Immortal Marilyn 55th Memorial Flowers

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Westwood Flower Gardens once again outdid themselves on our astonishingly gorgeous floral arrangement for the 55th anniversary of Marilyn’s passing.  Our beautiful flowers adorned the chapel during the memorial service before being brought out to Marilyn’s crypt.  We donated $400 to Animal Haven with the excess funds raised.

Thank you to all of our flower donors:

Andrée Felisatti

Christine McRae

Carolien Krijnen

Alberto Fernandez

Marisa Vanderpest

Shaney Evans

Mary Farver

Debra Stahl

Megan Owen

Dorina Barile

Nathalie Terhorst-Lensink

Treena Leonard

Sirkku Aaltonen

Heather and Sean Williams

Cora Morana

Marcelline Block

Melissa Murphy

Nancy Jones Cook

Barrie and Jackie Edlin

Lorraine Nicol

Eric Patry

Dionne Abraham

Barbara e Max Re

Leslie Kasperowicz

Johan Grimmius

Bruce Maki

Lisa Bates-Slone and Fallon Slone

Peter Lo

Sarah Draper

Donna Shields

Virginia Munro

Tina Garland

Deb Hoyle

Pavle Ivanov

Brandi Wakeley

Mary Sims

Paul Glazebrook

Gianandrea Colombo

Will Morann (William Green)

Deb Bakker

Edwin Bakker

Suzie Kennedy

Phillip Bradbury


55th Marilyn Memorial – August, 2017

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Fans gathered once again for a week of exciting events honouring the life of Marilyn Monroe.  Immortal Marilyn hosted two events, a pool party at the Avalon Hotel and a sunset dinner at Mariasol Restaurant on the world-famous Santa Monica Pier.  Other events included a tour of Marilyn homes and haunts  hosted by Elisa Jordan of LA Woman Tours, a VIP showing of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes at the Chinese Theater, the Memorial Service at Westwood Memorial Park, and An Evening with Marilyn at Hollygrove, hosted by Marilyn Remembered, and a trip to the Del Coronado arranged by Jim Parson.

We want to thank everyone who made Memorial Week a success, and share a few photos from the events!

Avalon Hotel Pool Party.  August 2, 2017

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes at the Chinese Theater, hosting by Marilyn Remembered.  August 3, 2017

Santa Monica Sunset Dinner & Toast, August 4th

Memorial Service, August 5th 2017, hosted by Marilyn Remembered

An Evening With Marilyn at Hollygrove, august 5th, 2017, hosted by Marilyn Remembered

Tours, Hollywood, Friends Hanging Out Together!

The 55th Memorial For Marilyn Monroe – Thanks to Our Sponsors and Donors!!!

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The 55th Memorial for Marilyn Monroe is in the books, and we here at IM have a lot of thanks to give.  IM hosted two fun events that we could not have managed on our own.  Many people gave of their time, money, and Marilyn collections to make our raffles, door prizes, and general atmosphere a success.


We’d like to specifically thank:

Melody Lockard for her astonishingly beautiful logos created just for our events.  Buy our logo merchandise here.

Tracie Finite for her graphic design help creating the Pool Party Beverly Carlton key tags, check out her website here.

Holly Beavon for her help with arranging prizes, providing an audio system to the Pool Party, singing our Happy Birthday tribute, and generally being awesome!  Visit Holly’s website here.

Jill Adams for allowing us to store mountains of items at her home and delivering them to us at the Avalon for our events!

Gary and Oscar Vitacco-Robles (buy Gary’s books here) for their invaluable assistance in setting up for the pool party, and everyone else who pitched in to get us ready!


Cash Donations were offered by:

David Marshall

Shaney Evans

American Icon/American Rehab Campuses


Raffle and Door Prizes were gratefully received from:

Gary and Oscar Vitacco-Robles

Carolien Krijnen

Michelle Morgan

The Shaw Family

Tom Kelley, Jr.

Douglas Kirkland

Boze Hadleigh

Flatiron Books

David Wills

Eric Woodard

Richard Hanna

Tina Garland

Susan Bernard

Nathalie Terhorst-Lensink

Joshua Greene

Heather and Sean Williams

Melinda Mason

Debra Holden

Colin Glassborow

Emily Finch

Jill Adams

Marcelline Block

Eiji Aoki

Suzanne Sumner-Ferry

Mary Sims

Leslie Kasperowicz


More special thanks to our awesome venues and their staff:

The Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills

Mariasol Restaurant

The Orchid Suites Hotel



Marilyn’s Contemporaries: Judy Garland

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Frances Ethel Gumm, born in Minnesota on June 10, 1922, was the youngest of three girls by married couple Frank and Ethel Gumm. The family of five was settled in the city of Grand Rapids, where the former vaudeville parents had purchased a movie house. Little Frances was known only as “Baby,” and at just three years old began singing with her sisters in between shows at their theater.


Judy as a child

Searching for better business opportunities, the Gumms bid farewell to Grand Rapids and migrated across the country to California, where Frank purchased a new theater in Lancaster. There, Judy lived an average childhood for a little girl with a mother pushing her children to make it in show business. The Gumm sisters sang and danced their hearts out for performances both in California and across the country. But as time went on, it became clear that Baby Gumm was destined to become the star. She stood out among her siblings, and the audiences melted at the child’s impressive, mature vocals and poignant performances.


It would be close to ten years before Judy finally got her chance at becoming a star. After a successful booking in Chicago in 1934, Judy returned to Los Angeles with a newfound confidence. In fact, it was during this trip that George Jessel gave the sisters the stage name Garland. Judy had chosen the name Judy after the song of the same name by Hoagy Carmichael. She continued perform at significant venues such as Grauman’s Chinese Theater and the Cal-Neva Lodge. It was at the Lodge that Judy privately put on a chance performance for four important men from Hollywood. One of these men was agent Al Rosen, who finally convinced Ida Koverman of MGM to give Judy an audition. After vocal auditions, she was signed to the studio without a screen test. However, just as this beacon of light from MGM was shining her direction, she suffered a traumatic loss. Frank Gumm passed away just one month later as a result of fluid from an ear infection reaching his brain and spinal chord. This was a devastating loss, as Judy adored her father and was closer with him than her mother.


With the untimely passing of her father weighing heavily on her heart, Judy continued to pursue her work as an actress. She eventually landed her first role in a full-length film titled Pigskin Parade. She was disappointed in the final product, and in how she looked on screen. It was around this time that MGM began the deadly routine put upon many of its stars: taking prescription medication to control weight. At just fifteen years old, Judy was regularly consuming Benzedrine, Phenobarbital, and Seconal tablets.


At the premiere of Broadway Melody of 1938

By February of 1937, Judy’s vocal coach, Roger Edens, saw an opportunity to utilize a studio event to showcase her vocal talent to her superiors: Clark Gable’s birthday party. Using an original story and music by Carmel Myers, Edens rewrote material specifically for Judy to perform at Gable’s party. That song was called “Dear Mr. Gable.” She received an incredible reception from the crowd, especially from Gable himself. As a result of this event, Judy received just the boost she needed to become cast in a big feature film to be titled Broadway Melody of 1938, in which she performed the song she made famous at Gable’s party that day.


Not long after, songwriter Arthur Freed was determined to find a vehicle specifically for Judy. That project became the timeless musical The Wizard of Oz. Several years prior, Mayer had bought the property where it remained in his studio’s possession for years before it was decided that this would be the perfect film to center on a young, doe-eyed Judy Garland, who the public was vastly coming to adore.


Not long after Oz, Mayer awarded Judy a seven year contract at MGM. She was having a difficult time at home; her mother had recently eloped with a neighbor of the family who Ethel had been seeing even during her marriage to Frank Gumm. This was traumatizing for Judy, and distanced her even further from Ethel, who was already trying to control Judy’s finances.  Her next film would be her first real adult role: For Me And My Gal. Judy campaigned for newcomer Gene Kelly to play opposite her in what would become his first picture.


It wasn’t long before Judy met musical arranger David Rose. There was a large age difference; Judy was only nineteen years of age while David was thirty-one. Ethel made it known that she was against their union, but the two eventually married in the summer of 1941, a marriage that would last only a year and a half. They grew farther apart as time went on, each becoming too busy in both of their careers.


Judy with daughter Liza

Judy then began a romance with director Vincente Minnelli beginning on the set of Meet Me In St. Louis. The two married in 1945. The first of Judy’s children, daughter Liza Minnelli, was born the following March. It wasn’t long before Judy was back to work at MGM, reunited with her former co-star, Gene Kelly, for The Pirate. By this time, she and Minnelli were already having difficulties in their marriage. They would remain together for only six years.


Her heavy reliance on pills made it difficult for her to appear at the sets on time. There were frequent changes in her behavior, and MGM was already putting her under enough pressure. In 1949, she was replaced by Ginger Rogers for the film The Barkleys of Broadway, and after that, Betty Hutton for the musical Annie Get Your Gun. These events would lead to her suspension from the studio, a suspension she was relieved of after just a few months of rest, to return to film Summer Stock. By 1950, she was officially fired from MGM.


Penniless with no job, Judy soon ran into manager and producer Sid Luft, who she had previously met several years before in Hollywood. They began to see each other while Judy’s divorce from Minnelli was being finalized. She soon signed with the William Morris Agency, where she was thrust into the world of radio shows with big names such as Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.


In April of 1951, Judy received a tremendous reception for her stage comeback at London’s Palladium, a performance that inspired a European tour. Judy became Mrs. Sid Luft in 1952, and she gave birth to second daughter Lorna that same year in November. After Lorna’s birth, Judy dove straight into filming the musical remake of A Star Is Born (1954), after which her third and last child, son Joey Luft, was born.


******* With another marriage on the rocks, she struggled to pay off her debts with theater engagements after settling in London during another comeback at the Palladium. Her divorce from Luft, who had become her manager, wouldn’t become final until 1965, after which she immediately began a romance with little-known actor Mark Herron, who she married that same year.


In the 1960s

One of the highlights of her stage career came in April of 1961, when she put on a historic performance at Carnegie Hall. Still relentlessly adored by the public, she was able to reach audiences at home when CBS picked up “The Judy Garland Show,” which ran for four years before it was dropped in 1964.


She divorced Herron in 1967, and in 1969, just months before her death, married night club businessman Mickey Deans. Tragically, at just forty-seven years old, Judy passed away suddenly as the result of an overdose of Seconal tablets.


“What it amounts to, really, is that I’ve been a little girl who hasn’t quite known where she is going. But now, at least, I know. Finished? Why, I’m right at the beginning of something.” –Judy Garland, 1967

Personal Connections

Judy was introduced to dangerous prescription drugs as a teenager at MGM to help her sleep, keep her awake, and control her weight. Marilyn also battled prescription drug addiction, frequently consuming large amounts of sleeping pills for her insomnia. Both women relied heavily on their therapists, and would both die from an accidental barbiturate overdose.


Both women were distant from their mother; Marilyn never saw her mother after the 1940’s due to her mental illness and in Judy’s case, the two only grew more apart as time went on. Ethel was overly controlling of her daughter’s finances and personal life, and allowed her to be mistreated by MGM.


Judy was introduced to psychoanalysis early on in her career.. Marilyn began psychotherapy in 1952, but delved into it deeper beginning in 1955 at the suggestion of Lee Strasberg, and continued to see a therapist often throughout the rest of her life.


Judy and Marilyn at the 1962 Golden Globes

Judy and Marilyn even met on a few occasions. Two of which were the 1959 dinner to welcome Nikita Khrushchev to Hollywood, and the 1962 Golden Globes ceremony. In 1967, Judy spoke about Marilyn in an article for Ladies Home Journal:


“That beautiful girl was frightened of aloneness – the same thing I’ve been afraid of. Like me, she was just trying to do her job. To garnish some delightful whipped cream onto some people’s lives. But Marilyn and I never got a chance to talk [about our struggles]. I had to leave for England, and I never saw that sweet, dear girl again. I wish I had been able to talk to her the night she died.”


Marilyn and Judy had a lot in common in their personal lives, both negatively and positively. But, one thing can be said for sure about them both: neither will be forgotten. Their contributions to movies, television, and the tremendous light they gave to the world during their brief but beautiful time on this earth will live on forever.


-Ky Monroe for Immortal Marilyn

Book Review: Cursum Perficio: Marilyn Monroe’s Brentwood Hacienda

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Cursum Perficio: Marilyn Monroe’s Brentwood Hacienda

By Gary Vitacco-Robles

1999 iUniverse

ISBN 0595010822


For anyone who might be planning on going down to Los Angeles this August, one of the major highlights will be the annual trek to 5th Helena, the small cul-de-sac that ends with the gates leading to Marilyn Monroe’s final home. To be able to actually walk up to these gates is an experience no member of the Marilyn Community will ever be able to forget. The one drawback however is the frustration that you can’t go any further. You can stand in front of the gates, you can jump up as high as you can for a micro-second glimpse, but you can’t do what literally every MM fan dreams of—stepping onto the property and going inside.


Of course, even if by some miracle the folks who live there decided to invite you in, it wouldn’t be the same. The house has changed since 1962; the images you hold in your mind of her furnishings, her wall hangings, her presence, are long gone. But, thank God for Gary Vitacco-Robles because due to this one man’s dream and persistent research, you can go inside. Better yet, you can go inside in 1962. His book Cursum Perficio pushes those gates wide open and says Come on in, let me show you around.


For those of you new to Marilyn lore, the first thing you are probably asking is just what the heck is Cursum Perficio? The Latin phrase appears on a group of four tiles forming a coat of arms at Marilyn’s front door. The loose translation comes to “End of My Journey.” Although the original owners of the home obviously meant the phrase to mean that they have found their small haven at the end of a long journey, a cozy place of respite, after Marilyn’s death the tiles took on a more prophetic feel, one several biographers have focused on with a kind of doomsday music playing in the background. I seriously doubt Marilyn herself ever thought of those little tiles in that way. I’d rather believe that she found them charming and hoped that she really had found a tiny haven at the end of a strenuous journey. But there is so much more to those words once they graced the door of one of the most fascinating women of the 20th century. Gary’s book will fill you in on nearly everything having to do with the modest hacienda style house at the end of 5th Helena Drive.


Like any Marilyn Monroe fan, you’ve seen dozens and dozens of pictures of Marilyn’s house—the forecourt, the pool, her bedroom, her kitchen, her bathroom. You’ve pored through the auction catalogs to see much that was once in this house, everything from her glassware to ashtrays, from wall hangings to her stereo. But where did everything go? Which room led into which? You can study the pictures but it’s still difficult to get a good idea of how the house was laid out, what one would see when the front door was opened. Here again, Gary provides his readers with everything you need and want.


The book is lushly illustrated with drawings and photos, (among the illustrators is one Eric Monroe Woodard of Hometown Girl), floor plans, layouts of the home and property as well as the furnishings. Items that had appeared in the Christie’s auction return to their natural setting, arranged as Marilyn had placed them while decorating and planning her small nest in Brentwood.


But there’s a lot more here than just “and this is where she had her coffee table.” Following Marilyn’s last year from her return to Los Angeles, her initial sessions with Dr. Greenson and her introduction to Eunice Murray, the reader is allowed to follow Marilyn through her final months from house searching to the purchase of 12305 5th Helena, from her trip to Mexico and her furniture buying spree to the careful placing of each object. Much has been written about the house’s “barren” aspect without any mention that the house was a project “in progress”, that Marilyn was a busy woman who was taking her time and doing it right. Cursum Perficio allows the reader to visualize Marilyn’s overall decorating plans as well as showing just how far she had come in realizing her dream of the perfect home.


It doesn’t end there — the book also covers such items as Marilyn’s daily schedule before and after the Something’s Got To Give filming, where she shopped, what her daily routine was while renegotiating her contract. We see Joe DiMaggio reenter her life, her friendships with Frank and the boys, her plans for upcoming projects such as “I Love Louisa,” (later made as What A Way To Go! with Shirley MacLaine). Add the coming together of her final photo sessions with Stern and Barris as well as her last interview with LIFE magazine writer Richard Meryman, and you’ve a wonderful book capturing her final summer.


Although the book does cover Marilyn’s passing, there is no investigation or speculation here. And that’s as it should be. The book is about Marilyn’s last months of life, the planning and decorating of her home, her plans for the future. And that is what should appeal most to those interested in Marilyn’s final abode. This is not a book about where Marilyn Monroe died. Cursum Perficio is a book about where she lived.


David Marshall