‘Strictly For Kicks’ at Bonham’s

Rare photographs of Marilyn Monroe in a 1948 stage show, Strictly For Kicks, will be sold in a Bonham’s and Butterfield auction of entertainment memorabilia, to be held in Los Angeles next month. Marilyn wore the same floral bikini and platform sandals in her first movie, Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! (1947)

In 1948, Marilyn signed a 6-month contract with Columbia. However, she had previously worked at Twentieth Century Fox, and in March she appeared in a studio talent showcase at the Fox Studio Club Little Theater. An outside arena was built instead of using the stage on the lot, as studio boss Darryl F. Zanuck would be attending.

Marilyn appeared in two brief scenes, and the script included directions such as ‘Miss Monroe butts onto the stage…’

Marilyn appears to be wearing a costume from Ladies of the Chorus, which she filmed at Columbia in April.

In other pictures from the event Marilyn wears a light-coloured dress, which could be the same gown which she would wear in Love Happy (1949.)

Other items on offer at Bonhams’ include contractual papers for Bus Stop; a signed photo; personally-owned scripts for Let’s Make Love and Something’s Got to Give; a handwritten note by Marilyn, reminding herself to call poet Carl Sandburg; a mortgage agreement signed by Monroe and third husband Arthur Miller; a receipt for a gas payment, dated to Marilyn’s last birthday; and some airline tickets.

More details at Jezebel

Thanks to Megan at Everlasting Star

 

Monroe Investigator Dies

Ronald H. ‘Mike’ Carroll, the retired Los Angeles County deputy district attorney who supervised the 1982 review of Marilyn Monroe’s 1962 death, has died aged 74.

The enquiry into Marilyn’s death lasted nearly 4 months. A 30-page report concluded, ‘Our inquiries and document examination uncovered no credible evidence supporting a murder theory…The homicide hypotheses must be viewed with extreme skepticism.’

Lionel Grandison’s claim to have found Monroe’s ‘red diary’ was also rejected. (Grandison was employed by the coroner’s office when Marilyn died.) The Los Angeles Times noted that Carroll’s report cited ‘reasonable evidence’ of suicide, arguing that murder in this case would have required a ‘massive conspiracy’.

One of Monroe’s many biographers, Anthony Summers, interviewed Carroll for a Reader’s Digest article, ‘Bombshell’, in 2006. Carroll staunchly defended the 1982 enquiry: ‘My job was to look for evidence of murder,’ he said, ‘and I didn’t find any. There were pieces of information that might have thrown light on aspects of Marilyn Monroe’s final days, her involvement with the Kennedy brothers, for instance. But that’s for the biographers and historians. It wasn’t my job, wasn’t the assignment we had.’

Usherette to the Stars


Marilyn with friends, comedian Milton Berle and singer Sammy Davis Jr, at the New York premiere of East of Eden (1955), a benefit for the Actor’s Studio.

Featured in Up From the Vault, an exhibition from the Warner Bros Photo Lab archives, running September 16 – December 30 at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Los Angeles.

East of Eden, based on John Steinbeck’s novel and starring James Dean, was a Warners production, directed by another of Marilyn’s circle, Elia Kazan.

Marilyn herself appeared in just one Warners film, when the studio co-produced The Prince and the Showgirl (1957.)

Alex North Centennial Salute

Alex North composed the haunting soundtrack to The Misfits, and other classic films including A Streetcar Named Desire, Cleopatra and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

A tribute to North, featuring a screening of The Misfits, will take place in the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre (the same venue where the Oscar nominations are announced each year), on Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, on Friday, September 24th at 7.30 pm.

As with all Misfits-related events, I wish I could be there. The soundtrack is available on CD.

Feng Shui at Marilyn’s Final Home

A more spiritual perspective on Marilyn’s last home, currently up for sale, from feng shui expert Dana Claudat.

“Is it little coincidence that this house appears to be missing vital areas of the bagua? The fastest way I can explain the bagua is to say that in feng shui, certain areas of a home can be placed within a geometric grid that encompasses every area of existence — physically, spiritually, emotionally and even monetarily, assigning certain significance to every area. When areas are ‘missing’ it is not the end of the world, but it certainly raises eyebrows that such a coincidence has occurred. Though I can’t see a complete floor plan, it seems that the ‘Self’ and ‘Wisdom’ areas are absent totally from the floor plan of the property.

Even more concerning is that this house is replete with such devastatingly powerful and aggressive beams slicing the energy through every room that I feel no holistic life stands a chance here without some real work on the space. The beams are really intense. Look at every room, nearly each one (including the living room — the main gathering area, and the kitchen — the area of nurture and nourishment in the home) has been bisected by really large beams.”

I must admit to having mixed feelings about this property. While it is a beautiful house, where Marilyn once lived, it is also the place where her life ended. Whoever finally buys it will have to accept that it will always carry these associations with MM, and it inspires a sometimes morbid curiosity in people.

The house is located in a tiny cul-de-sac in Brentwood, a quiet, upmarket residential suburb of Los Angeles. Some of its more recent occupants and neighbours have not been happy about the constant visits by sightseers, and I can understand that.

However, public interest shows no sign of waning. Ideally I would like to see this house restored to its 1962 form as a national heritage site, in the way that John Lennon’s childhood home in Liverpool, UK is now maintained.

But while Monroe is fast becoming one of America’s greatest icons, historians have been slow to recognise this. The endless auctions of recent years, where Marilyn’s personal property has been dispersed among private collectors, are a similar example of opportunities squandered.

And with no surviving relatives to protect Marilyn’s legacy, I can’t see a sea-change occurring anytime soon. In death, as in life, Monroe seems to be alone and unprotected.

Marilyn’s Last Home On Offer

“Sprawling & very special authentic 1929 Hacienda situated behind tall gates at the end of a quiet cul de sac on over 23K sq ft (per assessor) of tree-filled grounds. The crown jewel & largest property of all the Helenas (one of Brentwood’s most romantic & coveted locations) affording lovely vistas & grt privacy & seclusion yet in close proximity to San Vicente shops & restaurants & the Sunday Farmers’ Market. Thick walls, traditional casement windows, polished concrete & terra cotta tile floors, original wood beamed ceilings & period hardware & tiles create a warm, inviting & unique environment. French doors open to private courtyard, expansive grassy yard, pool, citrus grove & beautiful setting. 4 bedrooms, 3 baths + formal living room, family room, office, pool-side game room & separate children’s play house. Sun-filled cook’s kitchen opens to spacious courtyard garden. Wonderful charm & great architecture inside & out. Magical property in the finest Brentwood neighborhood.” – Sawbuck.com

More photos at David Offer Homes