Friends Recall Marilyn’s Mystique

Marilyn by Harold Lloyd, 1953

In an article for LiveAuctionTalk, Rosemary McKittrick examines Marilyn’s enduring appeal, quoting friends and other celebrities, including actress Arlene Dahl, singer Diahann Carroll (who also performed at the Kennedy birthday gala), and actor Michael Shaw (who was interviewed for Taraborrelli’s 2009 biography of Monroe.)

‘ “I’ve never see anyone stop a room like that,” said actress Arlene Dahl. “People just wanted to stand near her, smell her fragrance, breathe the same air as she.”

“It’s certainly her beauty I remember most,” recalled songstress Diahann Carroll. “As I sang, I distinctly remember being somewhat distracted by her gaze. Her tragic beauty, so vulnerable…so lost.”

Her friend and acting coach Michael Shaw saw her arrive one day at Fox studio. Marilyn was wearing a pair of pedal pushers, flat shoes and a simple scarf. He said no one paid any attention to her because she looked like a 14-year-old kid. Then she went into her dressing room and said, “Well, time to put her together.” About 40 minutes later she came out and there was a total transformation. Marilyn Monroe walked out, he said. She was a knockout. ‘

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