Gus Zernial 1923-2011

Gus Zernial, the left-fielder and right-hand batter who played in baseball’s Major League during the 1950s, has died aged 87. Along with Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra, Zernial hit the most home runs during the decade.

Zernial is also known to MM fans because of the publicity photo he posed for with a young Marilyn in March 1951, while he was with the Chicago White Sox at spring training camp in Pasadena. (He is standing next to her in the picture above.)

‘I was really attracted to her beauty, but more than that,’ Zernial told author Michelle Morgan, as quoted in her 2007 book, Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed. ‘She was attractive both inside and out – a beautiful person to talk to, and I also believe she had a lot more to offer than the way she was shown by Hollywood.’

The stunt was organised by press agent David March. After the pictures were published, none other than Joe DiMaggio asked, ‘Who’s the blonde?’

The story goes that in early 1952, when DiMaggio was visiting Los Angeles, March arranged a date with Marilyn. And the rest, as they say, is history…

Old Pasadena Film Festival

Bacall, Grable, Monroe - Frank Worth, 1953

Two MM films are showing as part of the ‘Leading Ladies’ series at the Old Pasadena Film Festival.

Thursday, July 15

How to Marry a Millionaire (One Colorado Courtyard, 41 Hugus Alley) 8:30pm

Saturday, July 31st

All About Eve (One Colorado Courtyard, 41 Hugus Alley) 8:30pm

Admission is free. View the full itinerary here