Marilyn and the Moon of Baroda

On July 8, 1953, Frank Powolny photographed Marilyn wearing one of the world’s largest diamonds, the so-called ‘Moon of Baroda’. It was then owned by Meyer Rosenbaum, a jeweller from Detroit, and was loaned to Marilyn for the shoot, in which Sidney M. Brownstein, president of the Jewellery Academy, presented her with a special award for her role in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, proclaiming her ‘the best friend a diamond ever had.’

But as the Times of India reports today, the Barodian royal family want their precious jewellery – also including the world’s most expensive pearl carpet, the ‘Star of the South’ – to be returned home for a public exhibition.

The Moon of Baroda was last displayed at the Antwerp World Diamond Centre in 2008. In 2012, a ‘Mr Matsuki’ appeared on a Japanese television show with what he claimed was the legendary gem. It was authenticated and valued at 150 million yen.

The Mad About Marilyn fan club chronicled the Moon of Baroda’s history in 2013, including a bizarre rumour that Marilyn fell victim to the diamond’s curse.

‘Mad About Marilyn’: Issue 26

‘American Blondes’, my essay comparing Marilyn Monroe with Lana Turner (originally posted here), is republished in the latest issue of the excellent Mad About Marilyn fanzine, which also features Marilyn’s 1956 interview with Elsa Maxwell; a profile of photographer Gene Lester; and a feature on the Moon of Baroda diamond.

If you would like to subscribe to Mad About Marilyn, please email emmadowning@blueyonder.co.uk

‘Mad About Marilyn’ in September

My review of Lawrence Schiller’s Marilyn & Me: A Memoir in Words and Photographs has been published in Issue 25 of the Mad About Marilyn fanzine, which also includes an in-depth profile of photographer Earl Thiesen and ‘I Dress for Men’, an article penned by Marilyn herself in 1953.

You can read my review in full here. For more details on Mad About Marilyn, contact emmadowning@blueyonder.co.uk

‘Mad About Marilyn’ Goes to Print

My review of Michel Schneider’s psychological novel, Marilyn’s Last Sessions (originally posted here) features in the latest Mad About Marilyn fanzine, alongside a vintage Tatler article about the young Norma Jeane, and an interview with Jay Margolis, author of the investigative study, Marilyn Monroe: A Case For Murder.

If you’re interested in joining the Mad About Marilyn fanclub, please contact emmadowning@blueyonder.co.uk

‘Mad About Marilyn’ Spring Issue

My reviews of Cindy De La Hoz’s Marilyn Monroe: The Personal Archive and MM – Personal by Lois Banner are featured in the latest issue of the Mad About Marilyn fanzine, which also includes a vintage article, ‘…and the Lord Taketh Away’, from Modern Screen in 1957; a piece on Marilyn’s 1955 visit to USS Bennington; and a profile of photographer Douglas Kirkland.

If you would like to join the Mad About Marilyn Fan Club, please email Emma: emmadowning@blueyonder.co.uk

 

‘Mad About Marilyn’ Updates

My review of Pamela Keogh’s Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? (first posted here) is reprinted in the latest issue of Mad About Marilyn magazine. Also featured are photographer Bill Carroll; a short story by Michael Williams; a vintage Photoplay article, ‘Orphan in Ermine’, a look back at Marilyn’s ‘night at the circus’ in 1955; and a review of John Vachon’s Lost Look Photos.

If you would like to join the Mad About Marilyn Fan Club, please email Emma: emmadowning@blueyonder.co.uk

Mad About Marilyn: ‘Fragments’

I’m a little late in posting this. My review of Fragments, last year’s collection of Marilyn Monroe’s personal writing (which you can also read here), has been published in the December 2010 issue of Mad About Marilyn magazine.

It is an outstanding edition, also featuring an article comparing Marilyn with her peer, actress Kim Stanley, who played Cherie in the original Broadway production of Bus Stop, and a character based on MM in the 1957 movie, The Goddess; and a fascinating interview with Marilyn herself from 1954, in which she lists her most-admired men (including then-husband Joe DiMaggio, and future beau, Arthur Miller.)

As always, if you would like to join the Mad About Marilyn Fan Club, please email Emma: emmadowning@blueyonder.co.uk

‘Final Years’ Review in ‘Mad About Marilyn’

My review of Keith Badman’s The Final Years of Marilyn Monroe is featured in the latest issue of Mad About Marilyn magazine, which also includes a vintage magazine article penned by Marilyn’s one-time roommate at Hollywood’s Studio Club, Clarice Evans, and a profile of photographer John Bryson.

If you are interested in joining the Mad About Marilyn Fan Club, please contact Emma Downing Warren.