Marilyn at 90: Fans Pay Tribute

Westwood photos by Jackie Craig

Floral tributes were left by Marilyn’s crypt at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles on what would be her 90th birthday, while devoted fans like Monica Shahri visited in person.

Canadian fan Billy made a heart-shaped card for Marilyn…

And there was cake too, courtesy of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (the team behind the Golden Globes.)

The L.A.-based fanclub, Marilyn Remembered, organised a donation to Hollygrove, the former children’s home where Marilyn once lived.  Now known as EMQ Families First, the charity  has launched a new fundraising drive, ‘Modern Marilyn‘.

Immortal Marilyn listed 90 Marvellous Marilyn Moments on their blog, and compiled a fan-focused tribute video. In Bendigo Park, Australia, staff member Marisa left a memento at the feet of Seward Johnson’s giant sculpture,  ‘Forever Marilyn‘.

Many other fansites, like All About Marilyn and Marilyn Mexico, were also in celebratory mood.

Mexico loves Marilyn…

Snapchat users (including reality TV star Kim Kardashian) got busy with a special Marilyn Monroe filter…

The Milton Greene Archive shared this previously unpublished photo of Marilyn with a canine friend, originally taken for a Life magazine spread on Asian gowns in 1955.

The estate of Sam Shaw remembered a ‘dear friend.’

Two of Marilyn’s most respected biographers, Michelle Morgan and Gary Vitacco-Robles, paid their respects via social media.

 

Novelist Megan Abbott chose her favourite photo of Marilyn.

The estate of Humphrey Bogart also remembered her fondly…

Artists Alejandro Mogollo and Ileana Hunter shared Marilyn-inspired pieces.

Everlasting Star admin Sirkuu Aaltonen went on a book hunt

And UK superfan Megan posted a touching tribute on her personal blog.

“Another year has gone by and Marilyn’s star keeps growing brighter and brighter, people are still fascinated and enthralled by this beautiful soul. Did Marilyn have her faults? Of course she did, it’s hard to believe, I know, but she was a human being just like us. I love Marilyn for Marilyn and that will never change. I’d like to think that there are more genuine fans who love and respect Marilyn than conspiracy lovers who just follow their ignorance.”

Pop Divas Show Love for Marilyn

Pop diva Gwen Stefani has made no secret of her love for Marilyn, as the artwork for her new single and forthcoming album shows.

Also this week, singer Lana Del Rey – who has referenced Marilyn several times in her work – appeared at a Los Angeles screening of her new video, ‘Freak’, in an outfit inspired by Marilyn’s Niagara style. (Although the original red/white ensemble – designed by Dorothy Jeakins – didn’t make the final cut, Marilyn wore it in public while filming on location in 1952.)

And finally, Lady Gaga channeled the bombshell look at last month’s Golden Globe Awards.

Marilyn’s Style Lives On at the Golden Globes

Memories of Marilyn lingered on the catwalk at last night’s Golden Globes. Marilyn herself won awards for Some Like it Hot, and as ‘World Film Favourite’. However, it was her appearance at a different ceremony – the Photoplay Awards in 1953 – that inspired the stars last night.

Jessica Chastain, reported to be cast as Marilyn in an as yet unmade big-screen adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ Blonde, wore a Versace gown reminiscent of MM’s iconic gold dress, but in a darker shade.

But singer Lana Del Rey – who has referenced Marilyn in several songs and videos – went the extra mile, wearing a vintage design by Travilla, who created the original gown in 1952.

Marilyn: The Globes’ Golden Girl

It’s great to see Marilyn getting some attention on the Golden Globe website. She is pictured here on March 10, 1960, clutching her Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical, after her triumph in Some Like It Hot.

The Golden Globe was originally an international press award, and European critics were much quicker to reward Marilyn’s talent than the Hollywood establishment (she was never nominated for an Oscar.)

Unfortunately, the article contains one glaring error. The photo is incorrectly dated as being from 1952, when Marilyn had won the Henrietta award for Best Young Box Office Personality.

The bespectacled lady sitting beside Marilyn has not been identified, although it has been suggested she might be Susan Kohner, who won the Best Supporting Actress award that night for her role as Sarah Jane in Imitation of Life.

Marilyn’s 21st Century Dream Date

I can’t help thinking that awards season would be more fun with Marilyn around, and clearly People magazine agrees with me. This digitally altered photo shows Marilyn as she was at the Golden Globes in 1962, where she was named World Film Favourite. But instead of her date that night, screenwriter Jose Bolanos, People have paired MM with a heartthrob of today – George Clooney. The question is, do you think  the 52 year-old actor, director and activist has what it takes to win Marilyn’s heart?

Marilyn’s 31 Days of Oscar

The New York Post reports on 31 Days of Oscar, TCM’s countdown to this year’s Academy Awards by screening a special program of classic movies – including Some Like it Hot (February 1st) and Let’s Make Love, which though not one of Marilyn’s more successful films, earned Oscar nominations for its impressive soundtrack; BAFTA nominations for director George Cukor and Yves Montand; and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Musical/Comedy.

Gaultier’s Marilyn-Inspired Gift

A small gossip item, related to Michelle Williams’ victory at the Golden Globe Awards, appears in the New York Daily News:

‘Williams won a Best Actress Globe for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in “My Week With Marilyn,” and we hear that last week, fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier sent the actress a Globes good-luck gift that was kinky but apparently effective: one of 60 limited-edition Piper Heidsieck Champagne bottles he’d dressed in a black leather sheath and studded crystal fishnet stockings. Monroe once famously said she began “every morning with a glass” of Piper-Heidsieck.’

Actually, I’m pretty sure Marilyn preferred Dom Perignon. But it’s the thought that counts!

Marilyn in the Blogosphere

May 19 marked the 49th anniversary of Marilyn’s ‘Happy Birthday’ performance for President Kennedy at Madison Square Garden, as Garrison Keillor noted in his Writers’ Almanac. (Unfortunately, while he reports on the event well, he has added three spurious quotes attributed to MM via the internet. )

Given all the confusion out there, it was refreshing to find a sound, intelligent analysis of some verified Monroe quotes from Jason Cuthbert over at MadeMan.

And talking of the eternal rumour mill, Lady Gaga – who really should know better – tweeted yesterday that ‘Government Hooker’, a track from her new album, Born This Way,  “was inspired by Marilyn Monroe + political mistresses. I wonder what they were privy to + what they affected.”

An Actress Prepares, a recreation of Marilyn’s last interview by Irina Diva, is coming to the New End Theatre in Hampstead, London, playing from June 14-July 10.

The Seven Year Itch is one of Marilyn’s most enduringly popular films, yet for some reason it is rarely included in cinema revivals (Some Like it Hot, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and The Misfits are all frequently shown.) So I was glad to hear of a recent outdoor screening via the San Diego Reader.

Over at Pop Matters, Oscar-watcher Matt Mazur challenges the Academy in Best Actress Rewind: 1959. Contending that Elizabeth Taylor deserved to win for Suddenly Last Summer, he also states that Marilyn should have been nominated for Some Like it Hot. (Actually, Marilyn won a Golden Globe. Simone Signoret won the Oscar that year for Room at the Top, while Marilyn was filming Let’s Make Love with her husband, Yves Montand.)