Kim Cattrall On Marilyn

“As Kim and I were chatting, we were joined by the adorable writer Jacob Bernstein and some others. One of the guys — it’s always guys around Kim! — said: ‘All these actresses playing Marilyn Monroe now [Michelle Williams, Naomi Watts] but you are the one to do it!’ Indeed, Kim has an MM quality and an appreciation — she mentioned Monroe’s Bus Stop at one point, when talking about ‘genuine acting.’ But Miss Cattrall laughed and said, ‘Oh, no, I’m much too old. She died at 36.’ Well, although Kim’s age is no secret, we won’t tell here. However, up close and in person, she looks not a second over 35.”

Liz Smith, WowOwow

Kim Cattrall will reprise her role as Amanda in the Broadway production of Noel Coward’s Private Lives later this year.

Honeymooners in Paso Robles

“As the story goes, after a quick wedding in San Francisco, the newlyweds made a dash down the coast to Paso Robles, where they spent their first night as husband and wife at the Clifton Motel, now the Clifton Apartments, still located at 125 Spring St. in downtown Paso Robles.

The pair also enjoyed a quiet dinner at the nearby Hot Springs Hotel, then situated at the corner of 13th and Spring streets. The building burned down in the 1960’s and a small realty building now occupies the location.

The Paso Robles Press announced the juicy news with gusto. The Jan. 15, 1954 edition front page headline stated in bold typeface, “Marilyn and Joe Honeymoon Here.” After their excursion through Paso, the couple hopped into a dark blue Cadillac and motored to a mountain lodge near Palm Springs, where they spent two secluded weeks together.”

Paso Robles Press

More information available from Paso Robles Historical Society

‘Meeting Marilyn Monroe’

“Even in death, the woman creates a deeper, and more powerful experience than one would expect.  I am glad, touch, honored, and inspired to have ‘met’ Marilyn….someone I have not only never met,  I have never lived in our lifetime…yet…..there is something to be said for visiting the grave of someone we have never met.  Like any other grave the person is no longer with us, but unlike a grave of someone familiar…we have an entire culture and history to figure out who this person was instead of a limited history via family and direct interaction.  Sometimes…..we just need to visit someone we never knew to feel thankful for our own existences, and the impact they left behind.  It was a pleasure, and privilege to have ‘met’ you Marilyn.”

Elizabeth Grammaticas writes about her recent trip to Hollywood, where she visited Marilyn’s grave.

Marilyn and Jackie in 2011

Pamela Keogh Clarke, author of Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn?, offers her thoughts on how these two iconic women might have fared in today’s world of reality TV and social networks…

“Jackie would have loved Facebook for the JFK Library, and would have used it to keep in touch while also keeping everyone at bay. And she would have shopped, absolutely, at sites like Net-a-Porter, Gilt, Chanel. But her email address would be like the nuclear code, probably three people would have had her email address.

“They both had somewhat addictive personalities, Marilyn would lose a lot of stuff, probably leave her phone in the back of a cab. She would use Facebook to stay in touch with her fans, she had an obsessive need for publicity, Facebook would have been perfect for that.”

The two women are transcendent in stature and continue to influence today’s culture; we asked Ms. Keogh how she thought they would fit into a society obsessed with celebrities. (The talented author’s response even referenced one of our original Anti-Preps!)

“Their attractiveness came from their accomplishments.  They were both very dignified women, they would *not* have done reality shows. Neither one of them would have done endorsements of things, unless maybe Marilyn Monroe was asking people to donate to something like the ASPCA.

They both also had mystique and you don’t have mystique when you’re followed around by TV cameras. [Marilyn] wasn’t like Kim Kardashian.”

We also spoke of designers the women might favor should they still be with us today. Ms. Keogh believes Jackie Kennedy Onassis would still be sporting Oscar de la Renta, perhaps Ralph Rucci, others creating classic, good-looking fashions.  She thinks Marilyn Monroe would be wearing Alexander McQueen were she twenty years old today, but in reality, probably more dignified labels like Valentino.

Read Pamela’s interview in full at The Preppy Princess

Remembering Ryne Duren, 1929-2011

Ryne Duren, former pitcher for the New York Yankees, died on January 6 aged 81. In memory of this great American sportsman, Cecilia Tan has shared a 2003 interview with Mr Duren on her ‘Why I Like Baseball’ blog, where he fondly recalled meeting Marilyn Monroe at team practice with his friend, Joe DiMaggio.

“Highlight of my career was meeting Marilyn Monroe.

CT: Not on the golf course…?

No, she came to spring training with Joe. There she is, sitting outside the clubhouse on the bench, I walk up the first day and it’s Marilyn Monroe. And I don’t know why but I guess it’s just me, I sat down and made small talk with Marilyn Monroe. Joe and I always had a good relationship. We always talked, especially in later life when after she had died and everybody knew I had gotten on top of the problem and was running a hospital and I had been quoted in the papers a lot, a lot of people had done stories on me, Joe wanted to spend some time talking with me and we did about the mixtures of different drugs and alcohol and so forth. I don’t care what anybody else says, she died from Valium mixed with alcohol. I truly believe that.

CT: But people always want to make a conspiracy theory out of it when it’s an American icon who dies.

Oh yeah.

CT: So tell me some more about Joe DiMaggio. A lot of the guys don’t really say much about him.

Well, everybody sees him differently. I went down to the batting cage one day, and he had been down there helping guys hit. We were in St. Petersburg at the old Miller Huggins Field, way down in the corner we had a batting cage with a pitching machine. So I went down there and Joe was down there just kind of hanging around, and the last honest batter came out and got through, so now I say, hey Joe, can you help me some? And he kind of laughed and said why? You can’t hit. You’ve got to have good eyesight and coordination. So I said aw, c’mon Joe, at least help me with my stance or something. And he says Ryne, it’s a waste of time! Please, why would you want me to do that. So I said, you know, Joe, if I could at least look good striking out, that’d be a help, right? And it just cracked him up. But he did finally tell me how to stand and swing and so forth. So now, I’m down there hitting balls and he went back to the bench. So evidently he was proud of the fact that he had me with a pretty good looking swing, so they’re sitting up in the dugout and he’s playing a game with someone down there. He’d make a little bet with you and so on. So he says, who is that guy hitting down there? He looks pretty good. They can’t see my number from there. Joe then says, well, that looks like Ryne Duren to me. And they laughed at him. No, I think it really is. So then they made a little bet, and sure enough I finally turned around to pick up the balls and it’s me. So he did make me look good anyway, and he always got a kick out of that.”

Debbie Reynolds Confirms Auction Plans

“I am going to stop collecting and I am putting it all up for auction May 26 and 27 in Los Angeles with the auction firm Profiles in History. You sometimes have to let your dreams go. I have been trying since 1970 to share my collection with the public. I couldn’t get the backing. It’s just a shame. I am sad I couldn’t have achieved that dream come true. It was a very hard decision.”

More over at Marilyn Monroe Collection Blog

Marilyn’s Manhattan

“The ghost of Marilyn Monroe dances provocatively all around my neighborhood…Monroe lived in New York off and on until just before her death in 1962. Here she was free from what she saw as the slavery of the Hollywood studio, but she was never Juliet. On the balcony or over the subway, Marilyn Monroe remains fixed in time as The Girl.”

A great article by Pat Ryan in today’s New York Times revisits Marilyn’s favourite haunts in her adopted home city.

Liz Smith on ‘Rare, Unseen’ Photo

“SPEAKING OF the British press … oops! They are touting a Valentine’s Day pinup of Marilyn Monroe as ‘rare and unseen, from her days as Norma Jean, the model, circa 1948.’ Sorry, the pic in question is a 20th Century Fox portrait from 1952, when MM was very well known indeed. The photo appears in a new book (yes, another book!) on Monroe. Author Cindy de la Hoz, who has written up MM previously, should have known better.

I’m sure Monroe herself wouldn’t mind the mistake. She’d simply be floored that almost 50 years after her death at age 36, she is still such a hot item. Well, as with Elvis (and possibly Michael Jackson,) an early departure can be a fabulous career move. And, let’s face it — none of the above mentioned would have enjoyed their old age. They weren’t even enjoying their middle age!”

Liz Smith, WowoWow

This photo session, by Art Adams for Valentine’s Day 1952 (not 1948), isn’t new to me either and Marilyn was not unknown, but an established star at the time. It does annoy me when pictures are trumpeted as unseen (as this snap was recently described in the Daily Telegraph) if they are nothing of the sort, especially by auctioneers trying to increase their prices.

However, I think Liz is being a little harsh on Cindy De La Hoz, author of Marilyn Monroe: The Personal Archive and Platinum Fox. While the session is certainly familiar, I can’t be sure that this particular shot has been published in a book before The Personal Archive (though it did appear in magazines back in Monroe’s heyday.)

And the promotional hype probably has little to do with the author herself, though of course she can be held responsible for any errors within the book. Still, I am grateful to sharp-eyed reporters like Liz Smith who can say what many of us are thinking.