lot n°694: 18-year-old Marilyn Monroe amazing autograph letter signed
18-year-old Marilyn Monroe amazing autograph letter signed - MONROE, MARILYN. Amazing Autograph Letter Signed “Norma Jeane”, Four pages, blue-lined Octavo sheets, dated June 15, 1944. Penned at the top, and stricken-through, is the address “14668 Parthenia St, Van Nuys” (curiously, she never lived at that address). Written to Grace Goddard, Norma Jeane’s legal guardian and ‘mother’ figure during the tumultuous years of her youth. Norma Jeane — just 18 years of age — pens (in full):
I was so happy to hear from you. I was so thrilled to read your letter and learn of all that you have been doing lately. [Grace had recently moved to West Virginia]
I will send you your picture very s[h]ortly now, I’m going down Saturday to find out more about it. Also will send you lots of snapshoots at the same time I send you the picture. I found out that a 10² x 12² (that was the size you wanted wasn’t it?) cost exactly $5.00.
Jimmie has been gone for seven weeks and the first word I received from him was the day before my birthday. He sent a cable night letter by Western Union saying ‘Darling, on you birthday, I send you a whole world of love’. I was simply thrilled to death to hear from him.
I have never really written and told you of Jimmies and my married life together. Of course I know that if it hadn’t been for you we might not have ever been married and I know I owe you a lot for that fact alone, besides countless others. That is why I feel that I should let you know about us. I love Jimmie just more than anyone (in a differn’t way I suppose than anyone) and I know I shall never be happy with anyone else as long as I live, and I know he feels the same towards me. So you see we are really very happy together that is of course, when we can be together. We both miss each other terribly. We will be married two years June 19th. And we really have had quite a happy life together.
I am working 10 hrs. a day at Radioplane Co., at Metropolitain Airport. I am saving almost everything I earn (to help pay for our future home after the war.) The work isn’t easy at all for I am on my feet all day and walking quite a bit.
I was all set to get a Civil Service job with the Army, all my papers filled out and everything set to go, and then I found out I would be working with all Army fellows. I was over there one day, there are just too many wolves to be working with, there are enough of those at Radioplane Co. with out a whole army full of them. The Personal [Personnel] Officer said that he would hire me but that he wouldn’t advice it for my own sake, so I am back at Radioplane Co. & pretty contented.
Well I guess that is about all for now.
With much love,
Summer of 1944 was a fateful time for young Norma Jeane Dougherty. Circa 1943-44, she landed her first job at Radioplane Co. (a defense contractor in Burbank, California), through the influence of her mother-in-law, Ethel. Her husband, Jim, had recently joined the U.S. Merchant Marine and shipped off to war just “seven weeks” previously.
Although she here thanks Grace for the instrumental role she played in organizing and consenting to her marriage, it is known that she later harbored feelings of resentment towards Grace for taking off to West Virginia (in effect, abandoning Norma Jeane), and believed that her “surrogate mother” had arranged the marriage as a convenient way to get rid of her. Despite Norma Jeane gushing over her love for her husband, her marriage was soon to unravel. Just a few months later, Norma Jeane met a man who would vault her to stardom: Army photographer David Conover. Conover had been tasked by his commanding officer (who was, interestingly enough, actor and future President Ronald Reagan) to photograph women factory workers who were helping with the war effort. Making the rounds at Radioplane he was naturally drawn to Norma Jeane, who, along with her stunning beauty and bubbly personality, seemed to have a certain “aura” around the camera.
She soon appeared on the cover of Yank magazine, and the die was cast. Heeding the advice of Conover and Grace, she obtained a divorce from Dougherty (September 13, 1946), and began one of the most famous careers in Hollywood.
A wonderful letter, showing how Norma Jeane viewed her world and her future with Jim Dougherty just two years into their marriage — though her life would soon change forever. Numerous corrections throughout, and page one exhibits original ink-blot. Overall, in excellent condition.
Estimate: $40 000 - $60 000
lot n°719: Marilyn Monroe’s personal annotated
working promptbook-script for The Sleeping Prince
(aka The Prince and the Showgirl) - (Warner Bros., 1957) Clasp-bound in crimson paper covers, and intentionally printed in half-size (5” x 8”) for ease of use on set, especially considering the elaborate costumes required for this drawing-room comedy starring, and co-produced by, Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier. This example is identified on the specially-printed titled front cover as “PERSONAL COPY OF MISS MONROE”. Many pages inside exhibit not only scene and dialogue notes attributed to Monroe’s own hand, but many personal thoughts and observations by her as well, namely “What am I doing here with this man/I can’t believe my eyes, ears/ watch him/’oh no’/this idiot/ Chanel #5/ I just think it’s a joke/ don’t take anyone else’s tone/ affective memory/ heart breaking” plus at least one slightly naughty joke, “like a music box: a tinkle”, among other ‘notes to self’. Accounts from the time agree that Marilyn had more trouble working with Olivier than with any other male lead in her career. At least (31) of this small, character-dialogue promptbook-script’s (68) pages exhibit anywhere from one to numerous notations by Miss Monroe, making this one of the most intensely personal artifacts extant from her professional career. Covers are significantly tattered all around the margins, and front cover, together with first (2) pages, are torn 2/3 down from top near spine, else intact and complete as originally issued.
Estimate: $30 000 - $50 000
lot n°723: Marilyn Monroe signed check to her housekeeper, Eunice Murray
Personal check signed, 3 in. x 8 ¼ in., dated July 10, 1962 and drawn from Marilyn Monroe’s account paying her housekeeper Eunice Murray $100.00. Signed “Marilyn Monroe” in blue ink. Cancellation stamps on recto and verso and bearing Murray’s endorsement signature on the verso. Murray was Monroe’s housekeeper during the last years of her life and accompanied Monroe during her trip to Mexico in February, 1962. Eunice Murray was staying with Monroe the night of the star’s death and reportedly called Monroe’s psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Greenson, upon discovering the body the night of August 5, 1962. This check was signed just three weeks prior to Monroe’s death and amazingly stamped “PAID” on August 7, two days after she died. A wonderful association.
Estimate: $1 500 - $2 500
lot n°724: Joe DiMaggio autograph postcard signed to Marilyn Monroe
Autograph Postcard Signed, “Joe,” to “Dearest Marilyn” from Copenhagen, Denmark and postmarked May 20, 1962. DiMaggio pens, “Dearest Marilyn, Have a short stop over here at Copenhagen enroute for the ‘long underwear country.’ Should be there in about three hours. Spent nine days here in 1958. Wonderful country. The famous Tivoli park was one of my favorite places. Love, Joe.” Addressed in DiMaggio’s hand to “Miss Marilyn Monroe, 12305 Fifth Helena Dr., Los Angeles 49, California, USA.” In February, 1961, Monroe was admitted to the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic where she contacted DiMaggio. He secured her release and she spent some time with him in Florida where the couple reconciled. Accompanied by a printed photograph of the couple on their wedding day
Estimate: $4 000 - $6 000
lot n°737: Marilyn Monroe invitation to JFK birthday celebration with call sheet from her personal property
From the Christie’s 1999 sale of the personal property of Marilyn Monroe, three items for one event which document one of the most significant personal moments for her. In chronological sequence, the first is the personal invitation from “New York’s Birthday Salute to the President” requesting her presence at Madison Square Garden on May 19, 1962 to celebrate President John F. Kennedy’s birthday gala party; the second is a 2pp mimeo call-sheet for the evening’s order of events, detailing Marilyn’s appearance at #35, “Marilyn Monroe and Stars”, which an unknown hand has doodled what might be a stage, and written in red grease pencil, with corrections in graphite, “Who do you have to be to ask- Who do you have to be to be disappointment-“ ; the last is the official illustrated program for the birthday event with iconic portrait of Kennedy on cover, with red, white and blue patriotic design. All three items were the personal examples in Marilyn Monroe’s possession during the time of this historic event, for which she performed an extraordinarily sexy, breathy rendition of “Happy Birthday”to the President (even calling in sick to work at Fox in order to do so), and each shows extra folds and slight handling by her, presumably to secure inside a purse that night. Kennedy remarked on stage that he could retire from politics after such a performance; Peter Lawford introduced her as “the late Marilyn Monroe”, and sadly she would be gone to a mysterious death in just over two months.
Provenance: Christie’s Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe, Lot 54, October 27-28, 1999 and sold for $129,000.
Estimate: $40 000 - $60 000