2019: A Year In Marilyn Headlines

With a new decade just days away, let’s look back at some of the biggest Marilyn-related stories of 2019. (You can read recaps from previous years here.)

In January, Marilyn was featured in the BBC documentary series, Icons: The Story of the 20th Century. The Palm Springs adventures of Marilyn and other Hollywood legends inspired a cover story for Inland Empire magazine; and UK nostalgia magazine Yours Retro went behind the scenes of The Misfits. Also this month, Fleet Street photographer Horace Ward, film critic Jonas Mekas, plus Broadway legend Carol Channing – the original Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes – and Babs Simpson, the fashion editor who oversaw Marilyn’s 1962 Vogue shoot with Bert Stern, all passed away.

In February, Some Kind of Mirror: Creating Marilyn Monroe, an academic study of Marilyn’s filmography by Amanda Konkle, was published. A Week With Marilyn – an exhibition of photos by Ed Feingersh – and a stage adaptation of All About Eve opened in London. Also this month, Joe DiMaggio’s souvenir album from his trip to Japan with Marilyn sold for $12,000 at Heritage Auctions. 270 Monroe impersonators gathered at the annual Marilyn Jetty Swim for cancer research in Adelaide, Australia. And John Bailey, who created the iconic Marilyn mural in Washington D.C., died aged 78.

March 29th marked 60 years since the premiere of Some Like It Hot. Also this month, Marilyn and Joe DiMaggio’s ‘Hollywood hideaway’ sold for $2.727 million. Spanish artist and curator Frederic Cabanas revisited Marilyn’s New York haunts in a new booklet, Marilyn Monroe: Side By Side; and an exhibition featuring photographer Emily Berl’s portraits of Monroe impersonators, opened in Derby. Retro-style singer Haley Reinhart referenced Marilyn in ‘Honey, There’s the Door’; and Ariana Grande covered ‘My Heart Belongs to Daddy’ on tour. Actress Kathryn Kane (an inspiration behind Sugar Kane’s name in Some Like It Hot) and guitarist Dick Dale, who played an Elvis impersonator in Let’s Make Love, both passed away.

In April, Hollywood Liar, French cartoonist Luz’s graphic novel inspired by The Misfits, was published; and Norma Jeane Baker of Troy – poet Anne Carson’s restaging of Euripides’ Helen – opened in New York. Waiting For The Miracle To Come, a movie starring Charlotte Rampling as an MM impersonator, was released. A print of Richard Avedon’s melancholy portrait of Marilyn sold for $75,000 at Sotheby’s.And celebrity make-up artist Kim Goodwin, a lifelong Monroe fan who created a series of highly collectable dolls, died.

In May, Don Murray reminisced about working with Marilyn on Bus Stop in a cover story for Closer magazine. Monroe biographer Gary Vitacco-Robles presented a 5-part vodcast series, American Icon: Where Healing Meets Life,exploring Marilyn’s mental health issues. This month also marked 70 years since Marilyn posed for her notorious nude calendar. And Doris Day, one of Marilyn’s most famous peers, died aged 97.

In July, two new books were published: Michelle Morgan’s The Little Book Of Marilyn, and Marilyn & Me (aka The Starlet and the Spy), a novel by Korean author Ji-Min Lee. Divine Marilyn, an exhibition featuring 200 images by various photographers, opened in Paris; and a Monroe-themed pink gin was launched by Burleigh’s in the UK. Also in July, Marilyn graced the covers of France’s New Literary Magazine and Australian Women’s Weekly. Marilyn’s only half-sister, Berniece Baker Miracle, celebrated her 100th birthday; and Canadian crime writer Howard Engel, who began his career with a bit part in Niagara, died aged 88.

August marked the 57th anniversary of Marilyn’s death, with a 3-part TV investigation, Scandalous, and a podcast series. Also this month, Marilyn made the cover of Ireland’s Social & Personal magazine, and the Atlanta Jewish Times. The Munro clan of Moray revealed DNA evidence of Marilyn’s Scottish heritage, while cabaret artist Viviana Zarbo staged a musical tribute to Marilyn at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

September marked 65 years since Marilyn filmed the iconic ‘subway scene‘ from The Seven Year Itch. Also this month, The Goddess and the Girl Next Door – John William Law’s book about the making of Something’s Got to Give – was published, and Marilyn graced the cover of an all-star monograph, Hollywood Book Club. She was ranked No. 1 in a British magazine special, 100 Greatest Movie Icons, while four of her iconic film costumes were displayed at London’s May Fair Hotel, and featured in The Lady magazine. An adaptation of her unfinished memoir, Marilyn: Confession Inachevée, was staged in Paris. And film historian Rudy Behlmer (author of A Memo to Darryl F. Zanuck), photographer Robert Frank, and actress Carol Lynley all passed away.

In October, Marilyn took eighth place in the annual Forbes Top-Earning Dead Celebrities poll, with her estate declaring a $13 million profit this year. A new picture book, Biographic: Marilyn, was published; and rock star Debbie Harry revealed how Marilyn influenced Blondie in her memoir, Face It. A staged reading of Marilyn, Mom & Me – Luke Yankee’s play about Marilyn’s friendship with Bus Stop co-star Eileen Heckart – was held in Los Angeles, while Prism, Terry Johnson’s play about Marilyn’s favourite cameraman, Jack Cardiff, toured theatres in the UK. Also this month, Diahann Carroll – the trailblazing singer and actress who performed alongside Marilyn at the star-studded gala for President Kennedy – and Robert Evans, who missed out on a part in Let’s Make Love before reinventing himself as one of Hollywood’s greatest producers, both died.

In November, Marilyn’s ‘Heat Wave’ costume from There’s No Business Like Show Business was sold for $280,000 in a dedicated sale at Julien’s Auctions. Also at Julien’s this month, a baseball signed by Marilyn and Joe DiMaggio fetched $137,500; and in New York, her Jewish menorah was sold for $90,000. An exhibition of Marilyn’s personal property – including items from the collections of Greg Schreiner and Scott Fortner – was held at the Blancpain boutique in Manhattan, and a Marilyn figurine was launched at Funko Pop‘s new Hollywood store.

Also in November, a special edition of All About Eve was released by the Criterion Collection, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was included in the Musicals! season at London’s BFI. The Seven Year Itch was featured in a TCM book, Cinematic Cities: New York, and a mural inspired by Warhol’s Marilyn was unveiled in Chicago. On the magazine front, Military History Quarterly published a cover story about Marilyn’s 1954 tour of Korea; and she was also profiled in UK quarterly The Chap. And veteran character actor Michael J. Pollard, who worked with Marilyn at the Actors Studio, passed away.

And finally, in December Yours Retro published a cover story about Marilyn’s first marriage. The elegant brown suit worn by Marilyn in Love Nest was sold for $30,000 at Profiles in History, while rare modelling photos of a 19 year-old Norma Jeane, taken by Paul Parry in 1946, went under the hammer at Bonham’s. US clothing brand L’Agence launched a range inspired by Bert Stern’s images of Marilyn. Film historian Cari Beauchamp wrote about the Hollywood Studio Club, where Marilyn lived as a starlet, for Vanity Fair. And actress Natalie Trundy – the wife of Marilyn’s press agent, Arthur P. Jacobs – and director Jack Garfein, another friend from the Actors Studio, both died in December.

2018: A Year in Marilyn Headlines

With high-profile auctions, global exhibitions, plus new biographies and movie restorations, music and theatre, 2018 has been another busy year for Marilyn fans – and we’ve reported it all here at ES Updates..,

In January, Making Sense of Marilyn by Dr Andrew Norman was published, and Arthur Miller’s archives were acquired by the University of Texas. How to Marry a Millionaire was screened at Picturehouse cinemas across the UK, and plans for a TV mini-series based on Sebastien Cauchon’s novel, Marilyn 1962, were announced. Also in January, Dr Mathilde Krim – a pioneering AIDS researcher who hosted the party after President Kennedy’s birthday gala in 1962 – and actress Greta Thyssen, who began her career as Marilyn’s body double in Bus Stop, both passed away.

In February, ‘How Wrong Can I Be’, a little-known track recorded by Marilyn in 1948, was featured in the Oscar-winning film, The Shape of Water. Feminist art historian Griselda Pollock gave a lecture in Madrid about Marilyn’s relationship with Arthur Miller, and Bus Stop, the William Inge play upon which Marilyn’s 1956 hit movie was based, was reissued in paperback. And Marilyn was portrayed in a new Venice Beach mural by street artist Jonas Never.

In March, Don’t Bother to Knock was released on Blu-Ray, and a new documentary, Arthur Miller: Writer, had its premiere on US television. Marilyn was also featured in Battleground Korea, a box-set tribute to America’s forgotten war. In France, she graced the covers of two magazine specials: a Paris Match retrospective on the year she died, 1962; and Elle’s Women Who Changed History. Alfred Newman’s instrumental score for The Seven Year Itch was released on vinyl, and Anglo-Irish band Warsaw Radio released an MM-inspired single, ‘Ms. Monroe’. And perhaps Marilyn’s most eminent admirer, the world-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking died aged 76.

In April, It’s Me, Sugar – a short comedy depicting Marilyn’s travails on the set of Some Like It Hot – made its debut on UK television, and film scholar Mary Wild taught a three-part course, Projecting Marilyn, at London’s Freud Museum. Rare snapshots of a young Marilyn were sold at Heritage Auctions, and Marilyn, photographer Emily Berl’s monograph of lookalikes, was published. The Grammy-winning British singer Ed Sheeran covered ‘Candle in the Wind,’ and rock supergroup A Perfect Circle also referenced Marilyn. And Art Paul, who designed the first Playboy cover, died aged 93.

In May, The Girl – Michelle Morgan’s new book presenting Marilyn as an ‘unlikely feminist’ – was published. An exhibition of photos by Milton Greene, Up Close With Marilyn, opened in London. And Hollygrove, formerly the orphanage where Marilyn stayed as a child, hosted their 7th annual Norma Jean Gala, raising $400,000 for their youth projects in Los Angeles. And MM scholar Donald McGovern’s book, Murder Orthodoxies: A Non-Conspiracist’s View of Marilyn Monroe’s Death, was published.

June 1st marked what would be Marilyn’s 92nd birthday. Also this month, Marilyn Monroe: Timeless, a photographic exhibition, opened in Suffolk; and Ted Stampfer’s remarkable collection of Monroe’s personal property and memorabilia came to Finland. A black wool dress owned by Marilyn was sold at Julien’s Auctions, raising $50,000 for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. Seward Johnson’s giant sculpture, ‘Forever Marilyn, caused a stir in Stamford, Connecticut. Marilyn graced the covers of Yours Retro and American History, and was also featured in David Wills’ latest book, Hollywood Beach Beauties. Let’s Make Love was released on Blu-Ray, and There’s No Business Like Show Business was screened at Picturehouse cinemas across Britain. On the stage, Hollywood blacklist drama Fellow Travelers won praise in the Hamptons; Finishing the Picture – Arthur Miller’s last play, about the filming of The Misfits – had its European premiere in London; and Marilyn! The New Musical was launched in Las Vegas, but folded after just three weeks.  

In July, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes turned 65 as the acquisition of Twentieth Century Fox by Disney was finalised at $71.3 billion. Actress Sarah Paulson played a Monroe lookalike in a Prada commercial, and a New York bakery created a life-size cake inspired by Marilyn’s nude calendar pose.

In August, fans commemorated the 56th anniversary of Marilyn’s death. Charles Casillo’s new biography, Marilyn Monroe: The Private Life of a Public Icon, was published. And Essentially Marilyn, an exhibition of Marilyn’s clothes and movie costumes, opened at the Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles, ahead of a major auction.

In September, a 4K restoration of Some Like It Hot premiered at the Venice Film Festival, alongside M – Anna Eriksson’s horror film inspired by the Monroe myth – and Goodbye Marilyn, an animated short from Marie de Razza. The Misfits was staged for the first time at the Dublin Theatre Festival. Tommy Redolfi’s graphic novel, Marilyn’s Monsters, and Confidential Confidential, Samantha Barbas’ exposé of the notorious 1950s gossip  magazine, were published. ABG, the licensing arm of Marilyn’s estate, purchased rights to ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’ for $50,000. Also this month, actress Laurie Mitchell – a member of Sweet Sue’s band in Some Like It Hot – and Christopher Lawford, son of Peter and Patricia Kennedy Lawford, both passed away.

In October, film historian Cari Beauchamp retold the story behind Marilyn’s 1953 photo shoot with Harold Lloyd in an in-depth article for Alta Journal. Marilyn was also profiled in UK magazine History Revealed, and her penchant for Emilio Pucci’s colourful designs was featured in Yours Retro. Elisa Jordan’s book about Rockhaven, the pioneering California women’s sanatorium who treated patients including Marilyn’s mother Gladys, was published. A documentary about Henri Dauman – who photographed Marilyn during her New York years – premiered at the Hamptons Film Festival. And James Karen, once a classmate of Marilyn at the Actors Studio, died aged 94.

In November, Marilyn’s 1962 Golden Globe was sold for a record-breaking $250,000, and her black Ford Thunderbird for $490,000, as part of the Hollywood Icons and Idols sale at Julien’s. In New York, Marilyn-related correspondence was auctioned at Bonham’s; and Marilyn’s ‘Siddur’ (Jewish prayer book) sold for $26,000. The legendary Moon of Baroda diamond, modelled by Marilyn in 1953, sold for $1.3 million at Christie’s in China. Also this month, Marilyn graced the cover of ReMIND magazine. A special edition of Some Like It Hot was released on DVD and Blu-Ray by the Criterion Collection; and Marilyn’s performance was featured in a California exhibit, Coronado’s Golden Age of Film. And filmmaker Nicolas Roeg – whose acclaimed 1985 movie, Insignificance, featured his then-wife Theresa Russell as Marilyn – died aged 90.

Finally, in December the extensive collection of Maite Minguez Ricart went under the hammer at Profiles in History. A dedicated online sale featuring photos of Marilyn from 1945-62 was hosted by Julien’s Auctions. Ted Stampfer’s collection arrived in Speyer, Germany for the latest stop in a touring show, Marilyn Monroe: The Unknown. And Merry Marilyn, a festive exhibition, opened at the National Cinema Museum in Turin, Italy.

2017: A Year In Marilyn Headlines

In January, amateur footage from the set of The Seven Year Itch was uncovered, and Twentieth Century Fox launched a perfume range inspired by Marilyn’s movies. Buddy Greco – the jazz pianist and singer believed to have taken the last snapshots of Marilyn – passed away aged 90.

In February, Marilyn appeared in a TV ad for Cadillac, first aired during the 2017 Oscar ceremony. A new memoir by Patricia Bosworth, including reminiscences of Marilyn at the Actors Studio, was published. And New York’s iconic Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where Marilyn lived in 1955, finally closed its doors.

In March, Marilyn in Manhattan, Elizabeth Winder’s book about Marilyn’s first year in New York, was published. The All About Marilyn fan club launched a new weekly podcast, while film historian Karina Longworth presented a three-part special on Marilyn for her popular series, You Must Remember This. Marilyn’s infamous spat with Joan Crawford was recreated in TV’s Feud: Bette and Joan. Julien’s Auctions held an online photo sale, ‘Marilyn Through the Lens.’ Supermodel Karlie Kloss recreated ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’ for a Swarovski commercial, while Kendall Jenner posed Marilyn-style for Love magazine. James Rosenquist, one of the first artists to make Marilyn his muse, and Lola Albright, the first choice for Angela in The Asphalt Jungle, both passed away.

In April, Marilyn Monroe: Auction of a Lifetime – a documentary about the Julien’s sale of 2016 – was broadcast in the UK. Ella Queen of Jazz, a children’s book by Helen Hancocks about Ella Fitzgerald’s friendship with Marilyn, was published, marking the singer’s centenary. And Cecil Beaton’s 1956 portrait of Marilyn (her own favourite) was projected onto the Empire State Building, celebrating 150 years of Harper’s Bazaar.

In May, Marilyn made the cover of Yours Retro magazine, with an article inside by Michelle Morgan about her time in England. Actress Gillian Anderson appeared as Marilyn in TV’s American Gods. Unmissable Marilyn, an exhibition curated by collector Ted Stampfer, opened in Rome. Dinner With DiMaggio, a memoir of the baseball legend by Dr Rock Positano, was published; and James Spada, author of Monroe: A Life in Pictures, and Hollywood publicist Joe Hyams both passed away.

On June 1st, fans celebrated Marilyn’s 91st birthday. Also this month, her final home in Los Angeles was sold for $7.25 million. Some Like It Hot returned to theatres across the USA as part of the TCM Big Screen Classics series, and Marilyn graced the cover of a Saturday Evening Post special on the golden age of Hollywood. Her final days at Twentieth Century Fox were examined in a new book by French film historian Olivier Rajchman, while in Finland, a new fiction anthology, Marilyn, Marilyn, was published. And Bill Pursel, who befriended Marilyn in the late 1940s, reporter Gabe Pressman, and British collector David Gainsborough Roberts all passed away.

In July, the beaded ‘nude’ dress worn by Marilyn when she sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to President Kennedy – purchased by Ripley’s Entertainment in 2016 – started a world tour in Canada. Marilyn’s address books were published on Kindle. And actor Martin Landau, who befriended Marilyn in New York, plus Aleshia Brevard – the transgender impersonator who once performed for Marilyn herself – and film critic Barry Norman, who wrote and presented a 1979 documentary about Marilyn as part of his Hollywood Greats series, all passed away.

August marked the 55th anniversary of Marilyn’s death. In Los Angeles, Marilyn Remembered – the fan club which organises her annual memorial service at Westwood – celebrated its own 35th birthday with a series of events including a charity gala at Hollygrove, and a special screening of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes at the Chinese Theatre. The Immortal Marilyn fan club was also present, hosting a pool party for fans at the Avalon Hotel, and a toast to MM on Santa Monica Beach.

Also in August, original photographs of Marilyn by George Barris and others went under the hammer at dedicated auctions in New York and Los Angeles. Some Like It Hot topped a BBC poll of the 100 Greatest Comedy Films, and The Misfits was re-released in France. Twentieth Century Fox: A Century of Entertainment, a mammoth study of Marilyn’s home studio was published, and she also made the cover of Reminisce magazine. And comedian Jerry Lewis, who befriended Marilyn when she appeared on his radio show in 1953, passed away.

In September, The Essential Marilyn Monroe, a new retrospective of her work with photographer Milton Greene, was published. Another weighty tome, Marilyn Monroe’s Film Co-Stars From A to Z by David Alan Williams, was also released. Prism, Terry Johnson’s new play about cinematographer Jack Cardiff, opened in London, and Marilyn also featured in a new documentary, Magnum Through the Camera Eye. Wolf Alice singer Ellie Roswell paid homage to Marilyn in the ‘Beautifully Unconventional’ video. Versace reinvented the iconic ‘Marilyn dress’; and Montblanc launched a range of Monroe-inspired pens. Hugh Hefner, founder of the Playboy empire, died aged 91, and was buried in the crypt next to Marilyn at Westwood Memorial Park.

In October, Marilyn (as Sugar Kane in Some Like It Hot) graced one of 100 covers of UK magazine Total Film, and her favourite red taffeta and black lace gown went on display at the French Embassy in New York. Terry Johnson’s play, Insignificance, was revived in London, and lookalike Suzie Kennedy made a cameo appearance in Blade Runner 2049.

In November, a pair of gold-plated earrings worn by Marilyn in promotional shots for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was sold at Julien’s Auctions for $112,500. Marilyn: Her Untold Story, a magazine special, was published in the US. And gossip columnist Liz Smith, a longtime champion of Marilyn, died aged 94.

And in December, 21st Century Fox Entertainment – including Marilyn’s cache of classic films – was purchased by Disney for $52.4 billion.  Photos of Marilyn by Sam Shaw, Bert Stern and others went on display at the Galerie De L’Instant in Paris. A brief guide to one of Marilyn’s earliest movies, Love Happy, was published; and Richard Havers, author of Marilyn: A Life in Words, Pictures and Music, passed away.

2016: A Year In Marilyn Headlines

In January, exhibitions featuring Milton Greene and Douglas Kirkland’s photographs of Marilyn opened in London and Amsterdam. In New York, the Museum of Modern Art paid tribute to Marilyn’s choreographer, Jack Cole. Also this month, James Turiello’s book, Marilyn: The Quest for an Oscar, was published. And Edward Parone, assistant producer of The Misfits, died.

In February, Marilyn ‘starred’ with Willem Dafoe in a Snickers commercial for the US Superbowl. Monroe Sixer Jimmy Collins’ candid photographs were sold at Heritage Auctions, and the touring exhibition, Marilyn: Celebrating an American Icon, came to Albury, Australia.

Another major Australian exhibition, Twentieth Century Fox Presents Marilyn Monroe, featuring the collections of Debbie ReynoldsScott Fortner, Greg Schreiner and Maite Minguez Ricart – opened at the Bendigo Art Gallery in March. And Barbara Sichtermann’s book, Marilyn Monroe: Myth and Muse, was published in Germany.

In April, a special edition of Vanity Fair magazine – dedicated to MM – was published. A campaign to save Rockhaven, the former women’s sanitarium where Marilyn’s mother Gladys once lived – was launched. And actress Anne Jackson – wife of Eli Wallach, and friend to Marilyn – passed away.

In May, Marilyn graced the cover of a Life magazine special about ‘hidden Hollywood’, and Sebastien Cauchon’s novel, Marilyn 1962, was published in France. Cabaret singer Marissa Mulder’s one-woman show, Marilyn in Fragments, opened in New York, while Chinese artist Chen Ke unveiled Dream-Dew, a series of paintings inspired by Marilyn’s life story. The remarkable collection of David Gainsborough Roberts was displayed in London. Finally, Alan Young – the comedian and Mister Ed star, who befriended a young Marilyn – died.

June 1st marked what would be Marilyn’s 90th birthday. Also in June, New Yorkers were treated to an Andre de Dienes retrospective, Marilyn and the California Girls. An exhibition of the Ted Stampfer collection, Marilyn Monroe: The Woman Behind the Myth, opened in Turin, Italy. A new documentary, Artists in Love: Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe, was broadcast in the UK, while Australia honoured Marilyn with a commemorative stamp folder, and genealogists investigated Marilyn’s Scottish ancestry.

In July, the birthday celebrations continued in Marilyn’s Los Angeles hometown with tributes from painter David Bromley, and another Greene exhibition. A new musical, Marilyn!, opened in Glendale. Rapper Frank Ocean appeared alongside a Monroe impersonator in a Calvin Klein commercial. And Marni Nixon, the Hollywood soprano who sang the opening bars of ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’, passed away.

August 5th marked the 54th anniversary of Marilyn’s death. Also this month, it was announced that Seward Johnson’s ‘Forever Marilyn’ sculpture may return permanently to Palm Springs. April VeVea’s Marilyn Monroe: A Day in the Life was published, and Marilyn’s role in Niagara was featured in another Life magazine special, celebrating 75 years of film noir.

In September, Marilyn: Character Not Image – an exhibition curated by Whoopi Goldberg – opened in New Jersey. Terry Johnson’s fantasy play, Insignificance, was revived in Wales. Two locks of Marilyn’s hair were sold by Julien’s Auctions for $70,000. And author Michelle Morgan published The Marilyn Journal, first in a series of books chronicling the Marilyn Lives Society; and A Girl Called Pearl, a novel for children with a Monroe connection.

In October, Happy Birthday Marilyn – a touring showcase for the collection of Ted Stampfer – came to Amsterdam, while Marilyn: I Wanna Be Loved By You, a retrospective for some of her best photographers, opened in France. Marilyn Forever, Boze Hadleigh’s book of quotes, was published. Marilyn’s friendship with Ella Fitzgerald was depicted on the cult TV show, Drunk History. And on a sadder note, photographer George Barris, biographer John Gilmore, and William Morris agent Norman Brokaw all passed away this month.

In November, Marilyn’s ‘Happy Birthday Mr President‘ dress was sold for a record-breaking $4.8 million during a three-day sale at Julien’s Auctions, featuring items from the David Gainsborough Roberts collection, the Lee Strasberg estate, and many others including the candid photos of Monroe Sixer Frieda Hull. Also this month, comedienne Rachel Bloom spoofed ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’ in a musical sequence for her TV sitcom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. And Marilyn Monroe: Lost Photo Collection, a limited edition book featuring images by Milton Greene, Gene Lester and Allan ‘Whitey’ Snyder, was published.

Finally, in December the EYE Film Institute began a Marilyn movie season in Amsterdam. The Asphalt Jungle was released on Blu-Ray by Criterion. And actresses Zsa Zsa Gabor and Debbie Reynolds both passed away.

2015: A Year in Marilyn Headlines

In January, Marilyn was named as the ‘new face’ of Max Factor cosmetics. Also this month, Joe Franklin (Marilyn’s first biographer) and Anita Ekberg, a fellow blonde bombshell of the fifties, both passed away.

In February, New York Fashion Week included a Fall 2015 collection from Max Mara, inspired by Marilyn’s 1960s style. A hologram of multiple Marilyns appeared in the Oscars opening ceremony. Also this month, Richard Meryman – the last person to interview Marilyn – passed away.

In March, Marilyn was featured in a vintage-inspired ad campaign for Coca Cola. In book news, the long-awaited first volume of Holding A Good Thought For Marilyn, a two-part biography by Stacy Eubank, was published.

Marilyn Forever, an opera by Gavin Bryars, had its US premiere. And Marilyn: The Strength Behind the Legendary Monroe, showcasing the collection of Ted Stampfer, opened in Liechtenstein.

In April, a viral hoax news story, claiming that a CIA agent had made a deathbed confession to Marilyn’s murder, was debunked. Plans for a monument to Marilyn in South Korea were announced. And in book news, Fan Phenomena: Marilyn Monroe, edited by Marcelline Block, was published.

In May, Dr Cyril Wecht – one of the world’s most renowned forensic pathologists – gave an interview to Immortal Marilyn’s Marijane Gray, laying to rest some of the many myths about Marilyn’s death. Marilyn was the subject of two controversial TV shows: Autopsy – The Last Hours of Marilyn Monroe, a documentary; and The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, a mini-series based on J. Randy Taraborrelli’s biography, starring Kelli Garner.

On June 1 – Marilyn’s 89th birthday – the British Film Institute launched a month-long retrospective of Marilyn’s movies, and a nationwide reissue of The Misfits. Menswear designer Dries Van Noten used iconic images of Marilyn in his Spring 2016 collection. A benefit performance of Bombshell (the Marilyn-inspired musical subject of TV’s Smash) spurred plans for a full Broadway run. And Marilyn Monroe: Missing Moments, a summer-long exhibit, opened at the Hollywood Museum.

On June 29, Julien’s Auctions held a Hollywood Legends sale dedicated to Marilyn, and her floral dress from Something’s Got to Give sold for over $300,000. Sadly, it was also reported that the ‘Dougherty House’ in North Hollywood, where Marilyn lived from 1944-45, has been demolished – despite protests from local residents. And George Winslow, the former child actor who appeared in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, passed away.

In July, Before Marilyn: The Blue Book Modelling Years, a new book by Michelle Morgan, was published. Limited Runs launched the Red Velvet Collection, a US touring exhibition featuring Tom Kelley’s famous nude calendar shots of Marilyn, as well as rare photos by Gene Lester. In Los Angeles, the Andrew Weiss Gallery launched their own exhibition, Marilyn: The Making of a Legend, and published a catalogue, 17 Years.

In August, the Marilyn Remembered fan club’s annual memorial service was held at Westwood Memorial Park, marking the 53rd anniversary of Marilyn’s death. It was reported that hip hop producer Timbaland would sample ‘Down Boy’, a ‘lost’ song recorded by Marilyn for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. And the Daily Express published rare photos of a young Marilyn in Salinas.

In September, a large number of rare candid shots of Marilyn were auctioned by Profiles in History. A new exhibition, Becoming Jewish: Warhol’s Liz and Marilyn, opened in New York. And Norman Farberow, the psychologist who contributed to the first official report on Marilyn’s death in 1962 , passed away.

In October, Marilyn – in the Flash, David Wills’ stunning sequel to MM: Metamorphosis, was published. Members of Everlasting Star discovered rare photos of an early public appearance by Marilyn at the Hollywood Legion Stadium in 1947. October also marked Arthur Miller’s centenary, and the death of movie legend Maureen O’Hara.

In November, Marilyn’s blue gabardine suit from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was sold at Bonham’s for $425,000. Congressman Tony Cardenas introduced a bill to rename a Van Nuys post office after Marilyn. Cartier unveiled a new ad, featuring a diamond-themed homage to Marilyn. And the Writers’ Guild of America voted Some Like it Hot as the second funniest screenplay of all time.

And finally … in December, Marilyn-related items from the collection of Dame Joan Collins were sold at Julien’s Auctions, and Ferragamo launched a capsule collection featuring a Marilyn-inspired shoe. Over in Toronto, the TIFF Cinematheque launched a season of movies starring Marilyn and her greatest Hollywood rival, Elizabeth Taylor.

2014: A Year in Marilyn Headlines

In January, Newsweek published a special issue, Marilyn Monroe: The Lost Scrapbook. Photographer Larry Schiller claimed to own a scrapbook given to Sam Shaw by Marilyn, though expert readers noted the handwriting was dissimilar to her usual style.

Also this month, Unclaimed Baggage – a documentary about ‘the unclaimed trunk of MM‘ – was screened on European television, and George Jacobs, valet to Frank Sinatra, died aged 87.

In February, Life published The Loves of Marilyn, another magazine special with text by J.I. Baker (author of a conspiracy novel, The Empty Glass.) Many fans were surprised to see the widely discredited Robert Slatzer listed among Marilyn’s alleged paramours. It has since been republished in hardback.

Also this month, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences acquired an archive of 58,000 pictures by press photographer Nat Dallinger. His photos of Marilyn at the Let’s Make Love press conference were featured in the Hollywood Reporter. And archive footage of Marilyn was featured in Bob Dylan’s Chrysler ad, screened during America’s Superbowl.

In March, Icon: the Life Times and Films of Marilyn Monroe – Volume I, 1926-1956 was publishedMarilyn also graced the cover of Julien’s 90210 Spring Auction catalogue, and was the subject of another magazine special, part of the ‘Etoiles du Cinema‘ series in France.

Stanley Rubin, producer of River of No Return, died aged 96, and William Carroll, one of the first photographers to work with Marilyn, also passed away. Bob Thomas, the veteran Hollywood columnist who reported Joan Crawford’s verbal attack on Marilyn back in 1953, died aged 92.

Playboy re-released its very first issue – with Marilyn as its cover girl and centrefold – in April, as part of an ongoing celebration of the magazine’s 60th anniversary. And a collection of Elia Kazan’s private correspondence – including a 1955 letter to his wife, Molly, regarding his prior relationship with Marilyn – was also published.

Also in April, Hollywood legend Mickey Rooney (Marilyn’s co-star in The Fireball) died aged 93. And Pharrell Williams released his hit single, ‘Marilyn Monroe’.

In May, make-up artist Marie Irvine shared her memories of Marilyn with readers of the Daily Mail. AmfAR, the world’s leading charity for AIDS research, held a ‘Red Marilyn’-themed fundraising ball during the Cannes Film Festival.

June 1st marked what would have been Marilyn’s 88th birthday. Also in June, actor Eli Wallach, Marilyn’s friend and co-star, died aged 98. An archive of ‘lost’ Milton Greene photos was auctioned in Poland, and a revised, updated edition of Carl Rollyson’s MM: A Life of the Actress was published.

In July, Some Like it Hot was re-released in UK cinemas, winning a 5-star review in The Guardian. Sadly, several people with connections to Marilyn passed away in July, including psychic Kenny Kingston, journalist Robert Stein, and actors James Garner and Elaine Stritch. Meanwhile one of Marilyn’s old haunts – the Racquet Club in Palm Springs – was engulfed by fire.

August marked the 52nd anniversary of Marilyn’s death, with a live stream of the annual memorial service in Los Angeles. Also this month,  Lauren Bacall, Marilyn’s co-star in How to Marry a Millionaire, died aged 89; and Tom Tierney, ‘Marilyn’s paper doll artist’, also passed away.

In September, Newsweek published a cover feature exposing the many inaccuracies in C. David Heymann’s posthumously-released Joe and Marilyn: Legends in Love. And TV Guide released a special issue dedicated to Marilyn, part of their ‘American Icons’ series.

Several rare photos of Marilyn were featured in Profiles in History’s Hollywood Auction 65 catalogue, while Britain’s Daily Express published a special supplement about Marilyn’s tragic death, as part of a ‘Historic Front Pages’ series.

Also this month, self-confessed ‘Marilyn Geek’ Melinda Mason launched a new exhibition at the Wellington County Museum in Ontario, Canada; and the chameleon-like actor John Malkovich posed as Marilyn for photographer Sandro Miller.

In October,  A retrospective for photographer Nickolas Muray opened in Genoa, Italy. Carl Rollyson’s latest book, Marilyn Monroe Day by Day, was published.

A rather sensationalised documentary about Marilyn’s mysterious death – Marilyn: Missing Evidence – was broadcast in the UK. Her death was also the subject of a cover feature in the US magazine, Closer.

Also this month, Kelli Garner was cast as Marilyn in Lifetime’s upcoming mini-series, The Secret Life of MM.

In November, Gary Vitacco-Robles’ Icon: The Life, Times and Films of MM – Volume II, 1956-1962 and Beyond was published, earning a rave review from columnist Liz Smith. Fansite Immortal Marilyn published a series of myth-busting articles at Buzzfeed. And Anna Strasberg, current owner of Marilyn’s estate, lost a lawsuit against Profiles in History, regarding a so-called ‘letter of despair‘ from Marilyn to Lee Strasberg.

In December, items from ‘the lost archive of Marilyn Monroe‘ sold for high prices at Julien’s Auctions. Marilyn graced the cover of Esquire‘s Colombian edition, and a new CD boxset, Diamonds, was released. Finally, photographer Phil Stern died aged 95.