Marilyn Monroe Rare Original Vintage 1940s 20th Century Fox Photo Studio Files For Sale
MARILYN MONROE RARE ORIGINAL VINTAGE 1940s 20TH CENTURY FOX PHOTO STUDIO FILES
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DESCRIPTION: RARE! Original vintage 1940s MARILYN MONROE early 20th CENTURY FOX studio portrait photograph - photographs kept in studio archives are sometimes called "file copies" - this is one of those original versions. (the writing on the image is a digital watermark and is not on the actual image itself)
- SIZE: approx. 7" X 9"
- TONE: B&W
- FINISH: glossy
- CONDITION: Excellent (Please note that I am extremely condition conscious so I always point out the slightest anomalies)
Please check out more MARILYN MONROE photos in my store MY-MOVIE-MEMORABILIA-AND-MORE
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MARILYN MONROE BIO
1926– August 5, 1962), born Norma Jeane Mortenson, but baptized Norma Jeane Baker, was an American actress,
singer and model. After spending
much of her childhood in foster homes,
Monroe began a
career as a model, which led to a
film contract in 1946. Her early
film appearances were minor, but her
performances in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve (both 1950)
were well received. By 1953, Monroe
had progressed to leading roles. Her
"dumb blonde" persona was used to comedic effect in such films as Gentlemen
Prefer Blondes (1953), How to
Marry a Millionaire (1953) and The Seven Year Itch (1955). Limited by typecasting,
at the Actors Studio to broaden her range,
and her dramatic performance in Bus Stop (1956) was hailed by critics, and she received a Golden Globe nomination. Her production company,
Marilyn Monroe Productions, released
The Prince and the Showgirl (1957),
for which she received a BAFTA Award nomination and won a David di Donatello
award. She received a Golden Globe
Award for her performance in Some Like It Hot (1959).
The final years of Monroe's life were marked by illness, personal problems,
and a reputation for being unreliable and difficult to work with. The circumstances of her death, from an overdose of barbiturates, have been the subject of conjecture. Though officially classified as a "probable
suicide", the possibility of an
accidental overdose, as well as the
possibility of homicide, have not
been ruled out. In 1999, Monroe
was ranked as the sixth greatest female star of all time by the American Film
Institute. In the years and decades
following her death, Monroe has often been
cited as a pop and cultural icon.
Monroe was born in the Los Angeles
on June 1, 1926, as Norma Jeane Mortenson (soon after changed to
Baker), the third child born to
Gladys Pearl Baker, née Monroe (1902–1984).
Monroe's birth certificate names the father as Martin Edward
Mortensen with his residence stated as "unknown". The name Mortenson is listed as her surname on the
birth certificate, although Gladys
immediately had it changed to Baker,
the surname of her first husband and which she still used.
Martin's surname was misspelled on the birth certificate leading to more
confusion on who her actual father was.
Gladys Baker had married a Martin E.
Mortensen in 1924, but they had
separated before Gladys' pregnancy.
Several of Monroe's
biographers suggest that Gladys Baker used his name to avoid the stigma of
illegitimacy. Mortensen died at the
age of 85, and Monroe's birth certificate, together with her parents' marriage and divorce
documents, were discovered. The documents showed that Mortensen filed for
divorce from Gladys on March 5, 1927, and it was finalized on October 15, 1928.
Throughout her life,
Marilyn Monroe denied that Mortensen was her father.
She said that, when she was a child, she had been shown a photograph of a man that
Gladys identified as her father,
Charles Stanley Gifford. She
remembered that he had a thin mustache and somewhat resembled Clark Gable, and that she had amused herself by pretending that
Gable was her father.
Gladys was mentally unstable and financially
unable to care for the young Norma Jeane,
so she placed her with foster parents Albert and Ida Bolender of Hawthorne,
where she lived until she was seven.
While living with the Bolenders, an unusual incident occurred.
One day, Gladys came to the
Bolenders and demanded that Norma Jeane be released back into her care. Ida knew that Gladys was unstable at the time and
insisted that this situation would not benefit Norma Jeane. Unwilling to cooperate,
Gladys managed to pull Ida into the yard while she ran inside the house, locking the door behind her.
After several minutes, Gladys walked
out of the front door with one of Albert Bolender's military duffel bags. To Ida's horror,
Gladys had stuffed the now screaming Norma Jeane inside the bag, zipped it up,
and proceeded to leave the house.
Ida charged towards Gladys and the quarrel resulted in the bag splitting open. Norma Jeane fell out and began weeping loudly as
Ida grabbed her and pulled her back inside the house,
away from Gladys. This was just one
of the many bizarre exchanges between young Norma Jeane and her disturbed
Gladys bought a house and brought Norma Jeane to live with her. A few months after moving in,
however, Gladys suffered a mental
breakdown, beginning a series of
mental episodes that would plague her for the rest of her life. In My Story,
Monroe recalls her mother "screaming and
laughing" as she was forcibly removed to the State
Hospital in Norwalk.
Norma Jeane was declared a ward of the state,
and Gladys' best friend, Grace McKee, became her guardian.
It was Grace who had told Monroe
that someday she would become a movie star.
Grace was captivated by Jean Harlow,
and would let Norma Jeane wear makeup and take her out to get her hair curled. They would go to the movies together, forming the basis for Norma Jeane's fascination
with the cinema and the stars on screen.
Grace McKee married Ervin Silliman (Doc)
Goddard in 1935, and nine-year-old
Norma Jeane was sent to the Los Angeles Orphans Home (later renamed Hollygrove), and then to a succession of foster homes. During the time at Hollygrove, several families were interested in adopting her;
however, reluctance on Gladys' part
to sign adoption papers thwarted those attempts.
In 1937, Grace took Norma Jeane back
to live with her, Goddard, and one of Goddard's daughters from a previous
marriage. This arrangement did not
last for long, as Doc Goddard attempted
on several occasions to sexually assault her.
Disturbed by this, Grace sent her to
live with her great-aunt, Olive
Brunings in Compton, California. This arrangement also did not last long, as 12-year-old Norma Jeane was assaulted (some
reports say sexually) by one of Olive's sons.
Biographers and psychologists have questioned whether at least some of Norma
Jeane's later behavior (i.e. hypersexuality,
sleep disturbances, substance abuse, disturbed interpersonal relationships), was a manifestation of the effects of childhood
sexual abuse in the context of her already problematic relationships with her
psychiatrically ill mother and subsequent caregivers.
In early 1938, Grace sent her to
live with yet another one of her aunts,
Ana Lower, who lived in the Van Nuys
section of Los Angeles. The time with Lower provided the young Norma Jeane
with one of the few stable periods in her life.
Years later, she would reflect
fondly about the time that she spent with Lower,
whom she affectionately called "Aunt Ana".
By 1942, the elderly Lower developed
serious health problems, and thus
Norma Jeane went back to live with the Goddards.
It was there where she met a neighbor's son,
James Dougherty, and began a
relationship with him.
Her time with the Goddards would once again
prove to be short. At the end of
1942, Grace and Doc decided to
relocate to Virginia, where Doc had received a lucrative job offer. The Goddards decided not to take Norma Jeane with
them (the reasoning why was never made clear); thus Grace needed to find a home
for her before they moved. An offer
from a neighborhood family to adopt Norma Jeane was proposed but Gladys still
would not allow it. With few options
left, Grace approached Dougherty's
mother and suggested that Jim marry her so that she would not have to return to
an orphanage or foster care.
Dougherty was initially reluctant because Norma Jeane was only sixteen years
old, but he finally relented and
married her in a ceremony, arranged
by Ana Lower, after graduating from
high school in June 1942. Monroe would state in her
autobiography that she did not feel like a wife; she enjoyed playing with the
neighborhood children until her husband would call her home. In 1943,
with World War II raging, Dougherty
enlisted in the Merchant Marine and was shipped out to the Pacific. Frightened that he might not come back alive, Norma Jeane begged him to try and get her pregnant
before he left. Dougherty disagreed, feeling that she was too young to have a baby, but he promised that they would revisit the subject
when he returned home. After he
shipped out, Norma Jeane moved in
with Dougherty's mother.
While Dougherty was in the Merchant Marine, Norma Jeane found employment in the Radioplane
Munitions Factory. She sprayed
airplane parts with fire retardant and inspected parachutes. During this time,
Army photographer David Conover snapped a photograph of her for a Yank
magazine article. He encouraged her
to apply to The Blue Book Modeling Agency.
She signed with the agency and began researching the work of Jean Harlow and
Lana Turner. She was told that they
were looking for models with lighter hair,
so Norma Jeane bleached her brunette hair to a golden blonde.
Norma Jeane Dougherty became one of Blue
Book's most successful models,
appearing on dozens of magazine covers.
Jim Dougherty was oblivious of his wife's new job and only became aware of it
when he discovered a shipmate of his admiring a photo of a sexy model in a
magazine who turned out to be Norma Jeane.
Dougherty wrote her several letters telling her that once he returned from
service, she would have to give up
her modeling. A dissatisfied Norma
Jeane, who now saw the possibilities
of a modeling and acting career,
decided then to divorce Dougherty.
The marriage ended when he returned from overseas in 1946.
Her successful modeling career brought her to
the attention of Ben Lyon, a 20th
Century Fox executive, who arranged
a screen test for her. Lyon was impressed and commented,
"It's Jean Harlow all over again."
She was offered a standard six-month contract with a starting salary of $125
per week. Lyon
did not like her name and chose "Carole Lind" as a stagename, after Carole Lombard and Jenny Lind, but he soon decided it was not an appropriate
choice. Norma Jeane was invited to
spend the weekend with Lyon and his wife Bebe
Daniels at their home. It was there
that they decided to find her a new name.
Following her idol Jean Harlow,
Norma Jeane decided to choose her mother's maiden name of Monroe.
Several variations such as Norma Jeane Monroe and Norma Monroe were tried and
initially "Jeane Monroe" was chosen.
Eventually Lyon decided that he wanted her to
have a new name as there were many actresses with the name Jean, or a variation of it such as Jean Peters, Gene Tierney,
Jeanne Crain, and Jean Arthur. Wanting a more alliterative sounding name, Lyon suggested
"Marilyn", commenting that
she reminded him of Marilyn Miller,
the sexy 1920's Broadway actress.
Norma Jeane was initially hesitant because Marilyn was the contraction of the
name Mary Lynn, a name she did not
like. Lyon, however,
felt that the name "Marilyn Monroe" was sexy,
had a "nice flow", and
would be "lucky" due to the double "M" and
thus Norma Jeane Baker took the name Marilyn Monroe.
After she changed her name, the
newly named Marilyn Monroe dyed her dark brown hair blonde. The Internet Movie Database lists Marylin Monroe
in an uncredited role as a telephone operator in "The Shocking Miss
Pilgrim" in 1947.
She had brief roles in Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! and Dangerous Years
(both 1947), but when her contract
was not renewed, she returned to
modeling. She attempted to find
opportunities for film work, and
while unemployed, she posed for nude
photographs. That year, she was also crowned the first "Miss
California Artichoke Queen" at the annual artichoke festival in
Monroe signed a
six-month contract with Columbia Pictures and was introduced to the studio's
head drama coach Natasha Lytess, who
became her acting coach for several years.
She starred in the low-budget musical Ladies of the Chorus. Monroe was
capitalized as one of the film's bright spots,
but the movie didn't bring any success for Columbia
or for Marilyn.
During her short stint at Columbia, studio head Harry Cohn softened her appearance
somewhat by correcting a slight overbite she had.
She had a small role in the Marx Brothers
film Love Happy (1949). She
impressed the producers, who sent
her to New York to feature in the film's
Love Happy brought Monroe
to the attention of the talent agent,
Johnny Hyde, who agreed to represent
her. He arranged for her to audition
for John Huston, who cast her in the
drama The Asphalt Jungle as the young mistress of an aging criminal. Her performance brought strong reviews, and was seen by the writer and
director, Joseph Mankiewicz. He accepted Hyde's suggestion of Monroe for a small comedic role in All
About Eve as Miss Caswell, an
aspiring actress, described by
another character as a student of "The Copacabana School of Dramatic
Art". Mankiewicz later
commented that he had seen an innocence in her that he found appealing, and that this had confirmed his belief in her
suitability for the role.
Following Monroe's success in these roles,
Hyde negotiated a seven-year contract for her with 20th Century Fox, shortly before his death in December 1950. It was at some time during this 1949–50 period
that Hyde arranged for her to have a slight bump of cartilage removed from her
somewhat bulbous nose which further softened her appearance and accounts for the
slight variation in look she had in films after 1950.
Monroe enrolled at UCLA in 1951 where she studied literature
and art appreciation, and appeared
in several minor films playing opposite such long-established performers as
Mickey Rooney, Constance Bennett, June Allyson,
Dick Powell and Claudette Colbert.In
March 1951, she appeared as a
presenter at the 23rd Academy Awards ceremony.
on the cover of Look magazine wearing a Georgia Tech sweater as part of
an article celebrating female enrollment to the school's main campus.
In the early 1950s,
Monroe and Gregg Palmer both unsuccessfully auditioned for roles as Daisy Mae
and Abner in a proposed Li'l Abner television series based on the Al
Capp comic strip, but the effort
In March 1952,
Monroe faced a
possible scandal when one of her nude photos from a 1949 session with
photographer Tom Kelley was featured in a calendar.
The press speculated about the identity of the anonymous model and commented
that she closely resembled Monroe. As the studio discussed how to deal with the
problem, Monroe suggested that she
should simply admit that she had posed for the photograph but that she should
emphasize that she had done so only because she had no money to pay her rent. She gave an interview in which she
discussed the circumstances that led to her posing for the photographs, and the resulting publicity elicited a degree of
sympathy for her plight as a struggling actress.
She made her first appearance on the cover of
Life magazine in April 1952,
where she was described as "The Talk of Hollywood".True Experiences Joe
DiMaggio. A photograph of DiMaggio
visiting Monroe at the 20th Century Fox studio was printed in newspapers
throughout the United States, and
reports of a developing romance between them generated further interest in
Monroe. Stories of her childhood and
upbringing portrayed her in a sympathetic light: a cover story for the May 1952
edition of magazine showed a smiling and wholesome Monroe beside a caption that read, "Do I look happy? I should— for I was a
child nobody wanted. A lonely girl
with a dream— who awakened to find that dream come true. I am Marilyn Monroe.
Read my Cinderella story." It
was also during this time that she began dating baseball player
Over the following months, four films in which Monroe featured were released. She had been lent to RKO Studios to appear in a
supporting role in Clash by Night,
a Barbara Stanwyck drama, directed
by Fritz Lang.
Released in June 1952, the film was popular
with audiences, with much of its
success credited to curiosity about Monroe, who received generally favorable reviews from
This was followed by two films released in
July, the comedy We're Not
Married, and the drama Don't
Bother to Knock. We're Not
MarriedVariety described the film as "lightweight". Its reviewer commented that Monroe was featured to
full advantage in a bathing suit,
and that some of her scenes suggested a degree of exploitation. In Don't Bother to Knock she
played the starring role of a babysitter who threatens to attack
the child in her care. The downbeat
melodrama was poorly reviewed,
although Monroe commented that it contained some of her strongest dramatic
Business, a comedy directed by
Howard Hawks starring Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers,
was released in September. This
movie was a huge success. This was
the first movie Marilyn appeared in with platinum blonde hair.  In O.
Henry's Full House for 20th Century Fox,
released in August 1952, Monroe had
a single one-minute scene with Charles Laughton yet received top billing
alongside him and the film's other stars,
including Anne Baxter, Farley
Granger, Jean Peters and Richard
Widmark. featured Monroe as a beauty pageant contestant.
Zanuck considered that Monroe's film potential was worth developing and cast
her in Niagara, as a femme
fatale scheming to murder her husband,
played by Joseph Cotten.
During filming, Monroe's make-up
artist Whitey Snyder noticed her stage fright (that would ultimately mark her
behavior on film sets throughout her career); the director assigned him to
spend hours gently coaxing and comforting Monroe as she prepared to film her
scenes. Much of the critical
commentary following the release of the film focused on Monroe's overtly sexual
performance, and a
scene which shows Monroe (from the back) making a long walk toward Niagara
Falls After seeing the film,
Constance Bennett reportedly quipped,
"There's a broad with her future behind her."
Whitey Snyder also commented that it was during preparation for this film, after much experimentation,
achieved "the look, and we used
that look for several pictures in a row ... the
look was established." received
frequent note in reviews.
While the film was a success, and Monroe's
performance had positive reviews,
her conduct at promotional events sometimes drew negative comments. Her appearance at the Photoplay awards
dinner in a skin-tight gold lamé dress was criticized.
Louella Parsons' newspaper column quoted Joan Crawford discussing Monroe's
"vulgarity" and describing her behavior as "unbecoming an
actress and a lady".
Monroe had previously received criticism for wearing a dress with a neckline
cut almost to her navel when she acted as Grand Marshall at the Miss America
Parade in September 1952.
A photograph from this event was used on the cover of the first issue of Playboy
in December 1953, with a nude
photograph of Monroe, taken in 1949, inside the magazine.
Her next film was Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
(1953) co-starring Jane Russell and directed by Howard Hawks. Her role as Lorelei Lee,
a gold-digging showgirl, required
her to act, sing, and dance.
The two stars became friends, with
Russell describing Monroe as "very shy and very sweet and far more
intelligent than people gave her credit for".
She later recalled that Monroe showed her dedication by rehearsing her dance
routines each evening after most of the crew had left,
but she arrived habitually late on set for filming.
Realizing that Monroe
remained in her dressing room due to stage fright,
and that Hawks was growing impatient with her tardiness,
Russell started escorting her to the set.
At the Los
Angeles premiere of the film,
Monroe and Russell pressed their hand- and footprints in the cement in the
forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
Monroe received positive reviews and the film grossed more than double its
production costs. Her
rendition of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" became associated
with her. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
also marked one of the earliest films in which William Travilla dressed Monroe. Travilla dressed Monroe
in eight of her films including Bus Stop,
Don't Bother to Knock, How
to Marry a Millionaire, River of No Return,
There’s No Business Like Show Business,
Monkey Business, and The
Seven Year Itch.
How to Marry a Millionaire was a comedy about three models scheming to attract a
wealthy husband. The film teamed Monroe with Betty Grable
and Lauren Bacall, and was directed
by Jean Negulesco.
The producer and scriptwriter,
Nunnally Johnson, said that it was
the first film in which audiences "liked Marilyn for herself [and that]
she diagnosed the reason very shrewdly.
She said that it was the only picture she'd been in,
in which she had a measure of modesty... about
her own attractiveness."
Monroe's films of this period established her "dumb
blonde" persona and contributed to her popularity.
In 1953 and 1954, she was listed in
the annual "Quigley Poll of the Top Ten Money Making Stars", which was compiled from the votes of movie
exhibitors throughout the United States for the stars that had generated the
most revenue in their theaters over the previous year.
During this time, Monroe discussed her acting ambitions, telling the New York Times "I want to
grow and develop and play serious dramatic parts.
My dramatic coach, Natasha Lytess, tells everybody that I have a great soul, but so far nobody's interested in it." She saw a possibility in 20th
Century Fox's upcoming film, The
Egyptian, but was rebuffed by
Darryl F. Zanuck who refused to
screen test her.
she was assigned to the western River of No Return,
opposite Robert Mitchum. Director
Otto Preminger resented Monroe's reliance on
Natasha Lytess, who coached Monroe and announced her
verdict at the end of each scene.
refused to speak to Preminger, and
Mitchum had to mediate.
Of the finished product, she
commented, "I think I deserve a
better deal than a grade Z cowboy movie in which the acting finished second to
the scenery and the CinemaScope process."
In late 1953 Monroe
was scheduled to begin filming The Girl in Pink Tights with Frank
Sinatra. When she failed to appear
for work, 20th Century Fox suspended
She and Joe DiMaggio were married in San Francisco on January
They travelled to Japan soon after,
combining a honeymoon with a business trip previously arranged by DiMaggio. For two weeks she took a secondary role to
DiMaggio as he conducted his business,
telling a reporter, "Marriage
is my main career from now on."
Monroe then travelled alone to Korea where she
performed for 13,000 American
Marines over a three-day period. She
later commented that the experience had helped her overcome a fear of
performing in front of large crowds.
Returning to Hollywood
in March 1954, Monroe settled her disagreement with 20th
Century Fox and appeared in the musical There's No Business Like Show
Business. The film failed to
recover its production costs and was poorly received. Ed Sullivan described Monroe's performance of the
song "Heat Wave" as "one of the most flagrant violations of good
taste" he had witnessed.
Time magazine compared her unfavorably to co-star Ethel Merman, while Bosley Crowther for The New York Times said
that Mitzi Gaynor had surpassed Monroe's "embarrassing to behold"
reviews echoed Monroe's opinion of the film.
She had made it reluctantly, on the
assurance that she would be given the starring role in the film adaptation of
the Broadway hit The Seven Year Itch September 1954, Monroe filmed one
of the key scenes for The Seven Year Itch in New York City.
In it, she stands with her co-star, Tom Ewell,
while the air from a subway grating blows her skirt up.
A large crowd watched as director Billy Wilder ordered the scene to be refilmed
many times. Among the crowd was Joe
DiMaggio, who was reported to have
been infuriated by the spectacle.
After a quarrel, witnessed by
journalist Walter Winchell, the
couple returned to California where they avoided the press for two weeks, until Monroe announced that they had separated. Their divorce was granted in
November 1954. The
filming was completed in early 1955,
and after refusing what she considered to be inferior parts in The Girl in
the Red Velvet Swing and How to Be Very,
Very Popular, Monroe decided to
leave Hollywood on the advice of Milton Greene.
Milton Greene had first met Monroe in 1953 when he was assigned to
photograph her for Look magazine.
While many photographers tried to emphasize her sexy image, Greene presented her in more modest poses, and she was pleased with his work. As a friendship developed between them, she confided in him her frustration with her 20th
Century Fox contract and the roles she was offered.
Her salary for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes amounted to $18,000,
while freelancer Jane Russell was paid more than $100,000. Greene agreed that she could earn
more by breaking away from 20th Century Fox.
He gave up his job in 1954,
mortgaged his home to finance Monroe, and allowed her to live with his family as they
determined the future course of her career.
On April 8,
1955, veteran journalist Edward R. Murrow interviewed Greene and his wife Amy, as well as Monroe,
at the Greene's home in Connecticut
on a live telecast of the CBS program Person to Person. The kinescope of the telecast has been released on
Truman Capote introduced Monroe to Constance Collier, who gave her acting lessons.
She felt that Monroe
was not suited to stage acting, but
possessed a "lovely talent" that was "so fragile and subtle, it can only be caught by the camera". After only a few weeks of lessons, Collier died.
Monroe had met
Paula Strasberg and her daughter Susan on the set of There's No Business
Like Show Business,
and had previously said that she would like to study with Lee Strasberg at the
Actors Studio. In March 1955, Monroe
met with Cheryl Crawford, one of the
founders of the Actors Studio, and
convinced her to introduce her to Lee Strasberg,
who interviewed her the following day and agreed to accept her as a student.
In May 1955,
Monroe started dating playwright Arthur Miller;
they had met in Hollywood in 1950 and when
Miller discovered she was in New York, he arranged for a mutual friend to reintroduce
them. On June 1, 1955, Monroe's birthday,
Joe DiMaggio accompanied Monroe to the premiere
of The Seven Year Itch in New
He later hosted a birthday party for her,
but the evening ended with a public quarrel,
and Monroe left
the party without him. A lengthy
period of estrangement followed.
with the Actors Studio, and found
that one of her biggest obstacles was her severe stage fright. She was befriended by the actors Kevin McCarthy
and Eli Wallach who each recalled her as studious and sincere in her approach
to her studies, and noted that she
tried to avoid attention by sitting quietly in the back of the class. When Strasberg felt Monroe was
ready to give a performance in front of her peers,
Monroe and Maureen Stapleton chose the opening scene from Eugene O'Neill's Anna
Christie, and although she had
faltered during each rehearsal, she
was able to complete the performance without forgetting her lines. Kim Stanley later recalled that
students were discouraged from applauding,
but that Monroe's performance had resulted in spontaneous applause from the
Monroe was a student, Lee Strasberg
commented, "I have worked with
hundreds and hundreds of actors and actresses,
and there are only two that stand out way above the rest.
Number one is Marlon Brando, and the
second is Marilyn Monroe."
The Seven Year Itch was released and became a success, earning an estimated $8 million. Monroe received positive reviews
for her performance and was in a strong position to negotiate with 20th Century
Fox. On New Year's
Eve 1955, they signed a new contract
which required Monroe to make four films over a seven-year period. The newly formed Marilyn Monroe Productions would
be paid $100,000 plus a share of
profits for each film. In addition
to being able to work for other studios,
Monroe had the
right to reject any script, director
or cinematographer she did not approve of.
The first film to be made under the contract
and production company was Bus Stop directed by Joshua Logan. Logan had studied under Konstantin Stanislavsky, approved of method acting,
and was supportive of Monroe.
Monroe severed contact with her drama coach,
Natasha Lytess, replacing her with
Paula Strasberg, who became a
constant presence during the filming of Monroe's subsequent films.
In Bus Stop,
Chérie, a saloon singer with little
talent who falls in love with a cowboy.
Her costumes, make-up and hair
reflected a character who lacked sophistication,
provided deliberately mediocre singing and dancing.
Bosley Crowther of The New York Times proclaimed: "Hold on to your
chairs, everybody, and get set for a rattling surprise. Marilyn Monroe has finally proved herself an
actress." In his autobiography, Movie Stars,
Real People and Me, director
Logan wrote: "I found Marilyn to be one of the great talents of all time... she struck me as being a much brighter person than
I had ever imagined, and I think
that was the first time I learned that intelligence and,
yes, brilliance have nothing to do
with education." Logan championed Monroe
for an Academy Award Though not nominated for an Academy Award, she received a Golden Globe
nomination. nomination and
complimented her professionalism until the end of his life.
During this time,
the relationship between Monroe and Miller had developed,
and although the couple were able to maintain their privacy for almost a year, the press began to write about them as a couple, often referred to as "The
Egghead and The Hourglass".
The reports of their romance were soon overtaken by news that Miller had been
called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee to explain
his supposed communist affiliations.
Called upon to identify communists he was acquainted with,
Miller refused and was charged with contempt of Congress.
He was acquitted on appeal.
During the investigation, Monroe was urged by film
executives to abandon Miller, rather
than risk her career but she refused,
later branding them as "born cowards".
The press began to discuss an impending marriage,
but Monroe and Miller refused to confirm the rumor.
In June 1956, a reporter was
following them by car, and as they
attempted to elude him, the
reporter's car crashed, killing a
female passenger. Monroe became hysterical upon hearing the
news, and their engagement was
announced, partly in the expectation
that it would reduce the excessive media interest they were being subjected to. They were married on June 29, 1956.
Bus Stop was followed by The Prince and the Showgirl directed by
Laurence Olivier, who also
co-starred. Prior to filming, Olivier praised Monroe as "a brilliant comedienne, which to me means she is also an extremely skilled
actress". During filming in England he resented Monroe's dependence on her drama coach, Paula Strasberg,
regarding Strasberg as a fraud whose only talent was the ability to
"butter Marilyn up". He
recalled his attempts at explaining a scene to Monroe,
only to hear Strasberg interject,
"Honey— just think of Coca-ColaFrank Sinatra."
Despite Monroe and Olivier clashing, Olivier later commented that in the film
"Marilyn was quite wonderful,
the best of all."
Monroe's performance was hailed by critics, especially in Europe, where she won the David di Donatello, the Italian equivalent of the Academy Award, as well as the French Crystal Star Award. She was also nominated for a BAFTA.
It was more than a year before Monroe began her next
film. During her hiatus, she summered with Miller in Amagansett, Long Island. She suffered a miscarriage on August 1, 1957.
With Miller's encouragement she returned to Hollywood in August 1958 to star in Some
Like it Hot. The film was
directed by Billy Wilder and co-starred Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. Wilder had experienced Monroe's tardiness,
stage fright, and inability to
remember lines during production of The Seven Year Itch. However her behavior was now more hostile, and was marked by refusals to participate in
filming and occasional outbursts of profanity.
Monroe consistently refused to take direction from Wilder,
or insisted on numerous retakes of simple scenes until she was satisfied. She developed a rapport with Lemmon, but she disliked Curtis after hearing that he had
described their love scenes as "like kissing Hitler". Curtis later stated that the
comment was intended as a joke.
During filming, Monroe discovered
that she was pregnant. She suffered
another miscarriage in December 1958,
as filming was completed.
Some Like it Hot became a resounding success,
and was nominated for six Academy Awards.
Monroe was acclaimed
for her performance and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion
Picture Musical or Comedy. Wilder
commented that the film was the biggest success he had ever been associated
with. He discussed
the problems he encountered during filming,
saying "Marilyn was so difficult because she was totally unpredictable. I never knew what kind of day we were going to
have... would she be cooperative or obstructive?"
He had little patience with her method-acting technique and said that instead
of going to the Actors Studio "she should have gone to a train-engineer's
school ... to learn something about arriving on schedule." Wilder had become ill during
filming, and explained, "We were in mid-flight– and there was a
nut on the plane."
In hindsight, he discussed Monroe's "certain
indefinable magic" and "absolute genius as a comic actress."
By this time,
Monroe had only
completed one film, Bus Stop, under her four-picture contract with 20th Century
Fox. She agreed to appear in Let's
Make Love, which was to be
directed by George Cukor, but she
was not satisfied with the script,
and Arthur Miller rewrote it.
Gregory Peck was originally cast in the male lead role,
but he refused the role after Miller's rewrite; Cary Grant, Charlton Heston,
Yul Brynner and Rock Hudson also refused the role before it was offered to Yves
Montand. Monroe and
Miller befriended Montand and his wife,
actress Simone Signoret, and filming
progressed well until Miller was required to travel to Europe on business. Monroe
began to leave the film set early and on several occasions failed to attend, but her attitude improved after Montand confronted
her. Signoret returned to Europe to make a film,
and Monroe and Montand began a brief affair that ended when Montand refused to
leave Signoret. The
film was not a critical or commercial success.
Monroe's health deteriorated during this period, and she began to see a Los Angeles psychiatrist, Dr.
Ralph Greenson. He later recalled
that during this time she frequently complained of insomnia, and told Greenson that she visited several medical
doctors to obtain what Greenson considered an excessive variety of drugs. He concluded that she was progressing to the point
of addiction, but also noted that
she could give up the drugs for extended periods without suffering any
According to Greenson, the marriage
between Miller and Monroe was strained; he said that Miller appeared to
genuinely care for Monroe and was willing to help her,
but that Monroe rebuffed while also expressing resentment towards him for not
doing more to help her.
Greenson stated that his main objective at the time was to enforce a drastic
reduction in Monroe's drug intake.
In 1956 Arthur Miller had lived briefly in Nevada and wrote a short
story about some of the local people he had become acquainted with, a divorced woman and some aging cowboys. By 1960 he had developed the short story into a
screenplay, and envisaged it as
containing a suitable role for Monroe. It became her last completed film. The Misfits,
directed by John Huston and costarring Clark Gable,
Montgomery Clift, Eli Wallach and
Thelma Ritter. Shooting commenced in
July 1960, with most taking place in
the hot Northern Nevada Monroe was frequently ill and unable to
perform, and away from the influence
of Dr. Greenson, she had resumed her consumption of sleeping pills
and alcohol. A
visitor to the set, Susan Strasberg, later described Monroe as "mortally injured
in some way,"
and in August, Monroe was rushed to
Los Angeles where she was hospitalized for ten days.
Newspapers reported that she had been near death,
although the nature of her illness was not disclosed.
Louella Parsons wrote in her newspaper column that Monroe was "a very sick girl, much sicker than at first believed", and disclosed that she was being treated by a
Monroe returned to Nevada and completed the
film, but she became hostile towards
Arthur Miller, and public arguments
were reported by the press.
Making the film had proved to be an arduous experience for the actors; in
addition to Monroe's distress,
Montgomery Clift had frequently been unable to perform due to illness, and by the final day of shooting, Thelma Ritter was in hospital suffering from exhaustion. Gable,
commenting that he felt unwell, left
the set without attending the wrap party.
Monroe and Miller returned to New
York on separate flights.
Within ten days Monroe
had announced her separation from Miller,
and Gable had died from a heart attack.
Gable's widow, Kay, commented to Louella Parsons that it had been the
"eternal waiting" on the set of The Misfits that had
contributed to his death, though she
did not name Monroe. When reporters asked Monroe if she felt guilty
about Gable's death, she refused to
answer, but the
journalist Sidney Skolsky recalled that privately she expressed regret for her
poor treatment of Gable during filming and described her as being in "a
dark pit of despair".
Monroe later attended the christening of the Gables' son,
at the invitation of Kay Gable.
The Misfits received mediocre reviews,
and was not a commercial success,
though some praised the performances of Monroe
and Gable. Huston
later commented that Monroe's
performance was not acting in the true sense,
and that she had drawn from her own experiences to show herself, rather than a character.
"She had no techniques. It was
all the truth. It was only Marilyn."
During the following months, Monroe's dependence on alcohol and prescription
medications began to take a toll on her health,
and friends such as Susan Strasberg later spoke of her illness. Her divorce from Arthur Miller was
finalized in January 1961, with
Monroe citing "incompatibility of character",
and in February she voluntarily entered the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic. Monroe later
described the experience as a "nightmare".
She was able to phone Joe DiMaggio from the clinic,
and he immediately traveled from Florida to New York to facilitate her transfer to the Columbia Presbyterian Medical
Center. She remained there for three weeks. Illness prevented her from working for the
remainder of the year; she underwent surgery to correct a blockage in her
Fallopian tubes in May, and the
following month underwent gall bladder surgery.
She returned to California
and lived in a rented apartment as she convalesced.
In 1962 Monroe
began filming Something's Got to Give,
which was to be the third film of her four-film contract with 20th Century Fox. It was to be directed by George Cukor, and co-starred Dean Martin and Cyd Charisse. She was ill with a virus as filming commenced, and suffered from high temperatures and recurrent
sinusitis. On one occasion she
refused to perform with Martin as he had a cold,
and the producer Henry Weinstein recalled seeing her on several occasions being
physically ill as she prepared to film her scenes,
and attributed it to her dread of performing.
He commented, "Very few people
experience terror. We all experience
anxiety, unhappiness, heartbreaks,
but that was sheer primal terror."
On May 19,
1962, she attended the birthday
celebration of President John F.
Kennedy at Madison
Square Garden, at the suggestion of Kennedy's brother-in-law, actor Peter Lawford.
performed "Happy Birthday" along with a specially written verse based
on Bob Hope's "Thanks for the Memory".
Kennedy responded to her performance with the remark,
"Thank you. I can now retire
from politics after having had 'Happy Birthday' sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way."
Monroe returned to the set of Something's Got to Give
and filmed a sequence in which she appeared nude in a swimming pool. Commenting that she wanted to "push Liz
Taylor off the magazine covers",
she gave permission for several partially nude photographs to be published by Life. Having only reported for work on twelve occasions
out of a total of 35 days of production,
dismissed. The studio 20th Century
Fox filed a lawsuit against her for half a million dollars, and the studio's vice president, Peter Levathes,
issued a statement saying "The star system has gotten way out of hand. We've let the inmates run the asylum, and they've practically destroyed it." Monroe was replaced by Lee Remick, and when Dean Martin refused to work with any other
actress, he was also threatened with
Following her dismissal,
in several high-profile publicity ventures.
She gave an interview to Cosmopolitan and was photographed at Peter
Lawford's beach house sipping champagne and walking on the beach. She next posed for Bert Stern for Vogue
in a series of photographs that included several nudes.
Published after her death, they
became known as 'The Last Sitting'.
Richard Meryman interviewed her for Life,
in which Monroe
reflected upon her relationship with her fans and her uncertainties in
identifying herself as a "star" and a "sex symbol". She referred to the events surrounding Arthur
Miller's appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1956, and her studio's warning that she would be
"finished" if she showed public support for him,
and commented, "You have to
start all over again. But I believe
you're always as good as your potential.
I now live in my work and in a few relationships with the few people I can really
count on. Fame will go by, and, so
long, I've had you fame. If it goes by,
I've always known it was fickle. So
at least it's something I experienced,
but that's not where I live."
In the final weeks of her life, Monroe
engaged in discussions about future film projects,
and firm arrangements were made to continue negotiations.
Among the projects was a biography of Jean Harlow later filmed unsuccessfully
with Carroll Baker. Starring roles
in Billy Wilder's Irma La Douce and What a Way to Go!
were also discussed; Shirley MacLaine eventually played the roles in both films. Kim Novak replaced her in Kiss Me, Stupid,
a comedy in which she was to star opposite Dean Martin.
A film version of the Broadway musical,
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, and
an unnamed World War I–themed musical co-starring Gene Kelly were also
discussed, but the projects did not
occur. Her dispute
with 20th Century Fox was resolved,
and her contract renewed into a $1 million two-picture deal, and filming of Something's Got to Give was
scheduled to resume in early fall 1962.
Also on the table was an Italian film offer worth several million giving her
script, director and co-star
"Whitey" Snyder who saw her during the last week of her life, said Monroe was pleased by the opportunities
available to her, and that she
"never looked better [and] was in great spirits"
On August 5,
1962, LAPD police sergeant Jack
Clemmons received a call at 4:25 a.m. from Dr.
Ralph Greenson, Monroe's
psychiatrist, proclaiming that Monroe was found dead at her home in Brentwood, Los
California. She was
36 years old. At the subsequent
autopsy, eight milligram percent of
Chloral Hydrate and 4.5 milligram
percent of Nembutal were found in her system,Thomas
Noguchi of the Los Angeles County Coroners office recorded cause of death as
"acute barbiturate poisoning",
resulting from a "probable suicide".
Many theories, including murder, circulated about the circumstances of her death
and the timeline after the body was found.
Some conspiracy theories involved John and Robert Kennedy,
while other theories suggested CIA or Mafia and Dr.
complicity. It was reported that the
last person Marilyn called was The President.
On August 8,
was interred in a crypt at Corridor of Memories #24,
at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, Los
Lee Strasberg delivered the eulogy.
The crypt space immediately to the left of Monroe's was bought and reserved by Hugh
Hefner in 1992.
In August 2009,
the crypt space directly above that of Monroe
was placed for sale on .
Elsie Poncher plans to exhume her husband and move him to an adjacent plot. She advertised the crypt,
hoping "to make enough money to pay off the $1.6
million mortgage" on her Beverly
The winning offer was placed by an anonymous Japanese man for $4.6 million,
but the winning buyer later backed out "because of the paying
problem". In her will, Monroe
left Lee Strasberg her personal effects,
which amounted to just over half of her residuary estate,
expressing her desire that he "distribute [the effects] among my friends, colleagues and those to whom I am devoted". Instead,
Strasberg stored them in a warehouse,
and willed them to his widow, Anna. Mrs.
Strasberg successfully sued Los Angeles-based Odyssey sales in 1994 to
prevent the sale of items consigned by the nephew of Monroe's business manager, Inez Melson.
In October 1999, Christie's
saleed the bulk of Monroe's
effects, including those recovered
from Melson's nephew, netting US $13,405,785.
Strasberg then sued the children of four photographers to determine rights of
publicity, which permits the
licensing of images of deceased personages for commercial purposes. The decision as to whether Monroe
was a resident of California, where she died and where her will was probated, or New
which she considered her primary residence,
was worth millions.
On 4 May 2007,
a New York judge ruled that Monroe's rights of publicity ended at her
death. In October 2007, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill
771. The legislation was supported
by Anna Strasberg and the Screen Actors Guild,
and established that non-family members may inherit rights of publicity through
the residuary clause of the deceased's will,
provided that the person was a resident of California at the time of death.
In March 2008,
the United States District Court in Los Angeles
ruled that Monroe was a resident of New York at the time of her death,
citing the statement of the executor of her estate to California tax authorities, and a 1966 sworn affidavit by her housekeeper. The decision was reaffirmed by the United States
District Court of New York in September 2008.
In 2010, Monroe's
Brentwood home was put up for sale by
Prudential California Realty.
Monroe had three marriages,
first to James Dougherty, then to
Joe DiMaggio, and lastly Arthur
Miller. Monroe is alleged to have had affairs with
the both Kennedy brothers. Marlon
Brando, in his autobiography Songs
My Mother Taught Me, also
claimed that he had had a relationship with her.
Monroe married James Dougherty on June 19, 1942,
at the home of Chester Howell in Los
The Secret Happiness of Marilyn Monroe and To Norma Jeane with Love, Jimmie,
he claimed they were in love, but
dreams of stardom lured her away. In
1953, he wrote a piece called
"Marilyn Monroe Was My Wife" for Photoplay, in which he claimed that she threatened to jump
off the Santa Monica Pier if he left her.
In the 2004 documentary Marilyn's Man,
Dougherty made three new claims: that he invented the "Marilyn
Monroe" persona; studio executives forced her to divorce him; and that he
was her true love and her "dedicated friend for life".
Joe DiMaggio saw a picture of Monroe
with Chicago White Sox players Joe Dobson and Gus Zernial,
but did not ask the man who arranged the stunt to set up a date until 1952. Monroe
wrote in My Story that she did not want to meet him, fearing a stereotypical jock.
They eloped at San Francisco
City Hall on January 14, 1954.
During their honeymoon in Japan, she was asked to visit Korea as part of the USO. She performed ten shows in four days for over 100,000 servicemen.
Maury Allen quoted New York Yankees PR man
Arthur Richman that Joe told him that the marriage went wrong from then. On September 14,
filmed the famed skirt-blowing scene for The Seven Year Itch in front of
Trans-Lux Theater. Bill Kobrin, then Fox's east coast correspondent, told the Palm Springs Desert Sun in 1956
that it was Billy Wilder's idea to turn the shoot into a media circus, and that the couple had a "yelling
battle" in the theater lobby.
She filed for divorce on grounds of mental cruelty 274 days after the wedding.
In February 1961,
admitted to the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic.
She contacted DiMaggio, who secured
her release. She later joined him in
Florida, where he was serving as a batting coach at the New
York Yankees' training camp. Bob
Hope jokingly dedicated Best Song nominee The Second Time Around to them
at the 1961 Academy Awards.
According to Allen,
on August 1, 1962, DiMaggio– alarmed by how Monroe had fallen in with people he
considered detrimental to her well-being– quit his job with a PX supplier
to ask her to remarry him.
death, DiMaggio claimed her body and
arranged her funeral. For 20 years, he had a half-dozen red roses delivered to her
crypt three times a week.
DiMaggio's adopted granddaughters saleed the bulk of his estate, which featured two letters Monroe penned to him and a photograph signed
"I love you, Joe, Marilyn."
On June 29,
married playwright Arthur Miller,
whom she first met in 1950, in a
civil ceremony in White Plains, New York. City Court Judge Seymour D.
Robinowitz presided over the hushed ceremony in the law office of Sam Slavitt
(the wedding had been kept secret from both the press and the public). Monroe and Miller wed again two days later in a
Jewish ceremony before a small group of guests.
Rabbi Robert E. Goldburg, a Reform rabbi at Congregation Mishkan Israel, presided over the ceremony.
Their nuptials were celebrated at the home of Miller's literary agent, Kay Brown,
in Westchester County, NY. Some 30 friends and relatives attended the hastily
arranged party. Less than two weeks
after the wedding, the Millers flew
to London, where they were greeted at Parkside House by
Laurence Olivier and wife Vivien Leigh.
chaos among the normally staid British press.
In reflecting on his courtship of Monroe, Miller wrote,
"She was a whirling light to me then,
all paradox and enticing mystery,
street-tough one moment, then lifted
by a lyrical and poetic sensitivity that few retain past early adolescence." Nominally raised as a Christian, she converted to Judaism before marrying Miller. After she finished shooting The Prince and the
Showgirl with Laurence Olivier,
the couple returned to the United States
and discovered she was pregnant.
Tony Curtis, her co-star from Some
Like It Hot, claims he got Monroe pregnant during
their on-off affair that was rekindled during the filming of Some Like It
Hot in 1959, while she was still
married to Arthur Miller.
Miller's screenplay for The Misfits, a story about a despairing divorcée, was meant to be a Valentine gift for his wife, but by the time filming started in 1960 their
marriage was beyond repair. A
Mexican divorce was granted on January 24,
1961 in Ciudad Juarez
by Francisco José Gómez Fraire. On
February 17, 1962, Miller married Inge Morath,
one of the Magnum photographers recording the making of The Misfits.
In January 1964,
Miller's play After The Fall opened,
featuring a beautiful and devouring shrew named Maggie.
Simone Signoret noted in her autobiography the morofferity of Miller and Elia
Kazan resuming their professional association "over a casket". In interviews and in his autobiography, Miller insisted that Maggie was not based on Monroe. However,
he never pretended that his last Broadway-bound work,
Finishing the Picture, was
not based on the making of The Misfits.
He appeared in the documentary The Century of the Self, lamenting the psychological work being done on her
before her death. Monroe made her last significant public appearance, singing "Happy Birthday,
Mr. President" at a birthday
party for President John F. Kennedy
at Madison Square Garden. The dress that she wore to the event, specially designed and made for her by Jean Louis, sold at an sale in 1999 for USD $1.26 million.
Monroe did reportedly have an affair with President John F. Kennedy and his brother Senator Robert Kennedy. JFK's reputed mistress Judith Exner, in her 1977 autobiography,
also wrote about an affair that she said the president and Monroe had.
Journalist Anthony Summers examines the issue
of Monroe's relationships with the Kennedy
brothers at length in two books: his 1993 biography of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover,
entitled Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover,
and his 1985 biography of Monroe, entitled Goddess.
In the Hoover book, Summers
concludes that Monroe was in love with President Kennedy and wanted to marry
him in the early 1960s; that she called the White House frequently; and that, when the married President had to break off their
affair, Monroe became even more
depressed, and then turned to Robert
Kennedy, who visited Monroe in Los
Angeles the day that she died.
Patricia Seaton Lawford,
the fourth wife of actor Peter Lawford,
also deals with the Monroe-Kennedy matters in her 1988 biography of Peter
Lawford, entitled The Peter
Lawford Story. Lawford's first
wife was Patricia Kennedy Lawford,
the sister of John and Robert; Lawford was very close to the Kennedy family for
over a decade, including the time of
Monroe had a long experience with psychoanalysis. She was in analysis with Margaret Herz Hohenberg, Anna Freud,
Marianne Rie Kris, Ralph S. Greenson (who found Monroe dead),
and Milton Wexler.
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Marilyn Monroe Rare Original Vintage 1940s 20th Century Fox Photo Studio Files: $338