‘Presidential Bombshell’ at LA Creamery

Saturday, May 19, marks the 50th anniversary of Marilyn’s sultry performance of ‘Happy Birthday’ to President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden. And what better way to celebrate than by tasting the new ‘Presidential Bombshell’ ice cream from L.A. Creamery, reports the Contra Costa Times.

‘”We all know and love Marilyn Monroe,’ explained Stephen Bikoff, L.A. Creamery’s co-founder and chief creative officer. ‘We thought, this was one of her last public appearances, and it was an interesting thing; Hollywood and politics converges into this night. We just picked a fun flavor for it, vanilla ice cream, which was Marilyn’s favorite, mixed with a truffle fudgecake because it was JFK’s birthday.'”

P.S. The Biography Channel website has also paid tribute to that historic evening…

Frank Sinatra’s Home Up For Sale

Frank Sinatra’s former California home, the Farralone estate, is currently on the market for $12 million.

The property, which recently featured on an episode of TV’s Mad Men, is also rumoured to have been the site where Marilyn had trysts with John F. Kennedy, reports MSNBC.

However, this appears to be unfounded. Monroe stayed at one of Sinatra’s homes in 1961, while he was away on tour. But there is no confirmation of her ever meeting with JFK there.

Sinatra’s friendship with Kennedy is well-known, but it ended abruptly in 1962 when the president chose Bing Crosby’s Palm Springs home (instead of Sinatra’s) for his residence during the Democratic Convention. And it is generally thought that Kennedy probably had his fling with Marilyn at Crosby’s home, not Sinatra’s.

Sinatra had an on-off romance with Marilyn, and was known for his jealous nature. It seems unlikely, then, that Frank would have stood for any dalliances on his turf – even where the President was concerned.

 

Lohan’s MM Sketch Cut From SNL

Those among you who were surprised that Lindsay Lohan’s recent stint presenting Saturday Night Live didn’t feature yet another MM impersonation may be interested to hear about this sketch that was cut at the last minute. (I’m somewhat relieved to hear this, as SNL has a long history of tasteless Monroe parodies.)

‘According to our sources, the sketch was to feature Lindsay as Marilyn and Jon Hamm (‘Mad Men’) as JFK appearing to conservative hopeful Rick Santorum…

During the sketch, Marilyn and JFK explain Marilyn was on birth control provided to her by Medicare, which causes Santorum to vomit uncontrollably. Santorum (the real one) recently said that JFK’s speech from 1960 about keeping religion out of politics “makes [him] want to throw up.

In the end, we’re told the sketch made it all the way to rehearsals, and was even performed in front of a live audience, but was ultimately cut because of time constraints.’ TMZ

Marilyn in Korean Art Sale

This 2007 oil on canvas painting of Marilyn, by Korean artist Kim Dong Yoo – comprised of multiple miniature portraits of her rumoured lover, John F. Kennedy – features in a live auction on Art.net, due to end on March 14.

The artist has previously unveiled several other paintings on the same theme, including a portrait of Mao Tse Tung comprised of multiple Marilyns.

 

Marilyn-Related Reading

American Dior, by Kate Betts, is a high-gloss look at how the French designer conquered the US market. A photo of Marilyn in an elegant black  dress, taken by Bert Stern in 1962, graces the cover. (The dress was recreated by Dior for the recent ‘Picturing Marilyn’ exhibit in New York.)

If thrillers are more to your taste, Edward Wilson’s The Midnight Swimmer, though set in early 1960s England, alludes to Kennedy, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Marilyn:

‘This novel about what turns into the Cuban Missile Crisis is full of sidelights on the Profumo Affair, the French Connection and precisely why Marilyn Monroe sang “Happy Birthday” to JFK.’

Peter Lawford: Downfall of a Golden Boy

The English-born actor, Peter Lawford, was one of the last people to speak to Marilyn on the night she died. A new radio documentary, Brother-in-Lawford, about his glamorous life and tragic decline, airs tomorrow at 10pm on BBC Radio 2 – narrated by Buddy Greco, with input from Lawford’s son, Christopher, reports the Daily Express.

‘“Marilyn taught me to dance the twist but it didn’t feel amazing at six years of age – only when I told people later,” says Christopher.

Indeed his father introduced Marilyn Monroe to JFK and brought her to Kennedy’s 45th birthday party to sing her infamous rendition of happy Birthday.’

Marilyn’s ‘Breathless’ Singing No Fluke

Following Joan Copeland‘s recent – and rather silly – claim that Marilyn’s ‘breathless’ rendition of ‘Happy Birthday Mr President’ was due to her getting lost on the way to the stage, Scott Fortner takes an behind-the-scenes look at the legendary performance, with testimony from Susan Strasberg and Eunice Murray, over at his MM Collection Blog.

“Marilyn was at Madison Square Garden in plenty of time for her performance, and it had been planned all along that she would close the show, and her lateness would be a running joke throughout the program.  Marilyn was not late for her performance, she did not have a problem finding the correct door for the stage, and she was not out of breath when she sang Happy Birthday to President Kennedy.  She was America’s sex symbol, and she delivered the performance that she’d planned and rehearsed.”

 

Lost in Madison Square Garden

Joan Copeland, the actress sister of Arthur Miller, claims that Marilyn’s breathless rendition of ‘Happy Birthday Mr President’ was not intentional, but due to her late arrival, reports the Daily Mail.

This is a funny story, but Marilyn was not late. She was backstage for the entire concert. Peter Lawford introduced her as ‘the late Marilyn Monroe’ as a joke. And the sexiness of her vocal was entirely deliberate!

Copeland says she attended the gala. Now 89, she recently performed a one-woman show in New York. But Arthur Miller’s father, Isadore, was Monroe’s escort, and he accompanied her to a party afterwards.

‘Siren’s Heart’ in New York

Broadway World has announced that Louisa Bradshaw will star in a one-woman show, Siren’s Heart: Marilyn in Purgatory (script by Walt Stepp) at Theater for the New City from November 17-December 11.

“SIREN’S HEART is not the familiar victim narrative about Marilyn Monroe. She is still a living icon in the hearts & minds of millions, but in her own time, Norma Jean was suffocated by the mask of Marilyn & the weight of living up to that impossible ideal of beauty, crushed her. This play with music imagines another place where we see Marilyn, or Norma Jean, as she might have been; as she wanted to be: the well-rounded, unhaunted person she couldn’t be in her all-too-brief life.”

Siren’s Heart isn’t the first play about Marilyn, and it probably won’t be the last either. As Broadway.com reports, Marilyn (and JFK) topped a recent poll by theatregoers of famous couples they’d like to see brought to the stage.