Four Ladies of Hollywood gazebo on the Walk of Fame. I can’t understand why this young man would be willing to jeopardise his future for the sake of publicity. The sculpture has not been recovered, and as LAPD detective Mike Oldfield previously suggested, it seems likely that it has been destroyed.

Marilyn Magazine Mania in Europe

This photo by George Barris, taken in July 1962 – often said to be the last professional photo of Marilyn – graces the cover of Polish magazine Zwierciadlo this month.

In Hungary, Marilyn (as photographed by Alfred Eisenstadt in 1953) makes the cover of July’s Meglepetes Retro, while a Sam Shaw photo covered another Hungarian magazine in June.

As well as the recent New Literary Magazine, Marilyn graced another French magazine cover in June.

And finally, Marilyn (and her favourite singer, Ella Fitzgerald) covered a Romanian magazine in May.