Marilyn Monroe photographed by Arthur Fellig, 1948.
Marilyn Monroe by Cecil Beaton, 1956
Some Like It Hot
"Why do you love Marilyn Monroe?", I’m always asked. Well, I’ll explain briefly.
Other than the fact that she was a great actress, with excellent comedic timing and a fantastic aura of acting passion, she was also very much flesh and blood.
Marilyn didn’t have a wonderful upbringing. She didn’t know her father, rarely saw her mother (who was mentally ill), grew up in orphanages and foster homes and was married at 16. She had been abused, scared and felt unwanted.
This girl, who was so ashamed of herself mentally and physically after what she had endured as a child still managed to pick herself up and say “no” to the people who tried to stop her from living her dream.
She barely ate just to be able to afford to travel to job opportunities, turned down offers of fame and fortune for the sake of sexual company and worked tirelessly to improve her abilities.
After all of this, she managed to rake in millions for the studio and she was paid no more than $300,000 for a film (The Misfits, 1961) when actresses such as Audrey Hepburn were making $750,000 in the same year(Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961). Despite making hige sums of money for the studio, she was treated with very little dignity or respect. So, she went a made her own production company (Marilyn Monroe Productions) where she had more control and freedom. However, this back fired due to her contract requiring more films from her. But she put on a brave face and made those films which were some of the best films of her career.
Marilyn was so nervous, unsure and anxious about her talent, her personality and her decisions she required people to be around her all the time to make her feel better. She felt she needed guidance to make her feel as if she was wanted and loved.
There is no doubt that Marilyn was a difficult person to work with. She was late and too nervous to act at times causing her to shut herself away and reportedly be rude to cast and crew. However, this Marilyn Monroe outlines the fact that was such a perfectionist in her own work that she would get frustrated and upset if things weren’t to the standards she believed she felt she should deliver.
Why do I love Marilyn Monroe? Because the little girl who came from nothing always tried to reach her highest heights with all the passion inside of her. She was generous and giving but never let people walk over her when it wasn’t on her terms. Sadly, she needed people that were probably no good for her. She was too accepting. These people that seemed to expect so much causing her to lose her confidence, her ability to sleep or to wake up leading her to take medication that she wouldn’t have needed if she had just been able to see how wonderful she was. As an actress, as an outstanding beauty, as a person.
Marilyn at the press conference for Marilyn Monroe Productions in January 1955.
Marilyn waving to her fans in England during a Press Conference at The Savoy Hotel in July 1956.
Marilyn Monroe leaving Lenox Hill Hospital on June 26, 1959, after having had surgery to remedy her chronic endometriosis.