Marilyn Monroe: Timeless Elegance, an exhibition featuring items of her personal property from the collections of Greg Schreiner and Scott Fortner, plus photos by Lawrence Schiller, is now on display at the Blancpain boutique on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, in association with the licensing wing of Marilyn’s estate, Authentic Brands Group (ABG) until November 23. The items on display include Marilyn’s diamond-ensconced 1930s Swiss Art Deco watch, purchased by Blancpain from Julien’s Auctions in 2016 for $225,000, and her costume from The Prince and the Showgirl, as Roberta Naas reports for Forbes.
Marilyn and the Leading Ladies of Song
Marilyn is featured in ‘Leading Ladies Who Sing‘, a free event in the Scenes Through the Cinema Lens series at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Centre in Manhattan on Tuesday, March 20 at 7:30 p.m.
“Leading Ladies Who Sing will showcase choice moments in cinema history when stars who can both act and sing are presented at their most glamorous. The event will focus on distinguished jazz singers like Abbey Lincoln, Peggy Lee and Billie Holiday, all of whom successfully made the transition to cinema, as well as timeless performances by singer/actresses including Judy Garland, Diana Ross and Marilyn Monroe.
Scenes Through the Cinema Lens is curated and hosted by Krin Gabbard, Professor of Comparative Literature and English at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and author of Hotter Than That: The Trumpet, Jazz, and American Culture.
Each Scenes Through the Cinema Lens screening is followed by a Question and Answer session moderated by Professor Gabbard, and all events are free. No reservations are necessary.”
Dr Ramon Acosta Pastor 1929-2016
Dr Ramon Acosta Pastor, a surgeon who treated patients including Marilyn during a long, distinguished career, has died aged 86, as Edmund Silvestre reports for the Philippine Star.
“MANILA, Philippines – Dr. Ramon Acosta Pastor, one of the surgeons who operated on Marilyn Monroe at a New York City hospital in 1961, passed away on Oct. 5 in his native Batangas City in the Philippines. He was 86.
He became closely acquainted with the late Hollywood icon when she underwent cholecystectomy (gallbladder surgery) on June 29, 1961 at the defunct Polyclinic Hospital in Manhattan and which was widely covered by the media. It was Dr. John Hammet, one of New York’s top surgeons, who led the surgical team.
Dr. Pastor’s photo beside Monroe appeared in several news publications, including the front page of The New York Times, wherein he is seen shielding Monroe from a mob of fans and members of the press while leaving the hospital after she was discharged on July 11, 1961.
That chaotic moment, the star of Some Like It Hot said in an interview, was the time she most feared for her safety.
‘It was scary. I felt for a few minutes as if they were just going to take pieces out of me. Actually, it made me feel a little sick. I mean I appreciated the concern and their affection and all that, but — I don’t know — it was a little like a nightmare. I wasn’t sure I was going to get into the car safely and get away.’
Dr. Pastor managed to walk Monroe into her limo unscathed. He hopped with her into the car and stayed by her side until she reached home.
The famed actress and sex symbol was reportedly complaining of pain from an intestinal disorder when she was rushed to the hospital from her apartment at 444 East 57th Street in Manhattan.
According to a New York Mirror story, Monroe awoke in distress in the morning of June 28, 1961, prompting her secretary, May Reis, to call her primary physician at Polyclinic. After diagnosis, the doctor decided her condition warranted immediate hospitalization. She was carried to the ambulance on a stretcher, with [ex] husband Joe DiMaggio joining her in the ambulance.
Dr. Pastor’s elder brother, Antonio, who was staying with him in New York City at the time, related that Dr. Pastor told him he took care of Monroe for two weeks after the surgery, personally attending to all her medical needs.
‘Marilyn Monroe instructed him not to accept any visitors while she’s recuperating, except Joe DiMaggio,’ said Antonio, recalling a conversation he had with his younger brother.
Still in the hospital on the Fourth of July, Monroe complained of the noise coming from fireworks, Antonio said, adding, ‘Dr. Pastor said he gave her the best possible solution — putting cotton in her ears.’
It was the fifth time that Monroe was hospitalized in just 10 months, according to reports.
The three-inch horizontal scar in the upper quadrant of Monroe’s abdomen as a result of the surgery was visible in the photos taken by lensman Bert Stern for the book The Last Sitting, commissioned by Vogue magazine in late June 1962, just six weeks before Monroe died.
‘Ramon was a very gifted doctor and he was very proud of having the honor of operating on Marilyn Monroe,’ said an old-time friend, Dr. Rebecca Magbag, a New York geriatrician, who is also a native of the Philippines. ‘But he was also very humble that he really didn’t talk much about it.’
‘He’s a very nice and warm guy, very handsome, very charming, compassionate with his patients and treated everyone equally,’ Dr. Magbag also said. ‘As an eligible bachelor at the time, a lot of women were swooning over him.’
Born on Nov. 23, 1929 in Batangas City to Dr. Juan Pastor and Concha Acosta Pastor, Dr. Ramon was a 1955 medical graduate of the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. He took his internship at Yonkers General Hospital in New York and finished his training in general surgery at New York Polyclinic Medical School and Hospital, in which he served as chief resident during his last year of training.
He became a diplomate of the American Board of Surgery, but decided to turn his back on a lucrative medical career in the United States and returned home a year later to better serve the underprivileged in his small town in Batangas City.”
TCM in New York
TCM are running bus tours of New York’s most famous movie locations on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, reports Newsday. Among the landmarks to be visited en route is the northwest corner of Lexington Avenue and 52nd Street in Manhattan, where the immortal ‘subway scene’ from The Seven Year Itch was filmed in 1954.
“The ghost of Marilyn Monroe dances provocatively all around my neighborhood…Monroe lived in New York off and on until just before her death in 1962. Here she was free from what she saw as the slavery of the Hollywood studio, but she was never Juliet. On the balcony or over the subway, Marilyn Monroe remains fixed in time as The Girl.”
A great article by Pat Ryan in today’s New York Times revisits Marilyn’s favourite haunts in her adopted home city.
Marilyn and the Florist
“When I was a teenager in the late 1950s, Marilyn Monroe was my favourite movie star! I worked a few days a week after high school at Goldfarb’s Florist at 57th Street and Third Avenue in Manhattan.
One day I was in the flower shop and there in front of me was Marilyn Monroe! She was dressed in a fur coat but was shorter than I thought! Being a teenager and not wanting to admit that I needed glasses, the sight of my favourite movie star was a bit fuzzy.
Marilyn and her husband, Arthur Miller, lived just up the street on 57th Street, and on Saturdays, on my lunch hour I would walk by her Sutton Place apartment building, hoping to see her. I never did. But I did see her and her husband very often from the office window of the second floor of the florist.
I would always wave to her getting into her black Thunderbird and she would always wave back to me. That’s my experience with Marilyn Monroe and it’s one I will always remember.”
John Martone, Augusta Chronicle
Walking in Manhattan
If you’re in Manhattan this weekend, try following Marilyn’s footsteps:
“Adventure on a Shoestring: Saturday at 1 and 3 p.m., ‘Marilyn Monroe’s Manhattan’, with stops at her former residence and the nightspots she visited with her husband Joe DiMaggio, meeting on the northeast corner of First Avenue and 57th Street. (212) 265-2663; $10.”