Monday, May 2, 2016


This wonderful and other such videos can be located at YouTube:
photos are Identified as being taken by Earl Leaf
(I love the one of Marilyn and the Leaping Little Dog!)
(Norma Jeanne Baker)
(1926 - 1962)

A while back I made a list of women who were not mistresses and I put Marilyn Monroe on that list.  So let me start out by explaining my error. 

I've read so many books over the years about Marilyn Monroe (and people surrounding her, including the Kennedys), books based on research, interviews, speculations, theories, and interpretations, of this most fascinating woman.  I've read more books about her than almost any other celebrity, and considering that, until recently, I never saw her in a movie, that's saying something!  (I finally did watch a couple of her movies on DVD, and while I see how talented, sexy, and well she did in them,  I tend to think of them as set ups for song and dance. What they did capture was her sparkle, her allure, you could even say, her light.)

I'm perplexed by Marilyn Monroe.  I seek to understand her, while not a fan. I came to the opinion that Marilyn was, at various times, a free spirit (promiscuous), ahead of her generation when it came to sex without marriage, a woman who had many affairs and sometimes more than one lover during the same general time period, a pin up and party girl.  I also came to believe that she'd been on the casting couch and that she might have even been prostituted (or chosen to) at some point in her life. She also had other hard womanly experiences such as painful periods, endometriosis, abortions, a miscarriage, and her own emotional and mental issues aside from a unstable childhood. She had been aimed into a teenage marriage that didn't prove to be the refuge that she would spend a life trying to find in other marriages.

She posed for nude calendars for the money and admitted it.  She was on the cover of the first Playboy Magazine; that magazine's founder, Hugh Hefner, plans to be put in the vault next to hers when he dies.  She might have been bisexual, or at least experimental, but perhaps her many marriages testify that Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jeanne Baker) really wanted to be married. Her lack of success with marriage might also testify that she didn't really want to be married, as in with one person her whole life.

Marilyn came out of nowhere. How orphaned she really was is a question, but it is true that her mother spent much of her life in a mental hospital. When Marilyn was married first young, almost as a solution to Marilyn as a problem, no one, not her mother, foster parents, or far away family, could financially support her for long.  I've met many people who admire her more for that than they ever could an actress who came from somewhere.  (One gentleman I met actually broke down and sobbed when we were dining out, after I asked him which actress of his youth he loved the best.  "Marilyn, because she was an orphan like me!" he said.)

So as a married teenager with a husband away at war, she went to work in Burbank, California, in a factory, as part of the World War II effort. 

She modeled.  She didn't make enough to pay the rent and keep a car and take classes she needed to develop her talent.  She worked ambitiously to be discovered and to develop that persona that wasn't Norma Jean.  One critique I read of her said something like, "Marilyn only had sex  (i.e. with men who could help her career) so she could WORK."

She may or may not have been murdered or overdosed accidently on pills, and as time goes by the idea that she had affairs with President John F. Kennedy, while he was in office, and maybe also his brother then Attorney General, Robert Kennedy, too becomes more accepted as truth.  (She is called a Mistress of the President.  Wrong.  She was just one of his many affairs.)  She was friends with stars like singer Frank Sinatra and she associated with Mobsters - as in the Mafia. She named a pet dog Maf, as in Mafia.  Her early and mysterious death helped make her an icon, someone who's image is sold and resold over and over again..  Marilyn Monroe became more famous after death than she was while she was living.

But I was wrong that Marilyn Monroe had never been a MISTRESS, a Kept Woman, and now that I know more about that relationship, I see she quit it because she just wasn't the type.

the primary reference for this month

Of all those books I've read, it's this book I'll be excerpting from this month, a book about Marilyn and her relationship before, during, and after marriage with Joe DiMaggio, as we focus on a very early Marilyn Monroe, circa 1949-1950.  Joe was aware he was dating a woman who'd been with lots of men but he was jealous - a bad combination.  Here we find a Marilyn who was loved by her agent, Johnny Hyde, a man who wanted to marry her, and left a long time marriage for her, but she refused.  She lived with him at his home, was supported by him, and he did all he could for her career.  He believed in her. And then he died.

JOHNNY HYDE : The man who kept Marilyn was Vice President of the powerful William Morris Agency. 

He was so short that not-so-tall Marilyn towered over him.
Marilyn's height is also a question but I'd say 5'7.

 FIND A GRAVE - Johnny Hyde - See pics!  His Find-A-Grave profile also has a picture of him dancing with Marilyn. 

Marilyn Monroe, a "sex-goddess" and a more determined actress than she is often credited for, seems to have never found anything close to lasting happiness in any relationship.  Despite her unstable and impoverished upbringing, one not so unlike what many children experience today,  despite her beauty and talent and personality, she became a drug addict - to prescription pills.  In my opinion she was also the victim of psychotherapy and psychiatrists who should have lost their licenses if not gone to jail.  She suffered great pain in her 38 years, probably more than most people could bear, this is true.  Though she and Joe DiMaggio were one of the most famous odd couples ever, it is also my opinion that he may have been the only man who truly loved her - besides Johnny Hyde, though he was also obsessed, wanted to change her to suit him and, once he'd lost her, eventually, tried to be more flexible.  For she had agreed to remarry Joe, as this book presents.  Their wedding day was to be, on that fatal August 18th when she died instead.  Though he is known to have sent roses to mausoleum regularly, soon after her death, when Marilyn was there in place in her crypt and his business with the cemetery was over, he visited there for the last time.


LINK to the OFFICIAL MARILYN MONROE WEB SITE with lots of information including quotes by Marilyn (many of which I suspect she wasn't much invested in.)

*C. David Heymann, the author, passed away in 2012. 

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