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Birth Name: Norma Jean Mortensen
Date of birth: June 1, 1926
Date of death: August 5, 1962
Birth Place: Los Angeles, CA USA
Height: 5' 5½" (1.66 m)
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Jerry Lewis on His Secret Love Affair with Marilyn Monroe: 'I Was Crippled for a Week'Jerry Lewis might not be the first name on anyone’s list of great Hollywood lotharios, but according to the disorderly orderly himself, Marilyn Monroe was among his many famous lovers.
Lewis, whose death was confirmed to PEOPLE on Sunday, revealed he’d had a secret love affair with the blonde bombshell during a candid interview with GQ in 2011.
While the comedy king initially demurred when asked to name some of his famous lovers, he eventually admitted to the Monroe affair in the middle of another question about his friend, President John F. Kennedy.
After insisting that the alleged Monroe-Kennedy affair never happened, Lewis said, “I’m telling you what I know. Never! And the only reason I know is because I did. Okay?”
When the interviewer reacted with disbelief, Lewis assured the story was true, saying that Monroe used sex like he used to humor: “She needed that contact to be sure it was real.”
So what was the affair like? “It was … long,” he said, smiling ruefully. “I was crippled for a month.” Another pause, he quipped, “And I thought Marlene Dietrich was great!”
Lewis’s affair with Monroe occurred while he was still married to his first wife, Patti Palmer. The pair were married from 1944 until 1980, when they divorced. The comedian went on to marry SanDee Pitnick in 1983. He is survived by SanDee and six children.
Vanity Fair Sued Over Marilyn Monroe's Famous Happy Birthday PhotoVanity Fair straight-up jacked a famous Marilyn Monroe photo and splashed it on its pages to make a buck ... so says a collector suing the magazine.
Aric Hendrix says he owns rights to the Marilyn pic taken during President John F. Kennedy's 45th birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden. Yes, that's the one where she sang "Happy Birthday" to the Prez.
In docs, obtained by TMZ, Hendrix says he's a collector of historical photographs and owns the photo AND the negative of Marilyn. He says VF never asked for permission to use the photo inside a special Marilyn-themed edition published in July 2016.
He's suing for damages in excess of $1 million. We've reached out to Vanity Fair, so far no word back.
Marilyn Monroe’s LA hacienda sells for $7.25 millionThe only home Marilyn Monroe ever owned and where she died of an apparent overdose in 1962 has sold in Los Angeles for $7.25 million.
Mansion Global was the first to report when the 2,600-square-foot hacienda hit the market in April. The icon’s former home sold for $350,000 above asking price and sold in less than 10 days, according to listing agency Mercer Vine.
The mystery buyer is not yet listed in public property records.
Monroe purchased the home in 1961 for less than $80,000 and lived there with her longtime housekeeper, Eunice Murray.
“Anybody who likes my house, I am sure I will get along with,” Monroe said during an interview with Life magazine Associate Editor Richard Meryman. In a photo shoot for the story, she lounged on an ornately carved green velvet chair and basked in the sunlight coming through one of the home’s many casement windows.
She reportedly took a trip to Mexico to try and find appropriate decor for the white stucco, Spanish-style home, which was still only partially furnished when she died at the age of 36. A doctor found her face down in bed after he used a fireplace poker to break through a window into her room, according to an article published in The Los Angeles Times the day after her death.
The property offered the troubled beauty refuge from the spotlight. Built in 1929, the house is tucked beyond a cul-de-sac and behind a walled and gated entry in the Helenas, a collection of tree-lined residential streets in Brentwood, Los Angeles.
The main house has retained many of the details Monroe selected and offers the same privacy and tranquility that attracted the star, listing agent Lisa Optican of Mercer Vine previously told Mansion Global.
The living room has terracotta floors, lancet arch doorways, and original wood-beamed ceilings. A skylight pours sunlight into the kitchen and the same blue-tiled fireplace present in photos from Monroe’s time is still the centerpiece of the living room. Though her 1960s carpeting was replaced with tile floors.
After Monroe, most of the residents have been private people, including the most recent seller, who bought the home in 2012 for $5.1 million, according to property records.
The only exceptions were actress and model Veronica Hamel, who lived there in the 1970s, and director Michael Ritchie.
Marilyn and DiMaggio’s marriage license expected to sell for $75KDocumented proof of one of the great romances of the 20th century is up for auction.
Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio’s 1954 marriage license is the headline item up for grabs in Goldin Auction’s Spring collection, reports TMZ.
According to the company’s site, the document, which is dated Jan. 14, 1954, features both of their legal names, Norma Jeane Dougherty and Joseph DiMaggio, along with the signatures of California Municipal Court Judge Charles S. Peery and witnesses Rene Barsocchini and Tom DiMaggio.
Bidding for the marriage license starts at $25,000, though the item is expected to go for upwards of $75,000.
Perhaps because of the intense public attention that met their union, the Hollywood legend filed for divorce from the Yankee Clipper just nine months after they eloped — shortly after filming the iconic “Seven Year Itch” subway grate scene — reportedly due to his jealously and controlling nature.
Seven years later in 1961, the former couple reconnected as Monroe’s marriage to playwright Arthur Miller came to an end. Despite their closeness in the last year-and-a-half of the actress’ life, they did not remarry before her death at 36 from a barbiturate overdose on Aug. 5, 1962.
DiMaggio remained devoted to Monroe in the decades following her death, even going as far as to have a half-dozen roses delivered to her grave three times a week for 20 years following her passing. After his death at age 84, Vanity Fair reported that the slugger’s last words were, “I’ll finally get to see Marilyn.”
The couple’s marriage license can be bid on until Saturday, May 20.
Marilyn Monroe's Mausoleum Marker to be Auctioned for More Than $10kMarilyn Monroe fans have a chance to score a pretty rare relic -- one of the markers on her final resting place ... but it won't be possible unless you've got a fortune.
The bronze marker was removed in the '80s from Marilyn's mausoleum at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in L.A. and replaced with a new one ... which happens every so often because fans manhandle it and it gets worn.
This is the marker that ID'd her final resting place. Now, more than 30 years later, it's up for grabs.
Heritage Auctions tells us opening bid is $10k, but it's expected to haul in a lot more -- a marker from the '70s went for $212,500 in 2015.
Online bidding will begin in about a month and the live auction will be on March 18.
Marilyn Monroe’s movie script sells for $25KA script with handwritten annotations from Marilyn Monroe sold at auction for $25,000.
“Something’s Got to Give” was Monroe’s final and unfinished film in 1962. The actress was fired during filming for being persistently disruptive on set and Dean Martin, who co-starred in the film, refused to work with anyone else. Two months later, Monroe passed away.
The script offers notes including a dig at Mel Brook’s writing. “Needs some funny lines,” she wrote.
The auction closed on Thursday.
Marilyn Monroe’s last movie script up for auctionMarilyn Monroe’s annotated scripts from her last movie are to be auctioned.
The tragic star was fired from never-finished comedy “Something’s Got to Give” for being persistently disruptive on set — and she died two months later.
Now a script on which she wrote by hand is going under the hammer.
In pencil and green ink, Monroe gives herself acting prompts (in a scene in which she talks to her on-screen kids, she writes “Substitute children — B & J [meaning her children with Arthur Miller, Bobby and Jane] if necessary”) and in another note sniffs at Mel Brooks’ writing, “Needs some funny lines.”
Monroe's 'Happy Birthday Mr. President' gown sold for $4.8mThe figure-hugging gown Marilyn Monroe wore to serenade President John F. Kennedy for his 45th birthday smashed its guide price to sell for $4.8 million at auction on Thursday.
The flesh-colored dress, adorned with 2,500 hand-stitched crystals, had been expected to fetch between $2-3 million, Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills said.
It went to Ripley's Believe It or Not!, an American media empire specializing in bizarre and historically significant items which owns a chain of museums, including one in Hollywood.
The dress was so tight on Monroe that the legendary actress wore nothing underneath and had to be sewn into it at the last minute before stepping on stage at Madison Square Garden in 1962 to sing to JFK in her trademark sultry voice, according to the auction house.
First auctioned by Christie's in 1999, the Jean Louis dress went to the late business mogul Martin Zweig for $1.3 million.
"Marilyn Monroe singing 'Happy Birthday Mr. President' is certainly one of the most famous impromptu performances in American history," said Darren Julien, president and CEO of Julien's Auctions.
"Tonight was one of the most important moments in our history as a company. We were incredibly privileged to have had the opportunity to offer this amazing dress from the most legendary screen star of all time."
Monroe died of an overdose less than three month after the performance, while Kennedy was murdered a year later.
Other highlights of the first day of a three-day auction of Monroe's personal effects included the "Some Like it Hot" cocktail dress which sold for $450,000, and a "Rose Tattoo" gown which went for $125,000.
- Screen icon -
A pair of her Ferragamo shoes were snapped up for $34,000 while the her "Niagara" negligee went for $59,000.
Such was the popularity of the "Mr. President" gown that even a sketch of it by fashion designer Bob Mackie sold for $10,000.
"We have had remarkable opportunities to offer unique objects related to Marilyn Monroe in the past," said Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien's.
"Tonight is one of the most remarkable events in Julien's Auctions history and one we will never forget."
More than 1,000 lots of her possessions -- the largest collection ever offered for auction -- are being sold over three days.
Many come from the estate of her acting coach, Lee Strasberg, who died in 1982.
Considered the father of method acting, he worked with a host of stars including James Dean, Richard Harris, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Jane Fonda and Robert DeNiro.
Strasberg developed a close friendship with Monroe, who bequeathed all of her personal effects and clothing to him in her will.
The singer and actress, one of the world's most bankable stars before her death aged just 36 in Los Angeles, remains at the top of the list for collectors of celebrity memorabilia.
Five years ago, the billowing frock she wore on a subway grate in "The Seven Year Itch" -- the scene that turned her into a screen icon -- sold for a record $5.5 million.
Marilyn Monroe Estate -- Sues Lingerie Line ... Keep This Blondie Out of Your PantiesMarilyn Monroe's pretty mug is being used to put asses in panties ... and now her estate's suing the lingerie line behind it to get them to stop.
The estate claims a lingerie company is blatantly trying to profit off the blonde bombshell's fame, and in doing so is confusing customers into thinking the underwear is an officially licensed product.
According to the docs ... the company's plastering Marilyn's face onto packaging and tags for its line. The estate says it fired off several warnings, but the retail panty parade continued.
The estate's suing to stop future sales, collect profits from previous sales and destroy all existing merch with Marilyn's image.
New Marilyn Monroe exhibition opensWhoopi Goldberg is curating a new exhibition on Marilyn Monroe that will include the Hollywood sex symbol’s poetry, watercolors and video footage, as well as the iconic dress she wore to sing “Happy Birthday” to JFK in 1962.
The show, “Marilyn: Character Not Image,” had a VIP preview on Saturday night at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, NJ, before opening Sunday.
Goldberg’s a major Monroe devotee.
“She studied with [famed father of Method acting] Lee Strasberg,” a source explained. “When Marilyn [who was also earlier mentored by Strasberg] died, she left all her personal items and clothing to Lee. So he inspired Whoopi’s love for, and interest in, Marilyn.”
The dress will be auctioned off in LA in November.
Marilyn’s ‘Happy Birthday’ gown to fetch $3 million at auctionThe flesh-colored, skin-tight beaded gown Marilyn Monroe wore during her breathless rendition of “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy is going on the auction block this fall.
Julien’s Auctions is offering the sequined stunner at a sale in Los Angeles on Nov. 17.
The auction house believes the gown could fetch $2 million to $3 million.
The sultry actress wore the barely-there dress at Kennedy’s 45th birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden on May 19, 1962. Made of silk gauze and covered in thousands of rhinestone beads and sequins, the Jean Louis dress was so form-fitting that Monroe had to be sewn into it.
She died less than three months later of an overdose of sleeping pills at age 36. Kennedy died the following year.
The custom-made, one-of-a-kind dress is “not only Hollywood, but political and historical,” said Julien’s president Darren Julien.
The dress was first purchased 17 years ago at Christie’s auction by the late financier Martin Zweig, who kept it in a climate-controlled display case at his Pierre Hotel penthouse in New York. It is being sold by his estate.
“She called it skin and beads,” said Julien of the gown. And because the dress “was sewn on Marilyn Monroe, Zweig had it professionally mounted on a mannequin. It’s never been off it, and is immaculately preserved.”
The dress was last sold at auction in 1999 for $1.26 million, the highest auction price for a Monroe dress to date.
The dress is among some 1,300 Monroe artifacts being offered by Julien’s over three days. They include items from the estate of Monroe’s acting coach Lee Strasberg and from David Gainsborough-Roberts, a British collector believed to have the largest private collection of Monroe costumes.
A sheer black beaded and sequined dress from the movie “Some Like it Hot” also is for sale.
Prior to the sale, the custom-made “Happy Birthday Mr. President” dress will be showcased at MANA Contemporary in Jersey City, New Jersey, as part of an exhibition focusing on Monroe as an artist, from Sept. 25 through Oct. 22. It will include some of her watercolors and handwritten poems, which will be sold by Julien’s.
The dress also will travel outside of the United States for the first time for an exhibition at the Museum of Style Icons in Newbridge, Ireland, from Oct. 29 through Nov. 6.
“This is the last auction of its kind. When she died Marilyn Monroe left everything to Lee Strasberg,” said Julien. “We have the final of his estate items as they relate to Marilyn Monroe. It’s literally going to be the last opportunity to ever experience a Marilyn Monroe auction like this again.”
Read Marilyn Monroe's Harrowing Letter Going Up for Auction Detailing Her Sanitarium Stay: There Was 'No Empathy' ThereIn a six-page letter to the psychiatrist who would find her dead a year later, a forlorn Marilyn Monroe wrote about her harrowing experience inside a New York psychiatric clinic, a stay which she said "had a very bad effect."
The March 1, 1961, letter to Dr. Ralph Greenson detailed her excruciating experience within Payne-Whitney Psychiatric Clinic, a New York City sanitarium her other psychiatrist, Dr. Marianne Kris, committed her to the previous month. A carbon copy of the letter (not the original) is one of many of Monroe's personal items to be auctioned off this November by Julien's Auctions, which received the items via the estate of her acting teacher Lee Strasberg. (Monroe bequeathed Strasberg her personal items in her will.)
"There was no empathy at Payne-Whitney – it had a very bad effect – they asked me after putting me in a "cell" (I mean cement blocks and all) for very disturbed patients (except I felt I was in some kind of prison for a crime I hadn't committed," she wrote.
Later, she detailed a desperate plan she implemented to try and get some of the staff to take notice, getting inspiration from a film she had done nearly 10 years earlier.
"I sat on the bed trying to figure if I was given this situation in an acting improvisation what would I do. So I figured, it's a squeaky wheel that gets the grease," she wrote. "I admit it was a loud squeak but I got the idea from a movie I made once called 'Don't Bother to Knock'. I picked up a light-weight chair and slammed it, and it was hard to do because I had never broken anything in my life – against the glass intentionally.
"It took a lot of banging to get even a small piece of glass - so I went over with the glass concealed in my hand and sat quietly on the bed waiting for them to come in," she continued. "They did, and I said to them 'If you are going to treat me like a nut I'll act like a nut'. I admit the next thing is corny but I really did it in the movie except it was with a razor blade. I indicated if they didn't let me out I would harm myself – the furthest thing from my mind at that moment since you know Dr. Greenson I'm an actress and would never intentionally mark or mar myself. I'm just that vain."
She later explained that the incident prompted the staff to forcibly move her to a different floor of the clinic, where an administrator told her she was a "very, very sick girl."
"He told me I was a very, very sick girl and had been a very, very sick girl for many years," she wrote. "He asked me how I could possibly work when I was depressed. He wondered if that interfered with my work. He was being very firm and definite in the way he said it. He actually stated it more than he questioned me so I replied: 'Didn't he think that perhaps Greta Garbo and Charlie Chaplin perhaps and perhaps Ingrid Bergman they had been depressed when they worked sometimes but I said it's like saying a ball player like DiMaggio if he could hit ball when he was depressed. Pretty silly.' "
Read Marilyn Monroe's Harrowing Letter Going Up for Auction Detailing Her Sanitarium Stay: There Was 'No Empathy' There| Movie News, Marilyn Monroe
The letter also illuminated Monroe's gloomy state after her release from the clinic.
"Last night I was awake all night again. Sometimes I wonder what the night time is for. It almost doesn't exist for me – it all seems like one long, long horrible day," she wrote.
Monroe's second husband, Joe DiMaggio, ultimately released her from the clinic after a few days, and as the letter drew to a close Monroe wrote about how her ex-husband gave her flowers the previous Christmas, and hinted at their continued bond. (The pair were married in 1954, but divorced a year later.)
"It was Christmas night I called him up and asked him why he had sent me the flowers," she wrote. "He said first of all because I thought you would call me to thank me and then he said, besides who in the hell else do you have in the world."
Rare Trove of Marilyn Monroe's Belongings Going Up for Auction – Including Haunting Descriptions from Her Time at a SanitariumJulien's Auction House of Los Angeles will auction off Marilyn Monroe's personal items from the estate of her acting teacher Lee Strasberg, the auction house announced on Tuesday. It will include everything from a fur coat and fur stoles, to a ladies' platinum-and-diamond cocktail watch and a minaudiere purse with three compartments for powder, Phillip Morris cigarettes and a tube of her used Revlon "Bachelor's Carnation" lipstick from 1947. Many personal letters will also be for sale.
The auction, which will be held on Nov. 19 and 20 in Los Angeles, also includes Monroe's 1950s brown alligator handbag from I. Magnin department store, and a gray pony purse containing three peso bills.
Notably, a haunting letter to her California psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Greenson – who treated her in the period leading up to her death – is also available. The note details her time and what she described as the "inhumanity" she witnessed while at the Payne-Whitney psychiatric clinic.
Wrote Monroe to her doctor: "They asked me why I wasn't happy there (everything was under lock and key: things like electric lights, dresser drawers, bathrooms, closets, bars concealed on the windows – the doors have windows so patients can be visible all the time, also the violence and markings still remain on the walls from the former patients.) I answered: 'Well, I'd have to be nuts if I liked it here.' "
Together, the collection of items forms a time capsule of the life of the legendary sex symbol, who died on Aug. 5, 1962 from a barbiturate overdose in her Hollywood home.
In addition to her costume jewelry, the auction also features a pair of platform sandals that Monroe wore in her early modeling days, and a men's accessory case from her second husband, Joe DiMaggio. The case has a custom initial "J Dim" on the lid, with a combination lock closure set to 555 – a repetition of DiMaggio's New York Yankees jersey number.
Among the artifacts are also receipts for the care of her mother, Gladys Eley, while she was staying at the Rockhaven Sanitarium, including prescription medication and toothpaste. Other tax documents list her expenditures in detail – including a 1959 federal tax return for her and third husband Arthur Miller, and her 1962 checkbook with stubs from every check written in the last year of her life.
There are also lighter items, such as her recipe for stuffing.
"This is one of the most important and historic auctions of Marilyn Monroe ever," says Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien's Auctions. "This diverse collection gives us a most intimate glimpse of the screen legend. Never before has there been so many important artifacts from the life and career of the much loved global icon."
Monroe developed a close (and controversial) relationship with Strasberg and, in her will, bequeathed him her personal belongings.
Strasberg's widow, Anna Strasberg, says in a statement: "No one person ever really knew every facet of Marilyn Monroe, though countless books have attempted to piece together every first, second and third-hand account of each encounter, often embellished through passage of time. Marilyn was a complex and beguiling figure in her lifetime, leaving generations of adoring fans to speculate, infer and debate about her life. What has resulted in a prismatic kaleidoscope image built upon both fact and fantasy."
Marilyn Monroe’s true loveMarilyn Monroe was destroyed by her affair with John F. Kennedy, it is clear from watching the latest episode of “The Garden’s Defining Moments.”
“Marilyn Monroe Sings Happy Birthday to JFK” — premiering Saturday on the MSG network — chronicles the night of May 19, 1962, when the blond bombshell entertained 15,000 campaign contributors in the Garden, and a nationwide TV audience, in a sequined dress that made her appear nude.
Because of the rampant rumors of the affair, First Lady Jackie Kennedy stayed away. And after Marilyn’s breathlessly sexy rendition of “Happy Birthday, Mr. President,” Kennedy joked, “I can now retire.” But he never saw her again.
Biographer Michael O’Brien said, “The columnists said it looked like she was making love to the president in front of millions of people."
Marilyn, who had caused shooting delays on “Something’s Got to Give,” was very publicly fired for leaving the set, and went into a downward spiral that led three months later to her death by drug overdose.
Group sues over demolition of Marilyn Monroe's one-time homeThe city of Los Angeles trampled state and local laws when it approved demolition of a home where Marilyn Monroe briefly lived to make way for a condominium project, a lawsuit charges.
A residents' group is seeking to roll back the City Council's approval for the five-unit project in the San Fernando Valley. It filed the lawsuit last week.
The Los Angeles Times reported Monday (http://lat.ms/1Gt4Vwy) the house where the actress lived for one year was torn down days before a hearing on whether to consider making it a historic monument.
City staffers didn't recommend considering the house as a monument since Monroe didn't break into the film industry until years later.
The demolition permit was obtained before the monument application was filed, city officials said.
Monroe "only resided at the property for one year and did not live in the unit during the productive period of her career," a report by city planning officials concluded.
The residents' group, called Save Valley Village, countered that the home captured the essence of Monroe's life at a critical stage.
"While Norma Jean was born at County Hospital in Lincoln Heights, Marilyn Monroe's career was born while living in this house," the lawsuit states.
The group also claims the council illegally cut a deal to support any development project supported by the council member who represents the area.
"If your hands are bound by a behind-the-scenes voting agreement, then obviously you're not deliberating in public," said Richard MacNaughton, an attorney representing the residents' group.
The city is reviewing the complaint.
Vanessa Rodriguez, spokeswoman for council President Herb Wesson, said she had not seen the details of the lawsuit but saw no issue, in general, with council members listening to the lawmaker who represents the area of a new project.
"The locally elected representative is the best equipped individual to provide their City Council colleagues with guidance" on issues in that district, Rodriguez told the newspaper.
You can bid on Marilyn Monroe’s breast enhancersMarilyn Monroe has been dead 53 years — but you can still own a piece of her.
Author Allan Abbott has put the screen legend’s hair and “falsies” up for auction on a site called marilynsfalsies.com, with a starting bid of $50,000. Abbott was a former employee of the funeral parlor where Monroe’s body was embalmed.
“Because of severe swelling in her neck, the embalmer decided to perform a type of surgery on the back of her neck to decrease this swelling. It was necessary for him to remove some hair above her neck,” Abbott somewhat eerily explains on his auction site.
He also reveals Monroe’s affinity for falsies: She wore the cleavage enhancers between her bra and sweater “to make it appear as if she was braless.” Monroe’s makeup artist, Allan Snyder, told him the falsies “gave her the provocative look she was trying to attain.”
The embalmer, however, removed them, because they didn’t fit properly after an autopsy, and stuffed Monroe’s bra with cotton, instead. “After everyone had left the room, I retrieved the items from the waste bin,” confessed Abbott.
Marilyn Monroe dress could fetch $500K at auction(Pic) A dress worn by Marilyn Monroe, a Harley-Davidson owned by Marlon Brando and slices of British royal wedding cakes will go under the hammer this week at an annual two-day sale of memorabilia in Beverly Hills, California.
Julien’s Auctions holds its annual Hollywood Legends Auction on June 26-27, which this year showcases a floral silk crepe dress worn by Monroe, expected to fetch $300,000 to $500,000.
The Hollywood actress wore the figure-hugging dress during the making of her last unfinished film, “Something’s Got to Give,” before her death in August 1962.
“It’s the last dress that Marilyn Monroe wore in her last movie, her last career-worn dress,” Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien’s Auctions, told Reuters.
“The image of Marilyn wearing that dress was used by all of the national newspapers when they announced (her) tragic and untimely passing.”
Fans of the British monarchy will have the chance to get their hands on several royal pieces, including an embellished Versace dress worn by the late Princess Diana as well as royal wedding cake slices, estimated in the $400 to $600 range per piece.
The cake slices from the weddings of Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Charles and Prince William are no longer edible, but are coveted by the royal family’s fans nonetheless, Nolan said.
Other items on offer include tunics worn by “Star Trek” cast members and a 1969 Harley-Davidson once owned by Brando, which is estimated at between $200,000 and $400,000.
Pictures from Marilyn Monroe's Final Photoshoot to Be Auctioned in LondonRare photos of Marilyn Monroe taken just weeks before her untimely death are going to auction in London, according to multiple reports.
The stunning snapshots were taken by her friend, photographer George Barris, on Santa Monica beach on July 13, 1962, just three weeks before she was found dead at 36 in her Los Angeles bedroom. The set also includes photos of Monroe in her Brentwood, California, home.
Eight of the prints, several of which show Monroe romping on the beach in a towel or bikini, are expected to sell for £8000 (more than $12,000) at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions in London on June 4, according to Metro.co.uk.
Barris, who met Monroe in 1954 on the set of her hit film The Seven Year Itch, originally intended to use the pictures for a book he was working on about the iconic actress, but he scrapped it after her death, reports Metro.co.uk.
Barris did not publish the photos, billed as the last professional ones ever taken of Monroe, until 25 years later, in 1987, when he released 99 limited edition prints.
In 2001, Barris finally published a book called Marilyn: Her Life in her Own Words: Marilyn Monroe's Revealing Last Words and Photographs.
"What I particularly liked about Marilyn was that she didn't act like a movie star," he wrote in the book. "She was down to earth. Although she was then twenty-eight, she looked and acted like a teenager.
"Sure, she was beautiful and sexy," he added, "but there was an almost childlike innocence about her."
DMG Eyes 'Mini Marilyn' As Entertainment Property To Empower Young Women(Pic) Fresh off of its new partnership to develop characters from the library of indie publisher Valiant Entertainment, LA and Beijing-based DMG Entertainment has teamed with Authentic Brands Group on Mini Marilyn. Going after the Hello Kitty/Mickey Mouse demo, the partners are co-developing the Marilyn Monroe-inspired property to create “a cinematic world” for her to inhabit that will include TV, movies, online shorts, publishing and licensing. ABG unveiled the character last summer, and bringing in DMG adds the content element.
The plan is to bring Mini Marilyn to life through a portfolio of animated 3D CGI content, some of which is already in development, and build from there. A search is underway to cast the character’s voice. There has already been a soft launch on Chinese social media.
ABG, whose stable includes Elvis and Mohammed Ali, owns the estate, name, image and likeness of Marilyn Monroe. The pint-sized version is designed as a mix of Hollywood glamor and classic femininity with the brand’s goal, the partners say, to encourage modern girls “to be confident, take risks and reach for their dreams.”
As an entertainment property, Mini Marilyn content and products are eyed for roll out across Greater China and in other key global locations beginning in 2016. Boop-boop-a-doop…
Marilyn Monroe's Love Letters to Joe DiMaggio, Arthur Miller Sell for ThousandsSome really do like it hot.
Marilyn Monroe's love letters and personal items sold for sky high prices Saturday when Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills put pieces of celebrity history up for auction.
As part of its Icons & Idols series, the auction house offered an array of items ranging from James Bond memorabilia and a nude sculpture made by Farrah Fawcett to a slice of Prince William and Kate's wedding cake. Among the most spectacular were sales from the "Lost Archives of Marilyn Monroe."
A love letter from Joe DiMaggio to the screen siren after she said she was divorcing him went for $78,125, while a letter from Arthur Miller to the star pulled in $43,750.
Her black velvet opera coat went for $93,760, and one of her pendant necklaces drew in $34,375. But items that the public didn't see were just as intriguing to fans. Monroe's white lacy brassiere sold for $20,000, her small lip brush for $10,000 and a makeup compact for $46,875.
One of the most surprising items was a piece of the 8-tier wedding cake from the 2011 royal wedding, which pulled in $7,500. Silicon Valley entrepreneur Gee Chuang (who founded the online marketplace Listia) took home that treat.
But the biggest ticket item in the sale was the burgundy Caroline Charles coat dress that Princess Diana wore while carrying a young William at the Aberdeen airport – its price was a cool $125,000.
Read Marilyn Monroe's Very Racy Love Letter from Arthur Miller(Letters) Sexting wouldn't be invented for another half-century. But that didn't stop Arthur Miller from expressing some rather explicit long-distance passion for Marilyn Monroe.
In the months before the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Death of a Salesman wed the screen siren, then the most famous star in the world, he was head over heels in love with her – and then some.
In a racy, never-before-seen letter he mailed to her on April 30, 1956, he writes that when they are back together again and she awakens next to him, "I will kiss you and hold you close to me and sensational things will then happen. All sorts of slides, rollings, pitchings, rambunctiousness of every kind. And then I will sigh. And when you rest your head on my shoulder, then slowly I will get HUNGRY."
He goes on to say, "I will come again to the kitchen, pretending you are not there and discover you again. And as you stand there cooking breakfast, I will kiss your neck and your back and the sweet cantaloupes of your rump and the backs of your knees and turn you about and kiss your breasts and the eggs will burn."
He also says he will "make love to her" by a nearby lake and other places he had "been prospecting and driving myself absolutely nuts."
This lustful letter – along with other lovestruck missives Miller, her third and final husband, sent to her – are part of the "Lost Archive of Marilyn Monroe," a collection of 200 of her most personal correspondence, mementos and photos that she kept until her death at age 36 in August 1962. These and 100 other Monroe-related items will go on the block Dec. 6 at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills.
"What you see in these is that she had tremendous love in her life," Martin Nolan of Julien's tells PEOPLE. "We always hope she had love or wondered if she had it. She didn’t have it as a child. She craved love. This is evidence that she had it with Arthur Miller and that she had it with Joe DiMaggio."
Indeed, in a heartbreaking Oct. 9, 1954, letter from Yankee legend DiMaggio, her second husband, he begs her to come back home three days after she announced to the world that she was divorcing him.
"Marilyn, I keep reading reports about you being sick and naturally I'm concerned … I love you and want to be with you. There is nothing I would like better than to restore your confidence in me so that I can help you regain your once healthy self.
"My heart split even wider seeing you cry in front of all these people and looking as though you were ready to collapse at any second."
He ends the letter by saying, "I can tell you, I love you, sincerely – way deep in my heart, irregardless of anything. Will you call me tonight if you should receive this letter by then? It will be happily received."
Says Nolan, "It's such a heartfelt, honest letter. Of course he wants her back but his first and number one concern unselfishly is her welfare. He is worried about her. That's a true love there."
Also at the Auction
Also on the block is a letter from Monroe's Monkey Business costar Cary Grant, a birthday card from Marlon Brando and a 10-page letter from her Gentlemen Prefer Blondes costar Jane Russell.
In the letter, Russell writes from Paris, "Dear Little One," saying that it's none of her "damn business" but expresses her concern for Monroe in the wake of her marriage troubles with DiMaggio. She calls him a "good man" and tells Monroe to rely on religion to get through this trying time. She ends the letter by saying, "I love you very dearly and I don't want you to be unhappy ever."
Among Monroe's personal possessions up for sale is her 1920s compact, with the powder and powder puff still intact, a gold-toned mascara tube, her bra and garter belt and prescription bottles.
One of the highlights of the sale is the black velvet dress Monroe wore to a 1956 press conference at the Plaza Hotel in New York City for The Prince and the Showgirl with her costar Laurence Olivier when the strap famously broke and she was forced to secure it with a safety pin.
The dress is expected to sell for between $40,000 and $60,000.
For more on the auction, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
Today Show - NBCTuesday, November 25, 2014 - (7-9 a.m.) Julien’s Auctions: Marilyn Monroe.
Marilyn Monroe's Lost Love Letters to Be AuctionedIt's no secret Joe DiMaggio loved Marilyn Monroe. The baseball great cried at her funeral and for 20 years had flowers placed at her crypt several times a week.
The public displays were unusual for the famously stoic and private DiMaggio. Now, his heartbreak over the breakup of their marriage will get a rare public airing when "Marilyn Monroe's Lost Archives" goes up for bid at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills next month.
"I love you and want to be with you," DiMaggio said in one pained letter to Monroe from the collection, written when she announced she was filing for divorce after a matter of months in 1954. "There is nothing I would like better than to restore your confidence in me."
The 300 items also include love letters from Monroe's third and final husband, playwright Arthur Miller. There's also a handwritten letter from Monroe to Miller in which the woman who was arguably Hollywood's greatest sex symbol muses about her many insecurities.
DiMaggio wrote in his letter that he learned Monroe was leaving him when he saw her make the announcement on television.
"My heart split even wider seeing you cry in front of all these people," he wrote in the letter addressed to "Mrs. Joe DiMaggio" and mailed Special Delivery.
Other letters in the collection come from such friends as Clark Gable, Cary Grant and Jane Russell, the latter imploring Monroe in 10 neatly handwritten pages to give her marriage to DiMaggio another chance.
"It really gives you the chills when you read some of the stuff and see the intimacy and the personal nature of it," said auction curator Martin Nolan, who spent nine months organizing and cataloging the collection.
Auction owner Darren Julien estimates the pieces could fetch $1 million or more, noting a watercolor Monroe painted and planned to give to President John F. Kennedy went for $80,000 at an estate auction nine years ago. Monroe's "collectability" has skyrocketed in recent years, driven in part by deep-pocketed Asian and European collectors with a fondness for American pop-culture artifacts, he said.
The fact that the centerpiece of this collection is not just celebrity tchotchkes but deeply personal artifacts is also expected to fuel interest.
"We anticipate a lot of fans will be here. They'll fly in from all over the world," said Julien, who will put the items on display to the public at his Beverly Hills gallery for four days before they go on the block Dec. 5-6.
Monroe, who died of a drug overdose at age 36 in 1962, willed "The Lost Archives" to her mentor, the legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg. He gave it to a friend he trusted would take proper care.
That friend's family, which Julien said wants to remain anonymous, obviously met Strasberg's expectations. Many of the letters look as pristine as the day their authors wrote them.
"Please, if I've ever made you cry or made you even more sadder, even for a second, please forgive me, my perfect girl. I love you," Miller wrote in a pencil-scribbled P.S. at the bottom of a typewritten letter.
In a reply to one of his missives, Monroe takes issue with what the author of Death of a Salesman had called her nobility in handling a difficult childhood followed by public adulation that nearly crushed her.
"In other words, there was no choice to make, the same road was always before me," she wrote. "So for you to speak of my nobility, it really wasn't so noble."
She went on to say: "It's doubly difficult to understand that you, the most different, most beautiful human being, chose me to love."
Other items in the collection include a 19-minute reel of a movie made for Monroe after her final picture, 1961's "The Misfits," wrapped. It shows her frolicking happily at the beach with costar Gable and others.
Notably, there's also a framed letter she kept on her coffee table from costume designer Cecil Beaton, who assured her she really was a fine actress.
"It's fantastic to see how loved she was," Nolan said. "Like you thought she was vulnerable and not loved and she craved love and she needed that reassurance. But she had it. She had it with Joe DiMaggio. She had it with Arthur Miller."
And, so it seems, she still has it with much of the rest of the world.
Emily Watson Joins 'Marilyn' Miniseries On LifetimeOscar and Golden Globe nominated actress Emily Watson (Hilary And Jackie) has been cast opposite Kelli Garner and Susan Sarandon in Marilyn, Lifetime’s upcoming four-hour miniseries about tragic Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe, to premiere in 2015.
Based on best-selling book The Secret Life Of Marilyn Monroe by J. Randy Taraborrelli, the mini will center on Marilyn (Garner), who walks red carpets in shimmering gowns while fighting a battle against demons she’s inherited from her mentally ill mother Gladys (Sarandon), whom she loves, hates and wants desperately to save. Marilyn becomes the Face and Voice of an era, yet wants most of all to be someone’s mother and someone’s little girl. Watson will play Grace McKee, the high-spirited, loving guardian to young Norma Jeane Mortenson who instilled in the lonely girl the dream of becoming a star, despite Gladys’ objections.
Marilyn was penned by The Kennedys writer Stephen Kronish. Laurie Collyer is set to direct. Asylum Entertainment is producing. Jonathan Koch, Steven Michaels, Keri Selig and Kronish executive produce.
Pan Am Alum to Play Marilyn Monroe in Lifetime MiniseriesApologies to all you lovely ladies out there, but Lifetime has found its Marilyn!
Pan Am actress Kelli Garner will play the iconic role in the network's four-hour Marilyn miniseries, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Based on J. Randy Taraborrelli's book, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, the miniseries will explores Monroe's family life, which was far less glamorousthan the one she presented to the outside world.
As previously reported, Susan Sarandon will play Monroe's mentally ill mother Gladys in a script written by The Kennedys' Stephen Kronish.
Garner, who most recently appeared on HBO's Looking, joins a long list of actresses who have portrayed Monroe. Most recently Michelle Williams earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in the 2011 film My Week with Marilyn.
Marilyn premieres in 2015 on Lifetime.
Susan Sarandon To Play Marilyn Monroe's Mother In Lifetime MiniseriesOscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking) is set for a lead role in Marilyn, a four-hour miniseries about the tragic Hollywood icon to premiere on Lifetime in 2015. Sarandon will play Marilyn Monroe’s mentally ill mother. Based on bestselling book The Secret Life Of Marilyn Monroe by J. Randy Taraborrelli, the biopic will center on Marilyn, who walks red carpets in shimmering gowns while fighting a battle against demons she’s inherited from her mother, whom she loves, hates and wants desperately to save. Marilyn becomes the Face and Voice of an era, yet wants most of all to be someone’s mother and someone’s little girl.
Marilyn was penned by The Kennedys writer Stephen Kronish. Laurie Collyer is set to direct. Jonathan Koch, Steven Michaels, Keri Selig and Kronish executive produce.
Marilyn joins last year’s The Anna Nicole Story and two other Lifetime biopics of female entertainers who faced an untimely death –Aaliyah and Whitney Houston.
Marilyn Monroe Biopic Eyes Green Light At LifetimeLifetime is readying another biopic of a female showbiz star whose life was tragically cut short — Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe. Tentatively titled Marilyn, the film hails from Asylum Entertainment, the company behind The Kennedys miniseries, which also touched upon Marilyn’s story. (The bombshell, whose life was intertwined with those of John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, was played in the mini by Charlotte Sullivan.) Marilyn was penned by The Kennedys writer Stephen Kronish based on the book The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe by J. Randy Taraborrelli. Laurie Collyer is set to direct. Jonathan Koch, Steven Michaels, Keri Selig and Kronish executive produce. Asylum, whose Kennedys miniseries aired on Reelz after getting dropped at the last minute by Lifetime sibling History, recently did another biopic for Lifetime, Ring of Fire, about the life of June Carter Cash and Johnny Cash. At Lifetime, Marilyn joins last year’s The Anna Nicole Story and two other biopics of female entertainers who faced an untimely death that are in production, films about Aaliyah and Whitney Houston.
First Look: Scarlett Johansson Pays 'Tribute to Marilyn' in New Dolce & Gabbana Campaign(Video, Photo) If you’re in need of a Scarlett Johansson style fix (she’s busy preparing for a new baby and hasn’t been on the carpet much recently), we have just the thing: a behind-the-scenes video from the star’s gorgeous new Dolce & Gabbana makeup campaign.
The new fall collection will debut the brand’s Perfect Mono Intense Cream Eye Color (hitting stores this September), and Johansson, who’s engaged to a French journalist, said working on the campaign was a natural fit for her.
“We shot it in Paris, which is really like home to me now, and the more time I spend here, the more at home I feel,” she told PEOPLE exclusively. “It was really nice to have everyone on home turf, it was lovely. It was a very easy-breezy day. We have all known each other for a very long time. The shoot was great, sort of like working on a little movie, which was unexpected but really fun, sort of our tribute to Marilyn.”
Johansson collaborated with famous fashion photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott to bring the vision for the fall cosmetics campaign to life.
“The concept this time around was just to give a really modern and classic feel and have it be a nod to old Hollywood, but still keeping it really fresh,” she shared, adding that she considers Mert and Marcus part of her family. “They were my first foray into the fashion world, the world of glamour and beauty, and here we are, ten years later, still doing it.”
So what’s so special about the new product? “I’d say what I like about the mono eyeshadow collection is the versatility of the palette,” she shared. “You can really go from day to night with the palette, using the lighter, more iridescent colours, and just add a little mascara and go. And then at night, you know, you kind of play with the darker, matte tones — make a smoky eye, or make a kind of smoky liner effect. It’s nice to have something that’s that easy to use, you don’t have to have a huge makeup bag with all your products in it.”
Lawmakers hope to name post office after MonroeSeveral members of California's congressional delegation are pushing to name a new post office after the late actress Marilyn Monroe.
Democratic Rep. Tony Cardenas says he introduced legislation that would name a post office in Van Nuys, California, after Monroe. She attended Van Nuys High School in the 1940s and once referred to her time living in the community as the happiest in her life.
Cardenas said the facility's name would be a constant reminder for nearby high school students what heights they can reach if they work hard.
Monroe, born Norma Jeane Mortenson, starred in numerous films in the 1950s and died at the age of 36 from a drug overdose.
Cardenas says 18 California lawmakers have signed on as co-sponsors of the legislation.
Marilyn Monroe earrings auctioned for $185,000A pair of rhinestone earrings Marilyn Monroe wore to a 1955 Hollywood film premiere have sold at auction for $185,000.
Julien's Auctions said in a statement Sunday that the actress wore the jewelry when she attended the opening of "The Rose Tattoo."
Monroe did not appear in the film based on a Tennessee Williams play.
The price included a 20 percent commission for the auction house.
The buyer was a foreign collector. The auction house does not release the names of buyers.
The sale was part of a two-day auction of Hollywood memorabilia Friday and Saturday at Julien's Beverly Hills gallery.
A lighter used by Humphrey Bogart sold for $19,200, and a 1986 Pontiac Firebird owned by David Hasselhoff was purchased for $152,600.
Palm Springs give big send-off to giant MarilynPalm Springs is singing "Goodbye, Norma Jean."
Well over 1,000 people attended a send-off Thursday night for a massive statue of Marilyn Monroe that has become beloved by both tourists and locals in the two years it was on loan from The Sculpture Foundation.
The Desert Sun (http://bit.ly/1mxlYak) reports the downtown party included a performance by the Palm Springs Gay Men's Chorus. Guests included Carol Channing, who originated on Broadway the role Monroe played in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes."
The 26-foot-tall, 34,000-pound statue named "Forever Marilyn" will soon go to Hamilton, N.J., for an exhibit honoring its designer, Seward Johnson.
The sculpture depicts Monroe in her memorable billowing skirt pose from the "The Seven Year Itch."
City officials told party-goers they would do all they could to bring her back.
Marilyn Monroe -- Alleged John F. Kennedy Sex Tape Auction CanceledThe home movie of Marilyn Monroe banging John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert F. Kennedy ... will NOT be going up on the auction block ... TMZ has learned.
The Tulare County Sheriff's Department tells us the auction, which was scheduled to go down tomorrow ... has been canceled because William Castleberry -- the owner of the 8mm film -- settled his $200,000 debt.
Castleberrry owed the $200k for a previous court judgement against him -- and deputies had seiezed the film, along with several other items, to cover the debt.
Castleberry's attorneys tell us they have no idea who made the payment -- all they know is Casteleberry's stuff will be returned ... and the world will have to wait to see Marilyn's alleged threesome with the Kennedy bros.
Marilyn Monroe -- Alleged Sex Tape with Kennedys Going to AuctionMarilyn Monroe had sex with John F. Kennedy AND Robert F. Kennedy ... and their sexual romps were captured on film ... at least according to the guy who owns the film, but is about to lose it in a public auction.
William Castleberry -- a former Hollywood bodyguard -- tells TMZ the film was seized from his home, along with other property ... and is going to auction Tuesday to cover a $200k court judgment against him.
Castleberry won't say where or how he got the film ... but says he always kept it secret out of respect for Marilyn's ex-husband Joe DiMaggio -- who Castleberry says was a good friend of his.
Castleberry says he knows people think he's a fraud, but insists it's definitely MM on that film.
He says he's trying to raise the $200k to pay off his debt before the film is sold.
Just a hunch, but most of the world is hoping Castleberry fails.
Bombshell Marilyn Monroe Lawsuit Targets Greasy SpoonsA restaurant chain is being sued for millions for allegedly stealing Marilyn Monroe.
MM Cafe -- a chain of Marilyn-themed restaurants -- has her images plastered throughout the eating joints and according to a new lawsuit -- MM was supposed to pay a PP (pretty penny) in return ... but didn't.
The suit shows the ongoing power of the Marilyn Monroe brand. MM Cafe agreed to pay $1 million a year for 20 years in return for the use of Marilyn's images. But the dead actress' estate claims like Marilyn, they were stiffed.
The Marilyn Monroe Estate is suing for the remaining amount on the contract -- a whopping $18.35 million.
Gentlemen prefer payment.
How Much Would You Pay for Marilyn Monroe's X-Rays? Someone Paid $25,000!How much would you pay for some very rare, very intimate pictures of Marilyn Monroe? No, we're not talking nudes (those you can see for free online. Or you can get the general idea by looking at Lindsay Lohan's cheap imitation).
These are more intimate than naked photographs. These are X-rays.
And someone just spent $25,600 to own them. Which is...kinda icky.
The X-rays were part of Julien Auction House's "Icons and Idols: Hollywood" sale, which also included a Marilyn nightgown, a dress that belonged to Princess Diana and a piece of Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding cake.
The complete lot contained:
A medical file pertaining to cosmetic surgery performed on Marilyn Monroe. The file includes facial X-rays and doctors' notes from the office of Dr. Michael Gurdin, M.D., and the X-ray office of Drs. Conti and Steinberg.
The X-rays are listed under one of Monroe's aliases, Miss Joan Newman, and indicate that she was 36 at the time (the X-rays, along with the medical notes also prove that Marilyn had plastic surgery).
The X-ray is dated June 7, 1962, two months before she died.
That's right: You can't even get any damn privacy in the afterlife.
Marilyn Monroe's Medical Records and X-Rays Confirm Plastic Surgery-Take a Look!(Pic1, Pic2, Pic3) Whether it was comparing old photos or the sheer disbelief of Marilyn Monroe's beauty, the Hollywood icon was subject to speculation over the years as to whether or not she had some work done. And now, we have an answer.
The star's medical records and X-rays have been shared with the public and confirm that she went under the knife at some point during her transition from Norma Jean Baker to the blond bombshell we all know.
Not only that—these files can be added to your Marilyn memorabilia.
The collection, which includes X-rays and partial doctors notes that were documented by Hollywood plastic surgeon Michael Gurdin between 1950 and 1962, is now up for sale with Julien's Auction House in California.
These documents were dated June 7, 1962, just one week after her 36th birthday and two months before her death, and revealed that Monroe (under the alias "Joan Newman") had a cartilage implant done for a "chin deformity" in 1950, while a facial X-ray shows she also had a small fracture on her nose, which backs up claims that Marilyn had a slight rhinoplasty early in her career.
Gurdin's records also list Monroe as Marilyn Miller, acknowledging her five-year marriage to Death of a Salesman playwright Arthur Miller, and described the legend, who was famous for her curves, as being 5'6" and 115 pounds.
"Nobody really thought about Marilyn Monroe having plastic surgery. It was always speculation—did she or didn't she?" Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien's Auctions, told Reuters. "They thought she was such a natural beauty…They didn't want to believe."
Within hours of announcing the items up for bid, which are estimated to sell between $20,000 and $30,000, Nolan reportedly said that he was contacted by interested buyers in Ireland, England and Australia.
Marilyn Monroe plastic surgery notes, X-rays up for auctionA physician's notes on Marilyn Monroe that indicate that the Hollywood sex symbol had undergone cosmetic surgery will be up for sale next month along with a set of her X-rays, an auction house said on Tuesday.
The set of six X-rays and a file of doctors' notes that offer a partial medical history of the "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" actress from 1950 to 1962, are expected to fetch between $15,000 and $30,000 at auction on November 9-10, said Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, California.
The notes written by Hollywood plastic surgeon Michael Gurdin appear to confirm speculation that Monroe, who epitomized glamour and set a standard of movie star beauty during the latter part of Hollywood's golden era, went under the knife for cosmetic reasons.
The seller, who is so far unnamed, received the items as a gift from Gurdin.
"Nobody really thought about Marilyn Monroe having plastic surgery. It was always speculation - did she or didn't she?" said Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien's Auctions. "They thought she was such a natural beauty, they didn't want to believe."
Gurdin's notes include references to a 1950 cartilage implant in Monroe's chin, which he observed to have slowly begun to dissolve.
Monroe's biggest films, such as 1953's "How to Marry a Millionaire," 1955's "The Seven Year Itch" and 1959's "Some Like It Hot," were all shot after 1950.
"Also at that time, going back to the 1950s, people didn't go for plastic surgery procedures," Nolan added. "This is very, very new."
THE BROKEN NOSE MYSTERY
The X-rays are dated June 7, 1962, after Monroe saw Gurdin following a late night fall and two months before the actress would die at age 36 from an overdose of barbiturates. The death was ruled a probable suicide.
Monroe would also be fired by studio 20th Century Fox from the unfinished film "Something's Got to Give" the following day for her constant absences.
The X-rays include Monroe's frontal facial bones, a composite right and left X-ray of the sides of her nasal bones and dental X-rays of the roof of her mouth.
A set of three chest X-rays of Monroe from 1954 sold for $45,000 at a 2010 auction.
A self-published memoir by Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Norman Leaf in 2010 claimed that Monroe underwent cosmetic surgery on her chin in 1950, citing the same notes made by Gurdin, Leaf's medical partner.
Leaf also states in his memoir that Monroe underwent a slight rhinoplasty procedure on the tip of her nose.
A radiologist's notes included in the lot determined that there was no damage to Monroe's nose from the fall, but a recent evaluation of the X-rays found a minute fracture, the auction house said.
Doctors used the name "Joan Newman" as Monroe's alias on the X-rays which list her height as 5 feet, 6 inches and her weight as 115 lb (52 kg).
Gurdin's notes were first drawn up in 1958 when the actress complained about a "chin deformity" and the note listed her married name, Marilyn Miller. She was married to playwright Arthur Miller from 1956 to 1961.
The notes also indicate that Monroe suffered from neutropenia, a low level of a white blood cell type, in 1956 while in England and had an ectopic pregnancy in 1957.
Milton Greene slides of Marilyn, others snag $1.8MTens of thousands of negatives of Marilyn Monroe and other stars by celebrity photographer Milton Greene have sold at auction for $1.8 million.
The archive includes 3,700 negatives and slides of Marilyn Monroe. All the material was sold with copyright.
Profiles in History auction house says the highlights included a collection of color transparencies of the Hollywood siren with Laurence Olivier from the "The Prince and the Showgirl" movie. It sold for $42,000.
A group of transparencies of Monroe from the film "Bus Stop" fetched $39,000.
The seller is an American photography collector who purchased the archive 10 years ago. The items came from the Greene estate.
The buyers weren't identified.
Like his contemporaries Irving Penn and Richard Avedon, Greene is credited with elevating fashion photography to fine art.
HBO's 'Love, Marilyn': Lindsay Lohan to Ellen Burstyn remember MonroeNo matter their age, hardly anyone is unfamiliar with Marilyn Monroe.
As the 50th-anniversary year of her death continues, the blond bombshell is recalled by many famous admirers in "Love, Marilyn," a documentary by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Liz Garbus ("The Farm: Angola, USA") making its HBO debut Monday, June 17.
From Glenn Close and Ellen Burstyn to Jeremy Piven and Lindsay Lohan, celebrities weigh in on Monroe's impact on them ... with archival footage, some found recently, offering visuals of the screen icon whose classic movies include "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and "Some Like It Hot."
"I think Marilyn was a product of the 1950s and 1960s," Garbus tells Zap2it. "Her evolution as a woman - and her carving out the space she did, of sexuality and of vulnerability but also of power - was very resonant in terms of what was happening with femininity at the time. And her struggles with, and dedication to, her craft provide a window into the process of acting."
Indeed, Garbus was impressed by the depth of her interviewees' remarks about Monroe. "For instance, Uma Thurman talked about seeing some of [Monroe's] notes and lists and said, 'I have lists exactly like that.' Through their eyes, I understood Marilyn more deeply, and I hope that is the journey the audience goes through."
Monroe ex-husbands Arthur Miller and Joe DiMaggio also are evident in "Love, Marilyn," shown at last year's Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals.
"There was a remarkable consistency in descriptions of Marilyn," Garbus reflects, "from those people who knew her well to those who had sort of studied her. She was relentlessly disciplined, hardworking, self-critical, fearful ... and an incredibly loyal friend but also an incredibly jealous friend. Certain themes came out over and over."
That included the circumstances of Monroe's death, and Garbus acknowledges "the popular lore" about that tragedy.
"Most people really believe it was an accidental overdose," she says, "sort of a Michael Jackson situation where she was being treated by too many doctors willing to please her, rather than to treat her responsibly."
Secret Files Reveal Rock Hudson's Gay Confession and RFK-Marilyn AffairRock Hudson's wife once confronted him for being gay, Judy Garland kept several caches of drugs hidden throughout her house, and Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy were recorded having sex — all this according to newly uncovered files from former cop-turned-private investigator Fred Otash. The files, which had been hidden in a storage unit, were given to The Hollywood Reporter by Otash's daughter Colleen.
Otash, who was one of the inspirations for Jack Nicholson's character in Chinatown, was a notorious freelance investigator in the 1950s and '60s. L.A. Confidential novelist James Ellroy met Otash several times before his death and even wrote Shakedown, an e-book featuring a fictionalized (and not so flattering) version of Otash. Now that Ellroy is developing an FX pilot based on Otash's life, Colleen hopes that releasing some of his secret files will counter Ellroy interpretation of her father.
Among the highlights in the files, which fill 11 overflowing boxes, are a transcript of when Rock Hudson's wife grilled the actor about his exploits with men and how a Rorschach test he had taken seemed to indicate that he was a homosexual.
Otash's notes also detail how he was hired by Marilyn Monroe to install listening devices in her home. The private eye reportedly listened to Monroe have sex with President John F. Kennedy and another time heard a confrontation between Monroe, Bobby Kennedy and JFK's brother-in-law Peter Lawford on the day Monroe died.
Otash also details moving in with Judy Garland, who contracted him to protect her after her split from third husband Sid Luft. He allegedly found several hidden stashes of pills in Garland's home, all of which he flushed down the toilet.
Read more of the highlights from Otash's stash at The Hollywood Reporter.
Monroe, Eisenhower letters to be auctionedMarilyn Monroe's letter of despair to mentor Lee Strasberg, and Dwight D. Eisenhower's heartfelt missives to his wife during World War II are among hundreds of historical documents being offered in an online auction.
Monroe's handwritten, undated letter to the famed acting teacher is expected to fetch $30,000 to $50,000 in the May 30 sale.
"My will is weak but I can't stand anything. I sound crazy but I think I'm going crazy," Monroe wrote on Hotel Bel-Air letterhead stationery. "It's just that I get before a camera and my concentration and everything I'm trying to learn leaves me. Then I feel like I'm not existing in the human race at all."
The 58 Eisenhower letters, handwritten between 1942 and 1945, range from news of the war to the Allied commander's devotion to his wife, Mamie. They are believed to be among the largest group of Eisenhower letters to survive intact and could bring up to $120,000, said Joseph Maddalena, whose Profiles in History is auctioning the items.
They are among 250 letters and documents being sold by an anonymous American collector. Selected items will be exhibited April 8-16 at Douglas Elliman's Madison Avenue art gallery.
Also included is a typed, undated draft letter from John Lennon to Linda and Paul McCartney that reflects the deep animosity between the two Beatles around the time of the foursome's formal 1971 breakup. The two-page letter is unsigned and contains corrections. A photographic logo on the stationery shows Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono within a circle with their lips almost touching.
"Do you really think most of today's art came about because of the Beatles? I don't believe you're that insane — Paul — do you believe that? When you stop believing it you might wake up!" Lennon writes. It's expected to fetch $40,000 to $60,000.
Other highlights include two large photo albums that Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini exchanged prior to War World II.
"When Mussolini and Hitler visited each other before the war, they would each have their photographers document their trips," Maddalena said. "They really documented the regalia, the flags, the uniforms, tanks and all the pomp and circumstance, and them speaking and reviewing the troops."
The leather-bound albums, containing hundreds of images, have a pre-sale estimate of up to $50,000.
The sale is the second of several planned online auctions of the anonymous collector's artifacts. The entire collection contains 3,000 items.
Large Hollywood photo collection to be auctioned in New YorkTens of thousands of photographs and negatives from a large collection of Hollywood images will be sold during a two-day auction in New York next month, Guernsey's auction house said on Monday.
The Movie Star News Collection, which photographer Irving Klaw started in 1939 after striking a deal with film studios, includes nearly three million posters, negatives and photos of stars. They include Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Rudolph Valentino, Judy Garland, Steve McQueen, Charlie Chaplin and Audrey Hepburn, among others.
Some 1,900 lots of photos and film memorabilia will go under the hammer on April 6 and 7. Pre-sale estimates range from $60 to $100 for some of the pictures to as much as $10,000 for a pair of high-heel shoes worn by model Betty Page, known as the "Queen of Pin-Ups."
"This is probably one of the world's largest collections of Hollywood images," said Joanne Grant, an archivist and auctioneer at Guernsey's who estimated that it is worth millions of dollars.
"This sale is all about black and white (prints) because it is mostly about Hollywood of the 20s, 30s and 40s, although Marilyn Monroe is from the 50s," Grant said.
The auction at The Arader Galleries will be the first time in 75 years that the archive will be open to the public, according to Guernsey's.
The collection includes original Movie Star News signs and pictures from movie sets of "The Wizard of Oz," "King Kong" and "The Godfather" as well as 600 photographs of Monroe.
It is being sold by Stuart Scheinman, a co-owner of the Las Vegas-based Entertainment Collectibles, who bought the collection last year from Ira Kramer, Klaw's nephew.
FBI removes many redactions in Marilyn Monroe fileFBI files on Marilyn Monroe that could not be located earlier this year have been found and re-issued, revealing the names of some of the movie star's communist-leaning acquaintances who drew concern from government officials and her own entourage.
But the files, which previously had been heavily redacted, do not contain any new information about Monroe's death 50 years ago. Letters and news clippings included in the file show the bureau was aware of theories the actress had been killed, but they do not show that any effort was undertaken to investigate the claims. Los Angeles authorities concluded Monroe's death was a probable suicide.
Recently obtained by The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act, the updated FBI files do show the extent the agency was monitoring Monroe for ties to communism in the years before her death in August 1962.
The records reveal that some in Monroe's inner circle were concerned about her association with Frederick Vanderbilt Field, who was disinherited from his wealthy family over his leftist views.
A trip to Mexico earlier that year to shop for furniture brought Monroe in contact with Field, who was living in the country with his wife in self-imposed exile. Informants reported to the FBI that a "mutual infatuation" had developed between Field and Monroe, which caused concern among some in her inner circle, including her therapist, the files state.
"This situation caused considerable dismay among Miss Monroe's entourage and also among the (American Communist Group in Mexico)," the file states. It includes references to an interior decorator who worked with Monroe's analyst reporting her connection to Field to the doctor.
Field's autobiography devotes an entire chapter to Monroe's Mexico trip, "An Indian Summer Interlude." He mentions that he and his wife accompanied Monroe on shopping trips and meals and he only mentions politics once in a passage on their dinnertime conversations.
"She talked mostly about herself and some of the people who had been or still were important to her," Field wrote in "From Right to Left." ''She told us about her strong feelings for civil rights, for black equality, as well as her admiration for what was being done in China, her anger at red-baiting and McCarthyism and her hatred of (FBI director) J. Edgar Hoover."
Under Hoover's watch, the FBI kept tabs on the political and social lives of many celebrities, including Frank Sinatra, Charlie Chaplin and Monroe's ex-husband Arthur Miller. The bureau has also been involved in numerous investigations about crimes against celebrities, including threats against Elizabeth Taylor, an extortion case involving Clark Gable and more recently, trying to solve who killed rapper Notorious B.I.G.
The AP had sought the removal of redactions from Monroe's FBI files earlier this year as part of a series of stories on the 50th anniversary of Monroe's death. The FBI had reported that it had transferred the files to a National Archives facility in Maryland, but archivists said the documents had not been received. A few months after requesting details on the transfer, the FBI released an updated version of the files that eliminate dozens of redactions.
For years, the files have intrigued investigators, biographers and those who don't believe Monroe's death at her Los Angeles area home was a suicide.
A 1982 investigation by the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office found no evidence of foul play after reviewing all available investigative records, but noted that the FBI files were "heavily censored."
That characterization intrigued the man who performed Monroe's autopsy, Dr. Thomas Noguchi. While the DA investigation concluded he conducted a thorough autopsy, Noguchi has conceded that no one will likely ever know all the details of Monroe's death. The FBI files and confidential interviews conducted with the actress' friends that have never been made public might help, he wrote in his 1983 memoir "Coroner."
"On the basis of my own involvement in the case, beginning with the autopsy, I would call Monroe's suicide 'very probable,'" Noguchi wrote. "But I also believe that until the complete FBI files are made public and the notes and interviews of the suicide panel released, controversy will continue to swirl around her death."
Monroe's file begins in 1955 and mostly focuses on her travels and associations, searching for signs of leftist views and possible ties to communism. One entry, which previously had been almost completely redacted, concerned intelligence that Monroe and other entertainers sought visas to visit Russia that year.
The file continues up until the months before her death, and also includes several news stories and references to Norman Mailer's biography of the actress, which focused on questions about whether Monroe was killed by the government.
For all the focus on Monroe's closeness to suspected communists, the bureau never found any proof she was a member of the party.
"Subject's views are very positively and concisely leftist; however, if she is being actively used by the Communist Party, it is not general knowledge among those working with the movement in Los Angeles," a July 1962 entry in Monroe's file states.
Marilyn Monroe subway grate photo on view in NYCA famous image of Marilyn Monroe with her skirt billowing atop a New York City subway grate is on display in a picture-perfect spot: outside the Times Square subway station.
The supersized version of Sam Shaw's well-known picture is part of an exhibit. The exhibit also features eight of Shaw's other Monroe pictures, on view inside the 42nd Street-Bryant Park station on the B, D, F, M and 7 lines.
The show opened Thursday. It'll be up for a year.
Shaw shot the subway grate photo for the 1955 film "The Seven Year Itch." He took the other pictures in 1957.
The exhibit is part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Arts for Transit program. Manager Lester Burg says matching a mass transit setting with a popular figure from mass culture seemed a good fit.
Marilyn Monroe in New Chanel No. 5 Ad: Watch Now!"They ask you questions like...What do you wear to bed—A pajama top? The bottoms of the pajama? A nightgown? So I said, ‘Chanel No. 5' because it's the truth!…And yet I don't want to say ‘nude'!"
Whoa! Talk about timeless—Marilyn Monroe dropped that bombshell all the way back in 1952 and it's still being talked about today.
In fact, the sex symbol's love affair with Chanel No. 5 was probably one of the most successful marketing campaigns ever, and it wasn't even commissioned!
Over the years, the fragrance has been repped by famous faces such as Carole Bouquet, Estella Warren, Nicole Kidman, and let's not forget that whole "It's not a journey…" thing Brad Pitt did for them! Beyond that, the iconic scent has a loyal list of A-list celeb fans, too! Eva Mendes, Victoria Beckham, Jessica Alba, Celine Dion and Claudia Schiffer all love their Chanel No. 5!
But even with all of those amazing endorsements, it's just impossible not to think Marilyn Monroe when you think Chanel No. 5. After all, both embody Old Hollywood glamour, timeless beauty and sheer sexiness.
So, for all of us who just can't get this perfect pairing out of our heads, Chanel has just released the second chapter of their "Inside Chanel" series, titled "Marilyn and No. 5". The 2-minute, 30-second commercial contains previously unreleased images of Marilyn with her favorite perfume as well as the never-before-heard audio where she actually spoke her now-famous words about sleeping in Chanel.
Playboy's nude tribute to MonroeEditors at Playboy magazine are marking 50 years since Marilyn Monroe’s death by publishing a series of long-lost photographs of the Hollywood icon.
The actress, who died aged 36 in 1962 in a suspected suicide, was the publication’s first ever cover star in 1952 and she makes a return to the front page from beyond the grave in the December edition.
Playboy staff spent six months trawling through an archive of more than 10 million photos to select the images of Monroe which feature in the tribute gallery, according to the New York Daily News.
The pictures chart the actress’ career and include one of her most famous photos, when she posed naked on a red velvet cloth for snapper Tom Kelly.
Playboy founder Hugh Hefner says, “She was most in control when she was in the nude. What would be a position of vulnerability for others was a position of power for her.”
Marilyn Monroe photos on auction in PolandWho doesn't want a picture of Marilyn Monroe?
Hundreds of photographs of the blonde bombshell and other celebrities, including famous ones of Monroe in bed and as a ballerina, were being sold Thursday evening at an auction house in Poland.
Bidders and spectators packed the Desa Unicum house in Warsaw, where 238 pictures by the late American fashion and celebrity photographer Milton H. Greene were up for sale.
Most of these pictures of Monroe were taken from 1953 to 1957 when Greene was her advisor and business partner. He made many of the prints during Monroe's lifetime and they are highly valued by collectors. They include series of refined black-and-white studio photos and shots taken in natural surroundings, sometime in provocative poses.
As the bidding began, a black-and-white photo of a reclining Monroe in black stockings sold for 50,000 zlotys ($16,000), and another of her in a ballerina's dress sold for almost $20,000. A picture of her in bed sold for 26,000 zlotys.
The auction also offered Greene's pictures of Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Marlene Dietrich and Liza Minnelli. Other greats in the vast portrait collection, which was estimated at $680,000, included Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Paul Newman, Alfred Hitchcock and Marlon Brando.
The photos come from a collection of some 4,000 Greene pictures that Poland obtained from Chicago businessman Dino Matingas in the mid-1990s as the result of a complex communist-era embezzlement scandal linked to the buy-out of Poland's state debt. Proceeds from the auction will go to the Polish government.
Some of the images have never been published before, according to Marta Maciazek, the Polish official in charge of cleaning up the mess from the corruption affair.
Toronto Deals: HBO Documentary Films Takes TV Rights to "Love, Marilyn"HBO Documentary Films has acquired the U.S. television rights to director Liz Garbus' feature documentary film "Love, Marilyn," the company announced on Friday.
The film had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival and a gala screening at the Toronto International Film Festival on Wednesday.
Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe's death, the film features footage and audiotapes along with Marilyn's own handwritten letters, diaries, notes, poems, journals and notebooks, which document her private life against the backdrop of her public life.
The film also includes readings and appearances by F. Murray Abraham, Elizabeth Banks, Adrien Brody, Ellen Burstyn, Glenn Close, Hope Davis, Uma Thurman, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood, among others.
"My journey began in 1980 when I first met Lee Strasberg, and continued to 2009 when I co-edited Marilyn Monroe's diaries and poems," producer Stanley Buchthal said. "The tremendous odyssey continued when Liz Garbus and I joined to offer the world a unique new insight into a remarkable 20th-century icon, Marilyn Monroe."
The film was written, directed and produced by Garbus. It was produced by Stanley Buchthal and Amy Hobby. It was executive produced by Anne Carey, Olivier Courson, Harold Van Lier and Enrique Steiger.
Photo library can license Marilyn Monroe images, court rulesA U.S. appeals court has upheld the right of a Marilyn Monroe photo library to license images of the film star taken by a celebrity photographer who was one of her business partners.
Milton H. Greene Archives Inc has been in a long-running court battle with Anna Strasberg, widow of Monroe's acting coach, Lee Strasberg, and her licensing agent CMG Worldwide, which controlled use of Monroe's image for years.
In a ruling on Thursday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California backed a lower court decision that allowed Greene Archives to license its images of Monroe.
The star's estate, however, said it still retained exclusive rights to the film star's likeness under federal law.
Greene was a fashion and celebrity photographer who became friends with Monroe during a photo shoot, and the two formed a film production company. At one point, Monroe lived with Greene and his family at their Connecticut farmhouse, where he produced several photographs of the star. Greene died in 1985.
The legal battle over Greene's images hinged on where Monroe was living at the time of her death on August 5, 1962 at age 36. The court ruled Monroe resided in New York and therefore she did not have the posthumous right of publicity based on the state's law.
"Because no such right exists under New York law, Monroe LLC did not inherit it ... and cannot enforce it against Milton Greene or others similarly situated," Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw wrote for the court.
Strasberg's Marilyn Monroe LLC sold its rights to the film star's persona in September 2010 to The Estate of Marilyn Monroe LLC, and Strasberg maintained a minority role.
In a statement on Thursday, the estate said the appeals court decision affected only publicity rights under state law and that its federal rights remained valid. "The Estate still enjoys the exclusive right to use Marilyn Monroe's signature, name, likeness, image, voice, or anything else associated with her persona," it said.
An attorney for Milton H. Greene Archives could not immediately be reached.
Interest in Monroe remains high. She is the subject of NBC television drama "Smash," a story about the making of a Broadway musical about the blonde bombshell, and last year's film, "My Week with Marilyn." Several books about her were released around the anniversary of her death.
Forbes magazine ranked Monroe as the third-highest money-maker in its annual ranking of "The Top-Earning Dead Celebrities," with income of $27 million in 2011, according to the court ruling.
Wardlaw wrote that the lengthy dispute over Monroe's persona "has ended in exactly the way that Monroe herself predicted more that 50 years ago," pointing to Monroe's quote: "I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful, but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else."
Marilyn Monroe's Death 50 Years On: What's Changed, What Hasn'tIt's 2012. We've seen enough to know how stories like Marilyn Monroe's end.
Even a half-century ago—Monroe was found dead 50 years ago this Sunday—they knew.
"I can't say I'm surprised," Mad Men's Don Draper says flatly in the elevator in "Six Month Leave."
And while Draper is a fictional character, his refusal to feign shock is grounded in something real.
"Somehow the pieces seemed to fit into place," the longtime Hollywood correspondent Bob Thomas wrote for the Associated Press just days after Monroe's death. "It looked inevitable in retrospect that her 36-year-old life would end so tragically."
It always looks inevitable—in retrospect. That much hasn't changed. The tragedy is in what has.
Fifty years ago, there were no Drew Barrymores and Robert Downey Jr.s showing Hollywood possible paths out of addiction. There was no Brooke Shields talking openly about depression.
Fifty years ago, not long removed from the all-powerful, PR-controlling studio machine, there was only silence from stars on their demons. There were only demises by overdose and suicide that looked inevitable—in retrospect.
Consider the case of Monroe.
Two months before her death, amid complaints of spotty work attendance, the actress was fired mid-shoot from her latest and last movie set.
Coming out of this, the public discussion was dominated not by talk of what was up with Monroe, but what was wrong with the modern-day overpaid, overprivileged actor.
Don Draper, his worldview informed by writers possessed of hindsight, may have not been surprised by Monroe's subsequent death from too many sleeping pills, but for the rest of 1962, the picture only became clear after the fact—in retrospect.
It's no sure thing Monroe would have lived longer had dialogues about recovery and treatment existed, or if outlets like the "Violent Torpedo of Truth" tour had given her a place to vent en route to her next big-money deal.
Outside of the conspiracy theories that now inevitably work their way into all big stories, including Monroe's, there is no sure thing. That much hasn't changed. And that is its own tragedy.
Maybe we're wiser about how these stories ends. Maybe we probe more. Maybe we probe too much.
But knowing an Anna Nicole Smith or a Whitney Houston is troubled is the not same as saving someone, or, indeed, of the troubled person saving herself.
We've all been on that elevator ride up, the one with the discussion of the day's sad news, the one that ends with, "I can't say I'm surprised."
So much has changed in the 50 years since Monroe's death. So little, too.
A DVD treasure trove of Marilyn Monroe flicksIt will 50 years Sunday since Marilyn Monroe died of a drug overdose at 36, but she has never lost her allure as a cultural icon and voluptuous sex symbol. A new seven-disc boxed set, Forever Marilyn (1953-61, 20th Century Fox, not rated, Blu-ray, $100), presents seven of her most popular films in high-definition.
Though she was most often typecast as a "dumb blonde," these films illustrate her versatility as an actress. They capture her at a time when she was at the height of her popularity. She was stunning onscreen with the platinum hair, scarlet lipstick and breathy deliveries, and the public had an insatiable fascination with her sometimes troubled private life. Since her death, she has inspired countless actors, musicians and others with her style and personality.
The movies in this set show how Norma Jean Mortenson, who was discovered while working on a factory assembly line in 1945, developed in just a few short years into the superstar who was Marilyn Monroe. Here's what is included:
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) — Monroe and Jane Russell star as showgirls Lorelei Lee and Dorothy Shaw in this Howard Hawks-directed comedy. The pair go to Paris, but the gold-digging Lee is being watched by a private eye hired by her fiancé's distrustful father. Monroe's pink dress and singing of Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend are legendary.
How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) — A trio of women (Monroe, Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable) rent a penthouse apartment in hopes of landing millionaire husbands. William Powell, Cameron Mitchell and Rory Calhoun co-star in this romantic comedy where things don't work out exactly as the women planned.
River of No Return (1954) — A dance-hall singer (Monroe) takes an arduous journey with an ex-con farmer (Robert Mitchum) and his son (Tommy Rettig), after the singer's fiancé (Rory Calhoun) steals the farmer's horse and rifle and leaves the couple stranded. Otto Preminger directs.
There's No Business Like Show Business (1954) — The Five Donahues — a musical act with a father (Dan Dailey), mother (Ethel Merman) and three children — begins to fall apart when one of the sons falls for a former hat-check girl (Monroe) who has become famous singing one of their songs.
The Seven Year Itch (1955) — Monroe stars as The Girl, who tempts a faithful husband (Tom Ewell) while his family is away on vacation. The Billy Wilder film has probably Monroe's most iconic scene — her standing on a subway grate with her white dress billowing up as a train passes underneath.
Some Like It Hot (1959) — Billy Wilder also directed this comedy starring Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis as two Chicago men on the run from mobsters who masquerade as women in an all-girl band. Both fall for Sugar Kane Kowalczyk (Monroe), the band's singer and ukulele player. Gangster "Spats" Colombo (George Raft) is out to get them.
The Misfits (1961) — John Huston directed this drama set in the Nevada desert about an aging cowboy (Clark Gable) and a sexy divorcée (Monroe). This would be the final film for both Gable, who died of a heart attack 10 days after filming ended, and for Monroe, who died the following year.
Marilyn Monroe's life landmarksShe was a candle in the wind, and yet 50 years after her death, interest in Marilyn Monroe has never burned brighter.
She's the subject of new books that probe her short life and mysterious death; a Broadway musical about her forms the plot of NBC's drama Smash; Michelle Williams starred as her in last year's My Week With Marilyn and a documentary titled Love, Marilyn will debut at this year's Toronto International Film Festival.
She continues to influence fashion, femininity and sex, and while Lindsay Lohan still hasn't found someone who will let her play Marilyn in a movie, she did channel the starlet in a pictorial for Playboy -- the same magazine that featured a nude Marilyn in its first-ever issue.
With Sunday marking the 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe's death, we look at some of the landmarks in her life.
Norma Jean Mortenson is born June 1st in Los Angeles, third child of Gladys Pearl Baker. While Martin Edward Mortensen is listed on her birth, the actual identity of her father is a source of some dispute.
Norma Jean marries James Dougherty at the age of 16. They're divorced four years later, with Norma Jean saying she has grown bored of the marriage.
Norma Jean is photographed for a U.S. armed forces magazine while working at a munitions factory. This leads to a contract with the Blue Book Modeling Agency, for which she dyes her brunette hair blonde.
Norma Jean's modelling work leads to a successful screen test with Fox. After considering and discarding several possible new names, studio executive Ben Lyon finally settles on Marilyn Monroe.
Marilyn's first speaking role, a one-line bit part, is in Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! She later lands a larger role in musical Ladies of the Corus, but the film receives poor reviews and she is dropped from her studio contract.
A destitute Marilyn does her first and only nude photo session with photographer Tom Kelley. She's paid $50 and uses the name Mona Monroe. These photos will later cause a small scandal, and ultimately appear in the premiere issue of Playboy magazine.
Marilyn's small roles in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve make Hollywood take notice, though critics often focus on her looks rather than her acting talent.
Marilyn lands her first leading role in Don't Bother to Knock and begins dating former baseball player Joe DiMaggio.
Marilyn marries DiMaggio, who grows increasingly angry with her sexual image. When Marilyn shoots the iconic skirt-blowing scene for The Seven Year Itch, it leads to a quarrel with DiMaggio. The couple divorce later that year.
Marilyn announces the formation of her own production company with photographer Milton Greene, with the intention to broaden her scope as an actress. She begins dating playwright Arthur Miller, and marries him the following year.
Marilyn stars in Some Like It Hot. The film is nominated for six Academy Awards and Marilyn wins the Golden Globe for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, her second Golden Globe nomination after 1956's Bus Stop.
Marilyn's health begins to deteriorate. She's frequently ill and unable to perform, and rumours swirl about sleeping pills, alcohol and psychiatric treatments.
Marilyn's divorce from Arthur Miller is finalized. The following month, she voluntarily enters the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic. Joe DiMaggio later secures her release.
Marilyn receives the Golden Globe Award for "World Film Favourite." Two months later, she attends the birthday gala of U.S. president John F. Kennedy, with whom she was rumoured to have had an affair. Her rendition of Happy Birthday becomes immediately famous.
On Aug. 5, at the age of 36, Marilyn Monroe is found dead in the bedroom of her Brentwood home in Los Angeles. The cause of death is ruled to be acute barbiturate poisoning, but to this day debate ensues as to whether her death was accidental, suicide or murder.
Marilyn Monroe: Dead 50 Years, But Was It Really an Accident?The story made headlines around the globe: Marilyn Monroe, the world's most celebrated starlet, had apparently committed suicide.
But many who knew her didn't believe she'd take her own life, and as the 50th anniversary of her death at age 36 approaches, her tragic end remains shrouded in mystery.
In the new issue of PEOPLE, guest writer J.I. Baker – author of The Empty Glass, a new murder thriller based on her death – uses his research and fresh reporting to explore the truth.
A Mysterious Death
On August 5, 1962, Monroe was found dead in the bedroom of her Brentwood hacienda.
Toxicology reports showed high levels of Nembutal and chloral hydrate in her bloodstream, and her death was ruled a "probable suicide." But why wasn't her body turned over to medical examiners for more than five hours after it was discovered?
Forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht tells PEOPLE he has "a strong suspicion she might have been injected," given the lack of pill residue found in her stomach – but by whom?
Why did not-yet-tested tissue samples go missing, along with Monroe's phone records? And were Jack and Bobby Kennedy, with whom she was rumored to have had affairs, involved?
For more questions and answers surrounding Monroe's mysterious death, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
Poland plans to auction Marilyn Monroe photosPoland plans to auction off part of a photographic collection that includes hundreds of photographs of Marilyn Monroe.
The collection includes close to 4,000 photographs taken by the late celebrity photographer Milton H. Greene. Some are well-known images, but Polish officials say they believe the collection might contain some previously unpublished works.
The photos ended up in Poland's possession as the result of a complex embezzlement scandal that shook the country in the early 1990s. A Chicago businessman accused of cheating Poland out of millions of dollars gave the collection to Poland in partial repayment for the government's loss.
They have been stored in a New York warehouse for years and only arrived in Warsaw recently.
The Polish official in charge of cleaning up the lingering mess from the corruption affair, Marta Maciazek, said the photographic collection is valued at $680,000. She said some of the photos will go on exhibition soon and then will be put up for sale.
The collection includes some famous images of Monroe, including one of her wrapped in a white fur coat against a white background. Several are numbered prints in a series of about 55 copies, meaning they are not unique, but still could have some value for collectors.
The photos arrived in two large wooden crates from New York recently and are being held in a darkened room of the photo gallery where they will be exhibited to the public next month. They are further divided into boxes, many of them labeled "MM" for Marilyn Monroe and with other brief descriptors, including "pulling off stocking" and "legs spread — hat in lap."
One of the exhibition curators, Anna Wolska, showed the pictures to Associated Press journalists on Friday as she prepares the show, which is to open August 6 — one day after the 50th anniversary of Monroe's death — and will run through September 7.
The collection also includes photographs of Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Audrey Hepburn, Liza Minnelli, Marlene Dietrich, Paul Newman, Alfred Hitchcock and Marlon Brando.
Monroe often-imitated, never-duplicatedIt's the summer of Marilyn.
Kicking things off with the June 1 celebration of her birthday (she would have been -- yikes -- 86) and leading up to the 50th anniversary of her untimely death on Aug. 5 -- the Marilyn Monroe-a-palooza is heating up across the globe.
Of course, it's not like the screen icon has ever really gone away. That beguiling, often-imitated, never-duplicated combination of sensuality and innocence that has kept Monroe's star burning brightly for more than half a century shows no sign of diminishing any time soon.
But that hasn't prevented the media from constantly trying to trumpet "the new Marilyn" or "the next Monroe"-- titles that have at one time or another been bestowed upon the following pretenders to the throne.
Shout-outs: Her Material Girl video (an "homage" to Monroe's Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend number from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), her Vogue video, her big-screen bomb, Who's That Girl, the 1991 Vanity Fair spread, an SNL sketch singing, "Happy Inauguration Mr. President"¦"
She said: "I'd love to be a memorable figure in the history of entertainment in some sexual, comic, tragic way. I'd like to leave the impression that Marilyn Monroe did, to be able to arouse so many different feelings in people."
We say: Some Like it Not.
Anna Nicole Smith
Shout-outs: "Gentlemen Prefer fur-free Blondes" PETA ad, singing "Happy Roasting to You" at the Comedy Central Jeff Foxworthy Roast, the Playboy magazine spreads, her thing for older men, dying in her thirties of a drug overdose.
She said: "I just feel a connection with Marilyn Monroe. I just love her. I just completely feel what she went through."
We say: How Not to Marry a Millionaire.
Shout-outs: That 2010 Dancing With the Stars foxtrot to I Wanna Be Loved By You, the 2011 Bonita de Mas ad channelling the iconic blowing-skirt sequence from The Seven Year Itch, the Playboy connection.
She said: "It is great to be blond. With low expectations it's very easy to surprise people."
We say: Gentlemen Rockers Prefer Blonds.
Shout-outs: That 2009 Dolce & Gabbana ad, the beauty mark, an early frontrunner (eventually overtaken by Michelle Williams) to star in My Week with Marilyn.
She said:"I love Marilyn. I think she was incredibly beautiful. I am a curvy woman who is blond, and perhaps we are both comfortable in our femininity."
We say: The Misfit.
Shout-outs: Reprised the infamous The Last Sitting session for photographer Bert Stern in 2008 issue of New York Magazine, the January-February edition of Playboy, an axed SNL sketch with Jon Hamm as JFK.
She said: "Everyone's a star and deserves the right to twinkle." (Spoken by Monroe and tattooed on Lohan's inner wrist.) Elsewhere on her arm is the Monroe quote, "I restore myself when I'm alone."
We say: Don't Bother to Knock.
Brad Pitt producing Monroe biopicBrad Pitt has stepped in to help director Andrew Dominik get his long-delayed Marilyn Monroe movie off the ground as the project's producer.
Naomi Watts was attached to play the iconic bombshell in Dominik's biopic Blonde, which stalled before shooting was scheduled to begin in January 2011.
However, Pitt is now set to give new life to the Monroe film by signing up to produce the movie through his Plan B production company, although he has yet to decide whether he will take on a role.
He tells 24 Frames, "We're going to get this one done."
Pitt previously worked with Dominik on The Assassination of Jesse James and upcoming gangster thriller Killing Them Softly.
Rare Marilyn Monroe pictures surfaceRare, nude images from screen legend Marilyn Monroe's final photoshoot have surfaced, 50 years after the raunchy pictures were taken.
Photographer Lawrence Schiller captured the iconic beauty posing naked by a swimming pool at Fox film studios on May 23, 1962, during a shoot on the set of her film Something's Got To Give.
The stunning snaps see Monroe seductively staring in to the camera as her arms cover her bare chest, and later flashing her butt as she pulls on her dressing gown.
Schiller has never released the full collection of shots, but now he has finally shown them off for his new book Marilyn & Me.
The photographer, 75, says, "The photographs shows the real Marilyn Monroe teasing you, yet there is still a little mystery left. I was so unguarded that she became unguarded with me."
However, the film was never finished - the tardy and unreliable actress was fired in June, 1962 and she was tragically found dead in her Los Angeles home in August that same year.
Marilyn Monroe -- Grave Site BOMBARDED with Marilyn Memorabilia(Photo) Celebrity grave sites are often marked with flowers and photos to mark a birthday or death anniversary ... but the memorial park that is home to Marilyn Monroe says they were completely overrun yesterday by fans of the late blonde bombshell.
A spokesman for the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery tells TMZ there was an "abnormally large" crowd on Friday -- her 86th birthday -- with people leaving items such as cards, photos, candles, statues, and flowers.
The spokesman tells TMZ they usually try and leave the items on the grave site for as long as possible (until they start to overrun neighboring spaces) but the clean-up yesterday for Marilyn went down faster than usual.
The Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery is also the final resting place of Janis Joplin, Peter Falk, Rodney Dangerfield, Natalie Wood, Farrah Fawcett ... and the list goes on.
August 5 marks the 50th anniversary of her death.
Monroe set for hologram return: ReportMarilyn Monroe is set to be brought back to life as a hologram for a new musical celebration of the movie icon's career.
Following in the eerie footsteps of late rapper Tupac Shakur, who 'appeared' onstage with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre at the Coachella festival in California in April, Monroe is set for a return to the stage.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the actress will appear during a planned Virtual Marilyn Live - A Musical Celebration of the Birth of the Pop Icon concert.
A date and venue has yet to be secured, but bosses at Digicon Media - the company behind the ambitious show - are hoping to unveil the project before the end of 2012.
Rare Marilyn Monroe photos hit auction blockA collection of never-before-seen photos of Marilyn Monroe — and their accompanying copyrights — are going up for auction.
Celebrity auctioneer Darren Julien says more than 100 images of Monroe will be sold the highest bidders later this month.
The photos come from the estate of Allan "Whitey" Snyder, Monroe's personal makeup artist for 15 years. One image shows Snyder applying makeup to a lingerie-wearing Monroe on the set of "Let's Make Love" in 1960.
Letters, telegrams and a money clip from Monroe to Snyder are also among the lots set to be sold during Julien's Auctions' Hollywood Legends sale on March 31 and April 1. The auction also includes memorabilia from Frank Sinatra, James Dean, Charlie Chaplin and Sammy Davis, Jr.
Hollywood mad over Marilyn - againIt may only be March but she's already looking to be one of the year's hottest celebrities.
She's got a couple of Oscar nominations and a critically acclaimed TV series to her name, and she's the official poster girl for this May's 65th Cannes Film Festival.
Oh -- and one more thing -- she's been dead for half a century.
Pretty impressive for a person with her own Twitter account, wouldn't you say?
We're of course referring to the one and only Marilyn Monroe, who, although, to paraphrase Elton John, her candle burned out long before her legend ever did, is currently on a particularly awesome roll.
Up on the big screen you can still catch My Week With Marilyn, the movie that earned Michelle Williams an Oscar nomination for her praised portrayal of the icon as well as a second nod for Kenneth Branagh's turn as Sir Laurence Olivier.
Over on the small screen you've got Smash, the Steven Spielberg-produced series following all the behind-the-scenes drama involving the mounting of a Broadway musical based on the life of you-know-who, with Megan Hilty and Katharine McPhee vying for top billing.
Of course, there was also Lindsay Lohan summoning Marilyn for her Playboy magazine spread and Cannes choosing a terrific black-and-white image of Monroe holding a birthday cake with those famous lips pursed, about to blow a single candle.
And that's just for starters.
In the weeks leading up to the 50th anniversary of Marilyn's death -- on Aug. 5 -- you can expect a whole slew of everything MM, especially if Authentic Brands Group has a say in the matter.
The marketing firm, which specializes in intellectual property, purchased the rights to the Monroe estate back in 2010 for a chunk of money, reportedly in the $20 to $30 million range.
ABG also holds licensing rights to all things Bob Marley, but let's face it, Marilyn's where the major moolah is.
Gearing up for the big push, last month ABG set up a @MarilynMonroe Twitter account (tweeting on behalf of the Marilyn Monroe estate) with a slowly-climbing 22,000-plus followers.
In addition to generating income through licensing Monroe's name and likeness to print and various media ad campaigns, ABG has been busy negotiating with a number of fashion and cosmetics companies, all eager to launch Marilyn collections.
First out of the gate is a limited edition makeup line in partnership with MAC Cosmetics that will include more than two dozen items running the gamut from lipstick to nail lacquer, set to hit the shelves this October.
Meanwhile, the Getty Images Gallery in London has just opened an exhibit featuring iconic photos and Monroe memorabilia, including a selection of dresses and original film costumes, which will be on display until May 23.
It seems not everyone is jumping aboard the sex symbol's bandwagon -- take Megan Fox, for example. Marilyn hasn't been making the same kind of impression on the former Transformers star these days, quite literally, with Fox recently getting her Monroe tattoo removed from her right inner forearm via multiple, painful laser treatments.
Fox explained to reporters that she got the tattoo when she was 18, but now that she's 25, it just didn't make sense anymore.
Megan needs to work on her timing.
Lindsay Lohan Marilyn Monroe Sketch Axed by 'Saturday Night Live'Lindsay Lohan was all set to continue her obsession with Marilyn Monroe during last week's "Saturday Night Live" -- but a sketch featuring her and Jon Hamm was scrapped at the last minute ... TMZ has learned.
According to our sources, the sketch was to feature Lindsay as Marilyn and Hamm as JFK appearing to Rick Santorum (played by Andy Samberg) while he is at conservative event.
During the sketch, Marilyn and JFK explain Marilyn was on birth control provided to her by Medicare, which causes Santorum to vomit uncontrollably. Santorum (the real one) recently said that JFK's speech from 1960 about keeping religion out of politics "makes [him] want to throw up."
In the end, we're told the sketch made it all the way to rehearsals, and was even performed in front of a live audience, but was ultimately cut because of time constraints.
Lindsay has channeled Marilyn several times over the years, including her most recent Playboy cover.
Marilyn Monroe chosen for Cannes festival posterOrganizers of the Cannes Film Festival have chosen to honor Marilyn Monroe by selecting a photo of the Hollywood sex goddess for the poster of this year's event.
The organizers said in a statement Tuesday that "50 years after her death, Marilyn remains one of the major figures of world cinema, an eternal and contemporary reference of grace, mystery and seduction."
The poster shows the American actress, eyelids lowered and lips pursed, blowing out a candle on a birthday cake.
The 65th Cannes Film Festival runs from May 16 to 27.
Nanni Moretti, the satirical Italian filmmaker and 2001 Palme d'Or winner, heads the jury at this year's festival on the French Riviera.
How Michelle Williams Channeled Marilyn Monroe at BedtimeIt took a lot of time – and a few extra pounds – for Michelle Williams to make her on-screen transformation into Marilyn Monroe.
But Williams, 31, says she wasn't the only one immersed in the world of the iconic actress during the production of My Week with Marilyn – especially around nighttime.
While accepting best-performance honors for her role in the movie at Sunday night's Golden Globe Awards (live from the Beverly Hilton Hotel), Williams singled out her daughter from her relationship with Heath Ledger, 6-year-old Matilda Rose, whom she praised for "suffering through six months of bedtime stories, where all the princesses were read aloud in a Marilyn Monroe-[sounding] voice."
On a more serious note, she said in her speech that her daughter's "bravery and exuberance is the example that I take with me in my work and in my life."
"I consider myself a mother first and an actress second," she said. "I want to say thank you [to Matilda] for sending me off to this job every day with a hug and a kiss."
Oscar buzz for 'Marilyn'Colin Firth, who starred in last year’s Best Picture Oscar winner, “The King’s Speech,” will host a private screening for this year’s Academy Awards hopeful “My Week With Marilyn,” in London tomorrow. Star Michelle Williams will be at the Palm Springs Film Festival, where she’s picking up a Best Actress award today, to be presented by Kenneth Branagh. But walking the red carpet for Firth’s event will be members of the PBS breakout series “Downton Abbey.” “Marilyn” director Simon Curtis’ wife, Elizabeth McGovern, stars in “Abbey” and is expected to hit Firth’s Covent Garden Hotel cocktail party and screening with the TV series’ Hugh Bonneville and Michelle Dockery. “My Week,” about Marilyn Monroe and the making of the 1957 Laurence Olivier movie “The Prince and the Showgirl,” is being buzzed about as a Best Picture Oscar contender after snaring 16 BAFTA long-list nominations and three Golden Globes noms, including Best Picture: Comedy or Musical.
Monroe memorabilia wows at auctionA treasure trove of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia went under the hammer at an auction in Los Angeles on Dec. 16, and two signed photos sent the bidding wild.
The Profiles in History Icons of Hollywood sale produced many big surprises as items went for much more than their expected price and Monroe's booty was a prize pick-up.
Camera negatives from the film Some Like It Hot sold for $1,500 - five times their expected sales price - and rare shots of Monroe and Clark Gable on the set of The Misfits went under the hammer for $2,000 - over three times what they were expected to fetch.
Highlights of the Monroe lots also included an autographed letter signed by the 18-year-old 'Norma Jeane' ($52,500); a personal Monroe photograph signed by Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart and Gary Cooper ($60,000; a portrait of a young Marilyn wearing a sheer lace trim, signed ($37,500), and Monroe's invitation to a John F. Kennedy birthday celebration ($40,000).
Other big items going under the hammer during Friday afternoon's auction session included the screen-used prop vellum treasure map from 1934 film Treasure Island ($60,000); the Mattel hoverboard from Back to the Future II ($22,500); Michael J. Fox's Marty McFly Clint Eastwood hat from Back to the Future III ($19,000), Anthony Quinn's Auda Abu Tayi costume from Lawrence of Arabia ($22,500); Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher’s marriage license from their Las Vegas wedding ($7,000), and the Roman costume worn by Christopher Plummer as Commodus in The Fall of the Roman Empire ($15,000).
Early Monroe photos sell for over $300K at auctionImages from Marilyn Monroe's first photo shoot have sold for $352,000 at an auction that included items from Lady Gaga and John Lennon.
Julien's Auctions spokeswoman Caroline Galloway told The Associated Press on Sunday that the Monroe photos — taken in 1946 when she was still Norma Jeane Dougherty — were the highlight of the Beverly Hills auction known as "Icons & Idols."
The photos come with negatives and the rare right to sell and distribute them. A judge in September ruled they must be auctioned to settle debts of photographer Joseph Jasgur.
A Lady Gaga dress sold for $31,250, and the prop gun used in her video for "Born This Way" went for $7,680.
A 1969 caricature John Lennon drew of himself and Yoko Ono went for $90,000.
Curtis fell hard for 'Marilyn'Filmmaker Simon Curtis says, "I just fell in love with this story," and he's not alone.
'This story' is My Week With Marilyn, a memoir by Colin Clark about his relationship with Marilyn Monroe in London, in 1956. Clark worked on The Prince and the Showgirl, a comedy directed by Laurence Olivier and starring Olivier and Monroe. The vulnerable Miss Monroe, lonely, far from home and striving to be taken seriously as an actress, befriended Clark and eventually spent a week in his company.
Curtis has directed a film version of Colin Clark's story.
"This is a young man who had a hunger to work in film, and got the golden ticket to work on this particular film," says Curtis. "And then he got the super golden ticket to befriend Marilyn."
Curtis, 51, has been producing and directing big cheese films and programs for British television for 20 years -- titles like David Copperfield, Twelfth Night, The Virgin Queen and the brilliant mini-series Cranford among them. My Week With Marilyn is his feature debut.
The film is about infatuation, filmmaking, celebrity and the endless pursuit of youth, and it's a film very much about the new England after the Second World War.
Making it, says Curtis, "does feel a dream come true. Audiences are laughing even more than I hoped they would, and yet, there's a poignancy there, isn't there?"
The director was in Toronto last week to promote his movie and says the city has a lot of history for him. "My parents met in this city," he says, explaining his mother was here as her father had brought the family to Canada to launch Penguin books in the late '50s; his father was a Penguin junior executive, over from England.
"Toronto was considered glamourous. This was around the same time the film was made, when England was still very much drowning in the legacy of the Second World War. Rationing had just ended. So this was the exotic land of plenty. And that's in my family's DNA. Toronto, Toronto! I'd hear that all the time."
Continues Curtis, cheerfully, "My father was a publisher, my mother a psychoanalyst. That's pretty good for a director to have the two of those influences."
Curtis, who is married to the American actress Elizabeth McGovern, says researching for My Week With Marilyn was fascinating work.
"What was really thrilling, when we all started researching around the story, was that it was clear it was a really specific turning point in everyone's lives in this film. And the things it was saying about England -- 1956 was the end of old England, in a way. It was just before rock 'n' roll and Look Back in Anger and commercial television. The more we researched, the richer it got."
Curtis talks about getting a copy of the still photo of the day Laurence Olivier and his wife, Vivien Leigh, met Marilyn Monroe and her husband, playwright Arthur Miller. "They went to the house where Marilyn was staying in England. We got the same location and we were at the same house, and were recreating the body language of the four of them, with us standing on the same porch the way of the four of them had.
"And obviously, at Pinewood Studios, Michelle was given Marilyn's old dressing room. And she'd walk along the same corridors."
On the subject of art imitating life and vice-versa, Curtis then adds, "Don Murray, Marilyn's last living co-star from Bus Stop, has seen My Week With Marilyn three times and just loves what Michelle has done."
Well, that's acting, we suggest.
"That's great acting, actually," says Curtis.
Michelle Williams goes beyond the Marilyn Monroe mystique(Trailer) Goodbye Norma Jean, hello Michelle Williams.
Williams may not be a dead ringer for Marilyn Monroe/Norma Jean Baker but she superbly embodies the legendary sex symbol in My Week with Marilyn.
Disappearing into the role of the troubled actress, Williams' portrayal captures the star's breathy voice and distinctive mannerisms, while delving a few notches deeper. Ever a chameleon, Williams conveys Monroe's vulnerability and peels back the sexpot image to reveal a woman who is alternately wistful, childlike, funny, needy and wise.
Williams is bound to get an Oscar nomination, along with Kenneth Branagh who plays Sir Laurence Olivier. But their talents outshine the gossamer-thin story, based on a memoir by Colin Clark about Monroe while she was in England in 1956 filming The Prince and the Showgirl, directed by and starring Olivier.
It's hard to buy the contours of the friendship between 30-year-old Monroe, at that time the biggest star in the world, and Clark (Eddie Redmayne), a film-production go-fer and 23-year-old Oxford grad from an aristocratic family.
Redmayne is convincing in the role, nailing the character's infatuation. When Monroe first directs her gaze upon Clark, he blinks furiously, his awkward fascination set in motion. Far less believable are the off-set romps the besotted Clark purports to have taken with the actress, which come across as schoolboy fantasies.
The atmosphere during the shoot was rocky. Monroe's new marriage to Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott) was already fraying and her insecurities loomed large. She often arrived on set two hours late and doped up, inciting Olivier's ire.
Perhaps to distract herself from the tension of working with Olivier, Monroe takes a shine to the innocent Clark. That's plausible enough, until she decides to run away with him on a week-long idyll where they skinny-dip, kiss and visit his alma mater. At this point Clark's story beings to feel more like wishful thinking than real-life memories.
Branagh is excellent as the blustery, preening Olivier, a classically trained stage actor torn between his admiration for Monroe's innate talent and scorn for her sycophantic entourage and reliance on Method acting. Julia Ormond plays Vivien Leigh, Olivier's wife and a worthy subject for her own film. But she's reduced to a simplistic role, blandly worrying about encroaching middle age and her husband's roving eye.
At its best, the film is about perception and manipulation — how Monroe is perceived by her fellow actors and manipulated by her director; how Clark perceives her with dewy-eyed wonder; how negatively she perceives herself, but cleverly manipulates her image. She wants to be taken seriously as an actress and yet can't stop perpetuating her bombshell persona.
While My Week with Marilyn is more an awestruck reverie than a revelatory bio-pic, it's worth seeing for Williams' bravura performance.
My Week with Marilyn