Marilyn and Mitzi’s ‘Show Business’ Revival

Marilyn gets ‘Lazy’ with Donald O’Connor and Mitzi Gaynor

One of Marilyn’s less celebrated movies, There’s No Business Like Show Business (1954), will be screened at the Landmark Regent, Los Angeles, next Tuesday (December 9) at 7pm – with a special appearance by its last surviving star, Mitzi Gaynor, who has often spoken warmly of Marilyn. Though it’s rather long, and Marilyn’s role is limited, her performances of Irving Berlin’s songs are spectacular – and it’s a festive treat for all fans of old-fashioned Hollywood musicals.

Marilyn Among Actors

With Don Murray. Photo by Milton Greene

The Los Angeles Times has interviewed several actors who worked with Marilyn, including co-stars Don Murray and Mitzi Gaynor, and Actors Studio colleagues like Louis Gossett Jr.

“She was trying to prove she was an actress of substance, and in my opinion she certainly did…She was a very experienced film actress, but she could forget so many of the mechanical techniques. She would constantly miss her marks so she would be out of focus or out of the light or in a shadow. I think it was a lack of confidence. For somebody who the camera loved, she was still terrified of going before the camera and broke out in a rash all over her body.” – Don Murray

“I never saw anybody work so hard. She did such a good job and personally, I think she stole the whole damn show. I just think she was thrown into a nest of vipers.” – Mitzi Gaynor

“So I am at the Actors Studio and there’s Brando and Marty Landau up front. She had Arthur Miller’s shirt on tied at the waist with some jeans and flip-flops. She says ‘Where’s Lou?’ Everybody starts giggling at me. I think it was a joke [by his classmates]. There is no way I could sit next to her. That’s the effect Marilyn Monroe had on me.” – Louis Gossett Jr

Reel Life: Marilyn Monroe

The Reelz Channel in the US has just announced a new documentary, Reel Life: Marilyn Monroe, to premiere on Friday, August 3rd.

“Hosted by television personality Dayna Devon, Reel Life: Marilyn Monroe explores the continued and unrelenting popularity of the woman who wanted nothing more than to be taken seriously as an actress. We’ll talk to the stars of the hit television series Smash, Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty, whose characters are vying to be the lead in a Broadway musical based on Monroe’s life as well as Oscar-nominee Michelle Williams, who played Monroe in My Week With Marilyn about Monroe’s enduring legacy.

Fellow Hollywood icons George Hamilton and Mitzi Gaynor – Monroe’s co-star in There’s No Business Like Show Business – reveal the personal side of the woman they knew. Reel Life: Marilyn Monroe also takes a look at Monroe’s rise to sex symbol, including candid interviews with Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner, who discusses how Monroe’s nude photos helped launch his empire and catapult Monroe to superstar status. Also featured are interviews with photographers Lawrence Schiller and George Barris who share their personal stories of working with Monroe, including the story behind her last ever photo shoot.”

Mitzi Gaynor Remembers Marilyn

Mitzi Gaynor, who starred alongside Marilyn in There’s No Business Like Show Business (1954), is now 80, and will perform in a one-woman show, Razzle Dazzle! My Life Behind the Sequins, at the Reagle Theatre, Greater Boston, on Sunday, April 22.

Marilyn sings ‘Lazy’ with Mitzi (right)

One of Hollywood’s great song-and-dance stars, Mitzi admitted to MetroWest Daily News that she prefers the stage…

Mitzi with Marilyn and Ethel Merman

“I loved being a movie star, but I’m not sure I was all that good. The camera always got in my way. I was never as comfortable making a film as I am on television or on stage in front of a live audience.

I played Ethel Merman’s daughter in that picture and we became best friends …Marilyn Monroe played a hat-check girl in the picture, but she wasn’t around all the time. She was busy creating Marilyn Monroe. If you see that picture now, though, and really pay attention to it, you realize that Marilyn steals the whole damn picture.”