Any devoted Marilyn fan will most definitely know the name, MichelleMorgan – for reference, she is generally accepted as the best MM Biographer out there (and there’s a lot.) She published her first Marilyn Book, Marilyn’s Addresses (1995), which followed a unique concept of documenting important places the Movie Star visited and/or lived during her lifetime. Over twenty five years later, Michelle has gone on to release nine (!) books on the world’s most famous Blonde Bombshell.
Which of course, leads me to paraphrase the iconic line spoken by Marilyn as Sugar Kane in Some Like It Hot (1959),
“That’s (just over) a quarter of a century, make’s a girl think.”
Never disappointed by Wilder’s wise words, it really does make a none Marilyn/Hollywood Enthusiast contemplate, “What could possibly need to be written about arguably the most famous woman of the 20th Century that hasn’t already been said?” The short answer – a hell of a lot.
As I unintentionally continue to stick to metaphors involving books, it’s universally regarded you should never judge one by the cover. Sadly, almost sixty years after Marilyn passed, so many still view her as just a pretty cover, therefore neglecting to read the numerous written pages. Thankfully, readers are blessed to have an Author like Michelle, who sees far beyond the image and salaciously fulled, downright slander and delves into the incredible life story of a young woman, that is in reality, largely unknown.
Not only has she managed to do that quite beautifully and in a non-biased way I might add, in the must read, Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed (2012). Michelle has continued to dive even further into the underappreciated and overlooked parts of her life with a plethora of books. Therefore, the beautiful image the world knows and loves, has slowly but surely, been able to restore into a real human being with sensitivity, bravery, talent and emotion.
If you’re already a fan of Michelle’s work then there’s no doubt you’ve probably read this wonderful archive of books, she has so literally devoted years of her life to creating. However, if you’ve been living under a Marilyn hidden rock, then I shall quote another incredible human – albeit a CGI one at that,
“You’re Welcome.” – Maui.
When Marilyn Met The Queen features 11 Chapters, kicking off right bang in the Summer of 1956. It delves into the huge preparation of setting up Pre-Production of The Prince and The Showgirl (1957) – referred to as The Sleeping Prince throughout as that’s the original title of the Terrance Rattigan Play.
Michelle goes into serious detail within each page, enthralling the reader with numerous anecdotes from witnesses and often unheard accounts of the overall atmosphere that swept England from July to November 1956. Over 65 years have passed since this time period and yet the memories live forever etched in the minds of those fortunate to treasure them, further showing the significance and impact of Marilyn and her worldwide Movie Star status.
Within each section, Michelle recounts Marilyn’s time in England virtually day to day, with every date/event being documented and the overall feeling analysed and delved into for the reader. Sometimes it’s almost as if you’re a bystander yourself jumping into the pages, none more so if you actually happen to live in England like myself!
Often when reading a Biography, you can almost feel a sense of anxiety, as you care deeply enough for the person it’s about, to take the time to read it, yet you can’t always sense the Writer’s motive or overall goal surrounding the subject matter. I find myself wanting the truth and always that, but a respect that is maintained not just for the Star of the book – in this case Marilyn, but for all those involved.
Point in case, if you know anything substantial about Marilyn, then you’ll know her lateness was almost legendary and needless to say, it understandably did not always go down well with Production, especially with Laurence Olivier and in England. However, what you might not know is Marilyn suffered with severe anxiety, crippling self doubt in her artistic ability and agonizing endometriosis, as well as insomnia and prescription pill addiction. Michelle also takes time to point out Marilyn’s apology to the entire cast and crew and shares how she offered each person a farewell gift before departing England.
Michelle manages to expertly share all the huge strains of creating The Prince and The Showgirl (1957) – and it’s very easy to read it was no easy task whatsoever, yet she continues to maintain honesty and empathy for every single person involved – always.
She manages to view the chaos through each individuals eyes and shares all the emotions and thoughts with sincerity, whilst keeping a neutral stance. Furthermore, Michelle continues to dispel rumours that have at times weaved their way into Marilyn’s life, so much so that they are often believed as fact.
She completely disproves Third Assistant Director Colin Clark’s infamous account of his, “relationship” with Marilyn, which was brought to worldwide attention after his book was turned into a movie, My Week With Marilyn (2011) by providing factual evidence of Marilyn’s whereabouts on said specific dates and opinions regarding his, “memories” from witnesses that were actually present during the making of the film.
From Pre-Production of The Prince and The Showgirl, to the exhaustive making and completion of the movie, Michelle continuously maintains hope and a lighthearted warmth within every chapter. It was very rewarding to read so many new anecdotes that, even after having Marilyn in my life for over a decade, I had yet to have heard before! Without spoiling any surprises, my two favourites include a lot of bicycles and a certain newborn fish during Marilyn’s stay, I’ll be sure to keep those two in my Marilyn trivia!
The final chapters detail the highlight of Marilyn’s time in England – meeting Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Command Performance and the release of The Prince and The Showgirl. She also discusses the final meeting between Laurence Olivier and Marilyn in early 1957, which thankfully was a lot less stressful than the actual filming. She also manages a quick, but respectful summary of Marilyn’s last six years and ultimately, her tragic death.
In all honesty I simply dream of Michelle writing a book on each year of Marilyn’s life, that would be an absolute dream and if there’s any writer that could do it, it’s without a doubt her. Thank you as always to Michelle for continuing to amaze me and gifting both Marilyn fans and Historians another gem of a book.
Marilyn’s time in England may not have been full of roses as she had so deeply hoped, but her beautiful work on The Prince and The Showgirl will forever be there for generations of film lovers to view and appreciate.
I can only hope that would give her some comfort in knowing her performance has continued to gain critical acclaim and respect and that even her Co-Star, arguably England’s greatest Actor was, despite a frayed working relationship able to see this, eventually stating,
”She gave a star performance. Maybe I was tetchy with Marilyn and myself because I felt my Career was in a rut…I was as good as could be, and Marilyn! Marilyn was quite wonderful, the best of all. What do you know?”
With each year that goes by, I still find it so incredibly hard to comprehend that not only did Marilyn walk on this Earth, but she’s now been gone for 59 years, despite it feeling like she never left. Her presence and impact on both Hollywood and Pop Culture is more than she herself would have ever expected, with her popularity increasing as each year passes by.
Ironically, she would say to Journalist Richard Meryman, in what would be her last interview,
“Fame will go by and, so long, I’ve had you fame. If it goes by, I’ve always known it was fickle. So at least it’s something I experienced, but that’s not where I live.“
– this was published in LIFE Magazine on August 3rd 1962, the day before she passed.
As with my previous post for her Birthday, I’ve decided to do a similar theme, however this time I’m going to focus on what Marilyn was doing on August 4th and 5th (or the first week of the month) for as many years as I can find information on.
I’ve decided not to write about her death, as with each year that goes by, more and more myths/conspiracies crop up and I don’t want to focus or dwell on her final moments. Her death is a tragedy and will always be one, so to continue to perpetuate often downright ridiculous theories, with absolutely no substance, for pure publicity or profit is something she does not deserve and I will never participate in. I will simply focus on the documented facts and her final day.
Norma Jeane would finally start her road to Stardom and sign her first Modelling Contract with the Blue Book Modelling Agency, therefore leaving her job of 17 months, at the Radio Plane Munitions Factory.
AUGUST 3RD 1946:
Norma Jeane’s first Husband, Jim Dougherty would receive a letter from Nevada, informing him of her request for a divorce, which was granted just over a month later on September 13th 1946.
She would also change her professional name to Marilyn Monroe, thanks to 20th Century Fox Casting Director, Ben Lyon, who was inspired by his former girlfriend and 1920s Star, Marilyn Miller – a name Marilyn herself would officially have when she married Arthur Miller ten years later in 1956.
AUGUST 3RD 1947:
Marilyn made one of her many Starlet Appearances for 20th Century Fox and attended the, “Frank Borzage Motion Picture Golf Tournament” at the California Country Club.
SUMMER OF 1948:
Marilyn would make her only movie for Columbia Pictures, during a six month contract she had acquired with the Studio, after being let go from 20th Century Fox. It was produced in 10 days and called, Ladies Of The Chorus (1948) with Marilyn performing two musical numbers for the first time in her Career.
AUGUST 5TH 1949:
Marilyn partakes in Costume Tests for, A Ticket To Tomahawk (1950), a musical in which she would have a small part as a Chorus Girl named Clara, performing with Actor Dan Dailey. The pair would reunite 5 years later in, There’s No Business Like Show Business (1954), with Marilyn then being the major Star.
AUGUST 1ST OR 8TH 1950:
Marilyn is photographed at Griffith Park by Ed Clark for LIFE Magazine, a relatively unknown Starlet at the time, the photos would go unpublished until they were discovered in the archives almost 49 years later in 2009.
Clark recalled in 1999,
“She was almost unknown then, so I was able to spend a lot of time shooting her,” Clark recalled. After all, it was still early in her career, and she’d only just begun to gain attention: Three months before this shoot, she appeared as a crooked lawyer’s girlfriend in The Asphalt Jungle; two months later, she had a small role as an aspiring starlet in All About Eve.
“We’d go out to Griffith Park [in Los Angeles] and she’d read poetry. I sent several rolls to LIFE in New York, but they wired back, ‘Who the hell is Marilyn Monroe?’”
As most of you will probably know, Marilyn would go on to grace the cover a total of six times during her lifetime – seven including an international cover for The Prince and The Showgirl on July 8th 1957.
AUGUST 4TH 1951:
Marilyn, having been named, “Miss Cheesecake of 1952” by Stars and Stripes Magazine, made an appearance at the Farmer’s Market in Hollywood, to slice the millionth cheesecake sold.
AUGUST 3RD 1952:
Marilyn attended a Party at Ray Anthony’s home held in her honour, which was arranged by 20th Century Fox. She would meet another huge star, Lassie and hear the recording of the song, “Marilyn” written for her by Ervin Drake and Jimmy Shirl.
“An angel in lace, A fabulous face,
That’s no exaggeration, That’s my Marilyn.
No gal, I believe, beginning with Eve,
Could weave a fascination like my Marilyn.
She made me a poet, dreaming up romantic themes,
Though she may not know it, she’s all mine in my dreams!
I’ve planned everything, the church and the ring,
The one I haven’t told it to is Marilyn.
She hasn’t said “Yes” I have to confess,
I haven’t kissed, or even met my Marilyn.
But if luck is with me she’ll be my bride forevermore; I’ll be marryin’, carryin’ Marilyn through my door!”
AUGUST 1953: Marilyn spent this month in Canada on location at Banff, Alberta, shooting her only starring role in a Western movie, River Of No Return with Robert Mitchum, Rory Calhoun and child Actor, Tommy Rettig.
Although she would refer to it later as a, “Z Cowboy Movie“, stating, “the acting finished second to the scenery and the CinemaScope process.” However, she thankfully loved the four songs she would get to perform and the film would once again continue her major success at the Box Office.
Whilst being interviewed for the Documentary, Marilyn Monroe:Beyond The Legend (1986), Mitchum would recall Marilyn as “a very special girl with an enormous feeling for people.”
Photographer John Vachon would venture to Alberta for an assignment with LOOK Magazine. Unfortunately for him and her fans, with Marilyn’s major popularity, the Publication decided they wanted Marilyn as their Cover Girl for their Holiday Issue instead and would only share three of his photos. Thankfully, he released the photos in his book, Marilyn, August 1953: The Lost Look Photos in 2010.
On August 20th, Vachon would also be the first Photographer to take professional pictures of Marilyn and Joe Dimaggio, who came to visit halfway thorough production.
AUGUST 9TH 1954: Marilyn would film the final scene and song (the movie wasn’t shot in chronological order) of There’s No Business Like Show Business, with her Co-Stars Dan Dailey, Ethel Merman, Mitzi Gaynor, Johnnie Ray and Donald O’Connor.
She would film her iconic, “Heat Wave” number on August 27th, in front of her then Husband Joe Dimaggio, who sadly, was far from happy with the routine.
AUGUST 5TH OR 6TH 1955:
Marilyn and Photographer Eve Arnold, travel to Bement, Illinois, for the Centennial celebrations.
During her time there she visited the National Arts Foundation Museum and see an Exhibition on one of her idols, Abraham Lincoln. She would also be a judge at a Beard Contest as well as meet the oldest resident, 100 year old Clara.
Arnold would reunite with Marilyn on the set of The Misfits, five years later in 1960.
AUGUST 7TH 1956:
After arriving in England on July 14th, official filming would start for The Prince and The Showgirl at Pinewood Studios on August 7th. This would turn out to be Marilyn Monroe Productions only film made under her own company.
During her time in England, Marilyn would also meet Queen Elizabeth II at a Showing of, “The Battle of The River Plate” on October 29th. After a tough time during production, due to continuous clashing with Co-Star and Director, Sir Laurence Olivier, she would return back home with Arthur on November 20th.
Regarding her time in England she reflected poignantly,
“England? It seemed to be raining the whole time… or maybe it was just me.“
AUGUST 1ST 1957:
This day was to be arguably one of the hardest moments in Marilyn’s life. After having a well earned year off, she and husband Arthur Miller had been residing in their Roxbury home in Amagansett and Marilyn had discovered she was expecting a baby. However, whilst gardening at home she suffered severe abdominal pains and was rushed to hospital, the closest being 200 KM away.
Tragically, Marilyn would suffer an ectopic pregnancy and the baby would not be able to be saved. She and Arthur would leave the hospital to return home on August 10th, with Marilyn once again making sure to give her fans the glamorous Movie Star they adored, continuing to smile through her incredible sadness.
“My fans want me to be glamorous, I won’t let them down.” – to Photographer and friend, Sam Shaw.
AUGUST 4TH 1958:
Marilyn starts filming Some Like It Hot (1959) returning to work, almost two years since she had finished her last film The Prince and The Showgirl (1957) in November 1956.
Initially, she was a bit apprehensive about taking on the part of Sugar Kane, due to it being a comedic, “dumb blonde” role. Thankfully, with Billy Wilder Directing and both Arthur Miller and Acting Coach, Lee Strasberg also seeing the gem that she had been given, Marilyn agreed to take on the project and of course, the rest is history.
Professionally, Marilyn’s place in Hollywood was going from strength to strength with Some Like It Hot being her second smash hit for Billy Wilder, four years after the release of The Seven Year Itch (1955). Personally, her struggles during filming were pretty severe, due to her increasing addiction to barbiturates and her pregnancy, which would tragically end in another miscarriage, just before Christmas on December 16th 1958.
AUGUST 15TH 1959.
Marilyn and Arthur attend a performance of Macbeth at the Boston Arts Center Theatre.
AUGUST 5TH 1960:
Marilyn attended a double Birthday Party for Director John Huston and Actor Clark Gable’s Wife, Kay at the Mapes Hotel, Huston’s being August 5th and Kay’s August 7th.
Both Clark and Marilyn were unknowingly filming what would ultimately be their last film, The Misfits (1961) – Gable would pass away from a heart attack at only 59 years old on November 16th, just twelve days after filming had been completed.
Marilyn would start to make Something’s Got To Give (1962) on April 23rd 1962, with her last day on set being on her 36th Birthday, June 1st. The footage would thankfully be found in the 20th Century Fox Archives 27 years later in 1989 and would be restored, so 37 minutes of the movie now exists.
AUGUST 7TH 1961:
After visiting Long Island from August 1st, Marilyn returned to Los Angeles under the pseudonym, “Miss Reis” and was met by Ex-Husband and close friend, Joe Dimaggio.
It’s well known among fans how Marilyn would often come up with pretty creative names when trying to stay incognito, arguably the most famous being Zelda Zonk. However, this name is likely inspired by her Private Secretary, May Reis, who started working for Marilyn in 1957.
AUGUST 4TH 1962:
Marilyn’s last day alive.
Marilyn spent the day at home and received a number of visitors throughout the afternoon.
Her friend and Press Agent, Pat Newcomb, was suffering with bronchitis and had stayed the night, after coming around for food on August 3rd.
Her Housekeeper, Eunice Murray arrived at 8AM in the morning and would end up staying over, as requested by Marilyn’s Psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Greenson. Ultimately, she would be the one to find Marilyn, who had passed away in her bedroom.
Photographer, Lawrence Schiller, who shot the famous nude scenes of Marilyn in Something’s Got To Give (1962) on May 28th, had come over to discuss their photos and have Marilyn give her approval, a rare clause she had won in her contract with 20th Century Fox.
Dr. Greenson arrived to Marilyn’s house early evening at 5:15PM, he had visited her no less than 28 times since July 1st. Dr. Engleberg, Marilyn’s other Doctor, had prescribed her 25 Nembutals a day previous on August 3rd, as well as a repeat prescription of 50 Chloral Hydrate on July 31st, with Marilyn taking 10 a day.
The amount of broken professional/medical boundaries between Greenson and Engleberg should not go unnoticed, especially with Chloral Hydrate and Nembutals being such a deadly combination when taken together. It may have been 59 years since Marilyn tragically left us, but that does not mean their major flaws being ignored or overlooked is acceptable. Shame on both of them.
She would receive calls from Arthur Miller’s father, Isidore Miller, who she affectionately called, “Dad” and had kept a close relationship with since her divorce the previous year. Sadly she was getting ready and couldn’t take the phone.
Friend and Masseuse, Ralph Roberts would also call regarding details for a planned Barbecue for the next day.
The last people she would speak to were her former Son-In-Law, Joe Dimaggio Jr. and Actor and friend, Peter Lawford.
Joe Dimaggio Jr. who was away serving in the Marines, had rang to inform Marilyn of his recent breakup from Fiancée Pamela Ries. He had tried calling two previous times during the day and finally spoke to her on the third call around 7:30 PM. She was apparently quite happy about the news, as she wasn’t a big fan of his now Ex-Fiancée and would go on to ring Dr. Greenson around 7:40 PM to tell him of the news.
Actor Peter Lawford also called, inviting Marilyn to attend a Dinner Party with friends, however she declined.
His accounts of this pivotal conversation however, have greatly varied over the years. Originally he confirmed the one phone call in 1962, with her saying no to the invitation.
However, thirteen years later in 1975, he changed his version to their being two conversations. The first having her accepting the invite, then him calling back to find out why she hadn’t appeared and hearing her sounding groggy and inaudible. Ironically, he shared how despite this, she was able to utter her supposed last words,
“Say goodbye to Pat, say goodbye to Jack and say goodbye to yourself, because you’re a nice guy.”
If that wasn’t enough, Lawford changed his version of events a third time, two decades later in 1982, saying her telephone was busy the second time he called around 8:00 PM.
Various accounts of the night have been documented by Housekeeper, Eunice Murray, she originally stated she checked on Marilyn sometime in the evening, but did not receive a response from her and then a few hours later, she noticed Marilyn’s light was still on in her bedroom and the phone wire was under the door.
This she found particularly unusual as Marilyn would usually move it into the guest bedroom and cover it with clothes, so she could try and have a peaceful sleep, which was already hard enough with the insomnia.
Upon ringing Dr. Greenson over her concern and asking for his advice, she would discover Marilyn and ask him to come round. Both he and Dr. Engleberg would come over to the home and she would be pronounced deceased at 3:25 AM, however rigor mortis had already set in so sadly Marilyn had left hours before, late on August 4th.
The world would be a lot less brighter on the morning of August 5th, with fans around the world waking up to the announcement of Marilyn’s untimely passing. Tragically, it was even reported in The New York Times that suicide rates steadily increased the week after her death in New York, with a new record of 12 in just one day. One fan even wrote the following words in their note, “If the most wonderful, beautiful thing in the world has nothing to live for, then neither must I.”
Actor and friend, Marlon Brando summed up the worlds thoughts on Marilyn’s death, which even 59 years later, still resonate and convey the illusion of how valued an outward appearance can be, but how an inner struggle is sadly so often overlooked.
“Do you remember when Marilyn Monroe died? Everybody stopped work, and you could see all that day the same expressions on their faces, the same thought, ‘How can a girl with success, fame, youth, money, beauty… how could she kill herself?’ Nobody could understand it because those are the things that everybody wants, and they can’t believe that life wasn’t important to Marilyn Monroe, or that her life was elsewhere.”
Today Marilyn would be turning 95 years old, which is so hard to comprehend considering she’s been gone for almost 59 years! With each year, I always try and discuss the two most significant moments in Marilyn’s life; her Birthday and Anniversary. After writing posts on such important highlights since starting my Blog in 2015, I’ve aimed to stay as creative as possible and make sure to come up with something unique.
For this year I had the idea of sharing photos and information of Marilyn celebrating her Birthdays. Sadly, there’s only a number of years that have actual pictures documenting the day, depending on if she was attending an Event or socializing with friends etc. However, I still want to write about as many of her Birthdays as possible, so I will try and share whatever she was doing on her special day or if nothing is available, then important anecdotes from that month and/or year.
Arguably the most important of them all, the day Marilyn was born. Marilyn was born Norma Jeane Mortenson (then changed to Baker – Gladys first Husband’s second name) on a Tuesday morning at 9:30 AM at the Los Angeles General Hospital. She was the third child of Gladys Monroe and although her current Husband, Edward Mortenson was listed as the father, they had been long separated. Marilyn’s, “father”, if you can call him that, is generally accepted to be Charles Stanley Gifford, a man Gladys worked for at the Consolidated Film Industries.
JUNE 1ST 1927:
I couldn’t find any information on how Marilyn’s 1st Birthday was celebrated sadly, but in this year, (and for the next six) she was living with her Foster Family, Ida and Albert Bolender and their adopted son Lester. Only two months younger than Norma Jeane, Ida once wrote in a letter to his birth parents in 1927 about the pair, saying,
“Little Norma Jeane is with me. She is the baby girl I had when Lester came. Lots of people think them twins. I dress them alike at times and they do look cunning. They are full of mystery and keep me busy.”
JUNE 1ST 1928:
Again, not much information, if any, is available from Marilyn’s 2nd Birthday. However, during the Summer, she did spend time with her mother Gladys and her Uncle’s family for a day out at the Beach at Santa Monica. I don’t know of the particular reason for them having quality time together, but as it was in the sunshine, I’d like to think it was possibly something to do with Gladys wanting to see Norma Jeane around her Birthday.
JUNE 1ST 1929:
This year, The Bolender’s enrolled Norma Jeane at Hawthorn Community Sunday School for a year.
JUNE 1ST 1930:
Norma Jeane continued to have a fairly stable home life with the Bolender Family and saw her mother most weekends for the first few years of her life. However, although she still paid for Norma Jeane’s care, Gladys was no longer seeing her as often as she had done previously. Norma Jeane would have to be reminded to call Ida her Aunt, as she was repeatedly told she was not her mother. Regarding Gladys, when reflecting on her time with her as a child she said,
“It’s true that to me she was always, the woman with the red hair.”
JUNE 1ST 1931:
Norma Jeane started at the Ballona Elementary and Kindergarten School in September of this year and continued to have a considerably normal life with her Foster Family.
JUNE 1ST 1932:
On March 27th, Norma Jeane and 50 other children participated in The Hollywood Bowl Easter Sunrise Service. It would be her first public appearance and ironically, she reflected on this moment saying that she was, “bored.” She also started 1st Grade at the Vine Street School, although she would only remain there for one year.
JUNE 1ST 1933:
Tragically, the Summer of 1933 was not a kind one for Norma Jeane. Her biological Great Grandather, Tilford Hogan, Gladys Grandather, committed suicide two days before her Birthday, on May 29th 1933. Neither Gladys nor Norma Jeane knew him personally, but the tragedy deeply affected her mother in particular. With the tragic deaths of her Parents – her father, Otis passed at 43 and mother, Della at 51 and now her Grandather, Gladys now had a deep believe that she would too suffer a horrific fate.
Albert, Norma Jeane’s Foster Father, had let her adopt a stray dog, named Tippy in 1931. He would be the first in a long list of animal friends that Marilyn would take in during her lifetime, famously stating how, “dogs never bite me, just humans.”
It’s been said he would walk with her to school and even wait for her to finish, showing the special bond the two shared. Horrifically, an evil neighbour would end up killing Tippy in June of this year, with varying accounts being he was either annoyed by his barking or him being on their premises. Naturally, this event traumatized Norma Jeane especially and Albert would go on to bury him in their garden.
Furthermore, Gladys would also learn of the death of her firstborn, Robert, affectionately known as, “Jackie”, who throughout his short life, had a number of horrific accidents, including the loss of his right eye. After her divorce from Jasper Baker in 1923, Norma Jeane’s half brother and sister Bernice, would continue to be raised by their father and at aged just 15, on August 16th 1933, he would pass away from bone tuberculosis, without ever meeting his youngest sister.
These three horrific events were to arguably alter Norma Jeane’s mostly stable life that she had been used to for the first seven years. In August of that year, Gladys had decided to take her out of the Bolender home and move them both in to a three bedroom house, located at 6812 Arbol Street.
JUNE 1ST 1934:
Again, I couldn’t find any information on how Norma Jeane celebrated her 8th Birthday, but that Summer she did go to see Cleopatra (1934) and as an adult she often reminisced about her love of Movies and Hollywood Stars, especially Jean Harlow. She would later recall these special childhood memories saying,
“When I was younger, I used to go to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and try to fit my foot in the prints in the cement there. And I’d say “Oh, oh, my foots too big. I guess that’s out.” I did have a funny feeling later when I finally put my foot down into that wet cement, I sure knew what it really meant to me, anything’s possible, almost.”
JUNE 1ST 1935:
Sadly, after just over four months of Norma Jeane finally living with her mother Gladys, on January 15th she was admitted into the Norwalk State Hospital and declared insane, having been diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia at just 32 years old.
On Norma Jeane’s 9th Birthday, her mother’s best friend, Grace Mckee – soon to be Goddard, became responsible for Gladys’s financial welfare and future. However, a whirlwind romance to, Erwin “Doc” Goddard on August 10th, would mean that she would find herself entering the Los Angeles Orphans Home on September 13th.
JUNE 1ST 1936:
Although not yet living with Grace, she would become Norma Jeane’s official Guardian on February 26th. The rest of her 10th year she continued to live at the Orphanage but still received visits from Grace. Although slightly irregular, she would take her on outings to the Beauty Salon to have her hair styled. Marilyn would reflect on these times over two decades later saying,
“My Orphanage was private and Grace used to visit me and take me out. Not as often as they say, but she used to come and take me out sometimes and I could put on her lipstick. I was only nine then. She’d take me someplace to get my hair curled, which was unheard of because it was allowed and because I had straight hair. Things like that meant a great deal to me.”
JUNE 1ST 1937:
After living in the Orphanage for 21 months, six days after her 11th Birthday, on June 7th – (some sources say June 26th), she would leave the home and finally live with Grace and her family at 6707 Odessa Avenue. On reflecting on her relationship with Grace, Marilyn would say,
“She was always wonderful to me, without her who knows where I would have landed! I could have been put in a state orphanage and kept there until I was eighteen.”
Sadly, the day Norma Jeane left the Orphanage would also be the day her favourite Movie Star, Jean Harlow, tragically died of kidney failure at just 26 years old. In an Interview with Georges Belmont for Cosmopolitan Magazine in 1960, she talked fondly about the original Platinum Blonde,
“I had favorite stars. Jean Harlow! I had platinum blonde hair and people used to call me, “tow-head.” I hated that and I dreamed of having golden hair, until I saw her, so beautiful and with platinum blonde hair like mine.”
JUNE 1ST 1938:
Norma Jeane would turn 12 years old and her Guardian, Grace bought her a new dress for $11.74 and had her hair done for $60, documenting this for a special photoshoot. She also gave her an empty photo album as a present for her to keepsake her pictures.
Due to a previous sexual assault incident with Grace’s Husband, “Doc” in November 1937, Norma Jeane had been placed in the care of her mother’s sister-in-law, Olyve, her three children and her mother, Ida Martin. Gladys’ brother, Marion, had deserted his family in 1929 and was never seen again. Some time during the Summer of 1938, her 13 year old cousin, Jack, sexually assaulted her, which resulted in her being moved once again, through absolutely no fault of her own.
JUNE 1ST 1939:
Thankfully, after multiple disturbing experiences, Norma Jeane had settled in with Grace’s Aunt, Ana Lower, after being placed in her care from August 1938. Talking about her beloved, “Aunt” Ana in later years, Marilyn said,
“There was real contact between us because she understood me somehow. She knew what it was like to be young. And I loved her dearly.”
Sometime in June, Grace took Norma Jeane to San Francisco, to visit Gladys, who was now residing in a hospital there. The visit wasn’t exactly a happy occasion, with Gladys sitting the majority of the time in silence, only once commenting, “You used to have such tiny little feet.” They wouldn’t see each other again until six years later in 1945.
JUNE 1ST 1940:
In the Summer, Norma Jeane started spending time with Chuck Moran, a year older, after meeting at the Hi-Ho Drive In, he clearly had developed romantic feelings after trying to make a move whilst they were dancing at the Ocean Park Pier. Sadly for Chuck, Norma Jeane rebuffed his advances, recalling the story years later, Marilyn commented,
“Poor Chuck, all he got was tired feet and a fight with me. But I thought, well, he isn’t entitled to anything else. Besides, I really wasn’t so smart with sex, which was probably a good thing.”
JUNE 1ST 1941:
On June 27th, Norma Jeane received her Junior High School Diploma from the Ninth Grade. She loved her Journalism Class and even contributed pieces to the School Paper, The Emersonian. Ironically, she wrote a column about the following results of 500 student questionnaires, stating how 53% of gentlemen.. preferred blondes.
Norma Jeane’s beloved, “Aunt” Ana’s declining health would result in her return to Grace’s home later this year.
JUNE 1ST 1942:
The month of June 1942 would be a significant time in Norma Jeane’s life. Within the past year, both Grace and her Neighbour Ethel Dougherty had decided to become novice matchmakers, with Ethel asking her youngest son, Jim, to escort Norma Jeane to the 1941 Adel Precision Products Christmas Ball, where Grace’s Husband, “Doc” worked.
After learning that, “Doc” would be transferred to West Virginia, Grace had to tell Norma Jeane she would not be joining them on their move. The reason being, as Grace would no longer be living in Los Angeles, this would result in her losing financial aid for her care and therefore wouldn’t have the abilities to support her.
To prevent further upset and the outcome of Norma Jeane having to return to the Orphanage until she was eighteen, Grace had decided to arrange a Marriage, as it was legal at sixteen in Los Angeles to do this. With Jim being informed of Norma Jeane’s potential return to the Orphanage, he agreed.
On June 19th, just over two weeks after her 16th Birthday, Norma Jeane would become Mrs Norma Jeane Dougherty.
JUNE 1ST 1943:
Norma Jeane and Jim had settled into married life, after moving to 14223 Bessemer Street, which was located in the San Fernando Valley. She adopted a stray collie, which she named Muggsie, who she absolutely doted on, even bathing her twice a week. Much to Norma Jeane’s dismay, Jim decided to enlist in the Merchant Marines and after he completed his training, she joined him in a two bedroom apartment in Avalon.
JUNE 1ST 1944:
In April 1944, Norma Jeane would have her first job, working at the Radioplane Company for ten hours a day, inspecting parachutes originally and then moving onto the paint department. She was making 70 cents an hour, which did increase to 85 and worked out at $20 a week. Jim had left with the Marines on Sea Duty early that year and she would not be reunited with him until the Holidays.
On June 15th, two weeks after her 18th Birthday, Norma Jeane wrote to her former Guardian, Grace saying,
“Jimmie has been gone for seven weeks and the first word I received from him was the day before my Birthday. He sent a cable night letter by Western Union saying, “Darling, on your Birthday I send you a whole world of love.” I was simply thrilled to death to hear from him.”
JUNE 1ST 1945:
Norma Jeane sent a letter to her Guardian Grace and her Sister Bernice, (Gladys had finally informed them of each others existence in 1938) on June 4th, three days after her 19th Birthday. She talked about her first experience in the limelight, modelling for Photographer David Conover. He discovered her whilst she was working at the Radioplane Company and would also reunite with her on the set of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in late 1952.
“The first thing I knew the lead man and lead lady had me out there, having the army taking pictures of me. They all asked where in the H — I had been hiding. They took a lot of moving pictures of me, and some of them asked for dates, etc. (Naturally I refused!) After they finished with some of the pictures, an army corporal by the name of David Conover told me he would be interested in getting some color still shots of me.”
JUNE 1ST 1946:
Just over a month after her 20th Birthday on July 5th, Norma Jeane filed for Divorce from Jim after four years of marriage, her modelling career was flourishing and the idea of being a housewife did no longer appeal.
A few weeks later, she signed her first contract with 20th Century Fox and in December, Casting Director Ben Lyon helped change her name professionally, to Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn never forgot this significant moment in her life, recalling fourteen years later to Georges Belmont in 1960,
“I owe a lot to Ben Lyon. He was the first to believe in me. He even gave me my name.”
Ironically enough, Lyon himself was a former Actor, having starred with Jean Harlow in her first movie, Hell’s Angels (1931) fifteen years earlier.
JUNE 1ST 1947:
Ten days after her 21st Birthday, Marilyn attended the Los Angeles Press Club’s 8 Ball Welfare Foundation and later that month acted in her first film, Dangerous Years (1947), playing a Waitress called Eve.
JUNE 1ST 1948:
A day after her 22nd Birthday, Marilyn acted as Hostess at the Los Angeles Press Club and meets Mayor Fletcher Bowron.
JUNE 1ST 1949:
On May 27th, four days before her 23rd Birthday, Marilyn would pose for her now iconic nude, “Golden Dreams” and “A New Wrinkle” Calendars, with Photographer Tom Kelley. She insisted his wife, Natalie, was in attendance. She would get just $50, which was used to pay for either food, rent and/or car bills – the stories vary. Kelley would, upon hindsight, regretfully sell the copyrights for $500 to Baumgarth Company.
Columnist, Sheilah Graham, wrote about the incident in June 1952,
“A pompous visitor asked Marilyn Monroe at Niagara—”Is it true that when you posed for that famous calendar photograph, Miss Monroe, you had nothing on?” “No,” said our Marilyn, “I had the radio on.”
JUNE 1ST 1950:
For her 24th Birthday, Marilyn received a pet chihuahua, named Josefa, from 20th Century Fox’s Co-Founder and friend. Although adored by her owner, who went so far as to feed her calf liver and even bought a quilt for Josefa to sleep on, unfortunately, she wasn’t house trained..
JUNE 1ST 1951:
On June 12th, eleven days after her 25th Birthday, Marilyn takes part in a Photoshoot for Modern Screen Magazine, with other Starlets, Nick Savano, Craig Hill and Mala Powers. It was at Herman Hover’s Beverly Hills home, the owner of Ciro’s Restaurant. Marilyn actually wore the same bathing suit her character, Joyce Mannering has on in, Let’s Make It Legal (1951)
JUNE 1ST 1952:
For her 26th Birthday, Marilyn received the wonderful news that she had landed one of the Starring Roles in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) opposite Jane Russell.
Three days later on June 5th, she started location shooting in Canada, for her first technicolor leading role in Niagara (1953) – not only was it the film that transformed her from Starlet to Star, it’s also significant for two other reasons. Firstly, this is the only time she plays a femme fatale/villain and secondly – *spoiler* (even though it’s 68 years old so at this point, I really don’t think I can be blamed) her character, Rose Loomis.. dies.
JUNE 1ST 1953:
The month of June 1953 was a very special time in Marilyn’s life, especially three and a half weeks after her 27th Birthday. On June 26th, she and her Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Co-Star and friend, Jane Russell were immortalized at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.
From visiting most weekends as a child and trying to fit her own hands and feet in the many celebrity prints, Marilyn really had come full circle and I can only imagine how little Norma Jeane would have felt knowing her dream had came true.
JUNE 1ST 1954:
Three days before her 28th Birthday, on May 29th Marilyn started filming for There’s No Business Like Show Business. A press photo states that this picture was in fact taken on her actual Birthday, as Co-Star Donald O’Connor and Singing Coach Ken Darby all share a toast.
JUNE 1ST 1955:
On her 29th Birthday, Marilyn attended the Premiere of film, The Seven Year Itch, with soon to be Ex-Husband, Joe Dimaggio. After an emotionally distressing separation in October 1954, they had thankfully been able to form a friendship, which would last until the end of Marilyn’s life.
After the Premiere, Marilyn went to the reception given for her at the Toots Shor, unfortunately her and Joe would get into an argument and she would end up leaving the Party.
JUNE 1ST 1956:
On her 30th Birthday, Marilyn met Indonesian President Sukarno at a party arranged by Joshua Logan (Director of her film Bus Stop) at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Sukarno was a huge fan of American Movies and had requested to be introduce to the Hollywood Star. After attending the event, she departed for New York, before reporters stopped to present her with a Birthday Cake.
JUNE 1ST 1957:
Marilyn spent the Summer having a well earned rest at her Roxbury Home with third Husband, Playwright Arthur Miller. She made one of her few public appearances of the year, attending the Premiere of The Prince and The Showgirl, a few weeks after her 31st Birthday, at Radio City Music Hall on June 13th in New York.
She would also find out she was pregnant this Summer, but tragically suffer an ectopic pregnancy and spend 10 days in hospital from August 1st.
JUNE 1ST 1958:
Five days before her 32nd Birthday, on May 27th Marilyn would participate in a Photoshoot with Richard Avedon for LIFE Magazine, which would be released seven months later, on December 22nd. It was entitled, “Fabled Enchantresses” and the text was written by Arthur Miller, which he affectionately called, “My Wife Marilyn”. Marilyn portrayed five Stars, Lillian Russell, Theda Bara, Marlene Dietrich, Clara Bow and her personal favourite, Jean Harlow.
She received a letter from Joe Wolhandler, Marilyn’s New York Publicist, the following year, on January 19th saying the following,
“Dear Marilyn: That issue of LIFE Magazine that carried your picture set an all-time record in sales. More copies were sold of that issue than any other issues in the history of LIFE. The figure was 6,300,000 and more could have been sold if they had printed more. LIFE’s circulation department tells me that this is the highest circulation figure in their entire publishing career.”
JUNE 1ST 1959:
On June 23rd, three weeks after her 33rd Birthday, Marilyn entered the hospital to have more surgery to fix her chronic endometriosis. Over the years she would have at least three other operations to try and help ease her suffering.
JUNE 1ST 1960:
Marilyn celebrated her 34th Birthday on the set of Let’s Make Love (1960) where she received a unique Birthday Card. It was created by Artist Joseph Krutak and showed Marilyn as her character, Amanda Dell, surrounded by various quotes and items from the movie, with the bottom being signed by the whole cast.
Once filming had finished for the day, her Press Agent, Rupert Allan, threw a Party at his home in Beverly Hills. In attendance were Playwrights, Tennessee Williams and Clifford Odets – the latter happened to write Clash By Night eleven years before Marilyn would star in the movie, in 1952. She would end up spending the majority of the night with the two, speaking about one of her favourite things – the Theatre.
JUNE 1ST 1961:
On her 35th Birthday, Marilyn would send a Telegram to her Psychiatrist, Dr. Greenson,
“Dear Dr. Greenson: In this world of people I’m glad there’s you. I have a feeling of hope though today I am three five. Marilyn.”
She also spoke about her Birthday to Journalist Jonah Rudd and it was published four days later, on June 5th in The London Daily Mail,
“I’m very happy to have reached this age. I feel I’m growing up. It was wonderful being a girl, but it’s more wonderful being a woman.”
She also reunited with Photographer, Andre de Dienes, who was one of the few to take pictures of Marilyn as a relatively unknown Starlet (1945, 1946, 1949) and Hollywood Star, in 1952 and 1953.
JUNE 1ST 1962:
On Marilyn’s 36th Birthday, she would have a small celebration on the set of her last film, Something’s Got To Give (1962) which would end up being her last ever day on set. Her frequent Stand-In, Evelyn Moriarty arranged the party.
She would also receive a telegram from Joe Dimaggio, who was currently in Europe, saying,
“Happy Birthday, hope today and future years bring you sunny skies and all your heart desires. As ever, Joe.”
After she had finished work, Marilyn would make what would be her final public appearance at the Dodger Stadium, which was holding a game to Benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. She would borrow her costume from filming and looked as beautiful as ever.
It’s so wonderful that even 95 years later, millions of fans will be celebrating Marilyn today all over the world. I like to think that wherever she may be now, she knows how eternally loved and appreciated she is, just as she was in her lifetime and arguably, even more so.
Spectrum Collections first made their debut in the Beauty World in April 2014 and was created by Sisters, Sophie and Hannah, at home in their garage in South Wales. Fast forward seven years later and they’ve created huge collaborations with Household Names and Brands, such as Disney, Frida Kahlo and Mean Girls. Furthermore, they have an impressive list of stockists including, ASOS, Boots, Beauty Bay and SuperDrug. Pretty impressive, right?
On March 26th this year, Spectrum launched their highly anticipated new Collection with Disney; Alice In Wonderland! To say I was excited for this would be a big understatement, plus it just so happens to coincide with the original Walt Disney Classic, which was released to the public seventy – yes seventy years ago this year, in 1951!
There are five products within the set which are the following;
This product contains ten brushes, to complete a full makeup look, with one in particular having Alice’s iconic headband featured on the handle – absolutely adorable! Each one is an Alice pastel blue and has beautiful gold writing asking you to, “Meet me in Wonderland..” – whilst on that subject I’d happily travel to Wonderland right now, just saying. All brushes are Vegan and Cruelty Free, like the rest of their products. In my opinion, even if you’re not a huge brush person, it’s worth having for the packaging alone and if I had enough money, I’d probably buy another to have displayed in my room – it’s that pretty.
Without doubt, this is my favourite product within the whole Collection, I can’t even express how beautiful the quality and overall aesthetic is of this key. It’s such an amazing concept and I’m beyond impressed with Hannah and Sophie’s sheer creativity in coming up with this! On the top of the key is The White Rabbit, his watch, a teapot and The Mad Hatter’s hat, all stacked upon one another, with a pastel blue tag which says, “The way to Wonderland.” I’ve actually ordered myself another one today, as I simply had to have it on display with my Fantasia Magic Broom Brush. The packaging features Alice, The White Rabbit and The Mad Hatter in various stills from the film within keyhole shapes.
The Cheshire Cat is so iconic that even before looking on the lid, you see the pink striped packaging and know straight away which character is featured. It comes within a retractable casing, which once opened reveals a beautiful pink ombre brush and is used for the majority of face products, such as bronzer and powder. A further pink cover is used for storing him and also helps prevent any damage, whilst further showing the consistent quality and care that’s been put into making each item collector worthy.
The tear sponge concept is absolute genius! Two pastel blue sponges, one small and one full sized come in an adorable mini PVC bag, which features the memorable moment in the film, when Alice floats down a river of her own tears! I can’t bring myself to use these particular sponges because they are simply too beautiful to take out of the pouch! But they are proudly displayed on my dressing table in my room. However, I do use Spectrum’s sponges as well as they’re brushes and I can confirm that they’re top quality as always.
An Alice In Wonderland Collection could not be complete without the least punctual rabbit known to humans! The White Rabbit Clutch is white faux fur, featuring the infamous pocket watch, a keyhole label with Alice and a little white bunny tail. If that wasn’t perfect enough, when you look inside you’ll see the beautiful pink lining which is covered with The White Rabbit himself and various other objects from the film! You also get a stunning pastel blue and gold velvet pouch, which the clutch comes in. I’ve actually decided to display the former and use the dust bag for holding my brushes!
The entire set is available to buy together for the very reasonable price of £99.99, which is what I myself decided to do. It’s original cost is at £126.95, so you’re already saving nearly £27.00 and it truly is a must have for any Disney Collector or Makeup Enthusiast. Plus, if you add it altogether, you’re basically getting a product for free!
Not only are all of Spectrum’s products amazing quality – I’ve amassed a considerable collection of brushes that get used regularly so I feel I can confidently say that. But, in my opinion, they’re definitely the best ones on the market, and everything they make is Vegan/Cruelty Free and created with synthetic taklon hair. Not only is the aesthetic simply beautiful, the quality lives up to each ones appearance and the price is very reasonable too. Not insanely cheap, but not ridiculously overpriced, overall very fair and you definitely get your moneys worth! Spectrum also offer Beauty Points, in which every £1 you spend you receive 4 points and once you hit 500 you get a £5.00 voucher and 1000 you get a £10.00 one! You don’t have to buy things to gain points either, writing a review or recommending a friend will also help you build points.
I truly can’t wait to see what the Spectrum Sisters bring out next, I’m definitely sure they won’t disappoint and I can’t thank them enough for creating something so unique and beautiful.
This post contains mentions of suicide, depression, anxiety and mental health problems.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, please note – there’s truly no judgement from me if you have, sometimes I think it would make a much easier life. Well, maybe a little uncomfortable however, I’m clearly going off track. My point being, if you’re in the United Kingdom, you probably know that today marks a year since Caroline Flack passed away, an incredible tragedy, with yet another life taken by the cruel reality of mental illness.
Caroline shared this very quote just two months before she died, in one of her final posts on her Instagram Account. These words became the basis of the “Be Kind Movement“ which, in doing a bit of quick research, I’ve discovered the charity was actually formed in May 2015 by Premila Puri. However, with Caroline’s tragic passing, it has heightened the awareness and importance of such a simple but often overlooked act, just being a kind human being.
As someone who has had their fair amount of mental health struggles for over half of their life and also happens to be a very empathetic person, it hit me particularly hard. I understand if some may think I don’t have the right to feel sadness, or any form of emotion about Caroline’s death, especially as I didn’t know her personally, nor was I ever fortunate enough to have met her. In all honesty, I sometimes think like that too and not just with Caroline. Whenever anyone loses their life tragically and particularly with suicide, I always feel an incredible amount of pain and at the same time, my mind tells me I don’t have the right to do that.
I find it hard to think about anything else and if a person or particular situation is brought up in conversation, I often feel the need to change the topic or completely shut it down. I simply find it too overwhelming and feel a recurring cloud of sadness come over me. I really hate that specific metaphorical cloud. Clouds in the sky, you’re all wonderful and I appreciate you brightening or sometimes dulling our blue skies.
I think this is because suicide in particular surrounds many of my intrusive thoughts and fears. I want to emphasize I am not suicidal, nor do I have any intent or plans to end my life, quite the opposite in fact. I’m truly terrified of this incredibly painful ending and it causes me so much sadness and distress to even think of talking about it. Just writing this blog post is already giving me a lot of anxiety, but I know how important it is to speak out and I try and be as honest as I can be. Especially with my mental health because I know how isolating and lonely these feelings can leave a person and well, it can sometimes offer a little comfort, which I’m all for.
Also, I want to point out how every single person in the world has intrusive thoughts, they’re part of being a human. A study last year by Psychology experts at the Queen’s University in Canada, showed how people have around 6,200 thoughts.. a day, which is to say the least, a hell of a lot of them. Therefore, it’s inevitable that quite a few of them may be a little unsettling, however, the majority simply let the thought pass by and move on with their day to day life. The difference with intrusive thoughts becoming an anxiety disorder, is when you start to over analyse meticulously and ruminate in depth about the reason you’re having them. I mean, just typing out that one sentence explaining an anxiety ridden mind was pretty exhausting, let alone trying to read or even understand it if your mental health is perfectly fine. Therefore, all I ask is if you don’t necessarily understand, just a bit of listening and support can truly go a long way.
The irony is, mental health issues ironically often stem from rational behaviours, such as evolution’s fight or flight tactic, yet sometimes, the mind can go a little off balance and that’s okay, no body is perfect and to be honest, the world would be a lot less colourful if we all were. Ultimately, it’s just important to be aware and accept our many faults and glitches. Plus, with a bit of love, care, sometimes medication and therapy, can help a person feel embraced and accepted in society.
Intrusive thoughts in particular, link to an incredibly trivialized anxiety disorder called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, commonly shortened to OCD. People without this mental health problem, just accept their thousands of thoughts as what they are, a simple thought. They let it go and move on with their day to day life, probably forgetting it the minute it passes through their brain, which is basically one of my many aims in life. Unfortunately, that is not the case for me and hasn’t been since I was around eleven years old, so a pretty long time. A pang of anxiety and fear will hit my body, which results in a vicious, often exhausting cycle of compulsions and neutralization to, “fix” the thought – which eventually ends up becoming a daily part of your life.
What’s even more frustrating is, the majority of the time the sufferer is aware of the absurd claim that repeating a task or sentence will automatically make everything better, we know magical thinking is just that and tragically, Hogwarts is.. not real. But the brain is incredibly intricate and the anxiety thrives on fear, it loves it!
What’s more, it simply adores controlling and manipulating you into vulnerability and succumbing to your fears by making you engage and listen to the mind bully, which is definitely not a fun time when you constantly feel your brain is against you. My intrusive thoughts in particular – and I want to point out that they’ve had many years to multiply and change, as I wasn’t diagnosed with anxiety and depression until I was 17 years old. Well, they go after everything I love and fear.
Which leads me to summarize, if you’re a sensitive soul and feel a lot of emotions, you can maybe comprehend why a person can end up becoming full of anxiety and often sadness. I’ve learnt to accept that I will most likely always have mental health problems and that’s alright, I say to myself I’d much rather I was suffering than someone else. I say this not because I’m a Martyr and incredible human being, if you know me you’ll know I in fact have the self esteem level of a pea – I assume it’s really small, if not I’ll have to think of something else. I say this because I’m so incredibly fortunate to have an amazing support system – my mum especially is truly my rock and I don’t know who or where I’d be without her.
I know so many people who fight the invisible illness do not get their happy ending and it breaks my heart, truly destroys it. I can’t tell you how many tears I’ve shed over people passing away before their time, not only does it terrify me more than words can say, the empathy in me starts wishing I could have been able to help and make them realize how appreciated and loved they are.
In May 2012, my would be second year of Sixth Form – (I’d ended up leaving after the first year due to mental health struggles), a person who was in my school year committed suicide. I remember seeing on social media that they’d passed away, I assumed it was down to a tragic accident and tried to switch off thinking about it. However, my brother ended up coming in my room and asked if I had heard what had happened, I said yes and then I distinctly remember him saying, “He hung himself. He hung himself.” which ultimately broke me and I’m pretty sure that’s when the fear of suicide began.
I want to point out that I wasn’t close to this person, I sat by them in English in Year 8 and had a pretty big crush on them in Year 7, but that was literally as far as any form of contact went. They were one of the popular guys and I remember desperately trying to comprehend and understand why this had happened, how could this be real? I obviously know this doesn’t resolve or change anything, but I guess I wanted to find some closure and to be able to calm my mind.
As with Caroline, I often end up feeling an immense sense of guilt for having such sadness and emotion regarding their death. I felt I didn’t have the right to have these emotions and I wasn’t a family member or friend so it wasn’t really any of my business. However, I do remember one of my many Therapists saying how your pain is your pain, so I try and remind myself that every now and then. Despite me viewing myself as less than others, which I know is not healthy and I really need to fix, my feelings are still valid. I can honestly say it’s been almost 9 years since this tragedy happened and there is not one single day that I’ve not thought about this person. Horrifically, there would be another male in my year who was lost by suicide in 2015. There are no words which can express the sorrow felt in writing that sentence.
I regularly think of myself as the random crying girl in Mean Girls, who, if you haven’t seen the film, (if I’m brutally honest I am slightly judging) she turns up at the school and starts saying, and I quote,
“I wish we could all get along like we used to in middle school, I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy.“
It’s then pointed out that she in fact, doesn’t even go to the school and she responds with, “I just have a lot of feelings.“
I’ve always related to that.
Of course, no one is forcing me to be this way and if I could switch it off or snap out of it, I’d probably be a lot happier. A couple of years ago I had an Interview and it happened to be a group one, pretty daunting to say the least. However, I remember us being asked what would we like to be doing career wise, what was our goal etc. When it was my time to answer I said how in all honesty I didn’t really care what I was doing or how much I’d achieved as long as I was happy and content with myself, I truly stand by that. Something that is so simple but often taken for granted and incredibly hard to obtain.
When it was time for the one on one Interview I ended up talking about my mental health issues and found out that one of the girls who had worked that had tragically ended up taking her own life. Needless to say I didn’t get the job, I’m assuming they would have been pretty apprehensive about hiring someone with mental health problems again, even though I wasn’t suicidal. However, I don’t regret talking about it, in a weird way I’m proud of myself for doing so I guess.
If I truly had some magical powers, I’d love to make the world a better place and stop all the suffering, something I hope most people would agree with. Sadly a lot of mental health issues are trivialized and not taken seriously enough until it’s too late, which is why anytime I see an illness being used as an adjective I get so extremely frustrated. OCD is not a joke, cute quirk or someone who likes being clean, Bipolar is not a way to talk about an everyday mood swing and being, “sweet but psycho” isn’t an aesthetic.
For the people that say it’s a trend to have mental health issues or that it never used to be around, please educate yourself. 1 in 8 children have a mental health disorder, suicide is the biggest killer of men under 40 and 1 in 4 people in the UK is affected by a mental health problem. But, it’s alright to be that 1 in 4 and I don’t mind admitting I am one of many 1 in 4. Is it fun by any means? No, not at all. It’s exhausting and debilitating and you really have to learn how to take one day at time.
If you feel happy that doesn’t make you a bad person and you’re allowed to remind yourself, which I’m doing right now. I don’t feel particularly happy at the moment but, I have developed an annoying guilt complex in which I will feel bad for having a happy day or bad for feeling down – the outcome is always the same of course, I can’t win.
I’m trying to talk about this is in sharing my own experiences and feelings in hope of having some form of epiphany and accepting myself. My mind is constantly putting me down, it reminds me how lucky and fortunate I am to have a loving family/home life and how I don’t have the right to feel depressed or anxious. Plus, how in writing all of this, it says I’m a hypocrite because I’m very much a work in progress and although I’ve came a fair way I still have a considerable amount to overcome, or learn to live with. I’ve been in and out of therapy since I was 17 years old and been on Anti-Depressants since I was 18, I’m not sure if they work for me but I’d rather be on them then not. I always end up feeling like a failure for not achieving certain things or being like, “everybody else”. It’s so frustrating to feel constantly at war with your mind and believe it or not, I really am trying to work on that, but sadly it’s not something that can change overnight.
When I was particularly suffering a few years ago, I would avoid all news media outlets or change the channel, to prevent any upset or further anxiety. In going to therapy I ended up learning how that was a coping mechanism and not a sustainable or helpful one in the long run. Therefore, I’ve gone from avoiding the media to watching BBC News every day and going through many true crime documentaries on Netflix. I’m still pretty anxious and disturbed by it all and often think if I was in a Horror Movie I’d probably be the girl that was killed in the first 10 minutes. However, I have to remind myself that life isn’t perfect and sadly we can’t avoid all the bad things that happen.
Although, it’s fine to switch off and have a break every now and then, we’re only human after all. In avoiding all the tragedies and staying in my own little bubble I know I’m actually hurting my recovery and not learning to live with my mental health problems. Do they trigger and contribute to a hell of a lot of my intrusive thoughts, sadness and anxiety? Absolutely. However, sticking through the anxiety and realizing your body cannot stay in that heightened state forever, is one of the only ways you can learn to accept the unknown and know that with a little bit of hope and perhaps some Disney, everything will be alright in the end.
“I will be as sensitive as I am, without being ashamed of it.”
– Written by Marilyn Monroe in her Record Notebook in 1955.
Here’s some links that I’ve used for this post or thought might be helpful;
As someone who has lived and breathed all things Disney for as long as they can remember, unintentionally discovering another Collaboration with Beauty Brand, Essence Cosmetics– on Wilko of all places, was a surprise I was very happy about!
The Disney Princess Collection features three of Walt’s Royal Heroines; two from the Classic Era – the original Princess, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty’s Aurora and one from the Renaissance Era – The Little Mermaid’s Ariel.
With Lockdown 3.0 continuing throughout the UK, having any shops to visit that aren’t online is a rare experience. Therefore, after browsing through Instagram and coming across this gorgeous Collection, I took a moment to sympathize with my Bank Account, as we both knew the inevitable was coming – bye bye money!
Unfortunately, with a quick bit of research, it does now seem that Wilko have sadly stopped stocking the three Eyeshadow Palettes. Fear not though, Notino are also stockists of the products and although a lot are out of stock currently, you can click to be notified when available.
As well as the Disney Princess Collection, there is also a Disney Villains with their sister Brand, Catrice Cosmetics, featuring Maleficent, Ursula and The Evil Queen.
I managed to get four products from the Essence Collaboration;
ESSENCE X DISNEY PRINCESS EYE BRUSH AND BAG SET:
Contains a rose gold brush bag, with three matching brushes;
• Snow White Eyeshadow Brush • Aurora Smudging Brush • Ariel Blending Brush
ESSENCE X DISNEY PRINCESS ARIEL 01 PART OF YOUR WORLD EYESHADOW PALETTE:
Featuring Ariel from The Little Mermaid (1989) – 14 warm, gold and red shades, embossed with sea shells.
• Curious – warm copper shimmer. • Starfish – light beige matte. • Ocean – orange shimmer. • Waves – medium gold shimmer. • Headstrong – burgundy shimmer. • Treasures – medium peach nude matte. • Flounder – peach metallic shimmer. • Sea Witch – pink and orange pressed pigment. • Mermaid – ruby red matte. • Crab – light gold shimmer. • Explorer – vibrant yellow shimmer. • Kiss The Girl – coral pink matte. • Seagull – dark brown matte. • Under The Sea – metallic brown shimmer.
ESSENCE X DISNEY PRINCESS SNOW WHITE 02 MY PRINCE WILL COME EYESHADOW PALETTE:
Featuring Snow White from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) – 14 cool, nude and copper shades, embossed with apples.
• Green Wood – vibrant yellow shimmer. • Forrest Cabin – cool ivory matte. • Seven Mountains – cool metallic brown shimmer. • Dwarves – hunter green pressed pigment. • Huntsman – warm brown and silver shimmer. • Mirror – peachy gold shimmer. • True Love’s Kiss – warm gold shimmer. • Poisoned Apple – copper shimmer. • Wicked Witch – cobalt blue shimmer. • Pure Hearted – muted brown matte. • Ebony – light yellow gold shimmer. • Cottage – warm orange brown shimmer. • Happy End – brown gold shimmer. • Cheerful – bronze metallic shimmer.
ESSENCE X DISNEY PRINCESS AURORA 03 ONCE UPON A DREAM EYESHADOW PALETTE:
Featuring Aurora from Sleeping Beauty (1959) – 14 pink, mauve and metallic shades, embossed with roses.
• Golden Hair – warm gold shimmer. • Kiss – cool porcelain matte. • Kingdom – pink nude matte. • Castle – mauve matte. • Deep Sleep – metallic dark purple shimmer. • Spinning Wheel – light gold shimmer. • Fairy – silvery gold shimmer. • Thorn Hedge – deep purple and gold pressed pigment. • Roses – hot pink matte. • Golden Leave – baby pink mauve matte. • Curse – warm gold shimmer. • Dark Magic – cool dark burgundy matte. • Magic Wand – copper shimmer. • True Love – cool medium brown shimmer.
All of the Palettes are £10.00, which I think is an extremely good price, especially with it being an official Disney Collaboration and each one does include a mirror. I’ve tried all of the products multiple times and was pleasantly surprised at the pigment and quality of the Eyeshadows.
Out of the 42 shades, my favourite has to be Sea Witch from Ariel’s Palette, it’s absolutely beautiful and in all honesty, I wasn’t expecting it to be as vibrant as it looks. It’s perfect to use for an extra pop as a lid topper too. However, if I had to pick just one to own, it would definitely be Aurora’s, as not only is she is my favourite Princess, (Cinderella also) I love the variation of pinks and aesthetic of the colours.
The only slight disappointment within the Collection, would have to be the shades in Snow White’s Palette. This is simply because I can’t comprehend how there is not one single red colour within the fourteen available. I mean, I really think they’re missing something there as I’ve always associated this signature shade much more with Snow White than with Ariel.
With hers I’d expect more cool toned blues/purples and maybe one red for her hair and Sebastian – of course! Ultimately, the general aesthetic is a bit underwhelming for Snow White’s Palette and with only two matte shades – Aurora’s has six and Ariel’s has 5, there’s not really enough colours and variations to work with to create a full stand alone look.
However, I simply could not have left one out, they are definitely a must buy for any Disney fan and I will absolutely treasure them. The beautiful detailing and consistency in the overall aesthetic and theme for the Collection is greatly appreciated too. Thank you Essence Cosmetics and Disney for blessing us makeup lovers with this Collaboration and I hope there’s more to come!
Firstly, long time no post! With every day life and in the insanity of 2020, I’ve sadly been neglecting Blogging and regularly posting. However, my love for all things Makeup related has never been far from my mind, in fact you could almost say it’s grown considerably – if that was even possible! As someone who suffers with various Mental Health issues, the creativity of the Beauty World has always been a nice outlet for me to try and switch off and have some fun with the weird and wonderful products released so often. However, the irony is my creativity and perfectionism can almost be a hindrance, as sadly, my anxiety loves to control me and my happiness, which is why all I can do is try and push forward, starting with this.
Therefore, although I’ve not been sharing much, I have been regularly purchasing new palettes and lipsticks, which has formed quite an archive! Therefore, I’ve decided to share my latest buys and an overall summary of the items contents and my humble opinion on it etc.
Since Revolution Beauty, (formerly known as Makeup Revolution) burst onto the High Street in 2014, they’ve grown from strength to strength, having amassed 2.9 million followers on Instagram. They’ve collaborated with a number of huge Celebs and Brands, including one of the most popular TV Shows of all time; FRIENDS – which is what I’m going to be reviewing in this post.
I think one of the huge successes with Revolution has to be, not only their reasonable pricing, but the high qualities they create, which are usually only expected with high end Brands. As someone who wears both high and mid/lower end products, I’ve really learnt that higher pricing does not always mean better products.
Having first aired in 1994, Friends captured the hearts of millions worldwide, finishing it’s long run ten years later in 2004, after 235 episodes. Since Netflix started to stream the show in 2018, it’s continued to snowball in popularity and has attracted even more fans. So much so that a Series 1 Makeup Collection with Revolution was released on September 16th 2020, with a Series 2 Collection being launched on November 4th, just under two months later.
The Phoebe, Monica and Rachel Eyeshadow Palettes feature iconic places in Friends on the packaging, all specifically associated with each of the three female lead characters and retail for just £8, with nine shadows.
Strangely, I weirdly like that the packaging doesn’t have the characters on the artwork. At first, I think I was a bit disappointed by this, but now I actually quite like it. There’s not many shows that can have such iconic places and items that are instantly recognizable, further cementing the legendary status of Friends and all who were involved.
Although I love all characters dearly, my favourite has and will always be Phoebe, her quirkiness, ditsy but quick witted responses and inclusiveness of all has always warmed my heart and endeared me to her. Furthermore, it just so happens that out of three palettes hers is my most loved – coincidence? I think not!
It’s hard to believe 58 years to the day, on the night of August 4th, the world’s most famous Star would leave us all. Yes, I know a lot of you will be thinking, “wait, didn’t she die on the 5th?” – she was found in the early hours of that morning, and her death was announced then – so that is the “technical” date. However, as with many Marilyn “facts” that too is incorrect and so like every year, I will be posting this on the 4th.
I’m not going to write about all the ridiculous dramas and he said she said statements that have grown rapidly over the years, as they don’t deserve any more coverage. Whenever a major celebrity dies, the more shocking the statement, the more attention it gains, so much so that it’s almost became ingrained into society as being accepted as fact. But, I am going to have a big name and shame moment for the two main culprits – Robert Slatzer and Norman Mailer I’m looking at you both. Also Anthony Summers – you’re a piece of crap and I will never forgive you for publishing Marilyn’s autopsy photo in your toilet paper worthy biography.
Long story short as they don’t deserve any mention with Marilyn’s name – Slatzer created the whole Kennedy, Mafia and basically everything shit and defamatory written about Marilyn in the early 1970s. If you want to find out the actual truth with documented facts click HERE.
Sorry to disappoint any conspiracy lovers – Marilyn didn’t love JFK, nor did any of the Kennedy’s kill her, she died of an either accidental or intentional prescription drug overdose. Was I there? No, I wasn’t even alive, but it’s really not hard to disregard the nonsense and absurd claims, when you actually take the time to do a little (a lot in my case) of research.
This book is truly one of a kind and is basically a published archive of many of Marilyn’s personal letters, excerpts and anecdotes she had written from 1943 until 1962. Before anyone says it’s disrespectful to publish/share these and it is an invasion of privacy, to an extent I agree. However, as stated a few moment ago, with the amount of disrespectful, outrageous nonsense that has been slurred out over the half a century since Marilyn left us – I think it’s a necessity to see her own words in print. Ironically enough, it’s almost as if Marilyn herself foreshadowed the future of the media, when she said this in an Interview to Georges Belmont for Marie Claire Magazine in April 1960.
“The true things rarely get into circulation, it’s usually the false things.”
Therefore, today I have decided to focus on Marilyn herself, not as a Star, Tragic Icon or a pretty face, but as a human who had a beautiful, sensitive soul. Some of you may already know, but for those who don’t, Marilyn actually wrote numerous poems throughout her years, mostly just for herself. In her rare moments of confidence, she would occasionally show a few to her close friend, Writer Norman Rosten, who said the following in his (must have) book, Marilyn Among Friends.
“She had the instinct and reflexes of the poet, but she lacked the control.”
“Although she gave the appearance of being so confident and self assured, she was in reality incredibly self conscious and her own biggest critic, which is heartbreaking really as she was truly gifted. She was such a perfectionist that she would spend hours preparing herself mentally and physically for her beloved fans, regularly looking in the mirror at her perceived flaws. Marilyn was infamous for her lateness, which is often viewed as diva like behaviour. However, the reality is, it’s rarely noted that her anxiety was so severe, she would break out in rashes and even vomit, before going on set.
In her final interview with LIFE Magazine, published one day before her death, she even said to Journalist Richard Meryman,
“I’m one of the world’s most self conscious people. I really have to struggle.”
I remember the first time I looked through Fragments, of course it was very upsetting to see her pain written down and think about her suffering, However, I strongly noticed this recurring theme of hope, despite some incredibly sad notes, there was always some sparkle of inner strength and I just thought that should be said. Often we ourselves don’t see our bravery and bouts of determination in our inner self, but others do and I for one am glad I can see in Marilyn what she could not.
I love you with all of my heart Marilyn, from the moment you came into my life, a decade ago in October 2010. Wherever you may be, I hope you know how much love, joy and happiness you have brought and continue to bring to many people’s lives each day.
• Undated Poem.
Life – I am of both of your directions Somehow remaining hanging downward the most but strong as a cobweb in the wind – I exist more with the cold glistening frost. But my beaded rays have the colors I’ve seen in a painting – ah life they have cheated you ______________________________________________________________________________
I stood beneath your limbs and you flowered and finally clung to me and when the wind struck with.. the earth and sand – you clung to me. ______________________________________________________________________________
• Undated Poem
Stones on the walk every color there is I stare down at you like a horizon – the space / the air is between us beckoning and I am many stories up my feet frightened as I grasp towards you ______________________________________________________________________________
• Undated Poem
Only parts of us will ever touch parts of others – one’s own truth is just that really – one’s own truth.
We can only share the
part that is within another’s knowing acceptable
is for most part alone.
As it is meant to be in
evidently in nature – at best perhaps it could make
our understanding seek
another’s loneliness out.
• Undated Poem
for life It is rather a determination not to be overwhelmed.
for work The truth can only be recalled, never invented ______________________________________________________________________________
• “Record” Black Notebook – Written in throughout 1951.
What I do believe in What is truth I believe in myself even my most delicate intangible feelings in the end everything is intangible my most precious liquid must never spill don’t spill your precious liquid life force they are all my feelings no matter what ______________________________________________________________________________
• “Record” Black Notebook – Written in throughout 1951. Fear of giving me the lines new maybe won’t be able to learn them maybe I’ll make mistakes people will either think I’m no good or laugh or belittle me or think I can’t act. Women looked stern and critical – unfriendly and cold in general afraid director won’t think I’m any good. remembering when I couldn’t do a god damn thing. then trying to build myself up with the fact that I have done things right that were even good and have had moments that were excellent but the bad is heavier to carry around and feel have no confidence depressed mad ______________________________________________________________________________
• Other “Record” Notebook – Written in throughout 1955.
I do know ways people act unconventionally – mainly myself – do not be afraid of
my sensitivity or to use it – for I can & will channel it + crazy thoughts too I want to do my scene or exercises (idiotic as they may seem) as sincerely as I can knowing and showing how I know it is also – no matter – what they might think – or judge from it ______________________________________________________________________________
• Other “Record” Notebook – Written in throughout 1955.
I can and will help myself and work on things analytically no matter how painful – if I forget things (the unconscious wants to forget – I will only try to remember) Discipline – Concentration
my body is my body every part of it.
• Other “Record” Notebook – Written in throughout 1955.
feel what I feel within myself – that is trying to become aware of it also what I feel in others not being ashamed of my feeling, thoughts – or ideas
realize the thing that they are –
• Waldorf Astoria Stationery – Written in throughout 1955.
Sad, sweet trees – I wish for you – rest but you must be wakeful
• Waldorf Astoria Stationery – Written in throughout 1955.
Not a scared lonely little girl anymore
Remember you can sit on top of the world (it doesn’t feel like it.) You can have any help you want personally – or in your work – or anything else you want – There are technical ways to go about it or problems – figure out if anything tec. can be done about it because there are people to help you – gladly – you more than most they want to help Remember there is nothing you lack – nothing to be self conscious about yourself – you have everything but the discipline and technique which you are learning & seeking on your own – after all nothing was or is being given to you – you have had none of this work thrown your way you sought it – it didn’t seek you
Too much talent Too much ability and and much too much sensitivity to invert yourself
out of fear – not come to class –
or to do things like being afraid to come to
class or to get up.
• “Italian Agenda” Notebook – Written throughout 1955 or 1956.
and the more I think of it the more I realize there are no answers life is to be lived
and since it is comparatively so short – (maybe too short – maybe too long – the only thing I know for sure, it isn’t easy
now that I want to live and I feel suddenly not old not concerned about previous thing except to protect myself – my life – and to desperately (pray) tell the universe I trust it ______________________________________________________________________________
• Parkside House Stationery – Written during her stay in England between July 14th – November 20th 1956.
I guess I have always been deeply terrified to really be someone’s wife since I know from life one cannot love another, ever, really. ______________________________________________________________________________
• Roxbury Notes – Written throughout 1957 or 1958.
In every spring the green is too sharp – though the delicacy in their form is sweet and uncertain – it puts up a good struggle in the wind trembling all the while. Those leaves will relax, expand in the sun and each raindrop they will resist even when they’re battered and ripped. I think I am very lonely – my mind jumps. I see myself in the mirror now, brow furrowed – if I lean close I’ll see – what I don’t want to know – tension, sadness, disappointment, my eyes dulled, cheeks flushed with capillaries that look like rivers on maps – hair lying like snakes. The mouth makes me the saddest next to my dead eyes. There is a dark line between the lips in the outline of several waves in a turbulent storm – it says don’t kiss me, don’t fool me I’m a dancer who cannot dance. ______________________________________________________________________________
• Roxbury Notes – Written throughout 1957 or 1958.
re – relationships
Everyone’s childhood plays itself out No wonder no one knows the other or can completely understand. By this I don’t know if I’, just giving up with this conclusion or resigning myself – or maybe for the first time connecting with reality –
how do we know the pain of another’s earlier years let alone all that he drags with him since along the way at best a lot of lee-way is needed for the other – yet how much is unhealthy for one to bear.
I think to love bravely is the best and accept – as much as one can bear. ______________________________________________________________________________
Firstly, I want to apologize in advance for any insensitivity or inaccuracies in this post. I cannot pretend I am as educated as I would like to be, but I am extremely passionate in learning about others and using my privilege for good.
Since the horrific murder of African American, George Floyd on May 25th 2020, rightful outrage has broken out worldwide over the injustice and disgraceful blatant racism that is still going on in 2020. Fifty seven years since Martin Luther King Jr. spoke his, “I Have A Dream” speech during the March On Washington For Jobs And Freedom on August 28th 1963. Fifty one years since Marsha P. Johnson, a Black Trans Woman, Sylvia Rivera, a Latina American Transgender Activist, Raymond Castro, a Latino gay man, Miss Major Griffin – Gracy, a Black Trans woman and Storm Delaverie, a Mixed Raced lesbian, fought during the Stonewall Riots on June 28th 1969. Which begs the question, why is it half a century later so many Black Lives are being taken mercilessly each day?
With June being the month of PRIDE and as I am hugely passionate about LGBTQ+ Rights, I feel it is important to note that the first riot protesting was led by Black Trans Women and Gay Men. I must mention that Black Trans Women have an average life span of 35 YEARS – just let that sink in for a moment.
We are all the same, we are all human, nobody is born racist. It is so wonderful to have so many colours and cultures within our world and yet a huge number of people are hurting this. Without variety we would not be able to educate one another and learn about each others history.
For the people that are posting about how, “All Lives Matter” I can’t emphasize enough how frustrating this is. No one is saying that white people don’t matter, the injustice is not harming white people, there is no racial prejudice and harm coming to myself because of the colour of my skin. Yes, every single person in the world suffers and has hard times, but BAME are the only ones being persecuted because of their skin. The “Black Lives Matter” movement is bringing awareness to the dangers so many people suffer every single day, living in fear doing the most mundane things that we so often take for granted. It is worth noting that white people will never understand this pain and fear, but we can understand the suffering so many people of colour go through and try and prevent it from continuing. I have started a thread on my Twitter, to share each petition I have signed, hoping that others will take a few minutes to do the same – it is the least we can do.
I’m also going to share each of the petitions in this post, with information about the victims who have suffered such pain. People may have seen the murder of George Floyd and think this is the first of it’s kind and tragically, it is not. Police brutality is extremely real and not only is it happening in the USA, it is happening in the UK too. Inquest, have stated there have been 1741 DEATHS in police custody or otherwise following contact with the police in England and Wales since 1990, with 14% and 183 of them being of BAME . In 2019, mappingpolicebrutality states there were only 27 DAYS IN 2019 where police did not kill someone, 24% of the victims were black, despite being 13% of the population and in 99% of the killings NO ONE HAS BEEN CHARGED.
I simply must take the time to thank the amazing Nico, who runs blacklivesmatters, because of you I have been able to educate myself and sign petitions on incredible people, that I admittedly had no idea existed. Thanks to thehindu website, I have learnt that between 2013 – 2019, 42 PER MILLION populations of African Americans were killed in police shootings – the highest among races, with statistics showing they are THREE TIMES more likely to be murdered than white people. Furthermore, over 17% of African American victims were UNARMED.
Here are a few of the many lives which have been lost and families which have been destroyed. It is important to remember these victims and share their stories. I’m ashamed to say that I had only heard about one of the stories that I am posting, which goes to show how many are ignored, and never spoken about. This is not acceptable, no one deserves such inhumanity and suffering. I am aware that these facts are hard to read and may be triggering to some, which I do apologize for, not because they have to be read, but because they ever happened in the first place. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves and not turn a blind eye to the injustices and tragedies which is happening daily in our world.
A 17 year old African American teenager, who was fatally shot in Sanford, Florida by George Zimmerman, on February 26th 2012. Trayvon was walking alone to his father’s fiancée’s house from a store and Zimmerman, a member of the community watch, saw Trayvon and reported him to the Sanford Police as suspicious. Several minutes later, there was an altercation and Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon in the chest. Zimmerman was NOT charged at the time and when he eventually was tried, he was ACQUITTED of second-degree murder and manslaughter.
A 28 year old African American woman, who was found hanged in her jail cell in Waller County, Texas, on July 13th 2015. Sandra had been pulled over for a minor traffic violation, three days earlier by State Trooper Brian Encinia, who ended up arresting her with the charge of assaulting a police officer. Part of the exchange was recorded and after authorities reviewed the footage, Encinia was placed on administrative leave for failing to follow proper traffic stop procedures. However, in December 2015, a grand jury decided AGAINST indicting the country sheriff and jail staff for any misdemeanors regarding Sandra’s tragic death. Encinia was eventually indicted for making false statements about Sandra’s arrest and was fired. However, in June 2017 the perjury charges against him were DROPPED, with the confirmation he would end his law enforcement career.
A 92 year old African American woman, who was killed by undercover police in her home on Neal Street in northwest Atlanta on November 21st 2006. They broke down her door and fired 39 SHOTS at her, with five or six hitting – she fired one, which didn’t harm anyone. The officers were found to have falsified evidence, stating drugs were present in her home, which was the original cause for the raid. Jason R. Smith, Gregg Junnier, and Arthur Tesler were tried for MANSLAUGHTER and sentenced to only 10, 6 and 5 YEARS.
A 23 year old African American man, who was killed the morning before his Wedding, on November 25th 2006. Detective Paul Headley fired one shot, officer Michael Carey fired three times, officer Marc Cooper shot FOUR TIMES, and officer Gescard Isnora shot ELEVEN TIMES and officer Michael Oliver shot 31 TIMES, reloading his gun AT LEAST once. Two of Sean’s friends, JOSEPH GUZMAN and TRENT BENEFIELD were severely wounded but thankfully survived. Isnora and Oliver were charged with first and second degree MANSLAUGHTER, whilst Cooper was charged with RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT. All three were ACQUITTED, only being fired or forced to resign from the force.
A 43 year old African American man, who was killed by New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo, after he was placed in a chokehold whilst being arrested on July 17th 2004. The medical examiners actually RULED HIS DEATH AS A HOMICIDE however, Pantaleo was NOT charged with murder and was only fired on August 19th 2019, MORE THANFIVE YEARS after Eric’s death.
A 22 year old African American woman, who was killed by an off-duty Chicago police detective, Dante Servin, on March 21st 2012. Rekia’s friend, ANTONIA CROSS was also shot in the hand. Over a year later, in November 2013, Servin was charged with INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER, but was CLEARED OF ALL CHARGES, by Judge Dennis J. Porter on April 20th 2015. Servin resigned two days before his departmental hearing on May 17th 2016, FOUR YEARS after Rekia’s murder.
A 23 year old Guinean immigrant, who was murdered by four New York City plain clothed police officers, Sean Carroll, Richard Murphy, Edward McMellon, and Kenneth Boss, on February 4th 1999. They fired 41 SHOTS, of which 19 HIT AMADOU and were charged only with SECOND DEGREE MURDER – all ended up being ACQUITTED. In 2015, Boss was PROMOTED to sergeant – he had already murdered PATRICK BAILEY, a 22 year old Jamaican born American Citizen on October 31st 1997.
MICHAEL BROWN JR.:
A 18 year old African American man, who was murdered by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, on August 9th 2014. Michael was UNARMED with his friend, DORIAN JOHNSON and his body was left in the street for FOUR HOURS before he was removed. On August 11th, a Civil Rights Investigation was opened, but on March 4th 2015, CLEARED Wilson of any civil rights violations. He was NOT charged. On November 29th, Wilson resigned from the force, citing security concerns.
KIMANI “KIKI” GRAY:
A 16 year old African American boy, who was murdered by two plain clothed New York City police officers, Mourad Mourad and Jovaniel Cordova, on March 9th 2013. He was shot at ELEVEN TIMES, and was hit by SEVEN of them. Mourad was nominated for, “Cop Of The Year” in 2014, despite being named in THREE FEDERAL LAWSUITS FOR VIOLATING CIVIL RIGHTS along with another shooting in 2011. Both have NOT been charged.
KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN SR.:
A 68 year old African American man, who was murdered by police officer, Anthony Carelli after inadvertently triggering his LifeAid medical alert necklace. The officers broke down his door, even after Kenneth stated he did not need assistance and had asked them to leave. They stayed for one hour trying to force the door open and an officer called Stephen Hart, swore at him and called him horrific racist words. Kenneth was UNARMED, which DNA evidence has proven and was TASERED and shot at TWICE. In 2012 the case was reviewed by a grand jury and the officers were NOT charged.
A 16 year old African American boy, who was murdered by security guards, William Patrick Swofford and Bryan Ansley, in a parking lot on July 16th 2005. Originally, the two men were NOT charged, it wasn’t until FOUR MONTHS later in November, that Swofford was charged with MANSLAUGHTER and both with SHOOTING INTO AN OCCUPIED VEHICLE. The charges later ended up being DISMISSED.
A 12 year old African American boy, who was SHOT TWICE in Cleveland, Ohio by police officer Timothy Loehmann, on November 22nd 2014. He was simply playing with a TOY GUN and ended up dying in hospital the next day. Loehmann was NOT CHARGED and was only fired THREE YEARS LATER in 2017, after it was revealed that he had been labelled an EMOTIONALLY UNSTABLE RECRUIT and UNFIT FOR DUTY in his previous job.
A 7 year old African American girl, who was murdered by police officer, Joseph Weekley, during a house raid, on May 16th 2010. In October 2011, Weekley was charged INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER and RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT WITH A GUN. Weekley ended up having two mistrials and the judge actually DISMISSED the involuntary manslaughter charge in the second one. Five years later, on January 28th 2015, Weekley was CLEARED of his reckless endangerment with a gun charge, meaning the third retrial would not happen.
A 25 year old African American man, who was arrested on April 12th 2015 by lieutenant Brian W. Rice, officer Edward Nero, and officer Garrett E. Miller, after running away from them, whilst they were patrolling. Freddie was subsequently charged with having a knife in his possession, although no harm was caused and the knife was not used. Freddie was then placed in a transport van within 11 minutes of his arrest and half an hour later he was IN A COMA. He died on April 19th, a week after his arrest, with his cause of death being stated as injuries to his spinal cord. The medical examiners ruled his death a HOMICIDE, saying that his injuries had been sustained whilst being transported and that the officers FAILED TO FOLLOW SAFETY PROCEDURES. Six officers were filed with various criminal charges, including MANSLAUGHTER, ILLEGAL ARREST, RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT and SECOND DEGREE “DEPRAVED-HEART” MURDER for officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., who was driving the van. Each officer was granted a separate trial, Porters resulted in a MISTRIAL, whilst Nero, Rice and Goodson were all ACQUITTED. Any of the various other charges were subsequently DROPPED.
A 40 year old black man, who died following a cardiac arrest whilst in police custody, in South London, England on August 28th 2008. Sean suffered with paranoid schizophrenia and was in a vulnerable mental state, resulting in the hostel staff he lived with calling 999 FIVE TIMES over a period of THREE HOURS. They were informed by operator, Maurice Glove that Sean was NOT A POLICE PRIORITY. Response was eventually made after members of the public had observed Sean acting strangely in the street. Four police officers chased him and he was handcuffed and restrained in a face down position, being LENT ON FOR 8 MINUTES. FOUR YEARS LATER in 2012, Southwalk Coroner’s Court concluded police had used, “UNSUITABLE AND UNNECESSARY FORCE” and their failings, “MORE THAN MINIMALLY” contributed to his death. In March 2013, sergeant Paul White and officer Mark Harratt were arrested on perverting the court of justice, regarding the evidence presented at Sean’s inquest. However, in October 2014, the CPS decided NOT to charge them. Sean’s family did request a Right To Review policy and White was charged with PERJURY – ultimately, he was ACQUITTED in November 2016.
Here are some of the petitions I have came across to support, it simply takes a few seconds of your time and every signature helps. Please also take the time to read the victims stories and share, together our voices have power and can hopefully help in moving towards a happier and healthier society.
From reading various sources of information, it is advised to not donate to change.org, as it is a private corporation and none of the funds go towards the organizations or people that have put the petitions together. Of course, continue to sign the petitions, but please take the time to read theirFAQ regarding donations.
Here is a list of recommended websites via blacklivesmatters: ______________________________________________________________________________
Today is a very special day, it’s Marilyn’s Birthday! Can you believe that if she were still alive, Marilyn would have been turning 94 years old today – just two months younger than the Queen herself! With each year I always try and write a special post about this amazing woman, who has helped me so much and achieved more than anyone could have imagined in her 36 years. Therefore, I decided to write 94 facts about the Birthday Girl – some you may know, some you may not, all in the hope that genuine things will be learnt and the real Marilyn will be more understood and appreciated.
2. Born in the charity ward of the Los Angeles County Hospital at 9:30 AM on June 1st 1926.
3. Married three times;
– Jim Dougherty: (June 19th 1942 – September 13th 1946) – Joe Dimaggio: (January 14th 1954 – 31st October 1955) (Temporary divorce granted on October 27th 1954) – Arthur Miller: (June 29th 1956 – January 20th 1961).
4. Suffered two confirmed miscarriages; an ectopic pregnancy on August 1st 1957 and miscarriage in December 16th 1958.
5. Suffered with endometriosis very badly, so much so that she had a clause in her contract which stated she would be unable to work whilst menstruating.
6. Starred in 30 films – her last being uncompleted.
8. Winner of three Golden Globes; two for World Film Favourite – Female in 1954 and 1962 and one for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical for her performance as Sugar Kane in Some Like It Hot (1959) in 1960.
9. Her idol was the first Platinum Blonde Bombshell, Jean Harlow.
10. Amassed a collection of over 400 books in her library, ranging from Russian Literature to Psychology.
11. Favourite perfume was Chanel No.5
12. Had two half siblings; Robert “Jackie” Baker (1918 – 1933) and Bernice Miracle (1919) – the former she would never have the chance to meet and Bernice was not informed about Marilyn until she was 19 years old.
13. Former Actor and 20th Century Fox Studio Executive, Ben Lyon created the name Marilyn Monroe in December 1946 – Marilyn after fellow Actress, Marilyn Miller and Monroe after Marilyn’s mother’s maiden name. Ironically enough, Ben starred with Jean Harlow, in her breakout movie, Hell’s Angels (1930).
14. Legally changed her name to Marilyn Monroe ten years later, on February 23rd 1956.
15. Attended The Actors Studio.
16. Third woman to start her own Film Production Company – the first being Lois Weber in 1917 and the second being Mary Pickford in 1919.
17. First had her hair bleached in January 1946 at the Frank & Joseph Salon by Beautician Sylvia Barnhart, originally intended for a Shampoo Advert.
18. Contrary to popular belief, she was technically a natural blonde, not a redhead or brunette. She was born with platinum hair and was very fair until just before her teen years. Her sister described her with having dark blonde hair upon their first meeting in 1944.
19. Another myth debunked – she had blue eyes, not brown.
20. Was one of the few women in the 1950s to use weights when exercising.
21. Wore jeans before it was considered acceptable for women.
22. Her famous mole was real – albeit skin coloured, so she emphasized it using a brown eye pencil.
23. Was a Step-Mother in two of her three marriages to three children – Joe Dimaggio Jr. and Bobby and Jane Miller.
25. Another huge myth dispelled – only actually met President Kennedy four times from 1961 – 1962. Three of them were at public events, with the last being her performance at Madison Square Garden. One of them was at Bing Crosby’s Palm Spring house with various people, so at most (which again, is very unlikely) they had a one night stand – nothing more and nothing less.
26. Was the first Playboy Cover Girl, although she did not actually pose for them, nor give permission for them to be used. Hugh Hefner bought the photograph from a Chicago Calendar Company for $500 and the two never met.
27. Speaking of Playboy, the photo was taken by Photographer Tom Kelley on May 27th 1951 and Marilyn made a total of $50 for the photo shoot. The most famous photo then went on to cause a national sensation after being sold to the Calendar Baumgarth Company and became known as, “Golden Dreams“.
28. In 1955 it was estimated that over four million copies of the Calendar had been sold.
29. Favourite singers were Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.
30. Attended the Academy Awards Ceremony only once on March 29th 1951 and presented the award for “Best Sound Recording” to Thomas Moulton for All About Eve (1951) which she also starred in.
31. Performed ten shows over four days to over 100,000 soldiers and marines in Korea in February 1954 – she actually ended up catching pneumonia because it was so cold.
32. Was one of the few Stars who had Director Approval in their Contracts. Some of the names included were, John Huston, Elia Kazan, Alfred Hitchcock, George Stevens, William Wyler, Joshua Logan and Sir Carol Reed.
33. Was pregnant during the filming of Some Like It Hot (1959) – filming finished on November 7th 1958 and she miscarried the following month on December 16th.
34. Featured on the cover of LIFE Magazine seven times during her lifetime;
– April 7th 1952 – May 25th 1953 – July 8th 1957 (International Edition) – April 20th 1959 – November 9th 1959 – August 15th 1960 – June 22nd 1962
35. Favourite bevarage was Dom Perignon 1953 Champagne.
36. By the time of her death, her films had grossed over $200 million, when adjusted for inflation that is the equivalent of $2 billion in 2019.
37. Designer, William Travilla dressed Marilyn for seven of her films, two (*) of them received Oscar Nominations in, “Best Costume/Design, Color“;
42. Her Production Company, Marilyn Monroe Productions produced only one film, The Prince and The Showgirl (1957) based on Terrance Rattigan’s play, The Sleeping Prince.
43. Was photographed by Gene Kornman on February 25th 1952 wearing a potato sack dress. This was after being criticized by the press for her outfit choice, a month earlier, at The Henrietta Awards in January 1952. A journalist wrote that Marilyn was “insignificant and vulgar“and “even in a potato bag, it would have been more elegant. Ironically enough, this was the second time Marilyn had donned a potato sack dress, the first was photographed by Earl Theisen and appeared in LOOK Magazine in October 1951 and Filmland Magazine in April 1952.
44. Was a huge supporter of LGBT+ rights, saying the following quote about fellow actor and friend, Montgomery Clift to journalist W.J. Weatherby in 1960,
“I was remembering Monty Clift. People who aren’t fit to open the door for him sneer at his homosexuality. What do they know about it? Labels–people love putting labels on each other. Then they feel safe. People tried to make me into a lesbian. I laughed. No sex is wrong if there’s love in it.”
45. Her measurements were listed as the following by her Dressmakers; 35-22-35 and 36-24-24 by The Blue Book Modelling Agency. For the majority of her life she weighed between 117-120 pounds, with her weight fluctuating around 15 pounds, during and after her pregnancies (1957-1960), although her waist never ventured past 28.5 inches and her dress size today would be a UK Size 6-8 and a US Size 2-4 as she was a vintage Size 12.
46. Her famous white halter dress from The Seven Year Itch (1955)sold for $4.6 million ($5.6 million including auction fees) on June 18th 2011, which was owned by Debbie Reynolds. The “Happy Birthday Mr. President Dress” originally held the record for the most expensive dress, when it was sold on October 27th 1999 for $1.26 million. It then went on to be resold for $4.8 million on November 17th 2016, thus regaining it’s original achievement.
47. Was discovered by Photographer, David Conover, whilst working in The Radio Plane Munitions Factory in the Fall of 1944 or Spring of 1945, depending on sources.
48. Now known as the, “Me Too” movement, Marilyn was one of the first Stars to speak out on the, “Hollywood Wolves” in a 1953 article for Motion Picture Magazine entitled, “Wolves I Have Known”. The most famous incident being with the Head of Columbia Studios, Harry Cohn, who requested Marilyn join him on his yacht for a weekend away in Catalina Island. Marilyn asked if his wife would be joining them, which, as you can imagine – did not go down well and her contract was not renewed with the Studio. Marilyn made only one film with Columbia during her six month contract, this being Ladies Of The Chorus (1948) which was shot in just ten days!
49. Loved animals dearly and adopted a variety of pets over the years. These included a basset hound called Hugo and parakeets, Clyde, Bobo and Butch with Husband Arthur Miller. A number of cats including a persian breed called Mitsou in 1955 and Sugar Finney in 1959. Her most famous pet was gifted to her in March or April of 1961 by friend, Frank Sinatra, a little white maltese named Maf. His full name was Mafia Honey, as a humorous reference to Sinatra’s alleged connections to the Mob. After Marilyn’s death, Maf went to live with Frank Sinatra’s secretary, Gloria Lovell.
50. The book she was reading at the time of her death was Harper Lee’s, To Kill A Mocking Bird.
51. One of the movies she starred in was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and won, this being All About Eve (1950) at The 23rd Academy Awards on March 29th 1951. It ended up being nominated for 14 Oscars, a record at the time and has only been matched by Titanic (1997) and La La Land (2016).
52. Her first magazine cover was photographed by Andre de Dienes in December 1945 for Family Circle, released on April 26th 1946.
53. Joined The William Morris Agency on December 7th 1948.
54. Was right handed, not left as often believed.
55. Third Husband Arthur Miller wrote the screenplay for Marilyn’s last completed film, The Misfits (1961) which was originally written as a short story for Esquire Magazine in 1957. After the tragic ectopic pregnancy Marilyn endured in August of 1957, friend and Photographer, Sam Shaw suggested to Miller he alter his short story specifically for her. Ironically the making of this film culminated in their divorce and Marilyn stating,
“He could have written me anything and he comes up with this. If that’s what he thinks of me then I’m not for him and he’s not for me.”
56. Was Author, Truman Capote’s original choice for the role of Holly Golightly in Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961) however, she was advised to turn it down by her Acting Coach, Paula Strasberg, who did not think the role of a prostitute would be good for her image. Writer George Axelrod, who wrote the Screenplay for Bus Stop (1956) and the play, The Seven Year Itch, ironically ended up being the Screenwriter for this movie.
Capote said this regarding Marilyn,
“I had seen her in a film and thought she would be perfect for the part. Holly had to have something touching about her . . . unfinished. Marilyn had that.”
57. Second Husband Joe Dimaggio had The Parisian Florists deliver red roses on Marilyn’s grave twice a week, for twenty years, from August 1962 until September 1982. Marilyn had told him how William Powell used to do this for Jean Harlow after her death and he reportedly vowed to do the same after their Wedding Ceremony. After the 20 years he then donated to a children’s charity, as he thought it would be a nice way to honour her memory. They also created the flower arrangements for her casket at her funeral.
58. The following five Directors directed Marilyn in more than one movie;
– John Huston; The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and The Misfits (1961) – Richard Sale; A Ticket To Tomahawk (1950) and Let’s Make It Legal (1951) – Howard Hawks; Monkey Business (1952) and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) – Billy Wilder; The Seven Year Itch (1955) and Some Like It Hot (1959) – George Cukor; Let’s Make Love (1960) and Something’s Got To Give (1962)
59. Was an illegitimate child, which unfortunately was attached with a lot of stigma in the 1920s. Her mother, Gladys, listed her then husband Edward Mortenson on the Birth Certificate, although it is commonly accepted that her real father was Charles Stanley Gifford, as Gladys left Edward on May 26th 1925. Gladys had an affair with him, which ended when she announced her pregnancy and he never acknowledged or met Marilyn, although she tried multiple times over the years to speak with him.
60. Stayed in a number of foster homes during her childhood,
– George and Emma Atkinson; February 1934 – September 1934 – Enid and Sam Knebelcamp; Fall of 1934 – Harvey and Elsie Giffen; January 1935 – March 1935 – Grace and “Doc” Goddard; April 1935 – September 1935 and June 1937 – November 1937 and end of 1940 – February 1942 – Ida Martin; November 1937 – August 1938 – “Aunt Ana” Lower; August 1938 – End of 1940 and February 1942
61. Had her hand and footprints immortalized in cement at Graumans Chinese Theatre on June 26th 1953, with Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) co-star, Jane Russell. Marilyn would place a rhinestone in the dot of the letter “i” as a reference to her character, “Lorelei Lee” but it was sadly stolen. This was an incredibly special moment for her, as she often talked about placing her hands and feet in the many prints there, when she spent her weekends at the Theatre as a child, especially in 1933 and 1934.
“When I was younger, I used to go to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and try to fit my foot in the prints in the cement there. And I’d say “Oh, oh, my foots too big. I guess that’s out.” I did have a funny feeling later when I finally put my foot down into that wet cement, I sure knew what it really meant to me, anything’s possible, almost.”
62. The famous gold lamé dress worn in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and designed by William Travilla, was deemed too risqué by the censors. Unfortunately for fans, this meant that the musical number, “Down Boy” was cut from the film and we only glimpse a few seconds of the dress from behind, on screen.
63. Due to the censors, the original, “Diamond’s Are A Girl’s Best Friend” costume was changed to the now iconic pink dress with black bow. Originally it was to be a diamond encrusted two piece, which was extremely daring for the then Motion Picture Hays Code.
64. Loved Erno Lazlo Skin Cream, Vaseline and Nivea Moisturizer.
65. Had she completed Something’s Got To Give (1962), Marilyn would have been the first Star in a major Motion Picture to appear nude on film. As she passed before it was completed the achievement went to fellow Blonde Bombshell, Jayne Mansfield in, Promises! Promises (1963).
66. Met Queen Elizabeth II in England at the Empire Theater in Leicester Square whilst attending the Premiere of, “The Battle Of The River Plate“ on October 29th 1956.
67. The Misfits (1961) was both Marilyn and Clark Gable’s last completed films. Clark died 12 days after filming finished, on November 16th 1960. The film was released on Clark’s would be 60th Birthday, February 1st 1961 and Marilyn passed 18 months later.
68. As Marilyn died before the completion of Something’s Got To Give (1962) it ended up being remade with Doris Day and James Garner, entitled, Move Over Darling! (1963). The film was originally intended to be a remake of, My Favourite Wife (1940) which starred Cary Grant.
69. Signed a recording contract with RCA Records on September 1st 1953. One of her songs from River of No Return (1954) entitled, “File My Claim” sold 75,000 copies in its first three weeks of release.
70. Was admitted to the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic on February 10th 1961 by her then Psychiatrist, Marianne Kris. Originally thought to be for rest and rehabilitation, following her divorce from Arthur Miller and the strain of filming The Misfits. However, Marilyn was placed on the security ring and held against her will. Thankfully, she was able to contact ex Husband, Joe Dimaggio, who stated he would, “Take the hospital apart brick by brick” if she was not released and after three days of emotional trauma, she left.
71. Visited the following Countries;
– Canada – (July – August 1953) – Japan (February 1954) – Korea (Feburary 1954) – England (July – November 1956) – Jamaica (January 1957) – Mexico (February 1962)
72. Purchased her only home, 12305 Fifth Helena Drive on February 8th 1962, where she would tragically pass just under 6 months later.
73. The home had the following tile located on the front paving entrance saying, “cursum perficio” meaning, “my journey ends here.” The title is still there to this day.
74. Her final interview was published in LIFE Magazine on August 3rd 1962 and was written by Richard Meryman.
75. Aside from her millions of fans, had a staunch group of supporters affectionately known as, “The Monroe Six” who followed Marilyn around New York during her time there. Their nickname for Marilyn was, “Mazzie” and they became so acquainted that Marilyn actually once invited them for a picnic at her home.
76. First married at just sixteen years old, this was to avoid returning to the Orphanage she had spent almost two years in as a child.
77. Supported numerous charity events, most famously riding a pink elephant in Madison Square Garden, to support the Arthritis and Rheumatic Affections Association on March 30th 1955.
78. Left 25% of her Estate to her then Psychiatrist, Marianne Kris and 75% to mentor and friend, Lee Strasberg. For reference, her Will was last updated on January 1961 – a month before she entered the Payne Whitney Hospital on the advice of Marianne Kris.
79. At the time of it’s release, The Misfits (1961) turned out to be the most expensive black and white movie ever made, costing a budget of $4 million dollars.
80. The Premiere of The Seven Year Itch was held on her 29th Birthday, on June 1st 1955, she attended with ex Husband, Joe Dimaggio.
81. Laid to rest at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery on August 8th 1962 at 1:00 PM, with friend and mentor Lee Strasberg delivering the Eulogy.
82. Although so often associated with diamonds, actually wasn’t that fond of jewellery stating, “People always ask me if I believe diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Frankly, I don’t.”
83. Spent her 36th Birthday filming Something’s Got To Give (1962) and then attending a Charity Event for muscular dystrophy at the Chavez Ravin Dodger Stadium, which also happened to be her last public appearance.
84. Whilst recovering in hospital from an appendectomy in April 1952, Marilyn asked long time Makeup Artist and friend, Allan “Whitey” Snyder to do her makeup, should she pass before him. She gave him a gold money clip with the inscription, “Whitey Dear, while I’m still warm, Marilyn” and he did fulfill this promise to her.
85. Converted to Judaism for third husband, Arthur Miller on July 1st 1956.
86. Despite appearing in 30 films, she only actually dies in one, that being her breakout movie, Niagara (1953) where her character Rose Loomis, is strangled by her Husband George, played by Joseph Cotten.
87. Moved to New York City in 1955 and attended The Actors Studio, after breaking her Film Contract with 20th Century Fox. This was for a number of reasons, mainly years of low pay, unsatisfactory scripts and lack of creative control. A new contract would finally be reinstated on December 31st.
88. Repurchased a white Baby Grand Piano that her mother, Gladys, owned during their time living together in 1933. After Marilyn passed it would then be sold at the Christies Auction of her Estate in 1999 to none other than, Mariah Carey for $632,500.
89. Wore long hair pieces in River of No Return (1954) and a medium length wig in The Misfits (1961). The first I can only assume was due to the time period and setting of a Western and the second was due to the bleach damage her hair had suffered. After the filming in 1960, she wore the wig a couple of times in public events and then reverted back to her normal hair.
90. Like all students, it was tradition to perform in front of each other in The Actors Studio and on February 17th 1955, Marilyn acted out a scene from “Anna Christie” with Maureen Stapleton. Although it was an unwritten rule that students were not meant to applaud one another, an eruption of cheers and clapping happened after Marilyn had finished.
“Everybody who saw that says that it was not only the best work Marilyn ever did, it was some of the best work ever seen at Studio, and certainly the best interpretation of Anna Christie anybody ever saw. She achieved real greatness in that scene.”
– Actor Ellen Burstyn, on recalling Marilyn’s performance.
91. Used the pseudonym, “Zelda Zonk“, when trying to remain incognito.
92. Marilyn’s mother, Gladys Baker, suffered from Paranoid Schizophrenia and after various stays in institutions, was declared insane on January 15th 1935, when Marilyn was just 8 years old. After 10 years she was released and managed to retain various cleaning jobs and had developed an intense interest in Christian Science. However, by 1951 she was back in various institutions and would stay in the Rockhaven Sanitarium until 1967. Even after death, Marilyn continued to cover her mother’s care payments and Gladys would go on to outlive her for 22 years.
93. Favourite photograph of herself was taken by Cecil Beaton on February 22nd 1956.
94. Last professional photos were taken by Bert Stern, famously known as “The Last Sitting” for Vogue Magazine on June 23rd, July 10th and 12th 1962. Allan Grant took the LIFE Magazine interview pictures in her home, on July 4th and 9th 1962. Whilst George Barris took his photos for Cosmopolitan Magazine, the previous weekend on the 29th and 30th of June, until July 1st 1962. ______________________________________________________________________________
To those of you who took the time to read through all 3000+ words, thank you! It truly means more to me than you know and I really hope it’s shed some light on the truly special person Marilyn was and made you hold a good thought for her on her big day.