The actress turned author Patricia Bosworth, who met Marilyn at the Actors Studio, has died aged 86 from complications of coronavirus, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Bosworth starred with Audrey Hepburn in The Nun’s Story (1959), and later published critically acclaimed, yet controversial biographies of Montgomery Clift, Marĺon Brando and others. She appeared in documentaries such as Marilyn Monroe: Still Life (2005) and Love, Marilyn (2012), and wrote ‘The Mentor and the Movie Star,’ an article about Marilyn and the Strasbergs, for Vanity Fair in 2003. Her final book, The Men in My Life: Love and Art in 1950s Manhattan, also featured memories of Marilyn (see here.)
“At a party for new members, as Bosworth later wrote, she witnessed ‘a barefoot Marilyn Monroe, in a skintight black dress, undulating across the floor opposite Paul Newman.’ At the end of the evening, director Lee Strasberg offered her a ride home in his car. Bosworth slid in to find Monroe in the back, dreamily smoking a cigarette. ‘From outside came a voice,’ she later wrote. ‘”Hey Lee, going my way?” And Harry Belafonte hopped in beside me.’ The group fell silent as the ride got underway, each star daunted by the others. Finally Bosworth commented on Monroe’s gigantic pearls. ‘Yeah, the emperor gave them to me,’ Monroe said, offhandedly. She meant Emperor Hirohito of Japan, who had presented them to her at Monroe and Joe Dimaggio’s private wedding ceremony.”
The necklace worn by Marilyn in Richard Avedon’s publicity shots for Some Like It Hot have been declared the most iconic pearl image in history, in a poll conducted by British chocolatier Thornton’s to promote their new ‘Thornton’s Pearl’ range, the Scottish Sun reports. (There’s just one problem with that – the white beads she wore weren’t actually pearls!)
If you’re a wealthy scribe – sadly, most of us aren’t – and you’re looking for a luxury item this Christmas, these new Marilyn-themed pens (priced at £500 upwards) from Montblanc Muses may be for you, as Nancy Olsen reports for Forbes.
“This pen is the first in the Muses Edition to be rendered—cap and barrel—in lipstick red. The rich and sensual tone is beautifully paired with champagne-tone gold-coated fittings that fan the flame of color rather than cool it down. The shape of the pen is inspired by the four-inch heels Monroe wore so well, and the slanted cap top of the pen is decorated with the Montblanc emblem, also coated in champagne-tone gold.
If you’re old movie-star buff, as I am, you know that Monroe, who was born in 1926, was married to American Major League Baseball player Joe DiMaggio, though their marriage lasted a mere 274 days. But that apparently allowed him time enough to buy her, among other things, a single row of Akoya pearls, which she was often seen wearing. Thus the pen’s clip is set with a single pearl as a romantic reference to the couple’s short-but-sweet love affair.
‘Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend,’ Monroe’s song sensation from the film, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, earned the actress additional kudos for her charming delivery, so the cone of the Special Edition writing instrument is engraved with diamond shapes alongside her engraved signature. The 14-karat gold fountain pen nib is coated in champagne-tone gold, and it is decorated with an engraved portrait of the actress. The traditional (and necessary) rounded hole in the nib, often called the ‘heart’ of the nib, is in this instance actually shaped as a heart adding a very feminine touch to the overall appearance of the pen. The collection also includes a rollerball pen and a ballpoint.”
Marilyn makes two jewellery-related appearances in this weekend’s Financial Times, firstly in this article about the diamond trade; and elsewhere, she’s pictured wearing pearl earrings at a press conference in 1956.
The Mikimoto pearls given to Marilyn by Joe DiMaggio on their Japanese honeymoon in 1954 will feature in ‘Pearls’, a new exhibition opening at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum in September, reports Professional Jeweller.
With typical generosity, Marilyn gave the pearls to Paula Strasberg after the DiMaggios divorced. The pearls were returned to Mikimoto in 1998.