Will Marilyn Return ‘Forever’ to Palm Springs?

Last seen in Bendigo Park, Australia, Seward Johnson’s giant sculpture, ‘Forever Marilyn’, may soon make a permanent return to Palm Springs, California, due to its immense popularity with local residents and tourists during a two-year stay from 2012-14, as Palm Springs Life reports.

“The sculpture, which is currently owned by the New Jersey-based Seward Johnson Atelier, Inc., would potentially reside in the City’s proposed new downtown park currently under construction.

P.S. Resorts is currently negotiating a title sponsorship agreement with the RumChata Foundation to cover half the cost of bringing the sculpture back to Palm Springs and working on a plan to acquire the additional funds needed for the purchase through private donations.

Marilyn Monroe has a rich history in Palm Springs. She once owned a home in the city’s Movie Colony neighborhood and she was first discovered by her Hollywood agent at the historic Racquet Club.

‘Forever Marilyn was a wildly successful tourism booster for our destination,’ according to Mary Jo Ginther, Director of the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism. ‘Marilyn has traveled to other cities, but no other city has embraced her with as much love and appreciation as Palm Springs. We are thrilled she may soon return again to forever become a part of the magic that makes our city like no place else.’

To donate, visit www.DonateForeverMarilyn.com to make a contribution.”

Fire at Racquet Club, Palm Springs

Fire engulfed parts of the historic Palm Springs Racquet Club on Wednesday, reports the Desert Sun. Opened by Charlie Farrell and Ralph Bellamy in 1934, the Racquet Club was known as a Hollywood hangout frequented by many stars including a young Marilyn Monroe, who met agent Johnny Hyde there at a New Year’s Eve party in 1949. But the former hotspot has been empty for some time, although current owner Judy Dlugacz revealed plans to create a new LGBT housing project back in 2013. At the time of the fire, there was a ‘For Sale’ sign at the site.

In the Bamboo Room with Racquet Club owner Charlie Farrell and actor William Powell, 1954

‘Forever Marilyn’ Leaves Palm Springs

Photo by Mel Melcon

Seward Johnson’s giant Forever Marilyn sculpture has left Palm Springs for the East Coast. Carol Channing, star of the original Broadway production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, made an appearance at a farewell party on Friday, which was attended by 2,000 people – with city officials promising to get her back, reports the Desert Sun.

‘Forever Marilyn’ is heading for Trenton, New Jersey, for a Johnson retrospective at the annual Grounds For Sculpture exhibition, opening on May 4 through to September 21.

Photo by Michael Snyder

 

‘Forever Marilyn’ Leaving Palm Springs

Seward Johnson’s giant sculpture, ‘Forever Marilyn’, will soon be heading for New Jersey – but Palm Springs residents hope her departure won’t be permanent, reports The Press Enterprise.

“‘It’s going to be a very sad day not only for Palm Springs residents but for the entire Coachella Valley,’ said Aftab Dada, general manager of the Hilton Palm Springs and chairman of P.S. Resorts, a group of hotels that brought the statue to town nearly two years ago.

‘She’s really become family,’ Dada said.

A going-away party, open to the public, is planned for March 27. Details are still being hashed out.

Dada said there is a possibility the city can bring Monroe back after redevelopment of Desert Fashion Plaza is completed. A new hotel and shops are planned on the corner where the statue now stands. He said there are no plans to install another statue in the interim.

The Forever Marilyn statue, on loan from The Sculpture Foundation, will be transported to Hamilton, N.J., where it will be part of an exhibit honoring its designer, Seward Johnson.

Dada said a big reason for the statue’s success was the location — in the heart of downtown, with the San Jacinto Mountains as a backdrop.

‘The setting we have will be impossible to duplicate,’ Dada said.”

Marilyn, JFK and The Palm Springs Story

Whenever the home of a star from Hollywood’s golden age goes on the market, it is now routine for estate agents to claim that Marilyn Monroe visited them there – often adding that she and said celebrity enjoyed a passionate affair on the grounds.

Generally, it’s false. However, there are a couple of exceptions: the most notable being Bing Crosby’s Palm Springs estate, visited by Marilyn in the spring of 1962. Among the guests was President John F. Kennedy, taking time off from the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles.

Lindsay, owner of the provocatively titled, but actually very informative IAmNotaStalker blog, has visited many Marilyn locations, and posted many great photos taken from outside Uncle Bing’s former pad just recently.

Even the most sceptical observers concede that Marilyn may have had a fling with Kennedy that weekend. Her masseur and close friend, Ralph Roberts, has said that Marilyn called him from the house in flirtatious mood, and that a ‘friend’ bearing that familiar Bostonian accent joined in the conversation.

This may even have been Marilyn’s only liaison with the president, as none of their other alleged trysts have been confirmed by such a trustworthy source.

 

‘Forever Marilyn’ in Palm Springs

On the set of The Seven Year Itch

Four of Marilyn’s greatest comedies will be screened outdoors, in the shadow of the giant ‘Forever Marilyn’ statue in Palm Springs this summer, reports MyDesert.com.

The mini-season kicks off with Gentlemen Prefer Blondes at 8.30 pm on July 13, followed by Some Like it Hot (July 20), How to Marry a Millionaire (July 27) and The Seven Year Itch (August 3.)

Carol Channing Remembers Marilyn

Carol Channing, who first played Lorelei Lee in the Broadway musical, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, paid tribute to Marilyn’s big-screen portrayal in a rededication ceremony for MM in Palm Springs yesterday, reports Broadway World.

“Miss Channing recalled seeing Miss Monroe for the first time from the stage, ‘second row center,’ sent by the studios to watch Carol in the role she created for the Great White Way as Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Channing recalled, ‘The audience and the cast found it hard to focus on anything but Marilyn, with the possible exception of our piano player … he only asked if she had a brother.’ When asked about the role that propelled her to international acclaim going to Miss Monroe on film, Carol said ‘She created her own brilliant and unique take on Lorelei, a completely different version of this girl who brought virginity to every man she met.'”