Marilyn’s ‘Haunted Hollywood’ Parade

Marilyn is featured on the cover of Haunted Hollywood, a Halloween special edition from US magazine Parade. Presumably the oft-told tale of her haunting the Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard will be mentioned. Contrary to rumour, she was never a permanent resident. However, Marilyn did pose for photos by the pool in 1952. Today, guests can check into the Marilyn Monroe Suite – but watch out for her ghost in the mirror!

UPDATE: You can now order Haunted Hollywood through UK website Newsstand.

Marilyn at the Roosevelt Hotel, 1952

Coast to Coast: Marilyn Mural-Spotting

This street art image of Marilyn was spotted by Elisa of L.A. Woman Tours along Hollywood Boulevard today. ‘It’s based off a photoshopped hybrid of Marilyn’s face and someone else’s body,’ Elisa notes, ‘but it’s cute and a nice thought. I love seeing Marilyn so many places. It’s like she’s saying hello!’

Meanwhile in Florida, the Vitale Brothers have unveiled their latest mural (based on Alfred Eisenstadt’s 1953 photo of Marilyn) at the Playhouse Theatre in St. Petersburg, a city with a historic connection to MM – she spent time there with ex-husband Joe DiMaggio in 1961.

Fan Petition Saves Marilyn’s Hollywood Hallmark

The former Grauman’s Chinese Theatre – renamed TCL Chinese Theatre by new owners in 2013 – was at the centre of an online controversy this weekend, after photos emerged of merchandising carts placed outside, where the handprints of Marilyn, Jane Russell and other movie greats are immortalised in cement. In an article for the Hollywood Reporter, Chris Gardner explains how a fan-led social media campaign led to the carts being swiftly removed – let’s hope the decision is permanent.

“The removal comes after a dust-up on social media kick-started by notable Hollywood documentarian Alison Martino and her Vintage Los Angeles Facebook page, which posted a photo on Sept. 30 taken by Brian Donnelly. The image showed a retail structure selling inexpensive hats and T-shirts while covering iconic cement blocks lining Hollywood Boulevard in front of the theater.

The post generated more than 750 comments and 530 shares and was enough to launch a Change.org petition requesting the removal of the vendor carts from the forecourt, as well as a news story on Curbed Los Angeles. The petition, signed by more than 2,600 supporters as of Monday afternoon, called for the removal of the carts out of respect for Hollywood history and the millions of tourists who flock to the block each year.

While it can be assumed that TCL opted to move the retail structures following the controversy, it’s not confirmed because a rep for TCL Chinese Theatres declined comment. It remains unclear where the vendor carts will go, though a source indicated they may be relocated to the nearby Hollywood & Highland mall.

Martino offered to talk, telling The Hollywood Reporter that she drove to the block on Monday once she heard that the carts were no longer in place. ‘It’s unbelievable — power to the people,’ she said, crediting Donnelly with the original image and Elena Parker for launching the petition. ‘I’ve been operating the Vintage Los Angeles page for five years and I’ve never seen a reaction like this. The outcry and outrage grew really fast. My VLA community really took it to heart. It was their passion and perseverance that drove this. Social media is an incredible force.'”

Finding Marilyn on Hollywood Boulevard

This evocative photo of a Marilyn lookalike was taken by Ken Hermann as part of a series, ‘Hollywood Street Characters’, now showcased on Mashable.

“Hollywood Boulevard is full of whimsical characters, but it’s not often that we stop and take a look behind their makeup and masks.

Street performers walk along this major thoroughfare of downtown Los Angeles every single day, dressed as everything from old Hollywood celebrities like Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe to pop culture characters like Darth Vader and Thor.

But it was these performers’ private lives that inspired photographer Ken Hermann‘s raw and honest photo series, Hollywood Street Characters, which captures these entertainers off the clock.

‘After talking to several of the impersonators it became clear to me that many of them are, or once were, pursuing the American dream of becoming someone special and famous,’ Hermann told Mashable. While many of the performers, like a woman who impersonated Marilyn Monroe, made their living as lookalikes, others relied on costumes and makeup.

However, Hermann discovered that working on Hollywood Boulevard requires a big personality, too. ‘The success of the street characters wasn’t about being the most perfect look alike — it also depended upon acting as the most hyped or popular characters or maybe just having a funny or crazy attitude,’ he said.

‘Many regard the impersonators as failed actors, people who tried to make it big in Hollywood but couldn’t … However some of them are living out their own version of the American Dream.’

‘So even though many of them do this because the dream did not go as planned not all of them are fallen stars,’ Hermann added. Next time someone walks around downtown L.A., Hermann hopes they take a moment to appreciate these characters and the private lives they lead.”