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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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.

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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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The Little Book of Marilyn: Inspiration From The Goddess of Glam by Michelle Morgan; Book Review.

If there’s one Author to be excited about, upon hearing an announcement of an up and coming Marilyn book, it’s none other than Michelle Morgan. Michelle has been a true super fan since discovering the beautiful blonde on a postcard, whilst Holidaying in Devon in 1985. Since then, she has gone on to write a staggering six books devoted to my favourite lady, with her first being Marilyn’s Addresses, written over twenty years ago in 1995. Therefore, all I can say is – thank you Devon!

In the almost nine years since I first Discovered Marilyn, I’ve been incredibly lucky to not only find and appreciate Michelle as a wonderful writer – recommending her work to many Marilyn fans, but I’ve also been able to call her my friend! Not only have her books taught me so much about Marilyn the human and artist, she has always supported me by listening and offering me advice with her kind words  – something which has always been greatly treasured.

I’ve been very fortunate to know about The Little Book of Marilyn for over a year and for one almost surreal reason why – Michelle kindly asked me if I wanted to be interviewed for inclusion in the book! Needless to say I didn’t hesitate for a moment to say yes and one month before publication, I’ve kindly received a complimentary copy of the book to share my thoughts with you all! 

If you’ve read any of Michelle’s books then you’ll know you’re never disappointed and she always manages to blow even the highest expectations out of the water. Therefore, it’s no surprise to say that The Little Book of Marilyn, is of course, no different! 

The book features a stunning glamour shot of Marilyn with a beautiful pink and orange Fleur-de-lis background, it’s flexibound format means it will always stay in beautiful condition and its travel size makes it easy to carry around with you and stay inspired by only the best! If the beautiful outer packaging wasn’t enough, the 224 pages are filled with many high quality pictures – quite a few rare ones too!

The contents include the following sections;
______________________________________________________________________________

Introduction

Chapter 1: Her Story

Chapter 2: Inspiration

Chapter 3: Style 

Chapter 4: Beauty

Chapter 5: Life Skills

Chapter 6: Personal Effects 

Chapter 7: Walk With Marilyn
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It’s no secret that there have been definitely hundreds, possibly thousands of books written on Marilyn since her passing, almost fifty seven years ago. A unique few, (Michelle’s most definitely are included) have been amazing, a fair amount have been pretty good and a large sum have been downright awful. However, none have had this fabulous concept and that is further reason for it to be a must have in any collection.

It’s full of details on Marilyn’s life and career, but includes many tutorials and lessons on how to be inspired by a Star that is so often misrepresented in society and the media. Michelle offers a true, genuine insight into the real Marilyn and stays clear of the ridiculous conspiracies and lies. She gives fans like myself, the chance to express just how truly inspiring Marilyn has been to so many even half a century after she left us. The guide like format means you can read it in any order you please or choose to focus on a particular section that is interesting to you.

Ironically enough, I feel the person that would benefit from reading this book the most is Marilyn herself, she was her biggest critic and often full of doubt and disbelief. Therefore, I feel if she could read and see the impact she has had on the millions of fans who love and appreciate her, she may have felt just a little less alone.

Lastly, on behalf of all Marilyn fans, I want to thank Michelle for writing such beautiful books about Hollywood’s Brightest Star and continuing to educate and preserve Marilyn’s very special memory. A big thank you to Running Press for publishing Michelle’s amazing work and for kindly gifting me this beautiful copy, I will truly treasure it!

The Little Book of Marilyn is available to Pre-Order from Amazon UK at £11.34 and will be released on July 25th and is out in the USA on July 9th!

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Happy 93rd Birthday Marilyn!

Today would be Marilyn’s 93rd Birthday, she has been in my life for almost a decade and I still find it so surreal to think that in theory, she should still be here. Sadly, we all know that is not the case and the reality is that Marilyn left the world over fifty five years ago. It’s sometimes hard to comprehend that Marilyn wasn’t just a Hollywood Star but a human being, just like you and me. However, today is not for dwelling, it is a very important day to millions of fans and myself, as the worlds Brightest Star is ultimately still shining half a century later!

To celebrate Marilyn’s big day, I usually spend it in the best way I know possible, having a Movie Marathon watching my favourite Actress. Unfortunately, so many people see Marilyn as just another silly Blonde Bombshell who didn’t have much talent and was basically playing herself on the screen. However, I can’t emphasize enough that the sweet, lovable, pretty face was so much more than what people perceive. As someone who has watched her films a countless number of times, I actually appreciate her comedic performances over her dramatic ones. This is because people tend to view dramas with more acclaim and respect and the Award Shows further prove this, when in fact comedies should not be overlooked.

In the wise words of Vivien Leigh – an Actress who yes, was more respected critically than Marilyn, but, ultimately was more appreciated more for her looks too,

“Comedy is much more difficult than tragedy – and a much better training, I think. It’s much easier to make people cry than to make them laugh.”

Marilyn was incredibly dedicated to her craft and spent numerous hours educating herself on the Performing Arts and trying to be the best she could possibly be. When you learn about Marilyn you realize how much she suffered mentally and the strength she must have found to deliver such beautiful performances. It hurts to think that she didn’t always feel like the bubbly Blonde Bombshell so many know and love her for, as no one more than Marilyn deserved to be appreciated and loved. She was such a perfectionist and would spend hours analyzing and being critical of her acting abilities and performance in each film.

“We not only want to be good, we have to be. You know, when they talk about nervousness, my teacher, Lee Strasberg, when I said to him, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I’m a little nervous,” he said, “When you’re not, give up, because nervousness indicates sensitivity.” Also, a struggle with shyness is in every actor more than anyone can imagine. There is a censor inside us that says to what degree do we let go, like a child playing. I guess people think we just go out there, and you know, that’s all we do. Just do it. But it’s a real struggle. I’m one of the world’s most self-conscious people. I really have to struggle.”

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

Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to choose five of Marilyn’s films in which she believed she gave the best performances or received great critical acclaim, to recommend for others to watch. If there is any day that Marilyn should be celebrated (personally, I believe it’s all day every day) than it is on her Birthday.

Whilst looking through reviews of Marilyn’s films that were published during their original releases, it’s shocking to me to read the downright prejudice, sexism and ignorance surrounding her as an Actress. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, in my belief Marilyn was the greatest Actress of all time as it seems that even then, 99% of people believed she was just playing herself. Therefore, in believing their own ignorance, critics could continue their lack of acclaim and respect for ultimately, an extremely talented woman.

The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and The Seven Year Itch (1955)

Person to Person television appearance interview on April 8th 1955.

“Marilyn, what’s the best part you ever had in a movie?” – Edward R. Murrow

“Well one of the best parts I’ve ever had was, in The Asphalt Jungle, John Huston’s Picture and then, The Seven Year Itch, Billy Wilder’s Picture.”  – Marilyn

“You think that’s going to be a big one too, don’t you? The Seven Year Itch.” – Edward R. Murrow

“I think it will be a very good Picture and I would like to continue making this type of Picture.” – Marilyn

Dallas Morning News Review by Harold Hefferman published on June 18th 1950.

“Virtually unbilled and unidentified in a current movie, Asphalt Jungle, Marilyn’s breathtaking appearance immediately piques fandom’s curiosity and imagination. Not since the brief introduction of another tempestuous blond, Shelley Winters, three years ago in A Double Life, has a newcomer stirred up so much interest.” 

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

LIFE Magazine Interview with Journalist Richard Meryman published on August 17th 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!” – Marilyn

The Los Angeles Times Review by Edwin Schallert on August 1st 1953.

“Miss Monroe sparkles much of the time just as the diamonds do. Her work is insidiously intriguing in this picture, and at the same time almost childlike in its utter lack of guile. Her portrayal demonstrates that much may be maneuvered in her instance in the future to humorous advantage. She discloses a surprising light comedy touch.”

Time Magazine Review on July 27th 1953.

“As Lorelei Lee, who believes that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, Marilyn Monroe does the best job of her short career to date. [She] sings remarkably well, dances, or rather undulates all over, flutters the heaviest eyelids in show business and breathlessly delivers such lines of dialogue as, “Coupons – that’s almost like money,” as if she were in the throes of a grand passion.”

• Bus Stop (1956)

Speaking to reporters upon her arrival back in Hollywood to film Bus Stop, on February 25th 1956.

“Marilyn, are you happy to come back and do this Picture, are you pleased with the Bus- Picture Bus Stop?” – Reporter

“Oh yes, very much, I’m looking forward to working with Josh Logan, doing the Picture and it’s good to be back.” – Marilyn

“Was he in your selection as a Director?” – Reporter

“Twentieth Century Fox selected him and I have Director Approval and they asked if I would approve of him and definitely.” – Marilyn

“So you’re very happy, you think you’re going to make a very good Picture?” – Reporter

“I hope we do make a good picture, yes.” – Marilyn

The New York Times Review by Bosley Crowther published on September 1st 1956.

“HOLD onto your chairs, everybody, and get set for a rattling surprise. Marilyn Monroe has finally proved herself an actress in “Bus Stop.” She and the picture are swell!”

• Some Like It Hot (1959)

Variety Film Review published on February 24th 1959.

“To coin a phrase, Marilyn has never looked better. Her performance as “Sugar,” the fuzzy blonde who likes saxophone players “and men with glasses” has a deliciously naive quality. She’s a comedienne with that combination of sex appeal and timing that just can’t be beat.”

The New York Times Review by A. H. Weiler published on March 30th 1959.

“As the hand’s somewhat simple singer-ukulele player, Miss Monroe, whose figure simply cannot be overlooked, contributes more assets than the obvious ones to this madcap romp. As a pushover for gin and the tonic effect of saxophone players, she sings a couple of whispery old numbers (“Running Wild” and “I Wanna Be Loved by You”) and also proves to be the epitome of a dumb blonde and a talented comedienne.”

I hope however you choose to spend this day, you take a moment to think about Marilyn and in her own words, hold a good thought for her as if anyone deserved that, it was she.

“I Love Marilyn” by Sidney Skolsky published in Modern Screen Magazine in October 1953.

“Before the picture flashed on the screen, Marilyn whispered to me in that low, sexy voice that is natural with her: “Hold a good thought for me.” She always says that when embarking on an venture. She feels much better when you tell her you will.”

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56 Years Without Marilyn.

Fifty six years ago, the World’s Brightest Star took her final breath and left millions of fans in a state of shock and disbelief. No one could understand why this young beautiful talented woman, loved by so many, could leave Earth in such a heartbreaking manner. An autopsy was performed and the official cause of death was ruled as, “probable suicide” noting how Marilyn had experienced, “severe fears and frequent depressions” throughout her lifetime. However, an extremely large number of people still to this day could not except this as fact, fueling an enormous amount of conspiracies from the incredulous to down right bizarre about this very special human.

Ultimately, the only person who knows what happened to Marilyn on the night of her death is the lady herself and many can speculate for hours and hours but will still not have the precise answer they’re looking for. Marilyn’s tragic death should not and does not define her, she lived for 36 years and experienced and achieved more than many could wish for in a whole lifetime. She pursued her dreams fearlessly, constantly striving to reach her goals and become the best actress and person she could be – that should not be forgotten.

Personally, I believe her death was due to medical negligence, either accidental or possibly intentional – Marilyn did have a few attempts of suicide over the years, but her anxiety and depression could often change and I don’t think she wanted to leave the world forever, maybe just in that moment.

However, I don’t want to dwell on Marilyn’s final moments on Earth and I’m sure she wouldn’t want that either, the focus should be on the beautiful person she was and the unique life she had. When people pass young and unexpectedly, conspiracies and in some cases, morbid curiosities take over and in time this can dehumanize the person and make many forget about who they truly were. Furthermore, when someone has already obtained legend status in their lifetime, it can be further exaggerated and influenced when they are no longer here to speak for themselves.

Just because Marilyn was and will always be Hollywood’s most brightest star, that doesn’t mean she wasn’t a real person – she deserves just as much respect and love as we would give to any other human. I understand how people can forget this, as it’s almost hard to accept that someone so legendary as Marilyn was ultimately, one of us mere mortals. As she left the world over half a century ago, people seem to dismiss her as a real person and think they can repeat morbid conspiracies and disrespectful myths. Everyone has their right to freedom of speech, but that doesn’t mean a beautiful person should be lost over hearsay and flat out lies.

I always think to myself how lucky I am to have taken the time to learn about Marilyn and appreciate her for the amazing person she truly was. Sadly, so many people will miss out on this because they believe everything that’s posted on the internet and automatic judgement steers them away from any authentic research. If there’s anything I can do for Marilyn after all she’s done for me, is to spread the truth and facts about this wonderful lady who blessed us with her presence.

Marilyn was a woman always ahead of her time, she believed in equality, feminism, speaking out and most importantly, kindness and generosity, none of these should be forgotten. She used her platform to share her story and was continuously giving with both her time and money, never forgetting her fans throughout her ever growing stardom. 

On this day I will of course always feel sadness, that is simply impossible to ignore considering how much I adore Marilyn. However, I will focus on Marilyn herself and her incredible life, in all the years before and through all the years after, there will truly never be another one like her. So wherever you are beautiful Marilyn, I will always think of your wonderful words which remind me that no matter how hard life can be, there is always hope. 

“Remember now, cheers, no tears.”
– Spoken by Marilyn to the cast and crew of The Misfits after filming had finished in November 1960.

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Happy 92nd Birthday Marilyn!

If Marilyn was alive today, it’s incredible to believe that she would be turning ninety two years old. In the seven and a half years I’ve known and loved her for, I still find it incomprehensible, due to Marilyn leaving the world at such a young age. I guess I almost have to remind myself that even the most famous woman in the world was just like us, she was human too. However, I’ll openly admit that I don’t know if that fact will ever sink in, not because I view Marilyn as an Icon, although she undoubtedly is, but because it’s amazing to think that she walked the earth we all live on.

Although it’s been over fifty five years since Marilyn left us, in many ways it feels like she’s still here, almost like she never really left. What I mean by that is her spirit and presence is so prevalent in today, I bet there’s not one person in the world that doesn’t know her name or face. Of course, with such fame and status comes the dreaded myths and conspiracies, which myself and many strive to dispel, but, I do like to think that the majority of people smile and feel happiness when they see or watch Marilyn. She has such a unique warmth and kindness that truly lights up the screen when she appears and I’m sure it’s true that she lit up a room when she entered one over half a century ago.

Every year Marilyn’s Birthday and Anniversary come around, I always wonder to myself what I should write and how do I go about not being repetitive. After all, there’s only so much that can be said on one particular person, however, to me it’s all about spreading love and enlightening others on the real Marilyn and if I can do that through writing a few words, I’ll definitely try. I’ve mentioned many times how inspiring I find Marilyn, how unbelievable her story is and how she achieved so much considering the odds against her were beyond enormous. I’ve also said how Marilyn was so much more than a beautiful Blonde Bombshell, she was a special soul who was always striving to perfect her talents and be the best person she could be. However, even as I reiterate previous statements, I can’t help but thinking about how true they are and how incredible Marilyn really was.

Of course I absolutely adore Marilyn and there’s no doubt that I truly cannot say many, if any bad things about her, some would say I’m extremely biased and I would to an extent admit to that. However, I pride myself in being honest and speaking the truth and everything I state about Marilyn’s life and achievements are historically proven. Therefore, this is the main reason why I’m so dumbfounded when people don’t like or respect Marilyn, I mean, how can you possibly not? Not everyone has to become a huge devoted fan like myself, but to be so judgmental, inaccurate and assuming is such a huge annoyance to me – we should all be supportive and admire anyone’s achievements and why should Marilyn be any different? Just because a person has their struggles doesn’t make them someone not to admire, to me it makes them even more inspirational in that they achieved so much when they were suffering.

Ultimately, today is a very special day for myself, all of Marilyn’s fans and Hollywood, for without Marilyn the world would definitely have been a little duller. Not only did she accomplish so much and forever make her mark in Cinema, she was a kind person and just wanted to put a smile on people’s faces. I always love reading little anecdotes showing Marilyn as a person and not the star as they show her beautiful soul and caring nature. Things like her anonymously gifting money to crew members in need or bringing a cow inside because it was raining, just show how generous she was and how little material things actually meant to her.

Wherever Marilyn may be I hope she knows how appreciated, loved and respected she is by so many. There may be a few ignorant and judgmental people still out there but she had that during her lifetime and I like to think it wouldn’t phase her all too much. Marilyn always knew that people didn’t expect much from her other than a pretty face and she never failed to prove them wrong. At 24 years old I think about Marilyn every day and have done since I first discovered her in late 2010, she fills my heart with love and joy and I will never not stick up for her. I like to think that however old we all get, Marilyn will continue to always be with us in spirit and never fail to place a smile on a sad face. It takes an incredibly special person to have the ability to make someone feel such love and emotion for someone they have never met and Marilyn is one of those rare people. I love you with all of my heart beautiful Marilyn and I undoubtedly always will.

“I don’t understand why people aren’t a little more generous with each other. I don’t like to say this, but I’m afraid there is a lot of envy in this business. The only thing I can do is stop and think, “I’m all right but I’m not so sure about them!” – Marilyn to Richard Meryman in Life Magazine, August 1962.

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The Girl: Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch and the Birth of an Unlikely Feminist by Michelle Morgan; Book Review.

Whenever I hear the news that a new Marilyn book is to be released, I’m mostly filled with joy and excitement, as well as slight trepidation around the accuracy and respect given towards my favourite lady. However, if the Author is Michelle Morgan, aka in my opinion, the best Marilyn writer, I know one hundred percent that there’s truly nothing for me to worry about.

Michelle has recently released her latest book on Marilyn, which takes a refreshingly new focus beyond the image of the legend and on the actress herself. The Girl overall stays between the pivotal years 1954 to 1956 and tells the true story of Marilyn taking control of her career by breaking through the male dominated Studio Systems and proving to the world she was so much more than just a pretty face.

Thanks to Michelle and Running Press Publishers, I had the pleasure of receiving a media copy to read and review before the release date and as I expected, I was definitely far from disappointed. The introduction alone was truly memorable and it’s so refreshing to read how much Michelle herself loves and cares for Marilyn, writing with respect and sensitivity, whilst staying completely unbiased. Furthermore, she makes sure to portray the three dimensional person Marilyn was, conveying her many struggles and successes, dedicated to preserving the truth and staying far away from the gossip and sensationalism that sadly so often is unfairly connected to our Star. Plus, I love how witty the title is; any super Marilyn fan will know that The Girl is in fact Marilyn’s character name in The Seven Year Itch (1955) and writer George Axelrod actually had this to say about the unnamed lady.

“I have been asked if there is any symbolic significance in the fact that the Girl has no name. The truth of the matter is that I could never think of a name for her that seemed exactly right, that really fit the girl I had in mind. I think if I were writing the play today, I might be tempted to call the Girl Marilyn.”

Even though Marilyn lived for just 36 years, it’s undeniable the amount she achieved in such a short lifetime and for any Marilyn fan or someone who’s interested in Hollywood, Feminism or the 1950s, this book is simply a must have for your Library. I personally feel Michelle has done such a good job with accuracy and creating a detailed perspective that she could write many volumes focusing on each year of Marilyn’s life! In fact, I really hope she does.

At just over 300 pages long, this book is just right – not too long and intense and not too short and lacking detail. Even though it doesn’t document Marilyn’s full story, through focusing on these such important years, you arguably learn more about Marilyn than you would in a standard biography. However, if you’re wanting to read more and well, who could blame you, there’s always Michelle’s other books on Marilyn and I recommend them because in my opinion, they are the best – respectful, honest and sincere.

Out of Marilyn’s 30 Films, three are discussed in The Girl and those are the following; The Seven Year Itch (1955), Bus Stop (1956) and The Prince and The Showgirl (1957). Even though this is due to the specific time period documented in Marilyn’s life, I think it’s wonderful for someone who may know Marilyn only for her image and Icon Status. I say this because the three discussed throughout the book show her versatility and strength as an artist – something she continually dreamed to be known and appreciated for.

The Girl consists of a Preface, ten Chapters, an Epilogue, selected Bibliography and Source Notes, with between 30-40 beautiful photos of Marilyn featured throughout the book. The colour theme consists of red white and gold and I absolutely adore the cover photo chosen; a 1955 Marilyn wearing a Red Sweater by Milton Greene. It’s refreshing to see a different perspective of Marilyn shown yet still being undoubtedly, The Star. Plus, it’s lovely both a photo from 1955 was used and one by Milton – someone so pivotal in believing in Marilyn as a human being and helping her change the course of her Career.

Each Chapter Title conveys many important words that should continually be used to describe Marilyn, some may say I’m biased and I would never deny that. However, you cannot be biased about the truth and each of these titles contain important moments and achievements Marilyn herself made happen, through sheer strength and determination. Although beautiful and talented, she was never viewed as anything but a Blonde Bombshell, a Sex Goddess who added glamour to the Silver Screen and ultimately Marilyn had all the odds against her throughout her whole life. Yet, through The Girl, Michelle shows that even the Underdog can prove to everyone that not only was she Beautiful, she was also strong, passionate, intelligent and believed that she deserved better.

I can without a doubt say that The Girl is one of my favourite Marilyn books and definitely a staple in my Marilyn Book Collection – 167 and counting! At £19.99 this isn’t the cheapest one available, but quality and authenticity are priceless and this is something that will be treasured and kept in your library forever. Even though I’m fortunate enough to have an early Media Copy, I will of course be purchasing one for myself! You can never have enough good Marilyn books and this will have pride of place in my Marilyn book shelf, yes, she really does have her own library.

I can’t say enough good things about The Girl and Michelle herself, I’ve been fortunate enough to know this wonderful lady for quite a few years and I know that if Marilyn was here she would be honoured to have such a thoughtful and authentic writer tell her incredibly brave and progressive story. I think it’s fair to say that I know a lot about Marilyn and with Michelle’s books there’s always unique, special anecdotes and trivia that I continue to discover. Ultimately, go to amazon or your local bookstore and start reading The Girl, I can assure you any stereotypical views you may have of Marilyn will quickly vanish and you’ll be astounded and in awe of what an incredible person she really was.

The Girl is available to Pre-Order from Amazon UK and will be released on May 31st and is out in the USA now!

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55 Years Without Marilyn.

Although Marilyn is so prominent and recognized in the present day, It’s hard to comprehend that in reality, she tragically passed away fifty five years ago on the evening of August 4th, 1962. At just thirty six years old, her death was announced on the morning of August 5th and shocked the world and the millions of fans who mourned the loss of this very special woman. As someone who wasn’t even born until thirty plus years after Marilyn left the Earth, new readers may wonder why I’m writing about a celebrity I never actually knew. However, I’m assuming if you know anything about me, you’ll know that Marilyn is one of my absolute favourite people, I adore her with all of my heart and have done for coming up to seven years.

Personally, I feel that you can still have a special connection and feeling towards someone you’ve never had the privilege to meet, whether this is due to them being a worldwide celebrity or being born quite a few decades after they’ve passed – or both! As I’ve said many times before, Marilyn entered my life in October 2010, pushing seven year ago and she’s never left, I think about her every day and she has changed my life for the better astronomically. I found inspiration and comfort from her during my darkest days and she honestly has never failed to not brighten my days. However, this post is not about me – this post is about celebrating the life of Marilyn and how fifty five years on, she’s still loved and adored by just as many, if not more fans who love and admire the amazing woman she was and the achievements she made.

Sadly, as the night of Marilyn’s passing is a huge interest for conspiracy lovers, both her life and death are often filled with hundreds of rumours, theories and downright defaming myths. When a celebrity passes away young and unexpectedly, millions of people look for answers to the big question, why? Of course, this is completely natural and makes perfect sense, but ultimately, the only person who can confirm or deny how they died is no longer around to tell us.

In reality, we have lost many celebrities to the tragedy of overdoses – Marilyn’s death was ruled as a, “probable suicide”, although I believe it was accidental. However, many people cannot comprehend or believe this and go down the root of following conspiracies, ultimately forgetting about the person and obsessing over theories that have no substance. Over the years, many people who have created life stories and careers on their “relationship” with Marilyn and how she supposedly died, earning thousands in the process and damaging Marilyn’s name. In reality, the real reason for Marilyn’s death was pretty simple – medical negligence and incredibly, her doctors were never accounted for this.

Ultimately, I think it’s safe to say that Marilyn wouldn’t want her untimely death to be the main focus point of her life, she wouldn’t want us to be sad and spend countless hours trying to work out why she left. I like to think Marilyn would want us to celebrate her amazing achievements and ground breaking moments in such a short space of time. I know she would be overwhelmed that over fifty years after she passed, millions of people of all ages, still love and care for her all these years later. Hundreds and thousands of people are discovering this beautiful human every day and Marilyn continues to bring so much light and joy to people like myself, who were never fortunate enough to be able to meet her.

Tonight, instead of focusing on the sad times, I will be thinking about my angel Marilyn for all the right reasons. I’ll be remembering her for the wonderful talent she possessed, the determination she had to succeed, her love of learning, plus, the kindness and generosity she showed to so many others. Thankfully, her legacy she has left behind is forever imprinted through thousands of images and thirty films she made during her short but incredibly special life.

Whenever I feel upset and hurt with how unfair life was at times to Marilyn, there is one particular quote which comes to mind. Many people seem to think of Marilyn as a tragic victim and in doing this, they are unjustly underestimating her incredible strength. Through research and reading about Marilyn for quite a few years, I’ve noticed that although she suffered tremendously, she never lost hope and always tried to remain somewhat positive, even in her darkest times.

Through 1960, Marilyn made her last completed film, The Misfits (1961) and during this time she suffered incredible pain through a nervous breakdown and split from her husband, Arthur Miller. The movie was made in Nevada during 40 degree heat and was incredibly strenuous for practically everyone involved. Although The Misfits (1961) is now hailed as one of Marilyn’s best acting performances, she came to hate the film and resent Arthur for her character, Roslyn – the film which was originally a Valentine’s present to her.

Yet, despite going through arguably the toughest period in her life, she had this to say at the end of the filming.

“Remember now, cheers, no tears..”

I for one, will be following this advice, from one of the strongest women who ever lived. Wherever you may be, beautiful Marilyn, I hope you know how loved and appreciated you are by so many people around the world. I know I say this quite often, but I like to believe that somehow, you see how much you have enriched millions of fans lives and gave them hope and strength.

“It’s a terrible pity that so much beauty has been lost to us.”

John Huston, Director of The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and The Misfits (1961)

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Gift of Glam by Marilyn Monroe Eyewear.

If you’ve followed me on Social Media for the past 6+ years, then I’m 99% sure you know how much I love the beautiful soul, Marilyn Monroe. Ironically, it feels almost strange for me to type out her full name, as I like to think of Marilyn as almost an Guardian Angel to me, definitely not a stranger. Some will understand that and relate, others may judge – but Marilyn will always have a special place in my heart.

A few weeks ago, to celebrate Marilyn’s 91st Birthday, I wrote, as I do every year, a Tribute for my favourite lady and was pleasantly surprised when I noticed, Marilyn Monroe Eyewear like my post and follow me on Instagram. Marilyn Eyewear is Officially Licensed by The Estate of Marilyn Monroe and is one of the many Brands they have created which is all inspired and influenced by this very special woman. As my beautiful friend, Laura has previously worked with Marilyn Eyewear, I decided it would be worth a try contacting the Brand and thanking them for following my Instagram Account. I also proposed the possibility of a collaboration. Once again, I was surprised and very thankful to receive a reply agreeing to my suggestion about a collaboration!

After just four days, my parcel from Marilyn Eyewear arrived, all the way from America! I can’t emphasize how appreciative I am of such a quick delivery, especially from so far away – I was already beyond impressed. However, little did I know that I was going to be completely blown away when I opened the parcel. Not only was I gifted a pair of beautiful Sunglasses, there were also three beauty products from Marilyn Monroe Spas! It wasn’t until I looked on their website, that I realized I had been sent the, Limited Edition Gift of Glam! Thank you so much Marilyn Monroe Eyewear and Marilyn Monroe Spas!

The packaging is a classic chic black matte box, finished with gorgeous gold writing and Marilyn’s iconic signature – what could be better!? As soon as you open it, you’re greeted by dazzling red tissue paper and inside are the iconic products all inspired by my favourite girl – Marilyn! Nail Polish in Marilyn Red, a red Beauty Blender, a Lipstick in Marilyn Red 03 and if that wasn’t enough, a pair of Marilyn Eyewear Sunglasses in Annabel Noir 001! If you’re a Marilyn lover or simply adore the Vintage look, then this is without doubt a must have – it’s simply timeless!

The Sunglasses come in an absolutely beautiful gold metallic case, featuring Marilyn’s signature, the product is wonderful quality and a great protection for the shades also. What I was most impressed by with the Marilyn Sunglasses was the attention to detail, which super Marilyn fans, or Marilynettes as we’re known, would definitely notice and appreciate. If you look at all the Sunglasses on the Marilyn Eyewear Website, you’ll see that the majority of the shades are named after Marilyn Film Characters! I think this is such a lovely statement and a unique concept which makes Marilyn Eyewear different from others. The Gift of Glam shades are named after Marilyn’s character, Annabel Jones Norris from her film, We’re Not Married! (1952) one of her earlier film roles and the only chance she had to play a Mother. (Something’s Got To Give (1962) was never completed.)

If you’re after an everyday, classic retro look than Annabel are the must have Sunglasses for you, but fear not, there are three other shades available if you’re after something different. Out of all the amazing vintage style Sunglasses on Marilyn Eyewear, if I had to choose my favourites it would be either, The Marilyn, Elsie, Iris or Rose and yes, that is my attempt at trying to narrow my choices down! All come in different colours and styles, so there are more choices to choose from and they feature Marilyn’s iconic signature – so much beauty!

The Marilyn Monroe Spas Beauty Products all have one thing in common, they are all – you guessed it, red! Anyone who knows anything about Marilyn will associate this bold colour with her, as it was without doubt her signature lipstick shade to wear. As someone who adores the Vintage Look, this was such a wonderful surprise and even better that each item is based on the signature Marilyn look.

The Beauty Blender is a must have in my every day makeup bag and ironically enough, I was just thinking a few days ago that I needed a new one! Plus, I’ve not seen many sponges that are this unique shade, so it will definitely stand out in my collection. Furthermore, the packaging has Marilyn’s beautiful signature on, so yes, I will be keeping the box! I also love how on the back of the packaging it says, “Be Wonderful” which I’m assuming is inspired by one of my favourite, genuine Marilyn quotes.

Also within the Glam Kit is the stunning, True Red 03 Lipstick. Red is the ultimate retro colour and my absolute favourite to wear pretty much every single day and I can confirm, True Red 03 definitely has my approval. The product features Marilyn’s signature in a stunning red and a gorgeous kiss print, which contrasts dramatically with the bold black packaging. I also love the shape of the lipstick as it’s perfect for creating that beautiful full pout. There are so many amazing beauty buys available on Marilyn Monroe Spas, I could honestly spend hours browsing through all the variety of shades!

The final product in the Marilyn Eyewear Gift of Glam is the Marilyn Monroe Red Nail Polish, which features a gorgeous portrait of Marilyn herself – so unique! The shade is eye catching and will definitely make your nails be the centre of attention! Plus, even if you’re not a red lover like myself, it’s worth having just for the stunning packaging with our beautiful blonde bombshell!

Please note, I pride myself in making sure I write honest reviews and although I was fortunate enough to be gifted these items, I was not told to say any of the following statements I have made.

Lastly, I simply must say a huge thank you so much to Marilyn Monroe Eyewear for gifting me these beautiful products, which I will truly cherish.

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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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