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!

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

Australia Welcomes Marilyn: Exhibit Opens March 5th

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Australia is the place to be for Marilyn fans starting next week.  One of the biggest exhibits of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia since the 1999 Christie’s auction is set to open in Bendigo on March 5th.
Forever Marilyn BendigoBendigo, Australia has already welcomed Seward Johnson’s Forever Marilyn statue, which towers over visitors as the city prepares for the opening of an enormous Marilyn exhibit at the Bendigo Art Gallery.  The gallery will give guests a look at the collections of several of the world’s biggest collectors of Marilyn memorabilia – from her personal clothing and address books to iconic items from her films.

Included in the exhibits are the collections of Marilyn Remembered’s Greg Schreiner and Scott Fortner, as well as Spanish collector Maite Minguez Ricart, who purchased a large number of item’s from the 1999 Christie’s auction.  The exhibit will be a rare opportunity to see one of the most impressive gatherings of Marilyn owned, worn, and used items to ever gather under a single roof.

Bendigo Art Gallery and Twentieth Century Fox present Marilyn Monroe runs through July 10th and features more than just a look at Marilyn’s things.  The exhibit will feature screenings of Marilyn’s films, talks with a variety of experts including the collectors, guest lecturers focusing on Marilyn from a variety of viewpoints, fashion photographers, and more.  It’s a tribute to Marilyn’s impact on the world as much as it is an opportunity to see relics from her life.

Are you heading to the Bendigo exhibit?  We’ve love to hear all about your experience – come join us on our Facebook page!



DiMaggio’s Doctor Pushes Another Book of “Secrets” About Marilyn

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Another day, another tell-all book that promises new secrets about Marilyn’s life.

This time, we have a doctor, Dr. Rock Positano, who claims Joe DiMaggio confided in him the secrets of his marriage to Marilyn, right down to an eyebrow-raising description of their sex life.  The New York Post’s equally sensational headline “Botched Surgery Made Joe DiMaggio Impotent” screams money-maker, and the article about the upcoming book is bound to create a whole new set of commonly held beliefs about Marilyn and Joe’s ill-fated nine-month marriage.

mm and joe

Let’s start with the fact that Joe was famously tight-lipped about Marilyn.  He refused to speak of her, never gave interviews or talked about her to the press, and friends have said that he would become angry when asked about her.  But we’re to believe he said this to his doctor about their sex life:

“When we got together in the bedroom, it was like the gods were fighting.  There was lightning and thunderclouds above us.”

Next, we have a claim that the marriage ended because of Marilyn’s infertility, which doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny.  Marilyn was at the height of her career and in no way ready to settle down and be a housewife.  While nobody knows for sure whether or not Marilyn and Joe were making a real effort to have a baby, most tales of the marriage’s trouble center on Marilyn’s unwillingness to settle down and give up her career, and Joe’s desire for a good housewife to stay home and cook for hime like his mother.  That doesn’t add up to infertility being a major issue in the marriage, particularly since the couple was barely married long enough to have made a real effort at having a baby and spent much of the marriage either traveling or on a movie set (Marilyn filmed The Seven Year Itch during their brief marriage).

Without a doubt, infertility and failed pregnancies contributed to the end of Marilyn’s marriage to Arthur Miller, which might lead one to believe the same was true of her marriage to Joe – but there’s no evidence to support that idea.

Finally, we bring in the Kennedys, because nothing sells better than that tired old the-Kennedys-killed-her song and dance.  Did Joe hate the Kennedys?  Maybe.  Did he believe they actually murdered her?  I sincerely doubt it.

But even if this doctor is telling the truth – even if Joe did tell him all about thunderclaps in the bedroom and Marilyn’s inability to conceive (and I sincerely doubt that he did), to put it all in a book is an egregious lapse in both professional and personal trust, capped by telling the world Joe suffered from erectile dysfunction, too.  If in fact this doctor is the one person Joe chose to open up to about Marilyn – after decades of refusing to speak of her – then to take that trust and write a book is downright despicable.

But once again, the promise getting in on the money to be made of sensational stories involving Marilyn matters more than trust – or the truth.

Whitey & Marilyn

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Marilyn Monroe was a master of dressing for her body, doing her hair and—her greatest area of expertise—her makeup. By all accounts, Marilyn’s own makeup skills were nothing short of a professional level. For most movie shoots, photo sessions or important appearances, though, she had a helping hand—and that person would not only serve as makeup artist, but as friend and confidant too.

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How Did Marilyn Monroe Change the World?

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Marilyn came along exactly when the world needed her. During the war, women were working outside of the home, men were taking breaks from the fighting to carouse with European women, and it seemed the world was on the verge of loosening the corset stays on sexuality. Except that didn’t happen- the men returned home and expected their women to get out of the factories and into the kitchen. Dior’s unveiling of their “new look” sealed women’s fate- they were expected to be prim and proper and ladylike. Modesty and decorum were of the utmost importance, and all the women who had risen to the occasion of self-sufficiency during wartime were now relegated back to being kitchen drudgery broodmare’s. Everything carried on in such a fashion for a few years after the war. Then a certain nude calendar started making the rounds of locker rooms and gas stations…….

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The Next Marilyn Monroe

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Every few years or so, the latest Hollywood ingenue will start making the rounds, and inevitably some entertainment reporter will start throwing around the phrase “the next Marilyn Monroe”. What remains unrealized is that there is no such thing. So many women have come and faded away, and yet Marilyn endures like no other will. She has a rare magic, a captive hold over the public, that will remain unparalleled.

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FAN ART – Savannah

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