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Marilyn News

The Weekly Marilyn Round-Up: March 24, 2017

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It’s Friday once again, and it’s time to see how our girl popped up in the headlines this week!

 

Who would Stephen Hawking choose to life with him on a desert island for the rest of his life?  In a recent interview for Good Morning Britain! Hawking named Albert Einstein, Galileo, and….Marilyn Monroe.  Famous physicist Hawking is known to be a big Marilyn fan; he decorates his office with her posters and has a Marilyn mug on his desk.  Without a doubt Marilyn would be touched to be included among such an illustrious group, particularly Einstein, a man she greatly admired.

 

Remember that Marilyn-themed house we reported on last week?  Well it turns out the place is drawing a lot of interest.  The owner is likely to get her asking price for the place, given the fact that her realtor reports there have been calls from all over to view it.  The home has gone viral on the internet, drawing the curious to see just how much Marilyn one can fit in less than 1200 square feet (A LOT).

 

No word on how the auction this past week went for the fan footage of Marilyn on the set of Some Like it Hot – in colour no less – that recently surfaced.  The estimate, according to the report, was around $4000, but give what Marilyn items go for these days, it would be no surprise if it went higher.

 

Model Karlie Kloss, the face of Swarovski, gave tribute to Marilyn in a performance celebrating the company’s history.  Wearing a pink one-shouldered gown, Kloss gave a Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend-esque performance – perhaps arguing in favour of Swarovski crystals over real diamonds?  Lorelei Lee would most certainly beg to differ.

 

That’s it for this week – enjoy the weekend!

The Weekly Marilyn Round-Up: March 17, 2017

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Hi there Marilyn fans!  It’s time to round up all the headlines our girl has been making lately!  As usual she’s in the news…

 

Inside Dublin’s wild Marilyn-themed home

Think your home has a Marilyn theme?  It may not be on the same level as this Dublin house, which made headlines for its Marilyn-intensive and very colourful interior when it went up for sale recently.  The home features Marilyn – and a lot of bright decor – in nearly every room, leading headlines to call it “garish”.  What do you think Marilyn fans?  A fabulous Marilyn shrine or a little too much?

In other real estate news, a condo in the building where Marilyn once lived has hit the market for a whopping $5 million.  It’s not Marilyn’s apartment, but the building certainly comes with a lot of history.

The Marilyn Monroe Spa brand is expanding out of the United States and into…India?  Reports say the company has struck a deal to build 250 of their themed spa franchises in cities like Mumbai.  Although India isn’t the first international location most people will think of when they think of Marilyn’s fandom, multiple Bollywood stars from the nation have been named in the “channeling Marilyn” department, or compared to her.  The company clearly thinks there is a market there, and plans to expand to further international locations in the future.

The battle over the rights to Marilyn’s name and image continues in court.  This week a U.S. District Court heard further arguments as to whether or not the name Marilyn Monroe is in the public domain or can be held as a trademark by the estate.  The ultimate question: is “Marilyn Monroe” too generic to be owned by the estate?  The ongoing case will eventually determine whether the estate can continue to have sole ownership of her name, contrary to what the company involved in the suit claims.  Stay tuned…

On the heels of the huge November 2016 auction of Marilyn items come two further auctions from Julien’s.  On now and online only is the Marilyn Through the Lens auction, featuring images of Marilyn taken by multiple photographers throughout her career.  Some of Marilyn’s famous jewelry will be featured in an upcoming Treasures From the Hollywood Vault auction.  Included are the earrings worn with the gold lame dress in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, among other items.

Shockingly, we don’t have any new installments to the “Who Channelled Marilyn?” list this week, but Cosmopolitan does have an interview with former Universal Studios Marilyn impersonator Danica Kennedy, who talks about what it’s like to play Marilyn and how it impacted her career.

 

That’s the news for this week – Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Marilyn in Manhattan: Elizabeth Winder On Her New Book

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When Marilyn Monroe pulled a disappearing act and resurfaced in New York ready to take control of her career, Hollywood was shocked and everything changed for the world’s favourite blonde.  Author Elizabeth Winder looks at her year of rebirth in the newly released book Marilyn in Manhattan: Her Year of Joy, available now in hardcover and ebook formats.  She talks about her book and her inspiration in an interview for Immortal Marilyn.

 

 

What inspired you to write a book about Marilyn Monroe?  Do you consider yourself a fan, and were you a fan prior to writing it?

I actually came late to Marilyn Monroe.  The most popular images of Marilyn are highly stylized– the caked on makeup and gummy red lipstick, the glued on lashes, skintight skirt and baby-doll coo. Somehow I picked up a copy of Norman Mailer’s fictional biography of Marilyn– which is sexist and horrifying but just so beautifully written– I read it in one night and started googling Marilyn obsessively, and found all those amazing photos by Milton Greene.  He photographed her with very little makeup, wearing baggy slips and sweaters or coarse wave skirts and heavy boots. Those photos really made me fall in love with Marilyn.

You went from writing about Sylvia Plath to Marilyn.  On the surface those seem like two vastly different people.  Do you feel there were similarities between them?  If so, did that surprise you?

It’s interesting to compare Sylvia Plath and Marilyn Monroe– I quite like the way Carl Rollyson compares them in his Plath bio American Isis.  They both had such sensitivity and ambition.  They both could command a room– that much is clear from anyone who remembers them.  But Marilyn sparked something protective and nurturing in those who knew here, whereas Sylvia presented as much more self possessed.  I wasn’t surprised by the similarities– I’m drawn to thin-skinned, creative women. Sometimes I imagine Sylvia and Marilyn as roommates.  Marilyn would have driven Sylvia crazy– eating ice cream in bed, crumbs and cigarette butts strewn everywhere, probably borrowing Sylvia’s lipstick because she couldn’t find her own.  Sylvia labeled her nail polish bottles so no one else would use them.   But Sylvia was fascinated by Marilyn, particularly her relationship with Arthur Miller.  I think Sylvia was ahead of her time– she looked beyond Marilyn’s blonde bombshell facade and saw something nuanced and special.

Why did you choose Marilyn’s first year in New York as the focus for your book?

After clicking through pages of photos Milton Greene took of Marilyn I began to read more about their relationship. I was touched by the potential he saw in Marilyn, the way he risked everything for her. I saw a real story there, a story that unfolded over the course of a year. I was shocked that no one had devoted a book to it yet– it seemed almost too good to be true.


The move to New York was a major turning point in Marilyn’s life and career.  Do you think, in the end, that it was a good move for her, in spite of the fact that by the end of her life she found herself back in LA making another fluff comedy?

Breaking from Fox and teaming up with Milton Greene was the best move Marilyn ever made.  In New York she was loved and appreciated. Carson McCullers, Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams befriended her.  William Motter Inge wrote a play for her.  I think we underestimate how much this meant to Marilyn– she adored writers, she worshipped them.  In LA she was ridiculed, abused and incredibly lonely. And her friendship with Milton was so life-enhancing, so positive, so full of mutual support and creativity.  If Arthur Miller hadn’t broken them up, I think Marilyn would have lived happily for decades, making movies and possibly even directing.

Marilyn is one of those people about whom there is an incredible amount of misinformation.  What one thing do you most wish the average person knew about her?

I wish they knew that Marilyn was funny– I don’t mean the witty media quips but that warm-hearted kind of funny that makes you smile and want to hug someone.  I wish they knew that Marilyn actually read Ulysses and didn’t just pose with it.  I wish they knew that as a starving model she spent her money on books instead of food. I could go on and on– that’s why I wrote Marilyn in Manhattan– I totally fell in love with her!

 

Want to win this book?  IM is giving away five copies courtesy of Flatiron Publishing!  Leave us a comment telling us why you’d love to have a copy to be entered in a drawing to win!  

CONTEST EXTENDED!  Winners will be drawn randomly from all entries and announced on ImmortalMarilyn.com and our Facebook group on March 26th, 2017.  Contest closes March 26th at 12:00 pm US Central time.

The Weekly Marilyn Round Up: March 3, 2017

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Hi there Marilyn fans!  It’s Friday , and time to bring in the round up of the latest headlines featuring the one and only Marilyn Monroe.  As usual there’s a little of the good, the bad, and the things that make you go hmmmmm…..

Remember when we reported that our least favourite UK tabloid had run some pics of Marilyn showing a slightly rounded tummy with the story that she was pregnant with Yves Montand’s baby?  Well the National Enquirer, grandaddy of the fake news world, had to go them one better.  It wasn’t Yves baby, says the Enquirer, no sir.  It was JFK’s.  OF COURSE.  Sigh.  POTUS or Frenchman, either way the story is utterly false.  So, once again…No, Marilyn wasn’t pregnant in 1960!!

A brunette actress playing Marilyn in a new play

Ever the subject of fiction and fantasy, Marilyn appears again on the stage in the recently premiered Norma Jeane At the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic.  The play, which earns our vote for Least Creative Title, covers – yes, you guessed it, her time at Payne Whitney.  In an effort to present her as “Norma Jeane” and not “Marilyn”, the play uses a brunette actress to play the part, so we can at least be spared another caricature.  Still, of all the parts of her life Marilyn would not have wanted to see on the stage, this would have to top the list.  We’re going to pass.

Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange in Feud

Marilyn will appear, or at least be mentioned, in the new FX series Feud: Joan and Bette, although no word yet how Marilyn’s appearance will be handled – either as a cameo or even just by name, or which actress will take the part if indeed there is one.  ES has the story on the slightly revised version of Joan Crawford’s hostility towards Marilyn as it’s portrayed in the series.

Are you ready for this week’s installment of Who Channelled Marilyn???  Yes, the ever-growing list of celebs who have earned a spot in the media’s obsessive attempts to point out every blonde wig and beauty mark grows once more….  This week we bring your former Disney star Dove Cameron and Lil’ Kim.  That last one we are definitely questioning.

 

Have a great week Marilyn fans!

No, Marilyn Monroe Was Not Pregnant In 1960

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Another tabloid run at Marilyn has taken some candid photos sold at the recent Julien’s auction and made up a pregnancy to go with them.

The Daily Mail, a British publication well known for unreliable stories, published this story, which features photos from the Frieda Hull collection recently sold by Julien’s Auctions.  They interview Tony Michaels, the man who bought the slides at auction.  Michaels claims that Frieda was a friend of his, and told him that Marilyn confided in her about the pregnancy, a result of an affair with French actor Yves Montand during filming of Let’s Make Love in 1960.

Marilyn during costume tests for The Misfits, July 1960.

Marilyn does appear to have a little tummy in the photos, taken in early July of 1960 during costume tests for The Misfits.  The problem is that the tummy is nothing new, but was in fact just as visible during costume tests for Let’s Make Love a good six months earlier, prior to Marilyn’s time on set with Montand.  Photos throughout the film show a somewhat heavier Marilyn with a small tummy showing.  If this was a pregnancy, it started some time earlier and somehow managed to not advance at all for six months.

Marilyn during costume tests for Let’s Make Love.

Putting aside photographic evidence, it doesn’t take much to look at the story itself and see a fabrication.  If indeed Marilyn was pregnant by means of an adulterous affair, why would she confide in young fan Frieda Hull and no one else?  And why would Frieda then tell her neighbour and no one else?  And why would either of them keep the secret for so long, Frieda to her grave and Michaels until he purchased the photos from Julien’s?  It wouldn’t be the first time a salacious story was fabricated about Marilyn to get some press and make a small piece of Marilyn history into a much bigger and more valuable one.  And sadly, these stories are shared as gospel.

There was no word about this pregnancy at the time that the catalog was prepared for Julien’s, as Marilyn Remembered tweeted today in response to the article.  No mention or evidence for a pregnancy during this time has ever surfaced, in spite of exhaustive research into every aspect of Marilyn’s life in the 55 years since her passing, and the fact that she was photographed everywhere she went.  The odds of such a pregnancy going unnoticed and unreported at the time, and to have been kept a total secret all these years are incredible.

A scene from Let’s Make Love

Marilyn’s weight fluctuated during her lifetime, and the years from 1957-1960 were heavier than previous years.  Following her divorce from Arthur Miller, Marilyn slimmed down considerably.  What is seen in these photos could be the result of the onset of the gallbladder problem that would lead to surgery in 1961.  It could be bloating from Marilyn’s endometriosis – a condition that caused Marilyn to have difficulty conceiving and carrying a child to term, making this claim even more hurtful – or just from a big lunch.  Or it could be nothing at all.

Sometimes, a tummy is just a tummy.

The Weekly Marilyn Round-Up: January 13, 2017

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Friday is here again, and with it our weekly round-up of Marilyn Monroe in the news.

 

A still of Marilyn and Billy Wilder caught by Jules Schulback.

Big news today is the uncovering of gorgeous, clear, colour footage of Marilyn taken by a New York local during the filming of The Seven Year Itch in 1954.  Jules Schulback, a furrier in NYC, shot the footage of Marilyn in her terry robe on the steps and waving from a window.  He also captured Marilyn during the famous skirt-blowing scene on Lexington Avenue in the wee hours of the morning.  The footage drew a resounding gasp from Marilyn fans around the world.  The New York Times article regarding the footage shares a very short clip, although according to the article there are more than three minutes of footage.  Few outside the Schulback family have seen the footage in its entirety.  Here’s hoping we all get to see it one day!

 

Marilyn with Buddy Greco in Lake Tahoe shortly before her death.

 

Sad news this week as musician Buddy Greco passed away in Las Vegas at the age of 90.  Greco is best known in Marilyn circles as one of those present during Marilyn’s last weekend in Lake Tahoe at the Cal-Neva Lodge before her death.  The photos taken that weekend are believed to be the last ones of Marilyn alive.  Greco, who hung with Marilyn’s friends Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack, had a long and fascinating career that included a performance with The Beatles for Queen Elizabeth and multiple hits.  His passing was reported on January 10th, 2017.

 

Kate Upton is in the news in this week’s round of Who Channelled Marilyn?  (Yes, that’s what I have decided to call this portion of the news round-up from now on!)  The model earned the popular title from ET this week for a photo shoot that was part of the Love Advent Calendar.  It’s not the first time we’ve seen Upton in the category; she appeared on the cover of the 100th anniversary issue of Vanity Fair in 2013 doing a Marilyn-esque look.  She has also been caught in a very SYI-style dress in the past.

 

That’s it for the news this week – have a great weekend!

The Weekly Marilyn Round-Up: January 6, 2017

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Welcome to a new year, Marilyn fans!  We are back after a holiday hiatus to bring you a weekly run-down of Marilyn in the news.

 

An autographed photo gifted to singer Thalia by her husband as part of an amazing Marilyn Christmas gift.

Did you get any Marilyn items for the holidays?  A couple of celebrities made headlines recently for their Marilyn-related holiday surprises.  Singer Thalia received a gift purchased at the November Julien’s auction from her husband Tommy Mottola – Marilyn’s handbag, lipstick, and face powder.  He also threw in a candid photo of Marilyn signing an autograph for a fan, autographed by Marilyn herself, from the Freida Hull collection.  Now that’s a gift any Marilyn fan would be over the moon to receive – major brownie points for Mr. Mottola!

Meanwhile, Khloe Kardashian bragged about her MM-related gift from her mother, Kris Jenner online.  She received two original Marilyn prints signed by photographers Richard C. Miller and Bert Stern.  Khloe is a big Marilyn fan, one of many in the famous family.

 

Another Marilyn-related production will be hitting the stage, this time at The Cutting Room in New York City.  With Love, Marilyn is apparently a musical performance based on Marilyn’s love affairs and will be performed on February 13th and 14th, 2017.  While the mention of Marilyn’s lovers raises our eyebrows – Marilyn fans know how much speculation and outright nonsense tends to appear in those tales – we’ll give the performance credit either way for donating proceeds to a women’s cancer charity.  Marilyn will be played by Erin Sullivan, who previously played her on the stage in the New Mexico production Marilee and Baby Lamb: The Assassination of an American Goddess.  That play was based on Lena Pepitone’s highly questionable accounts of Marilyn’s life.

 

An original Warhol for sale in Belfast.

The Julien’s auction in November was the biggest news of 2016, but 2017 will see Marilyn on the block again.  Julien’s will be auctioning off remaining items in a June Marilyn auction.  If you missed out in November, there may yet be a  treasure to be had in a few months.  Details on what will be up for bids aren’t yet available, but will include some items that went unsold in November.

 

An Andy Warhol original screen print of Marilyn, signed by the author, is among a collection of original Warhols coming up for sale in Belfast, Ireland.  If you can’t afford the nearly $105,000 US dollar price tag on the Marilyn, you can at least see it on display at Gormley Find Arts if you’re in the Belfast area.

 

That’s it for this week…and here’s to a great Marilyn year!

 

The Weekly Marilyn Roundup: November 18, 2016

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Happy Friday Marilyn fans!!!!  And what a day it is to be a Marilyn fan!  Last night’s historic Julien’s auction held a lot of surprises, so let’s get to the news!

 

Photo credit Reena Rose Sabajit

Photo credit Reena Rose Sabajit

Biggest news of the night, the Happy Birthday Mr. President dress sold at auction for $4,ooo,ooo, more than double its 1999 sale price.  Marilyn fans broke into jubilation as word spread it had been purchased by Ripley’s.  the company bought a number of major items in in the 1999 Christie’s auction, but last night beat it all with the purchase of THE DRESS.  Word is, they also bought all of the JFK gala items up for bids, and plan to display them in their Los Angeles museum.  This is huge news for Marilyn fans – the dress, which has been hidden away for nearly 55 years, will finally be available for the public to see.

Meanwhile, Marilyn fans were surprised to see other items go lower than expected, such as the Some Like it Hot dress, which sold for $375,000, under the low end of the estimate.  While fans were shocked to see some items go low, some items that went high made jaws drop as well, such as vintage magazines and posters.

We’ll have a full report on the auction later, there’s still more to come!

Was there other Marilyn news this week?  Well, Robert Wagner has a new memoir out in which he discusses his encounters with Marilyn.  I Loved Her In The Movies: Memories of Hollywood’s Legendary Actresses is available on Amazon.

In are-you-kidding-me news, a British poll of 1000 people put Marilyn in second place to model Cara Delevingne as most iconic celebrity of the last century.  Seriously?  No accounting for some tastes…

 

That’s it for news this week…so far.  Good luck to everyone bidding in the rest of the auction!

The Weekly Marilyn Roundup: November 11th, 2016

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Happy Friday – and before we go on, a moment of silence for Remembrance Day, and a moment of thanks to all veterans who fought for freedom!

marilyn-monroe-in-korea-1

 

Marilyn in the news this week includes some odd and some interesting tidbits!  First off, the Sunday Post seems to have taken advantage of election week to write an odd article entitled “Marilyn Monroe Could Have Been President”.  Unfortunately, what might have been a fun, if unrealistic article, was dragged down by the same old, same old.  More on the Kennedys and claims that Marilyn thought she was going to be First Lady…if only we could put that nonsense to rest.  Sigh.

 

The battle over who gets to make money off Marilyn continues.  Reports came in this week that her estate is suing a lingerie company for using her name and image to sell their wares.  While officially licensed Marilyn items are all over the place, so are unlicensed products – even products with photoshopped images and images that aren’t even Marilyn on them – maybe those companies aren’t making enough money to be of notice?

 

Not much else to report this week – it’s not like it’s been a slow news week, so that’s no surprise.  With everyone gearing up for the big Julien’s auction that takes place next week, no doubt there will be more to report!  Have a great weekend Marilyn fans.

The Weekly Marilyn Roundup: November 4th, 2016

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Another week come and gone, and a busy one at that!

Neil Patrick Harris and family for Halloween!

Neil Patrick Harris and family for Halloween!

This week we had a blast celebrating Halloween on IM’s Facebook page with lots of Marilyn dress-up fun!  IMer’s weren’t the only ones paying homage to our favourite blonde.  This year’s celeb Marilyn tributes for Halloween included Martha Stewart (in one of TWO costumes, overachieving as usual) and Sharon Osbourne!  Cutest Marilyn award this year, though, goes to Neil Patrick Harris’ adorable daughter, whose twin brother rocked the James Dean look.

Halloween also brought out the Marilyn makeup tips from the pros.  This year it was Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist, Mario Dedidanovic, who offered advice on the technique of “baking”, which involves a lot less cooking than it sounds like.

 

In less happy news, the death of William Morris agent Norman Brokaw was announced this week.  Brokaw was the nephew of Marilyn’s benefactor, Johnny Hyde, who got him his start at William Morris in the mailroom.  He eventually rose to be a major power player in the industry, eventually becoming President of the company.  He passed away in Beverly Hills at the age of 89.

Marilyn photographed by Lawrence Schiller.

Marilyn photographed by Lawrence Schiller.

A group of high quality Lawrence Schiller prints showing Marilyn on the set of Something’s Got to Give will be auctioned off in Palm Desert on November 9th to support FIND Food Bank.  The photos are on display at the Heather James Fine Art Gallery before the auction.

Another Marilyn imitation showed up on TV recently.  An episode of the CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend featured a take on Marilyn’s Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend number in the show’s usual style of semi-parody musical comedy.  Even if you don’t watch the show you can catch a glimpse of the number, which turns the pink dress blue, online here.

Scott Fortner’s rare interview with Anna Strasberg appeared in two parts on his website this week.  Scott’s interview comes ahead of the Julien’s auction later this month that will see the last of the Lee Strasberg collection of Marilyn’s estate hit the block.

 

 

That’s it for this week!  See you next Friday, Marilyn fans!