‘Bus Stop’ in L.A.

Bus Stop is probably the most frequently revived of William Inge‘s works, thanks to Marilyn’s starring role in the 1956 movie adaptation. The original play is now being staged by the Kentwood Players at the Westchester Playhouse, Los Angeles, until August 20, with Jessee Foudray as Cherie.

So it seems our heroine might make it to Hollywood and Vine at last…

“What I really like about the play is that the characters make emotional changes based on something that was right in front of them the whole time, but they didn’t see it. And Inge does it in such a beautiful and logical way.”

Max Storme, director, in the Daily Breeze

Phil Stern Opens LA Gallery

Phil Stern, who took this striking photo of Marilyn in 1953, will open a personal gallery in Los Angeles today. Stern has also photographed many other famous names, including Frank Sinatra, and his portrait of a tired couple from Oklahoma, trying to cross the border into California in 1939 in their battered Ford truck – a photo that became synonymous with the Great Depression – headed an exhibition of Life magazine’s best work.

“Stern has been sporadically selling prints of his photographs for years out of his modest Hollywood home. But only the most persistent usually succeeded, and one of those was Madonna, who showed up at his doorstep to buy a photo of Marilyn Monroe.

When told that many admirers of his work think he is a great artist on the camera, he replied,’Matisse I ain’t.'”

NBC Los Angeles

‘Meeting Marilyn Monroe’

“Even in death, the woman creates a deeper, and more powerful experience than one would expect.  I am glad, touch, honored, and inspired to have ‘met’ Marilyn….someone I have not only never met,  I have never lived in our lifetime…yet…..there is something to be said for visiting the grave of someone we have never met.  Like any other grave the person is no longer with us, but unlike a grave of someone familiar…we have an entire culture and history to figure out who this person was instead of a limited history via family and direct interaction.  Sometimes…..we just need to visit someone we never knew to feel thankful for our own existences, and the impact they left behind.  It was a pleasure, and privilege to have ‘met’ you Marilyn.”

Elizabeth Grammaticas writes about her recent trip to Hollywood, where she visited Marilyn’s grave.

‘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.