Liz Smith on ‘Rare, Unseen’ Photo

“SPEAKING OF the British press … oops! They are touting a Valentine’s Day pinup of Marilyn Monroe as ‘rare and unseen, from her days as Norma Jean, the model, circa 1948.’ Sorry, the pic in question is a 20th Century Fox portrait from 1952, when MM was very well known indeed. The photo appears in a new book (yes, another book!) on Monroe. Author Cindy de la Hoz, who has written up MM previously, should have known better.

I’m sure Monroe herself wouldn’t mind the mistake. She’d simply be floored that almost 50 years after her death at age 36, she is still such a hot item. Well, as with Elvis (and possibly Michael Jackson,) an early departure can be a fabulous career move. And, let’s face it — none of the above mentioned would have enjoyed their old age. They weren’t even enjoying their middle age!”

Liz Smith, WowoWow

This photo session, by Art Adams for Valentine’s Day 1952 (not 1948), isn’t new to me either and Marilyn was not unknown, but an established star at the time. It does annoy me when pictures are trumpeted as unseen (as this snap was recently described in the Daily Telegraph) if they are nothing of the sort, especially by auctioneers trying to increase their prices.

However, I think Liz is being a little harsh on Cindy De La Hoz, author of Marilyn Monroe: The Personal Archive and Platinum Fox. While the session is certainly familiar, I can’t be sure that this particular shot has been published in a book before The Personal Archive (though it did appear in magazines back in Monroe’s heyday.)

And the promotional hype probably has little to do with the author herself, though of course she can be held responsible for any errors within the book. Still, I am grateful to sharp-eyed reporters like Liz Smith who can say what many of us are thinking.

Marilyn in ‘Marie-Claire’

“In a post-war era when actresses had little power, she would fight studio heads to control her image and film roles, winning adoring fans and a legion of men along the way … She was a woman who veered between paranoia and power, innocence and bold sexuality; a woman whose life involved extraordinary triumphs and dark episodes…”

Louise Millar’s article, published in the December 2010 issue of Marie-Claire (UK edition) is based on the new Cindy De La Hoz book, Marilyn Monroe: The Personal Archives.

Thanks to ‘Not a Machine’

Marilyn: The Personal Archives

SYNOPSIS: There is no more recognized actress of the twentieth century than Marilyn Monroe. She starred in some of the greatest films ever made and had relationships with some of the most famous men in the world. Even after death she has continued to be surrounded by interest and controversy. Through over 170 beautiful photographs and approximately 20 rare and removable facsimile documents, “Marilyn Monroe: The Personal Archive” will uncover the private life of the star, revealing her crippling stage fright, insecurity, difficult childhood and her ambition to be the greatest actress the world had ever known.

CONTENTS: A Child at Heart; War Bride; Goodbye Norma Jeane; The Talk of Hollywood; Gentlemen Prefer “Dumb” Blondes; A Guy Named Joe; The Eight-Year Itch; The Egghead and the Hourglass; Some Like it Hot; The Misfit; Something Had to Give; A Bright Future Ended.

Cindy De La Hoz is a film historian who has written extensively on cinema and legendary cinematic figures. Her books include ‘Lucy at the Movies’; ‘A Touch of Grace: How to Be a Princess, the Grace Kelly Way’ and ‘Lana: The Memories, the Myths, the Movies’, which Leonard Maltin called “one of the best books about a star I have ever read”. Cindy also wrote Marilyn Monroe: Platinum Fox.