Capote on Marilyn, Elizabeth

In tribute to Elizabeth Taylor, The Telegraph has published a 1974 essay by Truman Capote on the great star. He made some interesting references to Marilyn as well:

‘At this point I recalled a conversation I’d once had with Marilyn Monroe (not that I’m making a comparison between Taylor and Monroe; they were different birds, the first being a take-or-leave-it professional, the other a morbidly uncertain, naturally gifted primitive). But Monroe’s moral attitude was similar: “I don’t believe in casual sex. Right or wrong, if I go for a guy, I feel I ought to marry him. I don’t know why. Stupid, maybe. But that’s just the way I feel. Or if not that, then it should have meaning. Other than something only physical. Funny, when you think of the reputation I have. And maybe deserve. Only I don’t think so. Deserve it, I mean. People just don’t understand what can happen to you. Without your real consent at all. Inside consent.” ‘

Another, lesser-known quality that Elizabeth shared with Marilyn was a love of literature:

‘The second surprise was how well-read Taylor seemed to be – not that she made anything of it, or posed as an intellectual, but clearly she cared about books and, in haphazard style, had absorbed a large number of them. And she discussed them with considerable understanding of the literary process…’

Capote concludes that Monroe, Taylor, and Judy Garland, despite their differences, were all risk-taskers:

‘… Not like Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland, both of whom had yearned to go over the horizon, some darker rainbow, and before succeeding, had attempted the voyage innumerable times. And yet there was some common thread between these three, Taylor, Monroe, Garland – I knew the last two fairly well, and yes, there was something. An emotional extremism, a dangerously greater need to be loved than to love, the hotheaded willingness of an incompetent gambler to throw good money after bad.’

‘Elizabeth Taylor’ is also published in A Capote Reader, alongside Capote’s portrait of Marilyn, ‘A Beautiful Child’.

Lady Gaga: ‘My MM Side’

Lady Gaga was interviewed by Google this week, and explained how her father, Joseph Germanotta,  reacted to her tattoos:

“My father asked that I remain on one side slightly normal. So I only have my tattoos on my left side. He’s asked I don’t have any more on my right side. I think he sees that as my Marilyn Monroe side and the left as my Iggy Pop side.”

Rachel York to Star in MM Musical

Rachel York, an acclaimed actress and singer with a stunning 3-octave vocal range, will play Marilyn Monroe in a free staging of a new musical, Me and Miss Monroe, at the AMAS Theatre in NYC this April.

‘ “Me and Miss Monroe” tells the story of Steven, a 16-year-old Bronx High School of Science student in 1962 who inadvertently meets and befriends Marilyn Monroe at the carousel in Central Park as he works on his project for a national science fair. The presentations are part of the ongoing Amas Lab and Workshop Series, a development program for writers, lyricists and composers to develop and advance their new musicals. These four performances are being offered free to the public.’

More info at Broadway World

Rachel has previously starred in Broadway hits such as City of Angels and a London production of Kiss Me Kate. She played another Hollywood legend, Lucille Ball, in a 2003 TV movie, Lucy, and appeared as stripogram Dinah (alias ‘Officer Nasty’) in a 2000 episode of the sitcom, Frasier.

More on ‘The Kennedys’

The Wall Street Journal has published a user’s guide to The Kennedys, an 8-part TV mini series that will premiere on the US Reelz Channel next month. Marilyn (played by Charlotte Sullivan) appears, albeit via flashback, in the penultimate episode:


It’s November 22, 1963—the last day of JFK’s life. He’s in Texas to meet with officials from the state’s Democratic Party. A flashback shows Jackie giving birth, but the baby soon dies. Another flashback shows Bobby visiting Marilyn Monroe to persuade her to end her affair with JFK. She is later found dead of a drug overdose. Back in the present, JFK and Jackie share a moment of mutual love while en route to Dallas, where Lee Harvey Oswald awaits with his rifle. As the motorcade passes through the streets, Oswald shoots, killing JFK. Afterward, Lyndon Johnson calls Bobby, demanding that he immediately be sworn in as President.

Top 10 MM Films

According to viewers of the Reelz Channel in the US:

  1. Some Like it Hot
  2. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
  3. The Seven Year Itch
  4. The Misfits
  5. All About Eve
  6. How to Marry a Millionaire
  7. The Prince and the Showgirl
  8. Bus Stop
  9. There’s No Business Like Show Business
  10. Niagara

The top 3 were much as I expected, but I was surprised that All About Eve – a classic for sure, but only a minor part for Marilyn – rated so highly, and that There’s No Business Like Show Business made the list while River of No Return and Let’s Make Love did not.

Personally, I would place Bus Stop much higher, and I’d also include one of MM’s lesser-known starring roles, in Don’t Bother to Knock. What would your choices be?

‘Mad Men’ Team on Marilyn Episode

Andre and Maria Jacquemetton, Mad Men‘s husband-and-wife producing-and-writing team, discussed the significance of Marilyn in the series:

“Q: How have you determined which real-life events to reference in the series and how much importance to give them in the world of Mad Men?

A: If the historical event facilitates a theme Matthew Weiner and the writers are interested in exploring, then it becomes part of the season. It’s very important that we not just “do” an event because it happened that year. For instance, there was a great deal of discussion about how to use the death of Marilyn Monroe in [Season 2, Episode 9] “Six Month Leave.” Don Draper, like Marilyn Monroe, is very much a construct of the way people view him. Marilyn’s suicide ended up becoming thematically linked to Don’s feelings about the firing of Freddy Rumsen and, on a personal level, what’s in a name — the idea of identity and Don’s own crisis with that in the episode.”

Birthday Exhibit in LA

Marilyn cuts her birthday cake on the ‘Let’s Make Love’ set, 1960

June 1st will mark what would be Marilyn’s 85th birthday. The Andrew Weiss Gallery in LA, which hosted the ‘Becoming Marilyn’ exhibit last year, has organised a new exhibition, ‘Happy Birthday Marilyn’, in partnership with the Marilyn Remembered fan club. The display will include many photographs, and fans can send in birthday cards for Marilyn which may be feature in a slide show.

More details at MM Collection Blog