David Marshall at Borders, San Francisco

Author David Marshall, who has written two acclaimed books about Marilyn Monroe, will be reading at Borders, Union Square in San Francisco, on August 5th – a date which also marks the 48th anniversary of Monroe’s death.

The DD Group: An Online Investigation into the Death of Marilyn Monroe is a definitive study of the mystery surrounding the star’s final days. Life Among The Cannibals: The Life and Times of Marilyn Monroe 1962-2003 is a unique work of bio-fiction, speculating on how Marilyn’s fate might have been very different had she lived to old age.

Read my Ten To One interview with David Marshall

Vanessa’s Ferragamo Shoes

A pair of Marilyn's shoes - photo by Christie's

In the August issue of Marie-Claire (UK edition), Vanessa Paradis speaks again of her love for Marilyn, and a very special gift from her partner, Johnny Depp:

“He actually bought me the Marilyn Monroe shoes…Monroe’s someone who touches me really deeply. I truly admire both actress and the singer that she was. I love Lazy and so many of her songs. She had a velvety voice.”

Marilyn’s favourite shoes were designed by Salvatore Ferragamo

Blonde But Not Forgotten

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes screens at sunset (8.30 – 9pm) on July 16 at the southeast corner of Capitol Hill’s Cal Anderson Park in Seattle.

Concessions will be sold, and a limited number of lawn chairs available for rent. Admission is free, but donations to Three Dollar Bill Cinema are happily accepted. Proceeds benefit efforts to promote LGBT film and visibility.

Three Dollar Bill Cinema

Niagara: The Dark Side

Marilyn’s star turn as the murderous Rose Loomis in Niagara (1953) makes the list of 100 Essential Female Film Performances on the PopMatters website.

“I first learned about this performance from none other than musician Tori Amos. We were talking about female acting performances that inform and inspire her work during an interview and this was one that she insisted I watch, despite my not ever really warming to Monroe as an actress: ‘I just loved that. I hadn’t been into her, but one of my friends made me watch Niagara and I watched that and I just thought that there are a lot of young women that try and be dangerous Aphrodites, but she, in this role, was really dangerous. And she was seductive. To see how a woman can use her seduction and act as if she doesn’t have a brain in her head, but really is plotting the whole thing and is destroying people’s lives.’ With that recommendation, I had to go out and at least try and see the performance through a new lens, with a different eye. You know what? Tori was right. This is much more than just an icon posturing for her disciples, this was a woman who fought for dramatically substantial parts like Rose and showing people she was more than just an image. With all of the surreally bright rainbow symbolism juxtaposed with the grittiness of Monroe’s diabolical murderess, Niagara is more than just an idol earning a paycheck, and her performance is a force of nature not unlike the film’s foreboding, omnipresent falls of the title. When Tori tells you to watch something, watch it!”

Ray Tolman and Marilyn’s Brentwood Hacienda

Artwork by Brandon Heidrick

“Ray Tolman, who built music stands, played the flute and taught sociology in his long career, died at his home near Bergen Park on June 28. He was 93.

Tolman, who started building things when he was 9, had one famous client few would guess: Marilyn Monroe. He had met her through her psychiatrist, for whom Tolman built a conference table. According to Tolman, when Monroe saw the table, she asked him to design several things for her home, and he was still building for her when she died in 1962.”

Denver Post

To learn more about Marilyn’s last home, visit the website of author Gary Vitacco-Robles, author of Cursum Perficio: Marilyn Monroe’s Brentwood Hacienda.

Louis Gossett Jr

Louis Gossett Jr, who won an Emmy for his role in Roots and an Oscar for An Officer and a Gentleman, recalls working with Marilyn Monroe in his recently published memoir, An Actor and a Gentleman:

“The person I considered the most talented actor in my class was Marilyn Monroe. She would walk into class with Arthur Miller’s shirts tied at her waist, her feet in flip-flops, the sweet musky smell of Lifebuoy soap wafting after her. Her hair, pulled back with a rubber band, was always a little wet, as if she’d just stepped out of a shower. If she’d stayed with Miller, I believe she would easily have won five Academy Awards.

One afternoon I was sitting in my place on the Lower East Side when my phone rang. I picked it up, and a voice said, ‘Hi, Lou. It’s Marilyn.’ ‘Marilyn who?’ I answered, and when she said, ‘Marilyn from class,’ I had a genuine fit. She was asking me to be in her love scene from Tennessee Williams’ The Rose Tattoo at her next class. She was probably being nice to me because I wasn’t one of the stellar students in the class, like Sidney Poitier, and nobody else was asking me to do love scenes. But here she was, inviting me to play the sailor to her hot-blooded Serafina delle Rose.

I was a kid then, full of juice. I considered myself to be hot to trot, but I knew there was no way on earth I could play that scene. I was so starstruck, I wouldn’t have gotten out one word onstage. I must have stammered something, because she got off the line pretty fast, and I think it was Marty Landau who ended up playing that scene. (I happen to think Mr Landau is one of the most consummate actors I have ever seen on the stage or screen.) To this day, if I catch a whiff of Lifebuoy soap, my olfactory senses take over and I am undeniably aroused.”


Marilyn Monroe 1926-1962

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