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Movie History - Marilyn Monroe

The Blowtorch Blonde (Coronet Magazine, 1952)

This is a six page article about the legendary Marilyn Monroe (né Norma Jeane Mortenson: 1926 – 1962), her painful beginnings, the cheesecake pictures, the bit-parts and her enormous popularity as a movie star are all woven into a narrative that never lets the reader forget that her brand of general appeal hasn't been seen in many years:

"Born in Hollywood and reared as an orphan ward of Los Angeles County, which 'farmed' her out to board in eleven private homes before she was 16; this once-underprivileged, unwanted and unsure child has matured into perhaps one of the most beautiful women of all time..."

••Watch This Documentary About the Life of Marilyn Monroe••

 

Marilyn Monroe Sings (Collier's Magazine, 1954)

"To Marilyn Monroe, currently the nation's favorite daydream, a trophy won is only a prelude to shinier trophies to come. She learned to act and she learned to dance. Now she is learning to sing...'The Monroe' has taken up vocalizing in a big way, and critics are saying her voice is as arresting as her personality".

The attached COLLIER'S article addresses Marilyn Monroe's preparation for her roll as "Vicky", in the musical "There's No Business Like Show Business" (1954), and the numerous tutorials with Hollywood's go-to-guy for musical coaching, Hal Schaefer. She was determined to succeed as a singer, and her sessions with him were both intense and highly productive. Hal Schaefer was a protégé of jazz icon Duke Ellington, and he had worked with her earlier on "Gentleman Prefer Blondes" (1953); she was his willing pupil. In 2010 he remembered those days, when he urged her to "listen to and try to emulate the voice of Ella Fitzgerald".

The attached COLLIER'S article recalls her earlier musical successes, her recording contract with RCA and is illustrated with the seldom seen photographs of the Marilyn Monroe and Hal Schaefer rehearsal sessions.

 

Her Instincts on Men (Screenland Magazine, 1952)

Marilyn Monroe wrote this article as an explanation as to why, in matters of friendship, she always preferred men:

"Bluntly, the fact is I find most men are more open, more generous, and much more stimulating than the majority of females I know... A man is more frank and [sincere] with his emotions than a woman. We girls, I'm afraid, have a tendency to hide our feelings... I find that men are less likely to let petty things annoy them."

Illustrated with seven photos, La Monroe carries-on in a similar vein for three pages declaring her propensity for the genuine and refreshing characteristics of men (except when they talk sports) over the catty natures of women. It is highly likely that if she had a hump-back, bad teeth, and was sporting a goiter on her neck, she may have been otherwise inclined.

 

A Mosaic of Marilyn Monroe (Coronet Magazine, 1961)

The editors of CORONET MAGAZINE approached the five male luminaries who were working alongside Marilyn Monroe during the making of "The Misfits" and asked each of them to comment on "the Monroe character riddle" as he alone had come to view it. These men, John Huston, Eli Wallach, Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift and her (soon to be estranged) husband, Arthur Miller, who had written the script, did indeed have unique insights as to who the actress was and what made her tick. Not surprisingly, the most astute observations came from Miller:

"To understand Marilyn best, you have to see her around children. They love her; her whole approach to life has their kind of simplicity and directness."

 

 
 
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