‘Ruthie the Welder’ and Norma Jeane

No discussion of American women’s role in World War II would be complete without mentioning the ‘discovery’ of 19 year-old Norma Jeane Dougherty in 1945, while working at the RadioPlane munitions plant, by army photographer David Conover.

Over at the Newport Independent, former welder Ruth White discusses being a working woman in wartime…

‘White notes that the pictures of the young women seen from those days were accurate as they were portrayed to the public.

“We wore our hair in bandanas, wore high top shoes with steel toes and coveralls.  Our leather coveralls and jacket, hood and gloves was in six lockers at the yard,” she said.

“You’ve seen pictures of women, some famous – some not, dressed in those coveralls and bandanas and that is how we went to work every day.”

Among those famous pictures which have been distributed for years was a young Norma Jeane Mortensen Baker, who parlayed her “15 minutes of fame” as a patriotic riveter into that of a Hollywood starlet.

“You probably know her as Marilyn Monroe,” White quipped, “those pictures helped  get her noticed.”‘


‘Sew Iconic’: The Seven Year Stitch

Create your own Marilyn moment with Sew Iconic, a new book by Kate Gregory, published on June 12.

‘From Marilyn Monroe’s billowy white halter in “The Seven Year Itch” to Audrey Hepburn’s effortlessly chic black number in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” the silver screen’s stunning dresses have always left stylish women enchanted. But no matter how many trips they’ve taken to the mall or even to designer boutiques, it’s still always been nearly impossible to find those dream dresses. But now, with “Sew Iconic,” they can finally have the show-stopping outfits they’ve always wanted! This amazing guide includes sewing patterns, tips on materials, and clear instructions for making the dresses of Grace Kelly, Rita Hayworth, Kate Winslet, and many more iconic actresses. Beautiful photographs throughout show the full skirts and fun tops in all their glory and are paired with stories of the clothes, the designers, and the films — all timeless classics.’

Vanity Fair: ‘The Lost Monroe Nudes’

This summery shot of Marilyn, taken in 1949 by Andre de Dienes, makes the cover of Vanity Fair‘s June issue (due out very soon), with a feature on Larry Schiller’s ‘lost Monroe nudes’ from the making of Something’s Got to Give inside.

“Just 23 years old at the time, Schiller, at the set on assignment for Look magazine, had no idea that he was getting to know the icon in some of her most vulnerable moments. In an adaptation of his memoir about their sessions together, Schiller recounts intimate and telling conversations that illuminate the private struggles that consumed the starlet in her final days.”

Schiller’s photos of Marilyn have also been published in the New York Daily News…

‘Smash’ Episode 13: ‘Tech’

This latest episode is the first to be filmed since the series began airing, and features Rebecca Duvall (Uma Thurman) in Marilyn mode:

‘Movie star/Bombshell star Rebecca Duvall grappled with mounting performance anxiety, and Derek slithered into her dressing room to urge her to use her insecurities to better understand Marilyn, and to revel in her own star power, too. “It’s your escape from the terror,” he insisted. (Srsly?) Rebecca then donned (not entirely convincing) Marilyn drag for a performance of “Happy Birthday, Mr. Director” – ”I wonder if she got Karen to coach her,” snarled Ivy Lynn, hilariously — and before you knew it, Derek was all “Marilyn glowed in the light. She was luminous like you.” And Rebecca was all looking for a compliment that went beyond Derek thinking she was pretty. And then Derek used his condescension – ”You, my darling, are a lovely little actress.” — as an aphrodisiac. Next thing you know the director and his leading lady were going at it in the dressing room, with Rebecca’s creepy manager, super creepy Ellis, and somewhat creepy Ivy standing outside, eavesdropping creepily. Rebecca and Derek doing the nasty brings a whole new meaning to “Let Me Be Your Star,” I guess.’ – TVLine

‘“Smash’s” big gamble, starting out, was whether or not anyone would care enough about Marilyn to care at all about “Bombshell.” The musical-within-a-musical could have been about anything — the Tudor dynasty, contemporary politics, Joni Mitchell, the roaring ’20s, you name it — but they went with an iconoclastic character partly because she’s familiar to a mass audience and partly because she is glamorous and fun and beautiful, qualities the producers wanted to stamp onto their own young stars. The Marilyn story comes with drama already baked in; the high-highs and the low-lows, the rapture and the fame and the suicide.  But as the show proves, there are complications that go with Marilyn, and hers is not a story that belongs in just anyone’s hands.’ – Rachel Syme, Los Angeles Times