23 février 2017

Saturday Evening Post, 1956/05/12

Saturday Evening Post
- The New Marilyn Monroe - Part 2


pays magazine: USA
paru le 12 mai 1956
article: 2ème partie "The New Marilyn Monroe"
en ligne sur saturdayeveningpost.com


Part Two: Here She Talks About Herself
By Pete Martin
Originally published on May 12, 1956
Marilyn explains how Freud helped cure her inferiority complex and tells why she posed for that famous nude calendar.

The “new Marilyn” and Don Murray, male lead
in her next picture, Bus Stop. (Gene Lester, © SEPS)

“That nude calendar Marilyn Monroe posed for will probably be reprinted as long as we have men with twenty-twenty vision in this country,” Flack Jones told me. Jones had put in several years as a publicity worker at Marilyn Monroe’s Hollywood studio before opening his own public-relations office. “Curious thing about it,” Jones went on, “when that calendar first came out, it had no bigger sale than any other nude calendar.

“You may not know it, but there’s a steady sale for such calendars. You might think that there are too few places where you can hang them up to make them worthwhile. But there’re lots of places where they fit in very nicely — truckers’ havens, barbershops, bowling alleys, poolrooms, washrooms, garages, toolshops, taprooms, taverns — joints like that. The calendar people always publish a certain number of nude calendars along with standards like changing autumn leaves, Cape Cod fishermen bringing home their catch from a wintry sea, Old Baldy covered with snow. You’re not in the calendar business unless you have a selection of sexy calendars. The sale of the one for which Marilyn posed was satisfactory, but not outstanding. It only became a ‘hot number’ when the public became familiar with it.”

Billy Wilder, the Hollywood director who directed Marilyn in The Seven Year Itch, is witty, also pungent, pithy, and is not afraid to say what he thinks. “When you come right down to it,” Wilder told me, “that calendar is not repulsive. It’s quite lovely. Marilyn’s name was already pretty big when the calendar story broke. If it hadn’t been, nobody would have cared one way or the other. But when it became known that she had posed for it, I think that, if anything, it helped her popularity. It appealed to people who like to read about millionaires who started life selling newspapers on the corner of Forty-second and Fifth Avenue; then worked their way up. It was as if Marilyn had been working her way through college, for that pose took hours. Here was a girl who needed dough, and she made it by honest toil.”

“I was working on the Fox Western Avenue lot when this worried man from Fox came tearing in wringing his hands,” Marilyn told me recently. “He took me into my dressing room to talk about the horrible thing I’d done in posing for such a photograph. I could think of nothing else to say, so I said apologetically, ‘I thought the lighting the photographer used would disguise me.’ I thought that worried man would have a stroke when I told him that.

“What had happened was I was behind in my rent at the Hollywood Studio Club, where girls stay who hope to crash the movies. You’re only supposed to get one week behind in your rent at the club, but they must have felt sorry for me because they’d given me three warnings. A lot of photographers had asked me to pose in the nude, but I’d always said, ‘No.’ I was getting five dollars an hour for plain modeling, but the price for nude modeling was fifty an hour. So I called Tom Kelley, a photographer I knew, and said, ‘They’re kicking me out of here. How soon can we do it?’ He said, ‘We can do it tomorrow.’

“I didn’t even have to get dressed, so it didn’t take long. I mean it takes longer to get dressed than it does to get undressed. I’d asked Tom, ‘Please don’t have anyone else there except your wife, Natalie.’ He said, ‘O.K.’ He only made two poses. There was a shot of me sitting up and a shot of me lying down. I think the one of me lying down is the best.

“I’m saving a copy of that calendar for my grandchildren,” Marilyn went on, all bright-eyed. “There’s a place in Los Angeles which even reproduces it on bras and panties. But I’ve only autographed a few copies of it, mostly for sick people. On one I wrote, ‘This may not be my best angle,’ and on the other I wrote, ‘Do you like me better with long hair?”

I said to Marilyn that Roy Craft, who is one of the publicity men at Fox, had told me that he had worked with her for five years, and that in all that time he’d never heard her tell a lie. “That’s a mighty fine record for any community,” I said.

“It may be a fine record,” she admitted, “but it has also gotten me into trouble. Telling the truth, I mean. Then, when I get into trouble by being too direct and I try to pull back, people think I’m being coy. I’m supposed to have said that I dislike being interviewed by women reporters, but that it’s different with gentlemen of the press because we have a mutual appreciation of being male and female. I didn’t say I disliked women reporters. As dumb as I am, I wouldn’t be that dumb, although that in itself is kind of a mysterious remark because people don’t really know how dumb I am. But I really do prefer men reporters. They’re more stimulating.”

I asked Flack Jones in Hollywood, “When did this business of her making those wonderful Monroe cracks start?”

“You mean when somebody asked her what she wears in bed and she said, ‘Chanel Number Five’?” Jones asked. “You will find some who will tell you that her humor content seemed to pick up the moment she signed a contract with the studio, and that anybody in the department who had a smart crack lying around handy gave it to her. Actually, there were those who thought that more than the department was behind it. ‘Once you launch such a campaign,’ they said, ‘it stays launched. It’s like anyone who has a smart crack to unleash attributing it to a Georgie Jessel or to a Dorothy Parker or whoever is currently smart and funny.’ There was even a theory that the public contributed some of Marilyn’s cracks by writing or calling a columnist like Sidney Skolsky or Herb Stein, and giving him a gag, and he’d attribute it to Marilyn, and so on around town. But the majority of the thinking was that our publicity department gave her her best cracks.”

“Like what?” I asked.

“Like for instance. I’ll have to lead up to it; as you know, in this business you can be destroyed by one bad story — although that’s not as true as it used to be — and when the story broke that Marilyn had posed in the nude for a calendar and the studio decided that the best thing to do was to announce the facts immediately instead of trying to pretend they didn’t exist, we said that Marilyn was broke at the time and that she’d posed to pay her room rent, which was true. Then, to give it the light touch, when she was asked, ‘Didn’t you have anything on at all when you were posing for that picture?’ we were supposed to have told her to say, ‘I had the radio on.’”

Flack Jones paused for a long moment. “I’m sorry to disagree with the majority,” he said firmly, “but she makes up those cracks herself. Certainly that ‘Chanel Number Five’ was her own.”

When I told Marilyn about this, she smiled happily. “He’s right. It was my own,” she said. “The other one — the calendar crack — I made when I was up in Canada. A woman came up to me and asked, ‘You mean to say you didn’t have anything on when you had that calendar picture taken?’ I drew myself up and told her, ‘I did, too, have something on. I had the radio on.’”

“Give her a minute to think and Marilyn is the greatest little old ad-lib artist you ever saw,” Flack Jones had insisted. “She blows it in sweet and it comes out that way. One news magazine carried a whole column of her quotes I’d collected, and every one of them was her own. There’ve been times when I could have made face in this industry by claiming that I put some of those cracks into her mouth, but I didn’t do it. This girl makes her own quotables. She’ll duck a guy who wants to interview her as long as she can, but when she finally gets around to it, she concentrates on trying to give him what he wants — something intriguing, amusing and off-beat. She’s very bright at it.

“A writer was commissioned to write a story for her for a magazine,” Jones said. “The subject was to be what Marilyn eats and how she dresses. As I recall it, the title was to be ‘How I Keep My Figure,’ or maybe it was ‘How I Keep in Shape.’ The writer talked to Marilyn; then ghosted the article. He wrote it very much the way she’d told it to him, but he had to pad it out a little because he hadn’t had too much time with her. As a result, in one section of his article he had her saying that she didn’t like to get out in the sun and pick up a heavy tan because a heavy tan loused up her wardrobe by confusing the colors of her dresses and switching around what they did for her.

“The article read good to me, and took it over to Marilyn for her corrections and approval. Most of the stuff was the routine thing about diet, but when she came to the part about ‘I don’t like suntan because it confuses the coloring of my wardrobe,’ she scratched it out. I asked her, ‘What’s the matter?’

“‘That’s ridiculous,’ she said. ‘Having a suntan doesn’t have anything to do with my wardrobe.’ I said, ‘You’ve got to say something, Marilyn. After all, the guy’s article is pretty short as it is.’ She thought for a minute; then wrote, ‘I do not suntan because I like to feel blonde all over.’ I saw her write that with her own hot little pencil.

“The magazine which printed that story thought her addition so great that they picked it out and made it a subtitle. She’d managed to transpose an ordinary paragraph about wardrobe colors into a highly exciting, beautiful, sexy mental image. Some guys have said to me, ‘Why, that dumb little broad couldn’t have thought that up. You thought it up, Jones.’ I wish I could say, ‘Yeah, I did,’ but I didn’t. Feeling blonde all over is a state of mind,” he said musingly. “I should think it would be a wonderful state of mind if you’re a girl.

“One reason why she’s such a good interview,” Flack Jones went on, “is that she uses her head during such sessions. She tries to say something that’s amusing and quotable, and she usually does. When I worked with Marilyn I made it a practice to introduce her to a writer and go away and leave her alone, on the grounds that a couple of grown people don’t need a press agent tugging at their sleeves while they get acquainted. So if her interviews have been any good, it’s her doing.”

“One day she gave a tape interview and it was all strictly ad-lib,” he said. “I know, because I had a hard time setting it up. It was for a man who was doing one of those fifteen-minute radio interviews here in Hollywood, to be broadcast afterward across the country. We had a frantic time trying to get him the time with her, but finally he got his recorder plugged in, and the first question he pitched her was a curve. He wanted to know what she thought of the Stanislavsky school of dramatic art or whatever. Believe it or not, old Marilyn unloaded on him with a twelve-minute dissertation on Stanislavsky that rocked him back on his heels.”

“Does she believe in the Stanislavsky method?” I asked.

“She agreed with Stanislavsky on certain points,” Jones said. “And she disagreed on others, and she explained why. It was one of the most enlightening discussions on the subject I’ve ever heard. It came over the radio a couple of nights later, and everybody who listened said, ‘Oh, yeah? Some press agent wrote that interview for her.’ My answer to that was, ‘What press agent knows that much about Stanislavsky?’ I don’t.”

In the course of my research, before interviewing Marilyn, I’d discovered that Billy Wilder agreed with Jones. “I think that she thinks up those funny things for herself,” he said. Wilder’s Austrian background gives his phrases an offbeat rhythm, but because of its very differentness, his way of talking picks up flavor and extra meaning.

“I think also that she says those funny things without realizing that they’re so funny,” Wilder said. “One very funny thing she said involves the fact that she has great difficulties in remembering her lines. Tremendous difficulties. I’ve heard of one director who wrote her lines on a blackboard and kept that blackboard just out of camera range. The odd thing is that if she has a long scene for which she has to remember a lot of words, she’s fine once she gets past the second word. If she gets over that one little hump, there’s no trouble. Then, too, if you start a scene and say, ‘Action!’ and hers is the first line, it takes her ten or fifteen seconds to gather herself. Nothing happens during those fifteen seconds. It seems a very long time.”

“How about an example of when she’s bogged down on a second word,” I asked.

“For instance, if she had to say, ‘Good morning, Mr. Sherman,”’ Wilder told me, “she couldn’t get out the word ‘morning.’ She’d say, ‘Good …’ and stick. Once she got ‘morning’ out, she’d be good for two pages of dialogue. It’s just that sometimes she trips over mental stumbling blocks at the beginning of a scene.

“Another director should be telling you this story, not me,” Wilder said. “This other director was directing her in a scene in a movie, and she couldn’t get the lines out. It was just muff, muff, muff, and take, take, take. Finally, after Take Thirty-two, he took her to one side, patted her on the head, and said, ‘Don’t worry, Marilyn, honey. It’ll be all right.’ She looked up into his face with those big wide eyes of hers and asked, ‘Worry about what?’ She seemed to have no idea that thirty-two takes is a lot of takes.”

When I sat down to talk to Marilyn, I said, “I’ve tried to trace those famous remarks attributed to you and find out who originated them.”

“They are mine,” Marilyn told me. “Take that Chanel Number Five one. Somebody was always asking me, ‘What do you sleep in, Marilyn? Do you sleep in P.J.’s? Do you sleep in a nightie? Do you sleep raw, Marilyn?’ It’s one of those questions which make you wonder how to answer them. Then I remembered that the truth is the easiest way out, so I said, ‘I sleep in Chanel Number Five,’ because I do. Or you take the columnist, Earl Wilson, when he asked me if I have a bedroom voice. I said, ‘I don’t talk in the bedroom, Earl.’ Then, thinking back over that remark, I thought maybe I ought to say something else to clarify it, so I added, ‘because I live alone.’”

The phone rang in her apartment, and she took a call from one of the hand-picked few to whom she’d given her privately listed number. While she talked I thought back upon a thing Flack Jones had said to me thoughtfully, “I’m no psychiatrist or psychologist, but I think that Marilyn has a tremendous inferiority complex. I think she’s scared to death all the time. I know she needs and requires attention and that she needs and requires somebody to tell her she’s doing well. And she’s extremely grateful for a pat on the back.”

“Name me a patter,” I said.

“For example,” he said, “when we put her under contract for the second time, her best friend and encourager was the agent, Johnny Hyde, who was then with the William Morris Agency, although he subsequently died of a heart attack. Johnny was a little guy, but he was Marilyn’s good friend, and, in spite of his lack of size, I think that she had a father fixation on him.

“I don’t want to get involved in the psychology of all this,” Flack Jones continued, “because it was a very complicated problem, of which I have only a layman’s view, but I honestly think that Marilyn’s the most complicated woman I’ve ever known. Her complexes are so complex that she has complexes about complexes. That, I think, is one reason why she’s always leaning on weird little people who attach themselves to her like remoras, and why she lets herself be guided by them. A remora is a sucker fish which attaches itself to a bigger fish and eats the dribblings which fall from the bigger fish’s mouth. After she became prominent, a lot of these little people latched onto Marilyn. They told her that Hollywood was a great, greedy ogre who was exploiting her and holding back her artistic progress.”

I said that the way I’d heard it, those hangers-on seemed to come and go, and that her trail was strewn with those from whom she had detached herself. I’d been told that the routine was for her to go down one day to the corner for the mail or a bottle of milk and not come back; not even wave good-by.

“But she has complete confidence in these little odd balls, both men and women, who latch onto her, while they’re latched,” Jones said. “I’m sure their basic appeal to her has always been in telling her that somebody is taking advantage of her, and in some cases they’ve been right. This has nothing to do with your story, but it does have something to do with my observation that she’s frightened and insecure, and she’ll listen to anybody who can get her ear.”

“Johnny Hyde was no remora,” I said.

“Johnny was a switch on the usual pattern,” Jones agreed. “He was devoted to her. He could and did do things for her. I happened to know that Johnny wanted to marry her and Marilyn wouldn’t do it. She told me, ‘I like him very much, but I don’t love him enough to marry him.’ A lot of girls would have married him, for Johnny was not only attractive, he was wealthy, and when he died Marilyn would have inherited scads of money, but while you may not believe it, she’s never cared about money as money. It’s only a symbol to her.”

“A symbol of what?” I asked.

“It’s my guess that to her it’s a symbol of success. By the same token I think that people have talked so much to her about not getting what she ought to get that a lack of large quantities of it has also become a symbol of oppression in her mind. If I sound contradictory, that’s the way it is.”

When Marilyn had completed her phone call, I put it up to her, “I guess you’ve heard it argued back and forth as to whether you are a complicated person or a very simple person, even a naive person,” I said. “Which do you think is right?”

“I think I’m a mixture of simplicity and complexes,” she told me. “But I’m beginning to understand myself now. I can face myself more, you might say. I’ve spent most of my life running away from myself.”

It didn’t sound very clear to me, but I pursued the subject further. “For example,” I asked, “do you have an inferiority complex? Are you beset by fears? Do you need someone to tell you that you’re doing well all the time?”

“I don’t feel as hopeless as I did,” she said. “I don’t know why it is. I’ve read a little of Freud and it might have to do with what he said. I think he was on the right track.” I gave up. I never found out what portions of Freud she referred to or what “right track” he was on.

“What happened in 1952, when the studio sent you to Atlantic City to be grand marshal of the annual beauty pageant?” I asked Marilyn instead. “Did you mind going?”

She smiled. “It was all right with me,” she said. “At the time I wanted to come to New York anyhow. There was somebody I wanted to see here. This was why it was hard for me to be on time leaving New York for Atlantic City for that date. I missed the train and the studio chartered a plane for me, but it didn’t set the studio back as much as they let on. They could afford it.”

Flack Jones had told me that story too. “They’d arranged a big reception for Marilyn at Atlantic City,” he said. “There was a band to meet her at the train, and the mayor was to be on hand. Marilyn and the flacks who were running interference for her were to arrive on a Pennsylvania Railroad train at a certain hour, but, as usual, Marilyn was late, and when they got to the Pennsylvania Station the train had pulled out. So there they were, in New York, with a band and the mayor waiting in Atlantic City. Charlie Einfeld, a Fox vice-president — and Charlie can operate mighty fast when he has to — got on the phone and chartered an air liner — the only one available for charter was a forty-six-seat job; it was an Eastern Air Lines plane as I recall it — and they all went screaming across town in a limousine headed for Idlewild.

“The studio’s magazine man in New York, Marilyn and a flack from out here on the Coast boarded the plane and took off for Atlantic City,” Flack Jones said. “Bob and the Coast flack were so embarrassed at missing the train, and the plane was such a costly substitute that they were sweating like pigs. On this big air liner there was a steward aboard — they’d shanghaied a steward in a hurry from some place to serve coffee — but all of this didn’t bother Marilyn at all. She tucked herself into a seat back in the tail section, hummed softly; then fell fast asleep and slept all the way. The other two sat up front with the steward, drinking quarts of coffee because that was what he was being paid to serve. They drank an awful lot of coffee.”

Flack Jones said that Marilyn and her outriders were met at the Atlantic City airport by a sheriff’s car and that they were only three minutes late for the reception for Marilyn on the boardwalk. There she was given an enormous bouquet of flowers, and she perched on the folded-down top of a convertible, to roll down the boardwalk with a press of people following her car.

“She sat up there like Lindbergh riding down Broadway on his return from Paris,” Flack Jones said. “The people and the cops and the beauty-carnival press agents followed behind like slaves tied to her chariot wheels. That is, she managed to move a little every once in a while when the crowd could be persuaded to back away. Then Marilyn would pitch a rose at the crowd and it would set them off again, and there’d be another riot. This sort of thing went on — with variations — for several days. It was frantic.

1956-05-12-SEP-pic1  “But,” Flack Jones explained, “there was one publicity thing which broke which wasn’t intended to break. It was typical of the way things happen to Marilyn without anybody devising them. When each potential Miss America from a different part of the country lined up to register, a photograph of Marilyn greet- ing her was taken. Those pictures were serviced back to the local papers and eventually a shot of Miss Colorado with Marilyn wound up in a Denver paper; and a shot of Miss California and Marilyn in the Los Angeles and San Francisco papers, and so forth.”

For a moment Flack Jones collected his thoughts in orderly array; then went on, “Pretty soon in came an Army public-information officer with four young ladies from the Pentagon. There was a WAF and a WAC and a lady Marine and a WAVE. The thought was that it would be nice to get a shot of Marilyn with ‘the four real Miss Americas’ who were serving their country, so they were lined up. It was to be just another of the routine, catalogue shots we’d taken all day long, but Marilyn was wearing a low-cut dress which showed quite a bit of cleavage — quite a bit of cleavage. That would have been all right, since the dress was designed for eye level, but one of the photographers climbed up on a chair to shoot the picture.”

The way Marilyn described this scene to me was this: “I had met the girls from each state and had shaken hands with them,” she said. “Then this Army man got the idea of aiming his camera down my neck while I posed with the service girls. It wasn’t my idea for the photographer to get up on a chair.”

“Nobody thought anything of it at the time,” Jones had told me, “and those around Marilyn went on with the business of their workaday world. In due course the United Press — among others — serviced that shot. Actually it was a pretty dull picture because, to the casual glance, it just showed five gals lined up looking at the camera.”

Jones said that when the shot of the four service women and Marilyn went out across the country by wirephoto, editors took one look at it and dropped it into the nearest wastebasket because they had had much better art from Atlantic City.

“That night the Army PIO officer drifted back to the improvised press headquarters set up for the Miss America contest,” Flack Jones said. “He took one look and sent out a wire ordering that the picture be stopped.”

“On what grounds?” I asked.

“On grounds that that photograph showed too much meat and potatoes, and before he’d left the Pentagon he’d been told not to have any cheesecake shots taken in connection with the girls in his charge. Obviously what was meant by those instructions was that he shouldn’t have those service girls sitting on the boardwalk railings showing their legs or assuming other undignified poses. There was nothing in that PIO officer’s instructions which gave him the right to censor Marilyn’s garb, but he ordered that picture killed anyhow.”

According to Jones, every editor who had junked that picture immediately reached down into his wastebasket, drew it out and gave it a big play. “In Los Angeles it ran seven columns,” he said, “and it got a featured position in the Herald Express and the New York Daily News. All the way across country it became a celebrated picture, and all because the Army had ‘killed’ it.”

He was silent for a moment; then he said, “Those who were with her told me afterward that it had been a murderous day, as any day is when you’re with Marilyn on a junket,” he went on. “The demands on her and on those with her are simply unbelievable. But finally she hit the sack about midnight because she had to get up the next day for other activities. The rest of her crowd had turned in too, when they got a call from the U.P. in New York, asking them for a statement from Marilyn about ‘that picture.’”

“‘What picture?’ our publicist-guardian asked, and it was then that they got the story. They hated to do it, but they rousted Marilyn out of bed. She thought it over for a while; then issued a statement apologizing for any possible reflection on the service girls, and making it plain that she hadn’t meant it that way. She ended with a genuine Monroeism. ‘I wasn’t aware of any objectionable décolletage on my part. I’d noticed people looking at me all day, but I thought they were looking at my grand marshal’s badge.’ This was widely quoted, and it had the effect of giving the whole thing a lighter touch. The point is this: a lot of things happen when Marilyn is around.” He shook his head. “Yes, sir,” he said. “A lot of things.

“Another example of the impact she packs: when she went back to New York on the Seven Year Itch location,” Jones went on. “All of a sudden New York was a whistle stop, with the folks all down to see the daily train come in. When Marilyn reached LaGuardia, everything stopped out there. One columnist said that the Russians could have buzzed the field at five hundred feet and nobody would have looked up. There has seldom been such a heavy concentration of newsreel cameramen anywhere. From then on in, during the ten days of her stay, one excitement followed another. She was on the front page of the Herald Tribune, with art, five days running, which I’m told set some sort of a local record.

“In the case of The Itch, there was a contractual restriction situation,” Flack Jones said. “The studio’s contract called for the picture’s release to be held up until after the Broadway run of the play. When Marilyn went back to New York for the location shots for Itch, the play version was still doing a fair business, but it was approaching the end of its long run. If you bought a seat, the house was only half full. Then Marilyn arrived in New York and shot off publicity sparks and suddenly The Itch had S.R.O. signs out again. The result was that it seemed it was never going to stop its stage run; so, after finishing the picture, Fox had to pay out an additional hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars to the owners of the stage property for the privilege of releasing their movie.

“Things reached a new high — and no joke intended,” Flack Jones went on, “when Billy Wilder shot the scene where her skirts were swept up around her shoulders by a draft from a subway ventilator grating. That really set the publicity afire again, and shortly after that The Itch location company blew town while they were ahead. The unit production manager had picked the Trans-Lux Theater on Lexington Avenue for the skirt-blowing scene. He’d been down there at two o’clock in the morning to case the spot; he’d reported happily, ‘The street was fully deserted,’ and he’d made a deal with the Trans-Lux people for getting the scene shot there because there was nobody on the street at that hour.

“It seemed certain that Billy Wilder would have all the room in the world to work, and he had left word that nobody was to know what location he’d selected, because he didn’t want crowds. But word leaked out. It was on radio and TV and in the papers, so instead of secrecy you might almost say that the public was being urged to be at Lexington Avenue on a given night to Marilyn’s skirts blow. Instead of having a nice, quiet side street in which to work, Wilder had all the people you can pack on a street. Finally the cops roped off the sidewalk on the opposite side to restrain the public, and they erected a barricade close to the movie camera. But that wasn’t good enough, and they had to call out a whole bunch of special cops.”

Flack Jones said that when Wilder was ready to shoot, there were 200 or 300 photographers, professional and amateur, swarming over the place. Then Marilyn made her entrance from inside the theater out onto the sidewalk, and when she appeared the hordes really got out of control and there was chaos. Finally Wilder announced that he’d enter into a gentleman’s agreement. If the press would retire behind the barricades, and if the real working photographers would help control the amateurs, he would shoot the scene of Marilyn and Tom Ewell standing over the subway grating; then he’d move the movie camera back and the amateur shutter hounds could pop away at Marilyn until they were satisfied.

“So the New York press took care of the amateurs and made them quit popping their flashbulbs,” Flack Jones said. “Wilder got the scene and the volunteer snapshooters got their pictures. Everybody was there. Winchell came over with DiMaggio, who showed a proper husbandly disapproval of the proceedings. I myself couldn’t see why Joe had any right to disapprove. After all, when he married the girl her figure was already highly publicized, and it seemed odd if he had suddenly decided that she should be seen only in Mother Hubbards.”

I asked Marilyn herself if she thought that Joe had disapproved of her skirts blowing around her shoulders in that scene. I said I had heard his reaction described in two ways: that he had been furious and that he had taken it calmly.

“One of those two is correct,” Marilyn said. “Maybe you can figure it out for yourself if you’ll give it a little thought.”

Something told me that, in her opinion, Joe had been very annoyed indeed. And while we were on the subject of Joe, it seemed a good time to find out about how things had been between them when they had been married, and the unbelievable scene which accompanied the breaking up of that marriage. “Not in his wildest dreams could a press agent imagine a series of events like that,” Flack Jones had told me.

When I brought the subject up, Marilyn said, “For a man and a wife to live intimately together is not an easy thing at best. If it’s not just exactly right in every way it’s practically impossible, but I’m still optimistic.” She sat there being optimistic. Then she said, with feeling, “However, I think TV sets should be taken out of the bedroom.”

“Did you and Joe have one in your bedroom?” I asked.

“No comment,” she said emphatically. “But everything I say to you I speak from experience. You can make what you want of that.”

She was quiet for a moment; then she said, “When I showed up in divorce court to get my divorce from Joe, there were mobs of people there asking me bunches of questions. And they asked, ‘Are you and Joe still friends?’ and I said, ‘Yes, but I still don’t know anything about baseball.’ And they all laughed. I don’t see what was so funny. I’d heard that he was a fine baseball player, but I’d never seen him play.”

“As I said, the final scenes of All-American Boy loses Snow White were unbelievable,” Flack Jones told me. “Joe and Marilyn rented a house on Palm Drive, in Beverly Hills, and we had a unique situation there with the embattled ex-lovebirds both cooped in the same cage. Marilyn was living on the second floor and Joe was camping on the first floor. When Joe walked out of that first floor, it was like the heart-tearing business of a pitcher taking the long walk from the mound to the dugout after being jerked from the game in a World Series.”

© All images are copyright and protected by their respective owners, assignees or others.
copyright text by Saturday Evening Post.





10 juillet 2016

45 things you didn't know about Marilyn Monroe


 45 things you didn't know about Marilyn Monroe
published on June, 1st, 2016
by Horatia Harrod - online Telegraph

Norma Jeane Mortenson - better known as Marilyn Monroe 

1. Marilyn was relatively poorly paid. Jane Russell was paid around 10 times as much as Marilyn when they co-starred in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Her salary for her final unfinished film, Something’s Got to Give, was $100,000. Compare that with Elizabeth Taylor, who was getting a million dollars for Cleopatra; or even Marilyn’s co-star in the film, Dean Martin, who was on $500,000. Today, her estate makes around five million dollars a year.

2. But she died having become a million-dollar movie star. In 1962 she was fired by Twentieth-Century Fox from the production of Something’s Got to Give because of her chronic lateness and no-shows (she didn’t appear for the first two weeks of filming). But on August 1, four days before her death, she was rehired by Fox on a $1million, two-picture deal.

3. She found it almost impossible to learn lines, and took 60 takes to deliver the line “It’s me, Sugar”, in Some Like it Hot.

4. She was Playboy’s first Sweetheart (later Playmate) of the Month, in 1953. Marilyn had been paid $50 to model for the picture in 1949; Hugh Hefner bought it for $500.

5. Several of the burial vaults near to Marilyn’s have been put on sale. When Elsie Poncher, the widow of the man in the vault above Marilyn’s, put his space up for sale on eBay, she received dozens of bids, including one for £2.8million.

6. Hugh Hefner owns the burial vault next to Marilyn at the Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles. He bought it in 1992 for £50,000.

Marilyn Monroe on the cover of the first issue of 'Playboy'

7. She went by many names. On her birth certificate she is Norma Jeane Mortenson; she was baptised Norma Jeane Baker; she modelled under the names Jean Norman and Mona Monroe; her initial idea for a screen name was Jean Adair; she signed into hotels as Zelda Zonk and into a psychiatric clinic as Faye Miller. She only legally changed her name to Marilyn Monroe in March 1956, when she was already a star.

8. She was placed with 11 sets of foster parents after her mother, Gladys, was institutionalised. She also spent almost a year in the Children’s Aid Society Orphanage in Los Angeles.

9. Goya was her favourite artist: “I know this man very well, we have the same dreams, I have had the same dreams since I was a child.”

Marilyn Monroe poses over the updraft of a New York subway grating
during a photo session to promote the film The Seven Year Itch in September 1954
Credit: Matty Zimmerman 

10. Marilyn became a Christian Scientist at the age of 18; later in her life she dabbled in alternative spiritualities, including Anthroposophy, the philosophy espoused by Rudolf Steiner. She converted to Judaism before her 1956 marriage to Arthur Miller.

11. Her weight went up and down so dramatically during the filming of The Prince and the Showgirl that the costume designer, Beatrice Dawson, had to create facsimile dresses in different sizes. “I have two ulcers from this film,” she said, “and they’re both monogrammed MM.”

12. She was rarely without an acting coach. Her first, Natasha Lytess, worked with her for six years and 22 films, clashing with directors, whose authority she challenged, and studio heads, who paid her bills. (Marilyn also paid her a wage – and settled her £11,000 debt at the dentist.)
Later, Paula Strasberg took Lytess’s role; unlike Lytess, who tried to direct Marilyn’s every movement from behind the camera, Strasberg was consulted between takes. To coach Marilyn in The Prince and the Showgirl, she was paid $25,000 – as much as some of the featured actors were getting.

Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl

13. For 20 years after Marilyn’s death, Joe DiMaggio arranged to have roses sent to her crypt three times a week.

14. In January 2011, Authentic Brand Groups bought the licensing rights to the Marilyn Monroe estate, for a price in the range of $30million. “On the media and entertainment side,” said the company’s chief executive, Jamie Salter, “I think she’s got a career in front of her, just based on technology.

15. At the 1999 auction of Marilyn’s effects, her white baby grand piano was bought by Mariah Carey, the singer, for $662,500. (The estimate had been $10,000-$15,000.) The piano had been bought by Marilyn’s mother, and sold after she had her breakdown, but Marilyn eventually found it and bought it back, keeping it with her until her death.

16. There was an open casket at her funeral. She wore an apple green Pucci sheath dress made of nylon jersey and a platinum wig (her head had been partially shaved during the autopsy).

17. She was thought to have been planning to remarry Joe DiMaggio at the time of her death. After the failure of their marriage, DiMaggio had undergone therapy, stopped drinking alcohol and expanded his interests beyond baseball: he and Marilyn read poetry together in these later years.

Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio Credit: Reuters 

18. Marilyn’s beaded Jean Louis gown, worn when she sang Happy Birthday to President Kennedy, was sold in 1999 for £820,000. At the time it was the record price for a single item of clothing, until Marilyn’s billowing white Seven Year Itch dress was put up for sale by Debbie Reynolds in 2011, where it made £2.8 million.

19. Marilyn owned many dogs during her life; her last was a Maltese terrier given to her by Frank Sinatra, which she named Maf (short for Mafia Honey). At the Christie’s sale in 1999, two Polaroids of Maf sold for £220,000.

20. Marilyn left 75 per cent of her estate to the Strasbergs; eventually this fell to Anna Strasberg, Lee Strasberg’s third wife. She vetoes the use of all images in which Marilyn wears fur, citing Marilyn’s love of animals as a reason.

21. The Anna Freud Centre, a child therapy clinic in Hampstead, north London, owns the remaining 25 per cent of Marilyn Monroe’s estate. The centre was left its share by Dr Marianne Kris, one of Marilyn’s therapists, and the original beneficiary of her will.

22. Before her marriages to Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller, Marilyn was married to James Dougherty. She was 16 when they tied the knot. Dougherty, who later became a detective in the LAPD, was forbidden by his second wife from going to see any of Marilyn’s films.

 Marilyn Monroe with her first husband, James Dougherty Credit: EPA

23. Marilyn whitened her skin with hormone cream, one side effect of which was to encourage the growth of blonde down on her face; Marilyn would not remove this peach fuzz, believing that it gave her face a soft glow on camera.

24. She was never nominated for an Academy Award, but she was voted the “Oomph Girl” at Emerson Junior High in 1941; crowned Castroville’s first Artichoke Queen in 1948; and was Stars and Stripes magazine’s Miss Cheesecake of 1950.

25. She was named “The Most Advertised Girl in the World” by the Advertising Association of the West in 1953. Among the brands she represented were American Airlines, Kyron Way Diet Pills, Pabst Beer, Tan-Tan Suntan Lotion and Royal Triton Oil.

26. In 1950, Johnny Hyde, her agent, paid for her to have two plastic surgeries: a tip rhinoplasty (reshaping the soft cartilage at the end of her nose); and a chin implant.

27. She was an early devotee of yoga, and was taught by Indra Devi, a Swedish-Russian Bollywood film star who also taught Greta Garbo and Gloria Swanson.

28. Marilyn’s intervention got Ella Fitzgerald her first major engagement at a Los Angeles nightclub. In 1955 the colour bar was still in force, but Marilyn convinced the management to let Fitzgerald play by promising to sit in the front row for a week.

29. Marilyn was only the second woman to head her own production company (Mary Pickford was the first).

30. Marilyn had a fixation on Clark Gable, her co-star in The Misfits; as a young girl, Marilyn dreamed that he was her father. When he died, she said that she cried for two days.

31. She preferred to go naked. Among female studio employees – wardrobe mistresses, hairdressers, make-up artists – she often went without clothes. She gave interviews in the nude and often went out wearing nothing under the black mink that Joe DiMaggio had given her.

Montgomery Clift, Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable, stars of 'The Misfits' Credit: AP 

32. Writers loved her. Jean-Paul Sartre wanted her to play the role of a hysterical patient in the film Freud, for which he wrote the first draft of a screenplay; she was Truman Capote’s first choice for the part of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

33. Marilyn’s death was ruled a “probable suicide”, but toxicology tests were only carried out on her liver. When the deputy coroner, Thomas Noguchi, tried to obtain her other organs for testing, he was told they’d been destroyed.

34. Veronica Hamel, an actress, bought Marilyn’s house in 1972. She claimed that when she was renovating the house she discovered an extensive system of wire-taps.

35. Marilyn’s hero was Abraham Lincoln: “I used to read everything I could find about him,” she wrote in her (ghosted) autobiography, My Story. “He was the only famous American who seemed most like me, at least in his childhood.

36. The books she was reading at the time of her death were Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Captain Newman MD, a novel by Leo Rosten based on the life of Monroe’s psychiatrist, Ralph Greenson.

37. Two men claimed paternity of Marilyn on their deathbeds: C Stanley Gifford, who both Marilyn and her mother believed was her father, but who refused to meet Marilyn when she was alive; and Edward Mortensen, who was married to her mother at the time of her birth, and whose (misspelled) surname appears on her birth certificate.

38. She was athletic. As a young married woman on Catalina Island in the early Forties, she studied weightlifting with a former Olympic champion named Howard Corrington. She later went tandem surfing with a boyfriend, Tommy Zahn, balancing on his shoulders as they cut through the waves.

39. She was a talented producer. Marilyn Monroe Productions, which she formed in 1955 with Milton Greene, the photographer, only solely produced one film, The Prince and the Showgirl. Marilyn showed her nous in winning the script: she managed to wangle a meeting with the writer, Terence Rattigan, in New York, where he was stopping over en route to Hollywood to discuss the script with the director William Wyler, luring him from the airport to a downtown bar. When Wyler failed to make him a concrete offer, Rattigan went with Monroe.

40. Many of her friends believed she was murdered. Among the potential suspects: Robert Kennedy (with whom she had had an affair); John F Kennedy (ditto); mafioso Sam Giancana; the FBI; the CIA; her psychiatrist, Ralph Greenson.

41. During the filming of Let’s Make Love, Marilyn’s no-shows added 28 days to the shooting time and $1 million to the budget.

Allan 'Whitey' Snyder applying Marilyn Monroe's makeup
on the set of 'Let's Make Love' Credit: AP

42. Her career in front of the camera began when she was discovered working on the assembly line at Radioplane, a munitions factory, by a photographer called David Conover.

43. Arthur Miller’s play After the Fall is generally thought to be a thinly veiled portrayal of his marriage to Marilyn. The writer James Baldwin walked out of the play because he thought that “Maggie”, the Monroe character, was written so cruelly.

 Marilyn Monroe with then-husband Arthur Miller in July 1956 Credit: AP

44. She only owned one home by herself: the house she died in at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive, Brentwood.

45. When she met Nikita Khrushchev, they discussed The Brothers Karamazov. She dreamed of playing the part of Grushenka in a film of the book.

13 juillet 2012

Le Nouvel Observateur 12/07/2012

lenouvelobs_12juillet_num2488Le magazine français Le Nouvel Observateur n°2488, paru le 12 juillet 2012 consacre un article de 5 pages à Marilyn Monroe (chapitre 1, par François Forestier).
 prix: 3,50  

lenouvelobs_12juillet_num2488_p1 lenouvelobs_12juillet_num2488_p2 
lenouvelobs_12juillet_num2488_p3 lenouvelobs_12juillet_num2488_p4 lenouvelobs_12juillet_num2488_p5

Chapitre 1 : Une bimbo nommée désir 
Par François Forestier
en ligne
sur nouvelobs.com


Avec « Quand la ville dort », de John Huston (1950), Marilyn Monroe, dont on célèbre le 50e anniversaire de la mort, faisait ses vrais débuts au cinéma…

Marilyn, lovée sur un canapé, se déplie, se déploie, se lève, s'étire voluptueusement et s'avance, dans un clair-obscur suggestif. Féline et innocente, gamine et dangereuse, elle demande : « C'est quoi, l'idée, de me regarder comme ça, oncle Lon ? » L'idée ? Elle est évidente sur le visage du bon tonton, nettement plus âgé que sa pensionnaire. Il l'embrasse, lui souhaite bonne nuit, et elle s'en va, ondulante, ravie et lasse d'être une fille entretenue. Elle sort du salon, du cadre, et, bientôt, de la vie de l'oncle Lon. Elle entre dans la légende. La scène dure soixante-quinze secondes.

Dans « Quand la ville dort », justement, personne ne dort. Les truands complotent, la police patauge, la cité bouillonne, les filles allument les clients et Marilyn danse devant un juke-box, tandis qu'un homme va mourir dans un pré en regardant un cheval bai. Le film est inoubliable. John Huston, le réalisateur, s'en souvenait avec malice, trente-quatre ans plus tard : « Je n'étais pas convaincu par Marilyn, au début… Elle me paraissait… trop… trop… » Evidemment : elle était venue pour le casting en robe décolletée, moulante, vêtue comme une houri, persuadée d'arracher le rôle par sa seule sensualité.

Las ! C'était mal connaître Huston, ex-boxeur, bagarreur, buveur, joueur, dur à cuire, tombeur, grande gueule, amateur de chevaux et de cigares. Les effets de hanches lui déplaisaient. Les vues plongeantes sur la « gorge de la vallée » le laissaient indifférent. Il aimait les Irlandaises, les filles avec du répondant, pas les vahinés. Il regarda la bimbo, et chercha ailleurs. L'un des financiers du studio, plus sensible au charme des blondes, le convainquit de prendre Marilyn, faute de quoi il ferait saisir les pur-sang de Huston, pour dettes impayées. Deux minutes plus tard, le cinéaste acceptait Marilyn. « Je ne l'ai pas regretté », disait-il, une tequila ananas à la main, dans sa maison de Mismaloya, non loin de Puerto Vallarta, au Mexique, en regardant la mer. « C'était une présence exceptionnelle… brillante sur l'écran. » Puis, en agitant les glaçons dans son verre : « Mais c'était une pauvre fille, oui, une pauvre fille. »

Pauvre fille, certes. Née dans une famille folle, élevée dans des foyers d'accueil, tripotée par des pères de substitution, violée par les mêmes, Norma Jeane Mortenson se souvenait d'une enfance passée à fuir les mains des hommes, et d'une photo de Clark Gable, son papa de rêve, son idole lointaine. Elle avait traversé une partie de la guerre à travailler dans une usine de parachutes, vêtue d'une salopette dont la seule qualité était d'« agir comme une cape rouge devant le taureau ». Traduisez : la salopette mettait le feu aux joues des ouvriers de l'usine Radioplane Munitions. Elle aurait pu mettre le feu aux poudres.

C'est Ben Lyon, l'acteur de « Hell's Angels », le film de Howard Hughes, qui la repéra, lui trouva un nom, et lui présenta le milliardaire cinglé. Celui-ci, passionné par le volume mammaire de ses protégées - il fut l'inventeur du soutien-gorge de Jane Russell, qui n'en avait nul besoin - prit la petite blonde en belle amitié. Puis l'oublia très vite. Pour trouver son indépendance, Marilyn, en chemin, s'était mariée. Avec simplicité, elle était devenue l'épouse du fils d'une voisine, Jim Dougherty, lequel ne tarda guère à partir en mer, pour se battre contre les Japonais. Seule - pas pour longtemps -, Marilyn passa des soirées à écouter les chansons de Frank Sinatra : « For Me and My Gal », « Black Magic », « Night and Day ». Son père avait pris la poudre d'escampette. Sa mère était internée, après de multiples tentatives de suicide. Norma Jeane ne savait rien faire, sinon créer le désir des hommes. Elle devint Marilyn, qui, elle, sut prendre la lumière comme personne.

Regardez les photos : cet éclat, cette peau, ce visage… Le malheur caché qu'on lit dans les yeux, le sourire mélancolique qui dit : « Aimez-moi », le nez mutin, le corps fabriqué pour le plaisir… Jamais, dans l'histoire du cinéma, il n'y eut ce mélange explosif, à haute combustion : l'innocence et la volupté, la promesse de la débauche et l'assurance de la pureté. Chaque homme, devant Marilyn, se sent obligé de la protéger. Chaque femme, face à elle, se sent contrainte de la dorloter. Quand Marilyn bat des cils, le coeur des durs s'agrandit. Quand elle se penche pour rattacher un bas, ce n'est plus le coeur qui est en extrasystole. Elle est un rêve d'érotisme, une promesse de douceur. Il y a de la magie chez cette femme, une sorte de rayonnement que seule la caméra capte. Dans la vie, elle est simplement jolie. A l'écran ou en photo, elle est sublime. Toute l'image est aspirée par elle, chaque pixel est contaminé par l'effet Marilyn. Elle éclipse ses partenaires, éteint la statue de la Liberté, mange la pellicule. Elle suscite le désir et la pitié, cocktail fissile. Marilyn, c'est la blonde atomique du cinéma.

L'année qui a précédé le tournage de « Quand la ville dort », elle a posé nue pour le photographe Tom Kelley accessoirement membre du jury de Miss Univers. Pour 50 dollars, elle a offert son corps, allongée de trois quarts, et fait rêver tous les camionneurs. Puis elle a joué dans un film mou des Marx Brothers, « La Pêche au trésor », titre qui décrit exactement l'ambition de sa vie. Ben Lyon, le recruteur de Howard Hughes, l'a envoyée rencontrer les patrons des studios : il lui a fait une lettre de recommandation. Un peu étonnée, Marilyn a vu les producers lire le petit mot, contourner le bureau, défaire leur braguette. Sans discuter, elle a joué un air de flûte enchantée, à chaque fois. Plus tard, on apprendra que la lettre était succinte : « Cette fille fait des pipes du tonnerre. » Abusée, comme d'habitude. Hollywood, a-t-elle compris, est une machine à broyer. Puis elle a été prise en main par un petit imprésario, Johnny Hyde. Celui-ci fut son ange gardien, son directeur de conscience, son gentil organisateur. Il était minuscule, marié, père de famille, et malade du coeur. De son vrai nom Ivan Haidabura, ce mini-Russe avait trente et un ans de plus qu'elle ; elle avait vingt centimètres de plus que lui.

Il lui fit refaire le nez, le menton, les seins, les dents et insista pour qu'elle lise Proust. Il voulut l'épouser. Elle refusa. Johnny Hyde lui obtint le rôle de Miss Caswell, une intrigante, dans « Eve », beau film de Mankiewicz. Le réalisateur utilisa Marilyn, ne vit en elle qu'une lorette écervelée, et, l'apercevant sur le plateau avec « Lettres à un jeune poète » de Rilke, il se borna à sourire, un peu apitoyé. Comme le dit avec une pointe de sarcasme George Sanders, l'acteur principal d'« Eve » : « En la présence de Marilyn, il était difficile de se concentrer. » Puis, plus tard, il constata qu'« elle n'était pas une solitaire. Elle était juste « seule" ». Mankiewicz la qualifia de « diplômée de l'école de théâtre de Copacabana », quelque chose comme « licenciée de l'université de Pigalle », disons. Ce n'était pas mal trouvé. Ses amis du cours de théâtre (le vrai) admiraient son port du blue-jean. Marilyn, en attendant des rôles plus consistants, s'installa chez sa répétitrice, Natasha Lytess, une grande asperge autoritaire. Elle vint, accompagnée de son chihuahua qui s'oubliait partout. Les visiteurs marchaient dans les merdes. Marilyn n'y voyait aucun inconvénient. On était à Hollywood.

Marilyn se mit en quête d'un rôle. Johnny Hyde vint à mourir, désolé de ne rien léguer à cette fille si gentille, si… tentante. Son coeur russe céda, c'était dans la logique des choses. Il lui avait dit : « Si je meurs, tiens-moi danstesbras, et je revivrai. » Elle le fit, une demi-heure durant. Mais Johnny Hyde était bien parti, il ne revint pas. Les témoins de cet enlacement avec un cadavre pensèrent que la fille était folle. La famille mit une interdiction absolue à la présence de Marilyn aux funérailles. Celle-ci s'acheta une petite robe noire, et avala des pilules roses, blanches, bleues. Natasha Lytess consola la jeune actrice 24 ans - et corrigea son articulation. « La moindre remarque, c'était comme un coup de couteau, pour elle. Elle avait l'impression qu'on lui faisait des reproches terribles. »

Marilyn passa dans des films sans importance, et fit une publicité pour Royal Triton Gasoline, la pompe à essence en main. Un acteur débutant, joli garçon, fils d'une fausse lady folle à lier - laquelle avait été inséminée par son docteur avec une cuillère à confiture - et d'un gentleman anglais qui s'était suicidé, écrasé par la harpie, la séduisit. Il se nommait Peter Lawford, il était courtois et drôle, un peu fade, mais tellement charmant ! Marilyn l'invita dans sa chambre, Lawford posa le pied dans une crotte de chien et tourna les talons. Il allait devenir le beau-frère de John Fitzgerald Kennedy, et servir de rabatteur au président des Etats-Unis. Pour Marilyn, ce fut un rôle grandiose : favorite du roi.

Un peu déboussolée au début des années 1950, Marilyn rencontra Pat De Cicco, avocat véreux, maquereau, ami de Howard Hughes et mafieux probable. Il la casa dans l'écurie de Joseph Schenck, producteur au visage sévère d'empereur romain, né en Russie, beau-frère de Buster Keaton. Schenck était en business avec les gangsters de Hollywood et avait été condamné à un an de prison pour avoir détourné de l'argent et soudoyé un syndicat. Président des Artistes Associés, il était véreux, oui, mais qui ne l'était pas ? Il intégra Marilyn dans son harem tarifé. Elle servait des boissons fraîches aux invités, leur tenait compagnie quand ils jouaient aux cartes, et les accompagnait dans leur lit. Elia Kazan, de passage, en profita, puis la plaignit. C'était bien dans sa manière de faux-cul.

Il partit tourner « Viva Zapata ! », son récit quasiment autobiographique. Kazan se voyait comme le personnage de la fin, entouré d'ennemis, incompris, tiré à vue - il ne tarda pas à se couler dans le rôle de victime hautaine, en se transformant en abjecte balance devant la Commission des Activités anti-américaines. En attendant, dès que sa femme fut partie du plateau, il fit venir Marilyn, son petit « dessert ». Elle resta au bord du Rio Grande quelques jours, coucha avec Marlon Brando, et repartit. Kazan travaillait alors sur un sujet noir, la corruption sur les quais. Son scénariste, Arthur Miller, remarqua Marilyn. Il écrivit plus tard : « Il émanait d'elle quelque chose comme de la douleur. » Sur le moment, il l'évita, redoutant sa « voracité infantile ». Elle illuminait, dit-il, « une vaste plaine de ténèbres ». Il allait l'épouser, bien plus tard.

« Quand la ville dort » sortit sur les écrans, et « Eve » aussi. La 20th Century Fox, dirigée par l'arrogant Darryl Zanuck, prit Marilyn sous contrat. Zanuck la testa dans son bureau. Juste avant, Marilyn tenta de voir celui qu'elle croyait être son vrai père, devenu fermier. Marié, père de famille, il refusa de la voir. Marilyn se mit à exister sous les projecteurs, redevenant Norma Jeane le soir. Belle le jour, souillon la nuit. Maquillée devant les photographes, malpropre chez elle. Actrice en attente d'un emploi, girl à vendre chez Joe Schenck. Trois ans après « Quand la ville dort », elle allait devenir star, et monter au firmament. Ce fut son bonheur et sa damnation. Marilyn, si belle, si fragile, si… Seule, absolument.

Marilyn : « Merci de m'aider à sauver ma vie »
le 16/07/2012
Par Bernard Comment
en ligne
sur cinema.nouvelobs.com 


Chaque semaine, l'éditeur des écrits et dessins de la star - mandaté par la famille Strasberg - nous offre des documents rares. Aujourd'hui, un poème sur les ponts.

En janvier 2009, lorsque je me rends à New York pour le premier rendez-vous avec les ayants droit de Marilyn Monroe, je m'attends à des bureaux ultramodernes, dans un building de la Skyline. Au lieu de quoi je me retrouve dans un bel appartement ancien de l'Upper West Side, tapissé de livres, photos et affiches, avec une magnifique vue sur Central Park. C'est ici qu'a vécu Lee Strasberg, le mythique fondateur de l'Actors Studio, et Marilyn y passa de nombreuses nuits, à essayer d'écraser ses angoisses, comme des mégots, dans un verre de champagne ou d'eau. Je suis en retard de vingt minutes, le trafic pour venir de Greenwich Village, et un peu de désinvolture française sans doute. Stanley Buchthal, qui a fixé la rencontre, est furieux sous son masque aimable. Anna Strasberg, elle, m'accueille avec beaucoup de chaleur.

La conversation démarre et bientôt elle raconte une anecdote en me regardant droit dans les yeux : quand Marilyn avait demandé à Lee Strasberg de pouvoir travailler avec lui, en cours privés, il lui avait d'abord répondu négativement, sous le prétexte qu'elle était toujours en retard, et comme elle lui avouait son incapacité absolue à être à l'heure, il lui donna le simple conseil d'arriver… en avance. A bon entendeur.

Au deuxième rendez-vous, je suis donc arrivé vingt minutes trop tôt pour déposer en signe annonciateur un grand bouquet de pivoines - qui allaient se révéler être les fleurs préférées d'Anna Strasberg. La confiance était établie.

Lors de la rencontre initiale, je n'avais vu, rapidement, que quatre ou cinq documents, extraits de chemises en plastique contenues dans un épais classeur. Et le premier texte que j'ai eu sous les yeux, c'était le poème sur les ponts. A vrai dire, je me disais qu'on allait me montrer des écrits sans intérêt, ou sans autre intérêt que celui d'être de la main de Marilyn. Mais devant ce petit poème en prose, avec ses ratures, avec sa profondeur et son balancement, j'ai tout de suite eu la conviction qu'il s'agissait de tout autre chose, et que j'allais découvrir un véritable trésor : une exploration des gouffres, une tension extrême vers la vérité et la sincérité, un enregistrement « en direct » des secousses d'une âme.

Le pont est un thème important dans la littérature américaine, comme un emblème de la capacité à relier les deux rives d'un fleuve, ou peut-être, fantasmatiquement, les deux côtes d'un continent. Quelques uns sont mythiques, dont le Brooklyn Bridge, que Marilyn emprunta souvent dans les premiers temps de sa nouvelle vie à Manhattan, pour aller dans les hauteurs de Brooklyn où vivait notamment Norman Rosten, un poète talentueux devenu bien vite un ami proche et qui allait beaucoup l'encourager dans l'écriture (elle lui avait soumis quelques feuillets), et où elle allait ensuite développer son idylle avec Arthur Miller.

Il y a ici d'emblée une aspiration à la mort, au suicide, et la tentation d'aller sur un grand pont majestueux pour escalader le parapet et se jeter à l'eau. Mais précisément, la beauté du célèbre pont l'arrête dans son élan, et réflexion faite elle se rend compte que chaque pont est beau à sa façon, peut-être dans cette capacité de liaison et d'union qui toute sa vie fit tant défaut à Marilyn.

Peut-être est-ce l'effet de la découverte, de la primeur, mais ce texte a toujours eu ma préférence entre tous ceux écrits par Marilyn. Il esquisse en quelques lignes tout un drame intérieur, des mouvements contradictoires, l'appel de la mort et le triomphe de l'instinct vital. On y retrouve Marilyn Monroe telle qu'en elle-même, à la fois radieuse et désespérée, impulsive et réfléchie, doutant de soi jusqu'à l'anéantissement et habitée par un formidable appétit de vie.

Le poème de Marilyn :

« Oh comme j'aimerais être morte… »

Oh comme j'aimerais être morte - absolument non existante partie loin d'ici - de partout mais comment le ferais-je Il y a toujours des ponts - le pont de Brooklyn Mais j'aime ce pont (de là tout est si beau et l'air est si pur) lorsqu'on y marche cela semble paisible même avec toutes ces voitures qui vont comme des folles en dessous. Donc il faudrait que ce soit un autre pont un pont moche et sans vue sauf que j'aime chaque pont en particulier - il y a quelque chose en eux et d'ailleurs je n'ai jamais vu un pont moche

(traduction de Tiphaine Samoyault)

03 avril 2011

H comme Hyde

Johnny Hyde
(1895 - 1950)

imprésario américain


Il est né en 1895 en Russie, sous le nom de Johnny Haidabura, d'un père acrobate. Emigré et installé aux Etats-Unis en 1906, il change son nom en Johnny Hyde et va devenir l'un des agents des plus influents d'Hollywood dans les années 1940s. Parmi ses clients, ont figuré Rita Hayworth, Betty Hutton, Bob Hope, Esther Williams, Mae West, Mickey Rooney, Lana Turner. A la fin des années 1940s, il était vice-président de la William Morris Agency, l'agence la plus réputée d'Hollywood. Père de quatre garçons, il était marié depuis de nombreuses années à Mozelle Cravens Hyde.

johnny_1Il est considéré comme le véritable bienfaiteur de Marilyn Monroe et a beaucoup contribué au lancement de sa carrière. Ils se rencontrèrent fin 1948 ou début 1949. Johnny Hyde était alors âgé de 53 ans et Marilyn en avait 22. Malgré qu'il soit marié depuis 20 ans, et père de famille, il tombe littérallement fou amoureux de Marilyn et va tout quitter pour elle, se consacrant exclusivement au lancement de sa carrière. Il racheta le contrat qui la liait à Harry Lipton et devint très proche de Marilyn: son ami, son confident, son mentor, son professeur, son pygmalion. Il s'installa avec Marilyn dans une luxueuse maison de North Palm Drive à Beverly Hills qui comportait quatre boxes revêtus de cuir blanc comme dans un bar, et une piste de danse. Marilyn appelait cette demeure "mon petit Romanoff"; et Hyde l'emmenait à bon nombre de soirées hollywoodiennes. Mais Marilyn continuait à loger de temps en temps chez Natasha Lytess.

maison_de_johnny_hyde maison_de_johnny_hyde3 maison_de_johnny_hyde2
Marilyn dans la maison de Hyde à North Palm Drive

Dans une interview à Moviland en 1951, Marilyn racontera: "J'ai été terriblement chanceuse en rencontrant un homme qui devint non seulement mon agent, mais mon plus cher ami. Lorsque la première fois, j'ai fait part de mon désir de devenir actrice à Johnny Hyde, il n'a pas souri. Il écouta attentivement et dit 'bien sûr tu peux devenir une actrice!'. Il fut la première personne qui prit mes ambitions au sérieux et rien que pour ça, ma gratitude est infinie. Bon nombre d'hommes que j'ai connu pensaient que tout ce qui me préoccupait était les vêtements et les fêtes. La vérité, c'est que j'ai n'ai jamais vraiment été une adepte des fêtes parce que j'étais trop timide au milieu d'un groupe, j'ouvrais à peine la bouche. 'Dis ce que tu penses' me disait Johnny. 'Tu es un individu à part entière, comme n'importe qui d'autre. Tu as le droit d'avoir ton opinion. Si tu ne sais pas quelquechose, dis-le donc!'"

"Ce fut Johnny aussi qui commenca à me faire lire. (...) Johnny me donna non seulement confiance en moi, mais il me montra comment occuper mon temps libre. J'avais l'habitude de traîner quand je n'avais pas de travail. Peut être j'aurais pu dormir un peu plus. Peut être je pourrais prendre un long petit déjeuner. Ou j'aurais pu téléphoner longuement pour tuer le temps. Johnny me donna le conseil d'utiliser chacun de mes moments disponibles pour m'améliorer. 'Réfléchis bien à chaque situation. Etudies!' disait-il. Soudainement, ça ne semblait plus être un effort de se lever et de plonger la tête dans le travail. Je trouvais que j'étais moins incomprise quand je prenais la parole et m'expliquais, plutôt que de fuir une communion de pensées. 'Il n'y a rien d'effrayant!' répétait Johnny. Il m'enseigna aussi la ponctualité. J'étais inconsciente de la temporalité. Les circonstances sont toujours apparues habituellement à me faire mettre en retard, maintenant, j'arrange les choses avant et c'est sympa d'être digne de confiance et connue pour être une personne qui tient parole."

johnny_2Johnny Hyde s'occupa à plein temps de Marilyn: il lui acheta une nouvelle garde-robe, lui paya de minimes opérations de chirurgie esthétique (au nez et au menton), et prit en charge ses frais de coiffure.
Début 1949, Marilyn Monroe décroche un petit rôle dans
Love Happy et part l'été de la même année à New York pour en assurer la promotion.
Beaucoup des collègues de Hyde ne croyaient pas du tout au potentiel d'actrice de Marilyn, bien qu'il la jugeait sexy et mignonne. Mais comme Hyde était estimé dans le milieu du cinéma, on accordait des castings à Marilyn. C'est ainsi qu'elle décroche un rôle dans le western musical
: A Ticket to Tomahawk , tourné dans le Colorado pendant l'automne 1949.
Souffrant du coeur, Hyde savait qu'il ne serait pas toujours là pour protéger Marilyn. Il l'appelait "baby" et la demanda plusieurs fois en mariage. Même Joseph Schenck, le co-fondateur de la Fox et ami de Hyde, tenta de persuader Marilyn d'accepter les propositions de mariage de Hyde: "Qu'est-ce que tu as à perdre?" demanda Schenck à Marilyn, lui avançant l'argument que si malheur arriverait à Hyde, elle serait à l'abri du besoin. "Moi-même", lui répondit-elle. Comme elle l'avoua à des amis, elle aimait tendrement Johnny Hyde, mais sans passion. La foi et la reconnaissance qu'il avait en elle étaient un immense cadeau mais elle ne pouvait épouser un homme marié, dont elle n'était pas amoureuse. Car elle aimait toujours à cette époque un autre homme, Fred Karger. Un week-end, elle laissa même Johnny Hyde seul à Palm Springs pour rejoindre Fred Karger à Los Angeles, à qui elle lui aurait dit: "Johnny est adorable. Je l'aime vraiment. Mais ce n'est pas le même amour qu'il a pour moi."
Après les demandes en mariage répétées de Hyde, elle lui aurait répondu: "Non Johnny, je ne suis pas amoureuse de vous... Ce ne serait pas loyal."

johnny_3Les nuits où Hyde devait travailler tard, il demandait à son ami producteur A.C. Lyles de "veiller sur son bébé". Lyles l'emmenait au restaurant ou en boîte de nuit.
En 1950, Johnny Hyde parvient à décrocher pour Marilyn une audition pour le film de John Huston
: The Asphalt Jungle . Marilyn travailla avec sa professeur de théâtre, Natasha Lytess, pour s'y préparer. Huston est ravi et il déclarera: "Elle n'a pas eu le rôle grâce à Johnny Hyde, mais parce qu'elle était sacrément bonne." Le film remporte un grand succés et fut salué par la critique.
Puis elle tourne dans d'autres films mineurs (
Right Cross , Hometown Story et The Fireball ), avant que Johnny ne harcèle le scénariste et metteur en scène Jospeh L. Mankiewicz, pour que ce dernier offre un rôle à Marilyn dans All about Eve . Les critiques remarquent Marilyn et tous la trouvent formidable à l'écran.
Le patron de la Fox, Darryl Zanuck convoqua Marilyn pour passer un bout d'essai. Il lui proposa un contrat de six mois, que Johnny Hyde négocia en son nom et qu'elle signa le 10 décembre 1950.

johnny_hyde  Mais un mois auparavant, en novembre 1950, Johnny Hyde avait été hospitalisé pour ses problèmes cardiaques au Cedars of Lebanon hospital de Los Angeles. Pendant ce temps, Marilyn retourna vivre chez Natasha Lytess qui raconte que Marilyn repoussait toujours ses visites à Johnny Hyde l'hôpital, qui était condamné, après de multiples crises cardiaques. Une nuit au début du mois de décembre 1950, Hyde téléphona: "Natasha, où est Marilyn ? J'attends... Je n'ai jamais vu de ma vie une telle cruauté, un tel égoïsme." Il décède d'une crise cardiaque le 18 décembre 1950, après une longue veillée à laquelle Marilyn était présente. On raconte que ses derniers mots prononcés étaient pour Marilyn. Son ex-femme, ses fils et son frère en voulaient beaucoup à Marilyn qui étaient celle qui avait brisé leur famille et accéléré sa fin. Ils interdirent l'accès de la maison à Marilyn, et lui reprirent vêtements et bijoux. Ils voulurent aussi l'empêcher d'assister aux funérailles mais elle s'y présenta tout de même. Marilyn était déprimée, et on raconte qu'elle devint hystérique et se jeta sur le cerceuil en criant son nom.
Plusieurs jours après la cérémonie, au Noël 1950, elle se rendit chez Natasha Lytess en laissant un mot griffoné sur l'oreiller: "Je laisse ma voiture et mon étole en fourrure à Natasha", et sur un autre billet sur la porte de la chambre: "Ne laissez pas Barbara entrer." Barbara était la fille de Natasha. Natasha comprit de suite que quelque chose de grave s'était passé: elle se précipita dans la chambre et découvrit Marilyn sans connaissance. Elle avait avalé un tube entier de pillules. Natasha retira de sa bouche une pleine poignée d'une matière verdâtre et visqueuse, qu'elle n'avait pas eu le temps d'avaler. La dépression de Marilyn va durer encore plusieurs mois, s'effondrant en larmes sur le plateau de tournage de As young as you feel (c'est grâce à Johnny qu'elle y avait obtenu un rôle) et c'est toujours avec une infinie tendresse qu'elle évoquera Johnny Hyde dans ses interviews, le pleurant encore plus de dix ans après quand elle parlait de lui.

Commentaires :

Johnny Hyde: "You're going to be a great movie star" - "Tu vas devenir une grande star de cinéma"

Marilyn Monroe: "Johnny Hyde avait plus du double de mon âge; un homme doux, gentil et brillant et depuis, je n'ai jamais rencontré quelqu'un comme lui. Il avait beaucoup de charme et était chaleureux. C'est Johnny Hyde qui me conseilla de lire de bons livres et d'apprécier la bonne musique."

 >> Voir les photos de Marilyn et Johnny Hyde

>> sources:
Livre Les Trésors de Marilyn Monroe de Jenna Glatzer
Livre Les vies secrètes de Marilyn Monroe, d'Anthony Summers

Posté par ginieland à 19:54 - - Commentaires [19] - Permalien [#]
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14 mars 2011

1949 Palm Springs Racquet Club par Bruno Bernard

été 1949, Marilyn Monroe se fait photographier à la piscine du Palm Springs Racquet Club par Bruno Bernard.

>> Séance en Maillot de bain deux pièces bleu

ph_bb_pool_4220563040 ph_bb_pool_bh29 ph_bb_04ph_bb_pool_marilynmonroehqv21vv2
ph_bb_pool_30286 ph_bb_pool_1001he5
ph_brunobernardph_bb_pool_bernar15 ph_bb_pool_Marilyn_Monroe007 ph_bb_pool_scan00hgjhgvh01tx3

Le photographe raconta dans son journal intime: "Les cours de tennis venaient d'être balayés lorsque la voluptueuse Marilyn a posé sur le plongeoir, en maillot de bain moulant et chaussures à talons de liège de 12 cm. Après avoir pris quelques photos, j'entendis derrière moi: "Hello Bernie. Je vous fais confiance pour dénicher un nouveau talent chaque semaine. Cette fois, vous vous êtes surpassés. Qui est cette magnifique dame... votre petite amie ?" Je sus dès cet instant qu'il ne pouvait s'agit que de Johnny Hyde, un vice-président de William Morris, un homme à la stature de nabot mais aux relations de géant. Son insinuation me gênait quelque peu. M'ayant demandé si cela ne me dérangeait pas qu'il prenne quelques photos pour son usage personnel, sans attendre de réponse de ma part, il se rua vers son bungalow et en revint muni d'un Leica et de plusieurs téléobjectifs. Allongé sur le ventre, il commença à mitrailler de photos. Après avoir révélé qui était ce boute-en-train, c'était l'heure du Johnny Show! Si d'un côté, j'étais content pour Marilyn qu'il l'ait remarquée, de l'autre, il avait brutalement interrompu mon travail. Au déjeuner, Johnny eut une grande idée: "Cela te dérangerait-il que j'emmène Marilyn chez Papa Schenck ce soir ? (Jospeh Schenck)" Marilyn, charmante de délicatesse, s'en rapporta naturellement à ma décision, sachant que j'avais déjà invité et retenu d'avance une table pour dîner au Racquet Club avec Sy Bartlett et Elizabeth Taylor. J'encourageais Marilyn à se rendre chez Schenck avec Johnny. Je savais qu'elle y rencontrerait quelques producteurs et metteurs en scène qui pourraient interrompre sa période actuelle d'inactivité."

>> couvertures de magazine
mag_sept2006 mag_noir_et_blanc_1953_07_cover 20minutes_11mai_cover

> Sources:
Anecdote extraite du livre Bernard of Hollywood's Marilyn par Susan Bernard.

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04 mars 2011

27/07/1950 Candlelight Ball

Le 27 juillet 1950, Marilyn Monroe et Johnny Hyde assistent au "Candlelight Ball", donné par Betty Hutton au Beverly Hills Crystal Room, en l'honneur de l'acteur Louis Sobol et sa fiancée Peggy Strohl qui se marient le lendemain.
On July 27, 1950, Marilyn Monroe and Johnny Hyde attend at the "Candlelight Ball", hosted by Betty Hutton at the Beverly Hills Crystal Room, for actor Louis Sobol and his fiancée Peggy Strohl who will marry the next day.

mm_et_hyde mm_lover-2 mm_lover-2a

© All images are copyright and protected by their respective owners, assignees or others.
copyright text by GinieLand.  

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1949 Marilyn et Hyde au Racquet Club 2

Marilyn Monroe et Johnny Hyde fêtent le Nouvel An 1949 au Racquet Club Resort Hotel de Palm Springs.
Photographies de Bruno Bernard.
Marilyn Monroe and Johnny Hyde celebrate the 1949 New Year at the Racquet Club Resort Hotel in Palm Springs.
Photographs by Bruno Bernard.

mm_et_hyde_1948_nouvelan49_1  lot1118-H3257-L78860499  1949-01-01-palm_springs-racquet_club_resort_hotel-with_johnny_hyde-by_bruno_bernard-1 
mm_et_hyde_1948_nouvelan49_2 mm_et_hyde_1948_nouvelan49_3 
johnnyhydehappynewyear   mm_et_hyde_1948_nouvelan49_2a 

© All images are copyright and protected by their respective owners, assignees or others.
copyright text by GinieLand. 




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02 mars 2011

1949 Marilyn et Hyde au Racquet Club 1

Marilyn Monroe et Johnny Hyde en 1949 au Racquet Club Resort Hotel de Palm Springs. Photographies de Bruno Bernard.

1949_racquetclub_hyde 1949_hyde
1949_racquetclub_1  lot1118-H3257-L78860482  ph_bb_marilyn_monroe_1926_1962_par_bruno_bernard

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13 juillet 2010

B comme Beauchamp

Anthony Beauchamp
(1917 - 1957)
photographe anglais

Anthony Beauchamp et sa femme Sarah Churchill

Né en 1917, Anthony Beauchamp, dit "Tony", a servit officiellement en tant qu'artiste durant la seconde guerre mondiale. Il rencontre en 1949 l'actrice et danseuse anglaise Sarah Churchill, fille de Winston et Clementine, mais il ne sera jamais accepté par les beaux-parents; le couple se mariera tout de même en octobre 1949. Après son mariage, il s'installe à Hollywood où il s'y établit en tant que photographe professionnel. Il décède en 1957, à l'âge de 40 ans.

ph_anthony_beauchamp_greta_Garbo_1951 ph_antony_beauchamp_audreyhepburn
Greta Garbo ; Audrey Hepburn

Parmi ses sujets célèbres photographiés: Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, Vivien Leigh, Marilyn Monroe, Leslie Caron...
A propos d'Audrey Hepburn, qu'il photographia pour le Vogue anglais, il dira: "J'avais dèjà photographié des beautés aussi célèbres que Vivien Leigh et Greta Garbo, mais j'ai eu la sensation d'avoir fait une véritable découverte quand j'ai trouvé Audrey. Elle était d'une telle fraîcheur, d'une beauté immatérielle."
Le livre Focus of Fame,
The biography, Anthony Beauchamp chez Odhams Press Limited London, sorti en 1958, regroupe quelques photographies célèbres des stars qu'il prit en photos, avec des anecdotes.

>> Marilyn par Beauchamp <<
1951_Anthony_Beauchamp_in_studio_glamour_010_1 1951_Anthony_Beauchamp_pin_up_beach_030_010_1 Anthony_Beauchamps_in_Studio_010_020_01   

Anthony Beauchamp photographia Marilyn Monroe à plusieurs reprises en 1950 et 1951: séance improvisée chez Ben Lyon, et séances en studios et en extérieurs (à la plage) qui insistent sur l'image sensuelle de la starlette.
C'est par l'intermédiaire de Johnny Hyde, agent artistique, qu'il rencontra Marilyn.
A la fin de l'année 1950, Hyde lui avait dit qu'il souhaitait lui présenter quelqu'un. La première rencontre eut lieu à l'hotel où séjournait Beauchamp à Beverly Hills. Séduit, il demanda à Hyde d'organiser une séance photo à l'endroit où il vivait désormais avec son épouse Sarah chez Bebe Daniels et Ben Lyon. Marilyn y était arrivée avec un agent publicitaire et de nombreux vêtements et accessoires: robes de soirée, fourrures, bijoux... Beauchamp a décidé de la photographier sur la terrasse de la villa de Ben Lyon, dans l'une de ses robes de soirée. Suivit les autres séances comme celle du maillot de bain à deux pièces.

>> Voir les posts Marilyn par Anthony Beauchamp 

>> sources web:
Sarah Chruchill sur sur
imdb et extrait livre sur books google,
Greta Garbo sur garboforever
Audrey Hepburn sur audrey.hepburn.free.fr
Livre Focus of Fame, The biography, Anthony Beauchamp, Odhams Press Limited London, 1958.

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15 juin 2010

1950 Marilyn chez Hyde

Marilyn Monroe chez Johnny Hyde en 1950


Posté par ginieland à 13:21 - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
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