Marilyn News

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 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!

The Weekly Marilyn Roundup: October 28, 2016

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Hey there Marilyn fans!  Another week gone by and as usual, our girl is in the news!  Here’s a roundup of what went down in Marilyn-dom this past week!

Dr. Ramon Pastor at Marilyn’s side as she leaves Polyclinic Hospital after gallbladder surgery.

Reports of the death of surgeon Dr. Ramon Acosta Pastor surfaced early this week, after the doctor passed away a few weeks ago on October 5th.  Dr. Pastor performed Marilyn’s 1961 gallbladder removal surgery at Polyclinic Hospital in New York.  Pastor can be seen at Marilyn’s side as the press accosted her on her way out of the hospital.


Just in time for Halloween,, the website responsible for the popular 100 Years of Beauty videos, has launched a series of How-To videos.  According to People, one of the videos includes a tutorial on how to get Marilyn’s makeup look down pat.  You’ve got a few days to practice the look before trick-or-treating time!


Scott Fortner announced his forthcoming interview with Anna Strasberg, to be published on his site, The Marilyn Monroe Collection on November 1st.  Strasberg, who inherited Marilyn’s estate from husband Lee Strasberg as his second wife, has been a person of much controversy in the Marilyn community over the years.  Should be interesting to see what she has to say!


And in the biggest news of the week, the Happy Birthday Mr. President dress has landed in Ireland, where it will be on display.  The exhibit runs from Oct. 29 through Nov. 6 at the Museum of Style Icons in Newbridge.  After this exhibit it returns stateside, where it will be auctioned off by Julien’s.  Online bidding has already hit the million dollar mark and it’s sure to go much higher.  IM’s Jackie Cooney got an exclusive pre-exhibit look at the dress up close and personal, and while we’re all jealous, we’re also thankful to her for these fantastic photos!

Three Tales About Marilyn the Julien’s Auction Has Challenged

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As Marilyn fans, we always get excited when we see a new picture or learn something new about Marilyn.  And for those of us who have made a study of her life, there may be nothing quite as exciting as seeing hard evidence surface that backs something you’ve suspected or believed for years.  Thanks to the Julien’s auction that’s already live online, we’ve got some new pieces to the constant puzzle that is Marilyn Monroe.  In fact, three fairly well-known stories about Marilyn’s life will have to be re-written thanks to evidence found in letters and scraps of paper.

Marilyn gives a press conference after Arthur Miller announced their intention to marry.

Marilyn gives a press conference after Arthur Miller announced their intention to marry.


The Tale: Marilyn was blindsided when Arthur announced to the press his plans to marry her.  The story goes that Marilyn was completely shocked when Arthur stated that she was to be his wife, but that seems unlikely. She may not have expected the announcement just then, but there has been some evidence uncovered in the past that indicates marriage plans were already in progress before the announcement.  Now there’s further proof that Marilyn and Arthur’s engagement wasn’t a surprise.  A letter from Arthur up for auction and addressed to Marilyn prior to the announcement clearly states Arthur’s desire to marry Marilyn on his birthday in October and discusses wedding plans.  That date was moved up in order for the two to get married before traveling to England so Marilyn could film The Prince and the Showgirl.  Since Arthur clearly didn’t know about that trip when this was written, the letter can be placed prior to the travel plans being made and well in advance of the public announcement.  So while it remains possible Marilyn was surprised Miller chose that moment to make the announcement, it’s clearly not true that the two weren’t already planning to get married.


The Tale: Marilyn had an affair with Some Like it Hot Co-Star Tony Curtis during filming.  This tale comes directly from Curtis himself, who further went on to claim the baby she was carrying during filming – and lost right after – was his.  Few Marilyn fans believe his claims, but this note written by Marilyn in response to Curtis comments at the time that “kissing Marilyn was like kissing Hitler” firmly dispels the notion.  It reads: “There is only one way he could comment on my sexuality and I’m afraid he hasn’t had the opportunity.”  That’s a mic drop on Curtis’ tales of an affair, not that they were believable to begin with.


Marilyn Monroe and Ella Fitzgerald at The Tiffany Club in 1954.

Marilyn Monroe and Ella Fitzgerald at The Tiffany Club in 1954.


The Tale: Marilyn was responsible for Ella Fitzgerald’s booking at the Mocambo, promised to be front and center every night, and followed through on that promise.  This well-known story comes directly from Ella herself in a 1972 interview for Ms. magazine.  Oh, this is such a lovely tale and so very in keeping with who Marilyn was, that it’s actually painful to see it proven false.  But a memo up for auction from Marilyn’s secretary Inez Melson makes it quite clear that Marilyn saw Ella at The Tiffany Club, didn’t in fact play a role in Ella’s booking at the Mocambo, and didn’t attend the shows there as she was going to be in New York at the time.  This evidence only backs up research already done by IM’s April VeVea, author of Marilyn: A Day in The Life, who previously dug up enough evidence to prove that it didn’t happen the way it went down in history.



It’s always amazing how in spite of the fact that Marilyn’s life has been analyzed and examined down to the most minute details, there are still new facts coming to light, and how even commonly accepted version of events can find themselves changed or even turned on their heads by a simple slip of paper that changes the story.  There’s always more to learn about Marilyn!


-Leslie Kasperowicz for Immortal Marilyn

The Weekly Marilyn Roundup: October 21, 2016

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Happy Friday Marilyn fans!  It’s time for the weekly roundup of what’s new for lovers of the world’s most famous blonde.


Dust off those credit cards, because the Julien’s auction is off and running.  Online bidding on what will likely be the Marilyn auction of the century – and I can’t see this one being topped, even if we are only 16 years into the century – has begun on the Julien’s website.  The biggest item up for bids, the Happy Birthday Mr. President dress, already has a bid at $1,000,000.  The bidding opened on July 17th, and many other items already have bids as well.  It seems likely that many will go over their estimates, as Marilyn items commonly do, although we’re keeping our fingers crossed that some of the less wealthy fans among us can get our hands on a few items.  We’ll all be waiting to see if the dress can make history again.  Are you bidding?  We’d love to hear from fans who actually win something!


One of Kirkland's dreamy images of Marilyn

One of Kirkland’s dreamy images of Marilyn

Douglas Kirkland, who photographed Marilyn in 1961, has been making the news again as an exhibition of his photos makes the rounds.  This week he chatted with Australian Vogue about his night with Marilyn and the camera, as well as the other celebrities he caught with his lens.  Check out the interview I did with Douglas for IM a few years ago if you want to read more on this thoughts about Marilyn.


Speaking of Australia, Marilyn made big money for the city of Bendigo.  The big exhibition held there earlier this year made even bigger profits than expected.  The total income for the region as a result of Marilyn’s draw was announced this week; more than 140,000 people made their way to Bendigo for the show, adding up to a $13.2 million dollar windfall for the city.



That’s it for this week’s Marilyn news…have a great weekend, and don’t forget to get your bids in to Julien’s early!

The Weekly Marilyn Roundup: October 14, 2016

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TGIF Marilyn fans!  It’s time once again for the weekly roundup of all the news in the Marilyn world!

The 30th Anniversary Marilyn Merlot.

The 30th Anniversary Marilyn Merlot.


Whether you collect them unopened or prefer to drink them, collectors of Marilyn wines will want to grab the recently announced 30th anniversary release.  Marking the 30 year anniversary of the winemaker’s most famous offering, Marilyn Merlot.  The wines are known as much for what’s outside as in the bottle, and this special new release features Marilyn on the set of There’s No Business Like Show Business.  You can get your own bottle directly from the winery here, or look for it at your local liquor store!


John Gilmore, author of Inside Marilyn Monroe, has passed away.  The book tells of his encounters with Marilyn; with whom she shared some commonalities.  You can read Marijane Gray’s obituary for Gilmore here as well as a previous interview with Gilmore for IM here.


A  new Marilyn exhibition will open in France on October 22nd.  Showcased at the Hotel de Caumont Centre d’art in Aix-en-Provence, the photography-focused exhibit will include approximately 60 photographs as well as multimedia pieces.  Marilyn – I Wanna Be Loved By You runs October 22, 2016 – May 1, 2017.

Marilyn photographed by Inge Morath

Marilyn photographed by Inge Morath


The Daily Mail posted a piece on the new Inge Morath photo book released on September 20th.  For those of you – like me! – who missed the news on this one, the book, called Inge Morath: On Style is available at Amazon.  The photography book features Morath’s photos of Marilyn on the set of The Misfits, along with other celebrities such as Jayne Mansfield and Audrey Hepburn.  Also included is a selection of her non-celebrity photos.  Marilyn fans will know Inge Morath as more than a photographer; Arthur Miller married her after his divorce from Marilyn.


Another new book on the subject of Natalie Wood had Marilyn in the headlines this week.  Natalie’s reflections on Marilyn and her death were the focus of Vanity Fair’s report on the book, along with several other news sources.  It’s always nice to hear one of Marilyn’s contemporaries speak on her, but we do think Natalie’s life is quite interesting enough without the media needing Marilyn’s name to grab attention.  Natalie Wood: Reflections on a Legendary Life is available at Amazon.


Ariana Grande became the latest celebrity to try her hand at Marilyn’s iconic song Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.  The singer put a bit of jazzy flair on her version of the song at a Tiffany & Co. (and how fitting) event in Beverly Hills on October 13th.  Grande has previously said she’s a fan of Marilyn, and was photographed in a very Marilyn-esque pink dress at the MTV Movie Awards this past April.  Check out her performance below and have a great weekend!



John Gilmore, Author of Inside Marilyn Monroe, Has Passed Away

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Author and friend of the Marilyn community John Gilmore died Thursday, October 13, in California. Most known among Marilyn fans as the author of Inside Marilyn Monroe, detailing his friendship with her, he is also well recognized as a  author of true crime, noir, and Hollywood memoirs.

John Gilmore

John Gilmore

John’s life was steeped with all things Hollywood….his mother was a contract player for MGM and his father was both an LAPD officer and writer and actor for radio shows. John started out as a child actor, appearing in Gene Autry’s film The Last Roundup and went on to perform in numerous late 1950s-early 1960s television shows including  Naked City, Lawman, and Bonanza. Although he wrote screenplays and acted in a few commercial films, John’s biggest talent emerged as a writer. Starting with pulp novels in the 1960s, John went on to become a master of true crime and noir, covering such subjects as The Black Dahlia, Charles Manson, and Bonnie and Clyde. Suspense Magazine said of his writing: “John Gilmore prefers working on his own terms—in the trenches, down and dirty, sleeves rolled up, often moving to locales where the story takes place….He knows where the bodies are buried; has seen the skeletons in the closet; understands everyone’s strange peccadilloes. Gilmore is a literary surgeon whose pen is like a scalpel. He peers into souls, reads minds and isn’t afraid to crack open the cadaver to find out what’s inside. He divulges the secrets of the rich and famous and cold-blooded killers alike.”

John seemed to have an ability to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right people. Many of his books trace a direct line from him to an encounter with his subjects. Most renowned for his book about Elizabeth Short, Severed:The True Story of the Black Dahlia Murder, he claims he met Miss Short when he was eleven years old. His acclaimed book about the Charles Manson cult, The Garbage People, reveals that he had briefly met Sharon Tate on the Fox studio lot. He wrote about his friendship with  James Dean in The Real James Dean and caused considerable controversy with his claims about Dean’s sexuality in his memoir Laid Bare: A Memoir of Wrecked Lives and the Hollywood Death Trip. Laid Bare also recounts John’s experiences with a virtual who’s who of Hollywood: Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson, Jayne Mansfield, Janis Joplin, Brigitte Bardot, Jane Fonda, Steve McQueen and many more.

gilmorebookJohn’s book Inside Marilyn Monroe tells of his casual meetings with her. Unlike many other authors that have written about being in the same circles as Marilyn, John does not embellish or exaggerate his role in her life. His friend Jill Kaiser Adams said of him “He didn’t want to write it as he thought he had no story tell. He said “Listen Jill, I knew her as an actress, I wasn’t there when she died. I didn’t have a romantic relationship with her, so who will care?” I told him that he had an honest story to tell and we love honest stories about her. ” He first met her through a friend at her Doheny Drive apartment, saw her a few times on the Hollywood circuit, and had a memorable encounter walking through the park in the rain with her in New York City when they were both at The Actor’s Studio. There was an unsuccessful attempt for them to work together on the film The Stripper. John wrote of Marilyn: “I confess my timidity or selfishness for the half dozen or so times I was in Marilyn’s company and never reached past her fame to engage our spirits….I failed because I was intimidated by Marilyn’s success.” He roundly denounces those who have attempted to seek fame for themselves through brief or nonexistent relationships with her, and laments that she has continued to be a victim of commercialization and conspiracy.

John was a member of the Marilyn Remembered fan club and often was a guest speaker at the club’s memorial services for her. He enjoyed telling stories about his heyday in the Hollywood scene from his perspective of the grit under the glamour. His good friend Holly Beavon says of him “John was one of the original leather jacket wearing, motorcycle riding bad boys of Hollywood. He would get that charming, sweet, mischievous giggle as he’d describe those days at Googies and being considered dangerous by the studio.

In an email to his friend Ian Ayres, John wrote “All I need is a table or booth with a wall at my back, a paper cup or two of coffee and about a three-hour flight of speaking the language of what I do, one sentence racing into the next and then the next, a nonstop express. Then another day is done and it is time for lunch.”

John is survived by his son Carson and his daughter Ursula.

His tribute to Marilyn written for Immortal Marilyn can be read here.

-Marijane Gray for Immortal Marilyn