63 Years Ago: ‘Joe, Marilyn Married Here’

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The San Francisco Chronicle has reposted their front page from January 15, 1954 – the day after Joe DiMaggio married Marilyn at City Hall.

“’Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio wedded the girl of his and many other men’s dreams yesterday afternoon in San Francisco City Hall,’ the story read.

‘The time and place of the wedding was kept a closely guarded secret and only 500 people managed to hear about it in time to turn the corridors outside Municipal Judge Charles S. Peery’s chambers in a madhouse,’ The Chronicle’s Art Hoppe wrote.

‘Marilyn, it seems, had made the mistake of calling her studio in Hollywood yesterday morning and letting it in on her plans to be married at 1 p.m. A studio official casually mentioned it as fast as he could to all the major news services.'”

And just FYI, January 14 has seen some other significant events – including the release of Clara Bow’s It in 1926, and the publication of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar in 1963 (less than a month after her suicide.)

San Francisco Remembers Marilyn

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Photo by Elliott Erwitt, 1960

The San Francisco Chronicle has reposted their front page from August 18, 1962, in which news of Coroner Theodore Curphey’s report on Marilyn’s recent death shared space with a story about President John F. Kennedy, who was visiting California as work on the San Luis Reservoir commenced. (Click on the photo below to enlarge.)

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“In Hollywood, gloom still hung over the film industry two weeks after Monroe’s death.

‘Monroe’s will was filed for probate yesterday in New York,’ the story read. ‘The actress, reported by many … to be virtually broke, left an estate estimated to be more than a half-million dollars.’

‘A short while later, in Los Angeles, Coroner Theodore Curphey officially ruled that Miss Monroe’s sleeping pill death Aug. 4 or 5 was a probable suicide.’

Whether the glamour icon killed herself was never proved beyond a doubt, but her impact on pop culture remains unquestionable.”

Most Alluring Women in Cinema

Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle includes Marilyn in his list of cinema’s most alluring women:

“There are two kinds of men in the world. Men who admit that Marilyn Monroe is one of the most desirable women of the 20th century and men who know it but deny it. I denied it for years. I give up.”

Why Marilyn Captivates Us

Over at the San Francisco Chronicle, film critic Mick LaSalle considers MM’s enduring appeal. He writes about her quite often, and I always find his commentary interesting.

“I think her biggest problem was that her career happened in the 1950s. (As a child, she idolized Jean Harlow and would have been quite at home in the early 1930s.) Alas, the musical and sex comedy genres brought out the 1950s’ worst qualities – their mix of the prurient and the puritanical, the leering and the sanctimonious, the salacious and the judgmental. It was an era that celebrated the woman as child – either oblivious to sexuality (Audrey Hepburn) or oblivious to the consequences of it (Monroe). After spending half her career being simultaneously worshipped and degraded, no wonder Marilyn wanted to be taken seriously most of all.”