Happy 95th Birthday Marilyn!

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.

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JUNE 1ST 1926:

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.

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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.

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58 Years Without Marilyn.

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.

Thankfully, I was lucky and never fell down that ridiculous rabbit hole in the first place. I discovered Marilyn whilst reading an article in Vanity Fair magazine almost ten years ago, discussing the then upcoming release of, Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters by Marilyn Monroe.

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.
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• 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
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• Undated Poem shared with Norman Rosten and published in his book, Marilyn: An Untold Story.

To the Weeping Willow

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.
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• 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
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• 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
so one
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.
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Undated Poem

for life
It is rather a determination not to be overwhelmed.

for work
The truth can only be recalled, never invented
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• “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
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• “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
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• 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
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• 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.
______________________________________________________________________________

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Happy 94th Birthday Marilyn!

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.

______________________________________________________________________________

1.  Stood at a height of 5’5½”

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.

7. Favourite of her own performances was as Angela Phinlay in The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

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.

24. Found out she landed the lead role in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) on her 26th Birthday.

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“;

Monkey Business (1952)
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
How To Marry A Millionaire (1953) *
River Of No Return (1954)
There’s No Business Like Show Business (1954) *
The Seven Year Itch (1955)
Bus Stop (1956)

38. Spent 21 months of her childhood at the Los Angeles Orphanage, from September 13th 1935 until June 7th 1937.

39. Was one of the first Stars to speak out about child abuse, with her story appearing in movie magazines as early as 1954.

40. Fostered by her grandmother’s neighbours, Ida and Albert Bolender, for the first seven years of her life.

41. Lived in England for four months, during the period of filming for The Prince and The Showgirl (1957) from July 14th 1956 – November 20th 1956.

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.
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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.

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57 Years Without Marilyn.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Happy 91st Birthday Marilyn!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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53 Years Without Marilyn.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Links:

alwaysmarilynmonroe – Instagram
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52yearswithoutmarilyn
ourmarilynmonroe
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immortalmarilyn.com
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“I cannot say goodbye. Marilyn never liked goodbyes, but in the peculiar way she had of turning things around so that they faced reality – I will say au revoire. For the country to which she has gone, we must all someday visit. – Lee Strasberg’s Eulogy for Marilyn on 8th August 1962.

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

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