Author Michelle Morgan talks about her many ongoing projects, including Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed, and the upcoming documentary, Marilyn: Birth of an Icon, over at The Damned Interviews.
“The reason I wanted to write a full-length biography was that I wanted to look at her story in a different way than had been done before: to talk with all kinds of people who met her in every aspect of her every day life. Boyfriends, fans, friends, family members, and people she passed in the street; everyone and anyone who had anything to do with Marilyn, I wanted to interview. Their memories are all in the book and they give a different perspective to the one often seen before. The result of my way of researching has had a great response from Marilyn’s fans and I’m very proud of that.
I am hugely excited about the documentary. I filmed my part last summer and I’m a consultant on the movie, which means that I will get to see it before anyone else so I’m thrilled about that. This is the first film I’ve ever been involved with – and hopefully not my last – and so it is an exciting experience not only for me as a Marilyn fan, but for my career also.”
“Meeting Michelle Morgan at her recent book signing in Northamptonshire, I stumbled over my words and rushed out embarrassing personal anecdotes about my own fascination with beloved Marilyn Monroe. Gentle and gracious Michelle expressed appreciation of my enthusiasm (even though my parents later commented I had been a bit “full-on”) and spent several minutes relating how exciting she had found undertaking the enormous amount of research for her latest book. Over the course of her research she has spoken to many people who met Marilyn and knew her either as a family member, or close personal friend: yet with humility and the spirit of a genuine fan, Michelle related how incredible it still feels when she makes contact with them.
Although she was able to relate lots of previously unknown information about Marilyn in the hardback edition of this book, she told me how happy it made her to be able to include so much more in this new paperback edition. In just a few days I have devoured the book and certainly there are numerous nuggets that I had not known despite being a fan for almost 25 years. Most importantly, this is a sincerely respectful work that does not engage with salacious rumours, but counts on evidence and personal testimony. As such, it is possible to come to a closer understanding of the woman Marilyn was amongst those who genuinely knew her. I only normally buy books about Marilyn that are written by people who knew her, or where she has had some significant input herself, with Marilyn Amongst Friends, Marilyn: An Appreciation, Fragments, and Conversations with Marilyn remaining favourites. Along with those, this is essential reading for anyone interested in who the woman behind the icon really was.
I would recommend any UK fan taking the opportunity to attend one of Michelle’s upcoming book signings. She is such a generous and sincere woman, who has put an enormous amount of work into demonstrating what those of us who adore Marilyn have always known: that she was beautiful both inside and out. Whilst the genuine fans amongst us brace ourselves for the numerous tabloid stories that are likely to attempt to cash in on this landmark anniversary, Michelle’s book provides the perfect antidote!”
Michelle has now compiled a downloadable list of Monroe-related locations. Walking in the Footsteps of Marilyn Monroe is available to buy direct from Michelle as a text-only PDF file for £5 (via Paypal.) If you’re interested, email Michelle: CaroleLombard@sky.com
Readers will also be glad to hear that a fully revised, paperback edition of Private and Undisclosed will be published next year. For more details on Michelle and her work, visit her on Facebook
Sir Norman Wisdom, who Charlie Chaplin once described as ‘my favourite comedian’, has died aged 95.
Marilyn met Wisdom in 1956 while filming The Prince and the Showgirl at Pinewood Studios in England, as he told biographer Michelle Morgan:
“I was making my film A Stitch in Time*, and on several occasions she came in to watch my work. In fact, she quite unintentionally ruined a couple of takes. Obviously, of course, once the director has said ‘Action’, everyone must remain silent, no matter how funny the situation might be, but Marilyn could not help laughing, and on two occasions she was politely escorted off the set. The nicest thing that happened was that we passed each other in the hallway one lunchtime. It was crowded, but she still caught hold of me, kissed and hugged me, and walked away laughing. Everybody in the hall could not believe it, and I remember my director, Bob Asher, shouting out, ‘You lucky little swine’ – I agreed with him.”