57 Years Without Marilyn.

Tonight marks 57 years since Marilyn left us – her body was found by her housekeeper in the early hours of August 5th and it was officially announced to the world that morning. Every year I try and write about Marilyn on both her Birthday and her Anniversary, each time I make sure to focus on one particular thing – to celebrate and appreciate her for the amazing person she truly was.

So many people and society tend to view Marilyn as a victim, passed around from man to man and used throughout her lifetime. This both angers and frustrates not just me, but many fans, who have spent years taking the time to research legitimate sources and find out who Marilyn herself was. Often her death is viewed as a conspiracy fueled gossip loving debate, so much so that she ends up no longer seeming like a young woman anymore, but an object of fascination.

It seems to me that it’s easier for people to believe in the distasteful lies and conspiracies that surround not just Marilyn, but many other celebrities and icons before and after her. People cannot comprehend someone as beautiful, talented and loved as her to have any demons or hardships. It almost seems like it’s frowned upon to listen to the doctors original death verdict – which was, “probable suicide” as depression can’t always be comprehended or accepted by others. It also doesn’t continue to sell hundreds of books and trashy articles like conspiracies and salacious stories do and sadly, that’s what so many seem to care more about. In the end Marilyn ends up being turned into a former shadow of her true self, which is just not acceptable to me and so many others – therefore, I will continue to try and dispel the lies and bring back her true character.

Furthermore, Marilyn’s death does not define her – intended or accidental it is still and will always be a tragedy, but, it does not take away from her 36 years of life and the achievements she made during and after her lifetime.  Marilyn was a voice for the underdog, incredibly ahead of her time she defied gender stereotypes and was never afraid to be honest and speak out about taboo topics such as sexuality, abuse and the pay gap. She was also the third Actress to set up her own Film Production Company – Mary Pickford and Mabel Normand did so in 1916.

Marilyn constantly tried to improve herself as a human and an artist, she suffered immensely for her creativity, always wanting to be the best actress she could become. She was very self conscious of her limited education and loved to read and learn about a variety of subjects – her library had over four hundred books on it’s shelves varying from Psychology to Russian Literature! She loved the simple things in life, such as walking around Brooklyn, caring for animals, listening to music and spending time with loved ones. Ultimately, this was the real Marilyn, the person that so often gets lost in the publicity of hearsay and money making headlines.

I truly hope that whenever a person comes across Marilyn, they take a few moments to discover the real her, the person behind the Blonde Bombshell persona. It’s so easy to see a headliner or false image and believe an inaccurate presentation of a famous person. I may be a little biased, but I can honestly say that feelings aside, Marilyn was truly an incredible woman, brave, generous, kind and strong, someone who just wanted to make the world a little brighter. Plus, even if all of these ridiculous, continuously disproven myths miraculously ended up being true, it would not change my the amount of respect or adoration I have for her.

So many associate sexual promiscuity, addiction and stupidity with Marilyn and honestly, it not only saddens me but I find it incredibly, infuriating. Firstly, even half a century later, the amount of sexism and double standards that still exist in our society is simply disgusting. Therefore, I’d like to touch on each one of these so called flaws and share the facts behind the assumptions.

Did Marilyn have an affair? Yes, she did – with Actor Yves Montand during the making of Let’s Make Love in 1960 – not with the often noted, John F. Kennedy. In reality, they only met a less than juicy four times from 1960 and three of them were at public events. Yet as always, the woman is shamed and condemned – even if the hearsay comes about years after her death by people simply wanting to make some money. I would say that a huge amount of Stars in Hollywood had affairs during their careers, no judgement here, I’m just stating the facts. However, why is it Marilyn that is constantly criticized, judged and linked to every man in and out of Hollywood? In reality she spoke out multiple times about the peril of the, “Hollywood Wolves” and actually lost out on a contract renewal with Columbia Head Harry Cohn for turning down a proposition. Lastly, if she had slept with every single person that she’s been associated with, she’d never have had time to have such a successful career and three marriages.

Was Marilyn an addict? Yes, she was addicted to prescription medications such as Chloral Hydrate and Nembutal, which she would take for her depression, crippling anxiety and insomnia.  Medical negligence was extremely high in the heyday of Hollywood and if you were famous and had problems, they could often be taken advantage of instead of resolved. Personally, I don’t know why being an addict gives others the right to condemn, judge, shame and insult someone suffering from this terrible sickness? If anything there should be compassion and understanding, we are all only human and the stigma needs to stop.

Was Marilyn just a, “Dumb Blonde”? No, but for some bizarre reason to me, people seem to not be able to understand that an Actor is performing a role, the character you’re seeing on the screen is just that – a character. However, because Marilyn was able to create such a convincing persona, people could not accept that in reality, she loved to be in her capri pants, with no makeup on, sitting at home reading a good book. Even during her lifetime, her acting was usually only appreciated when she took on dramatic roles, such as in Bus Stop (1956) and The Misfits (1961). Honestly, I don’t know why a persons intelligence has any influence in how they should be viewed and treated by others and I actually think if Marilyn had been less intelligent, she would have been a lot happier.

I think a lot of people forget that Marilyn was actually a real person, just like you and me, a human that graced us with her presence on this Earth. Someone as beautiful, wonderful and pure of heart like her really existed and with such a judgmental and prejudicial society like ours, it can sometimes be hard to accept this. Just because Marilyn’s no longer here in a physical presence, doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve the same respect that we’d give to others. She gave a hell of a lot to this world in just a small amount of time, her contributions to Hollywood and for women are legendary and should be appreciated and shared.

Wherever you are sweet Marilyn, I hope you feel the love and kind words so many of us only wish we could say to you. You’ve given so much happiness to millions of people, this girl especially and we truly love and appreciate you for being undoubtedly your true self.

“But when you’re famous you kind of run into human nature in a raw kind of way. It stirs up envy, fame does. People you run into feel that, well, who is she who does she think she is, Marilyn Monroe? They feel fame gives them some kind of privilege to walk up to you and say anything to you, you know, of any kind of nature and it won’t hurt your feelings.”

– Marilyn to Richard Meryman for LIFE Magazine published on August 17th 1962.

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Happy 91st Birthday Marilyn!

Today marks the Birth Date of probably my favourite human who ever blessed the Earth with their presence, the beautiful soul that was Marilyn Monroe. As she left it at such a young age, it’s almost incomprehensible to believe that she would be ninety one years old if she was still alive.

Each year I like to pay tribute to my angel by writing about the incredible person she was, the unique life she lived and all of her accomplishments in such a short space of time. I feel as a devoted fan of Marilyn’s that it is my duty to help spread the truth about this beautiful soul, by aiming to let society learn about the real woman she was and to not be influenced by the unsubstantiated conspiracies and myths.

Therefore, instead of writing my usual styled posts on my favourite girl, I have decided to be slightly more creative and this time share a number of anecdotes that you may or may not know about Marilyn. In doing this, I hope that it will give you an insight into the kindhearted soul she was and hopefully you will take a moment to think about her on this very special day. 

When Marilyn was a little girl and occasionally spent time with her mother, Gladys, she noticed a photo of a dark haired man with a mustache displayed in her home. The man bared a similar resemblance to one of her favourite Movie Stars; Clark Gable and Norma Jeane Baker liked to think of him as her father. She had loved going to the cinema ever since she was a child and must have seen Clark on the big screen many times. In reality, this man was Marilyn’s actual father – Charles Stanley Gifford, who had been seeing Gladys before she became pregnant. Ultimately, he never acknowledged Marilyn as his own and they never had any relationship.

On a happier note, many years later in November 1954, Marilyn would finally fulfill her childhood dream of meeting Gable at Romanoff’s, where The Seven Year Itch Wrap Party was being held in her honour. They danced with one another and shared how they would both love to work together, with Gable telling Marilyn, “You have the magic.” This wish would eventually happen in 1960, with The Misfits generally being cited as one of their best performances.

During Marilyn’s first marriage to James Dougherty, she noticed a cow on it’s own, standing in the rain. Deeply upset about this, when Jimmy returned home he saw his wife desperately trying to bring the cow inside the house, even asking him to help her do so. Jimmy’s nephew, Wes Kanteman recounted to Author Michelle Morgan about this sweet memory saying,

The cow was a young Jersey Heffer that had beautiful eyes and Norma Jeane used to stand by her pen and just stare at her, remarking at how pretty she was. Then the torrential rain came one night and the cow was standing by the fence and Norma Jeane used to stand by her pen and just stare at her, remarking at how pretty she was. Then the torrential rain came one night and the cow was standing by the fence and Norma Jeane and apparently thought she wanted in so she opened the gate and was going to bring her into to the house. After much conversation about the matter, Uncle Jim convinced her that she belonged in her pen and Norma Jeane finally gave in and it was over, but she still thought that the cow would have been better off in the living room.”

On 1st June 1952, Marilyn turned 26 years old and celebrated by finding out she had landed the coveted role of Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, beating out the previous Top Blonde at 20th Century Fox – Betty Grable. She was to be starring opposite Jane Russell, who would be receiving $100,000 dollars compared to Marilyn’s contract salary of $500 per week  – shocking, I know. Still, Marilyn didn’t complain and put her heart and soul into making one of her most iconic movies. However, when Marilyn found out she didn’t even have her own dressing room, despite being the star of the film, she finally spoke out and recalled this story to Journalist Richard Meryman for LIFE Magazine, which was released two days before her death in August 1962.

“I remember when I got the part in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Jane Russell – she was the brunette in it and I was the blonde. She got $200,000 for it, and I got my $500 a week, but that to me was, you know, considerable. She, by the way, was quite wonderful to me. The only thing was I couldn’t get a dressing room. Finally, I really got to this kind of level and I said, “Look, after all, I am the blonde, and it is Gentlemen Prefer Blondes!” Because still they always kept saying, “Remember, you’re not a star.” I said, “Well, whatever I am, I am the blonde!” And I want to say to the people, if I am a star, the people made me a star. No studio, no person, but the people did.”

Marilyn was a huge lover of animals and during her life owned quite a few pets, from dogs, to cats and even two parakeets called Butch and Bobo. During her time in New York she adopted a cat and to Marilyn’s delight, she became pregnant. She was so happy and looked after the beloved pet dearly, reading up on how to care for her during the pregnancy, repeatedly ringing her maid to check on how she was doing and spoiling her with treats. When the labour finally came during the middle of the night, Marilyn rang her good friend Norman Rosten, asking him to come over and help to which he politely declined and went back to sleep.

He later said, “There was never a more spoiled prenatal cat in feline history.

Marilyn was known to be extremely generous, even saying in her last interview, “I don’t understand why people aren’t a little more generous with another.” and it’s most definitely fair to say she followed what she believed in. Her giving nature didn’t just involve her friends, even acquaintances received this kind treatment as retold by Author Donald Spoto.

Maggie Banks, an assistant choreographer, recalled that a wife of a company electrician was seriously ill. “I saw Marilyn hand the man a roll of bills; he started to cry, and Marilyn just hugged him and walked away.” Likewise, Evelyn Moriarty never forgot that Marilyn anonymously donated one thousand dollars to defray the funeral expenses of a crew member’s wife.”

Marilyn famously said, “I only know I want to be wonderful.” and I think it’s definitely fair to say, although she may not have achieved true happiness, she the utmost worthy of being called wonderful.

Happy Birthday beautiful, I think of you daily and I love you dearly. ♡

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53 Years Without Marilyn.

Officially, August 5th 1962 marks the death of an incredibly beautiful soul, Marilyn Monroe. Technically, Marilyn died around 10pm on the night of August 4th, but she was found in the early hours of the 5th and that is classed as her official day of death.

Marilyn's first assignment as a Hostess at an Idusty Show for The Blue Book Modelling Agency in 1945.
Marilyn’s first assignment as a Hostess at an Industy Show for The Blue Book Modelling Agency in 1945.

Sadly over the years, so much fascination and conspiracy has became attached to Marilyn’s death that it can be incredibly hard for fans to talk about. I, like many, like to focus on her amazing life and what she achieved. Personally, it’s sad to say that so many people love conspiracies and controversy and when a person is no longer with us, it’s easy to sell and tarnish their name. Marilyn had a history of suicide attempts and without the likes of Arthur Miller, Natasha Lytess and Paula Strasberg, she may have left us a lot earlier. However, I firmly believe that her death was an accident, primarily down to Medical Negligence. If you follow my Marilyn Tumblr or have read my previous post on Marilyn, you’ll know how little time I have for slandering or Marilyn, I stick with substance and legitimate research.

Marilyn by Richard Miller in 1946.
Marilyn by Richard Miller in 1946.

I don’t want this post to focus on Marilyn’s death, I wanted to write this post to emphasize what an incredible impact one person has made on so many people. Over fifty years after her death, Marilyn thankfully, shows no signs of going anywhere. Although some would say her name and image is being exploited for money, I am thankful to say that there are so many people out there that absolutely adore this beautiful lady. Thanks to Marilyn I have met so many special people, she has given me so much and has helped me through a lot of personal struggles.

Marilyn by Andre de Dienes in August 1949.
Marilyn by Andre de Dienes in August 1949.

Since finding Marilyn at aged 17 in October 2010, I have made it my aim to see past the beautiful Bombshell image and learn about what a sweet, kind, gentle, witty person Marilyn was. When I think of Marilyn, I always think of her as a Beautiful Soul, not only was her beauty breathtaking, but her nature and heart were just as special. Some may say I am biased and that’s fair enough, I probably am, however, I do admit that even someone as amazing as Marilyn had her flaws. But to me, this makes her even more unique and I embrace and accept her as she really was.

Marilyn by David Cicero in 1951.
Marilyn by David Cicero in 1951.

Sadly, so many people see Marilyn as a Tragic Figure, who died young and didn’t have much to offer other than a pretty face and figure. This is because Society seems to find it hard to grasp that a beautiful woman can be so much more than that, we all have to learn to never judge a book  by it’s cover. Marilyn was always striving to learn and improve herself, an avid reader, she could put us all to shame with her extensive library of over 400 books, ranging from Russian Literature to Psychology. She suffered with Mental Illnesses; Anxiety and  Depression and she was also plagued with Insomnia and Endometriosis. Yet, during her career, she never let any of these fears or illnesses stand in her way, anyone who watches her on film would not think for a second of how much emotional pain she went through. When she passed, so many people couldn’t understand how a beautiful, young and successful lady could take her own life – at the time Marilyn’s death was listed as, “Probable Suicide.”

Marilyn at The Foreign Press Association of Hollywoods First International Film Festival on January 26th 1952.
Marilyn at The Foreign Press Association of Hollywoods First International Film Festival on January 26th 1952.

When I found Marilyn in October 2010, through reading Vanity Fair magazine – she was on the cover and the article was publicizing the wonderful book, Fragments, little did I know that I was months away from a Nervous Breakdown. My Anxiety and Depression became so bad that I could no longer go to Sixth Form and I was suffering from Panic Attacks, I was on the verge of becoming Agoraphobic. However, through Marilyn, I found comfort and ultimately, a Guardian Angel. I could watch her films and read about her and I wouldn’t feel so alone and hopeless, even when she was in this depths of despair – she always had hope.

Marilyn by Milton Greene in 1954.
Marilyn by Milton Greene in 1954.

“I believe in myself, even my most delicate, intangible feelings.” – Fragments.

“I will be as sensitive as I am, without being ashamed of it.” – Fragments.

“Maybe I’ll never be able to do what I hope to, but at least I have hope.” – Love, Marilyn
 
“I think you’ve got to love people, all kinds of people, to be able to have an opinion about them that’s worth anything. The whole idea of judging people is crazy. We do what we have to do, and we pay for it. We’re no better than we have to be. We can try to be better, and part of trying is not to condemn other people.” – to Journalist W.J. Weatherby in 1960.

Marilyn by Hal Berg in 1955.
Marilyn by Hal Berg in 1955.

In August 2012, it was to be Marilyn’s Fiftieth Anniversary and an incredible Marilyn Fan Club; Immortal Marilyn, were arranging a five day Marilyn themed event in Hollywood. I dreamed with all of my heart of going to Hollywood, placing my Hand Prints in Marilyn’s, visiting her Crypt at Westwood Memorial Park and visiting her Home. However, I thought it was an impossible task, emotionally, 2011 had been the hardest of my life so far. My Mental Health was so bad that I couldn’t go to University and I was very lonely and cynical about my life. Thankfully, I had the wonderful support and understanding of my parents and as always, Marilyn was my light in the dark. My parents knew how important this would be for me and a huge step in my recovery and very kindly arranged for me to go with my wonderful Mum.

Marilyn by Sam Shaw in 1957.
Marilyn by Sam Shaw in 1957.

To prepare for the trip my Dad had to drive me to the Airport multiple times to get me used to the idea and prepare me. I was having Therapy weekly also, but we all still didn’t know if I would be able to do this. When the day came – August 1st 2012, I was absolutely terrified, but I kept thinking of Marilyn and all that she had went through, as depressing as it sounds, I wasn’t living a life at the time and this was my hope, my chance to achieve something important to me and start recovering, that’s how I managed to do it. 

Marilyn at Nikita Kruschevs Luncheon at Twentieth Century Fox in September 1959.
Marilyn at Nikita Kruschev’s Luncheon at Twentieth Century Fox in September 1959.

Since October 2010, I have built up a blog dedicated to Marilyn, on Tumblr and Instagram called, alwaysmarilynmonroe. Marilyn has done so much for me, I’ve made so many amazing friends and moved forward so much since those horrible days in 2011. I bet wherever Marilyn is she would find it astounding to realize the impact she has had on society, on so many people and myself. Her star shows no signs of diminishing and frankly, it never should.

Marilyn by Erich Hartmann filming The Misfits in 1960.
Marilyn by Erich Hartmann filming The Misfits in 1960.

Marilyn achieved so much in her thirty six years, she was one of the first women to created her own Production Company in Hollywood. She spoke candidly and always looked for equality, she was very ahead of her time and I’m so thankful that she blessed us with her presence. I bet the Norma Jeane Baker, born illegitimate in a time of prejudice, with no father to support her and a mother who suffered incredibly through most of her life with Paranoid Schizophrenia, never thought she would become the worlds most loved Movie Star. She had many different homes, one of them being an Orphanage and after the first seven years of her life with The Bolender Family, never felt stability or love. She grew up dreaming that Clark Gable was her father and could she have imagined, she was to star with him in her last completed film, The Misfits.

Marilyn at the Golden Globe Awards were she received, "World Female Favourite" award in March 1962.
Marilyn at the Golden Globe Awards were she received, “World Female Favourite” award in March 1962.

Links:

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“I cannot say goodbye. Marilyn never liked goodbyes, but in the peculiar way she had of turning things around so that they faced reality – I will say au revoire. For the country to which she has gone, we must all someday visit. – Lee Strasberg’s Eulogy for Marilyn on 8th August 1962.

Magazines covering Marilyn's death in August 1962.
Magazines covering Marilyn’s death in August 1962.

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