Doris Roberts 1925-2016

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Actress Doris Roberts – perhaps best-known for her role as Marie Barone in the TV sitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond – has died in Los Angeles, aged 90.

Born in St Louis, Missouri, Roberts was raised in the Bronx, New York. She began her acting career in the 1950s, appearing on stage and screen.  ‘I was a member of the Actors Studio,’ she said in 2009, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. ‘Marilyn Monroe used to come to class. Martin Balsam was there. Anne Bancroft was there. Geraldine Page.’

Monroe, she said, would sit in the class led by the legendary Lee Strasberg ‘in a coat, with her collar up and a scarf over her head. She would get up and do a scene and she was wonderful. She was a scared little bird.’

‘I used to sit near Marilyn Monroe in the Actor’s Studio,’ Roberts was quoted as saying in a 2003 interview for A&U magazine. ‘I didn’t know who she was then. She’d get dressed up in those [sexy] dresses because that was her identity. Sad. Those cameras wouldn’t leave her alone. She didn’t know where to hide.’

By the 1980s, Roberts  was a respected character actress, and was cast as Mildred Krebs in the popular TV detective series, Remington Steele. In recent years, she was spotted at a number of Marilyn-related events, including a Los Angeles performance of Sunny Thompson’s one-woman show, Marilyn: Forever Blonde in 2012, and at the opening of the Hollywood Museum’s summer exhibit, Marilyn Monroe: Missing Moments in 2015.

2015: A Year in Marilyn Headlines

10888615_10152588248917584_8987576087019859357_nIn January, Marilyn was named as the ‘new face’ of Max Factor cosmetics. Also this month, Joe Franklin (Marilyn’s first biographer) and Anita Ekberg, a fellow blonde bombshell of the fifties, both passed away.

In February, New York Fashion Week included a Fall 2015 collection from Max Mara, inspired by Marilyn’s 1960s style. A hologram of multiple Marilyns appeared in the Oscars opening ceremony. Also this month, Richard Meryman – the last person to interview Marilyn – passed away.

adf8341a9d7c6e436611f9b166316971In March, Marilyn was featured in a vintage-inspired ad campaign for Coca Cola. In book news, the long-awaited first volume of Holding A Good Thought For Marilyn, a two-part biography by Stacy Eubank, was published.

eubankMarilyn Forever, an opera by Gavin Bryars, had its US premiere. And Marilyn: The Strength Behind the Legendary Monroe, showcasing the collection of Ted Stampfer, opened in Liechtenstein.

In April, a viral hoax news story, claiming that a CIA agent had made a deathbed confession to Marilyn’s murder, was debunked. Plans for a monument to Marilyn in South Korea were announced. And in book news, Fan Phenomena: Marilyn Monroe, edited by Marcelline Block, was published.

fan phenomIn May, Dr Cyril Wecht – one of the world’s most renowned forensic pathologists – gave an interview to Immortal Marilyn’s Marijane Gray, laying to rest some of the many myths about Marilyn’s death. Marilyn was the subject of two controversial TV shows: Autopsy – The Last Hours of Marilyn Monroe, a documentary; and The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, a mini-series based on J. Randy Taraborrelli’s biography, starring Kelli Garner.

bfi monroe_season_posterOn June 1 – Marilyn’s 89th birthday – the British Film Institute launched a month-long retrospective of Marilyn’s movies, and a nationwide reissue of The Misfits. Menswear designer Dries Van Noten used iconic images of Marilyn in his Spring 2016 collection. A benefit performance of Bombshell (the Marilyn-inspired musical subject of TV’s Smash) spurred plans for a full Broadway run. And Marilyn Monroe: Missing Moments, a summer-long exhibit, opened at the Hollywood Museum.

jpegOn June 29, Julien’s Auctions held a Hollywood Legends sale dedicated to Marilyn, and her floral dress from Something’s Got to Give sold for over $300,000. Sadly, it was also reported that the ‘Dougherty House’ in North Hollywood, where Marilyn lived from 1944-45, has been demolished – despite protests from local residents. And George Winslow, the former child actor who appeared in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, passed away.

hollywood-legends-catalogIn July, Before Marilyn: The Blue Book Modelling Years, a new book by Michelle Morgan, was published. Limited Runs launched the Red Velvet Collection, a US touring exhibition featuring Tom Kelley’s famous nude calendar shots of Marilyn, as well as rare photos by Gene Lester. In Los Angeles, the Andrew Weiss Gallery launched their own exhibition, Marilyn: The Making of a Legend, and published a catalogue, 17 Years.

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In August, the Marilyn Remembered fan club’s annual memorial service was held at Westwood Memorial Park, marking the 53rd anniversary of Marilyn’s death. It was reported that hip hop producer Timbaland would sample ‘Down Boy’, a ‘lost’ song recorded by Marilyn for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. And the Daily Express published rare photos of a young Marilyn in Salinas.

In September, a large number of rare candid shots of Marilyn were auctioned by Profiles in History. A new exhibition, Becoming Jewish: Warhol’s Liz and Marilyn, opened in New York. And Norman Farberow, the psychologist who contributed to the first official report on Marilyn’s death in 1962 , passed away.

wills marilyn in the flashIn October, Marilyn – in the Flash, David Wills’ stunning sequel to MM: Metamorphosis, was published. Members of Everlasting Star discovered rare photos of an early public appearance by Marilyn at the Hollywood Legion Stadium in 1947. October also marked Arthur Miller’s centenary, and the death of movie legend Maureen O’Hara.

In November, Marilyn’s blue gabardine suit from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was sold at Bonham’s for $425,000. Congressman Tony Cardenas introduced a bill to rename a Van Nuys post office after Marilyn. Cartier unveiled a new ad, featuring a diamond-themed homage to Marilyn. And the Writers’ Guild of America voted Some Like it Hot as the second funniest screenplay of all time.

And finally … in December, Marilyn-related items from the collection of Dame Joan Collins were sold at Julien’s Auctions, and Ferragamo launched a capsule collection featuring a Marilyn-inspired shoe. Over in Toronto, the TIFF Cinematheque launched a season of movies starring Marilyn and her greatest Hollywood rival, Elizabeth Taylor.

Marilyn’s ‘Missing Moments’ at the Hollywood Museum

la-ca-mn-0614-classic-hollywood-pg-022The Hollywood Museum has resumed its annual tribute to Marilyn with a summer-long exhibition, ‘Marilyn Monroe: Missing Moments’, as Susan King reports in her Classic Hollywood column for the Los Angeles Times.

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“The Hollywood Museum’s new ‘Marilyn Monroe: Missing Moments’ exhibition is nothing if not comprehensive.

One highlight of the exhibition, which continues through Sept. 6, are previously unpublished Monroe photos by Milton H. Greene, best known for his mesmerizing portraits of the sex symbol. The two met in 1953 when he shot the up-and-coming actress for Look magazine.

The photos include studio portraits and candids of her on the set of 1956’s Bus Stop and with such celebrities as Edward R. Murrow and Sammy Davis Jr.

[Donelle] Dadigan acquired some 1,000 never-before-published Greene images of Monroe a few years ago at auction.

‘We have the negatives, the transparencies and the copyrights,’ said Dadigan, who will be adding more Greene photos as well as Monroe photos shot by other photographers during the exhibition.

The museum, said Dadigan, has an international network of donors. ‘This time we have five different collections from all around the world.'”

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‘Marilyn: The Exhibit’ Returns

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The widely popular Marilyn Monroe exhibit has returned to the Hollywood Museum for the third year running, notes Haute Living, in an article listing various MM-related locations to visit in Los Angeles. It is now a permanent annual exhibit. (Other local landmarks include the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and the Formosa Cafe.)

Memorial Weekend Plans Unveiled

This year’s memorial weekend – sponsored by Marilyn Remembered – features tributes at the Hollywood Museum, a ‘Marilyn’s Hollywood’ day-trip organised by L.A. Woman Tours, and of course the annual service at Westwood. More details, including booking information, here.

 

Hollywood Museum: Marilyn Returns

Back by popular demand, ‘Marilyn – The Exhibit: Hollywood Icon‘ is open now at the Hollywood Museum, through to September 8th, reports Scott Fortner on his MM Collection website.

“The scope of the exhibition encompasses Marilyn’s costumes, jewelry, furs and accessories from her films; publicity gowns and personal wardrobe; her 1961 Fleetwood Cadillac limousine; original Marilyn Monroe artwork, photographs and documents from her private files; and many of Marilyn’s personally owned artifacts.

‘Marilyn Monroe: The Exhibit’ displays the million-dollar dress Marilyn wore on her honeymoon with Joe DiMaggio, one of the highlights of The Hollywood Museum’s permanent collection. In addition to THM’s permanent collection, items from the Scott Fortner Marilyn Monroe Collection and the Greg Schreiner Marilyn Monroe Collection are featured in this exclusive exhibit, including film costumes from The Prince and The Showgirl, There’s No Business Like Show Business, and clothing and furs from Marilyn’s personal wardrobe, including the brilliant green Pucci jersey top.

Highlighting the exhibit are exclusive photos by world-renowned photographer George Barris, who shot Marilyn’s the last photo sitting while collaborating on a book at the time of her death 50 years ago. Barris Photography: www.inhollywoodland.com

This exhibit also includes original works of art by famed celebrity artists LUDVIC, original photographs, including the legendary “red velvet” nude photographs shot by Tom Kelley, and a vast photograph collection of her childhood, family and early modeling career when she was still Norma Jeane Baker; and much more.

Additional Marilyn commemorative events planned:

• Saturday, August 3, 1-3 PM Meet & Greet with collectors Greg Schreiner, Scott Fortner and THM President Donelle Dadigan at The Hollywood Museum

• Sunday, August 4, 1-3 PM George Barris Book and Photo Signing at The Hollywood Museum

Monday, August 5 TBD ‘Marilyn Remembered’ Annual Memorial Service, co-sponsored by  The Hollywood Museum, at Westwood Mortuary

 

Marilyn to Stay in Hollywood

Photo by George Barris, on display at the Hollywood Museum

The Hollywood Museum has announced that ‘MM: The Exhibit’, which opened this summer, is to become a permanent exhibit. This is great news for all fans, and a perfect tribute to Hollywood’s golden girl.

Marilyn at the Smithsonian

The Smithsonian Museum of American National History seems like the logical place for a permanent display about Marilyn, one of the most famous American women of all time.

Unfortunately, the museum currently holds just one item of Marilyn’s property – a pair of white gloves. Curator Dwight Bowers hopes to acquire more for a forthcoming exhibit on popular culture, according to AFP.

Let’s hope more private collectors decide to donate and share their treasures with the public. In the meantime, ‘MM: The Exhibit’ (featuring the collections of Greg Schreiner and Scott Fortner) is on display at the Hollywood Museum until September 2.

“Donated by a private collector, the gloves make up the entire Marilyn Monroe collection at the publicly-funded Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest network of museums and, in principle, repository of all things Americana.

Bowers, who plans to include the gloves in an forthcoming Smithsonian exhibition on American popular culture, said it’s ‘logical’ for the museum to hold more Monroe memorabilia.

‘But Hollywood material and Hollywood celebrities are big business in the auction world,’ he told AFP in the windowless storeroom that’s packed floor to ceiling with show-business artifacts from vaudeville to today.

‘Private collectors are part of our competition — and private collectors have a much bigger budget than we have.’

‘A lot of these high-profile pieces, when they come up for auction, are going to the Asian countries,’ Los Angeles collector Scott Fortner, whose own Monroe objects are part of the Hollywood Museum exhibition, told AFP.

‘I find it disappointing that some of these pieces literally just disappear and we have no idea where they go,’ added Fortner, who has catalogued his entire collection — from a feather boa to make-up and eye drops — online.”

Meanwhile, at the Hollywood Museum…

 

A catalogue for the ongoing Marilyn exhibit at the Hollywood Museum is now available to order here. Upcoming events include a meet & greet with exhibit curators Greg Schreiner and Scott Fortner on August 2, and a guest appearance by photographer George Barris on August 4. More details at MM Collection Blog.