Marilyn Monroe Reel Life It is a little known fact that the aforementioned Ms Monroe had a bit of a weight problem whilst filming, 'The Prince and the Showgirl'. In fact, her weight changed so drastically during production, the costume designer had to duplicate dresses for her in different sizes. Yeah. No word of a lie. Just check out this 45 minute documentary made in 2010 for more information about this film legend. 

Marilyn at the Movies

In this episode of 'Biography', presenter, Dayna Devon, tries her best to orate the life and times of the one time 'blond bombshell' of yesteryear, Marilyn Monroe. Furthermore, to complement Dayna's dialogue, this feature is lavished with archival footage and stock photography, complemented by one on one interviews with the following people.

  • Rose Lord (Author) -- Marilyn was a very shy girl, and she'd play the piano to the rest of the orphans in the orphanage just to calm them down.
  • Hugh Hefner (Playboy Magnate) -- I fell in love with her right away. She's the greatest sex symbol of the last century, and I bought the plot right next to hers so I could stay by her side for all eternity.
  • Leonard Maltin (Film Historian) -- Whilst she living in New York, she partnered up with the photographer, Milton Green, to start their own production company together.
  • Mitzi Gaynor (Co-Star) -- Joe didn't like seeing his wife, Marilyn Monroe, having her skirt blown up in the air for everyone to see. He did not like that at all.
  • Michelle Williams (Actress) -- To play Marilyn I had to forget about her being a Hollywood megastar, and I had to look at the person inside.
  • George Chakis (dance) -- When Marilyn came on the set with that blue dress on, everything else around her seemed to dissolve.  
  • Julian Myers (publicist) -- She stayed in her dressing room hour after hour, and wouldn't come out. She felt that she was inadequate, and that she could not deliver what her role required.
  • Lawrence Schiller (photographer) -- She decided to use her ultimate weapon against 20th Century Fox, which was her body.
  • George Barris (photographer) -- Whilst we were going to the beach take our last shots together, a tear rolled down her face when we past the place she once stayed in with the Kennedy's. She was very upset.
  • Donelle Dadigan (president of the Marilyn Monroe Society) -- She equated being loved to being wanted. And when she was alone, she felt unloved.

What now follows is a basic break down on his this program plays out.

  • What was Marilyn's early life like?   Now with some benefit of hindsight, I'd say that Marilyn's early years were rather 'topsy turvy' to say the least. At the tender age of nine her unstable Mother was unable to look after her, and she sent Marylyn to stay with an auntie, then to an orphanage, and finally to another auntie, until Monroe finally broke this chain by finding a man to marry in her teens.
  • Oh! So how did her marriage pan out then? Any luck?   Err. No. Not really. Marilyn was married four times throughout her short life. From 1942 to 1946, she was married to an army man called James Dougherty. From 1954 to 1954, she was married to the baseball star, Joe DiMaggio. And from 1956 to 1961, she was married to the playwright, Arthur Miller.
  • How did Marilyn become an actress?   Whilst she was working at a munitions plant during the war, Marilyn's career path changed rather rapidly when she was spotted by a photographer who took her picture for a poster. This then propelled her through numerous gigs as a model, as a supporting artist, and as an actress / legend that she has now become today.
  • Did she like acting?   One the one hand I'd say she did -- because she tried to perfect her craft over time, and even formed her own production company. Yet, on the other hand, I'd say she didn't -- due to the fact that she felt incapable to play the parts she was given, as well as feeling used by 'those on high'.
  • In generalist terms, how did Marilyn's die?   Now depending on your perspective of course, her demise was either an accident, a suicide, or an act of murder. No comment. 

Now take a look at some of the pictures of Marilyn Monroe featured in this article. Go on. Take a good hard look. And tell me what you see. Do you see a sex symbol? Do you see a legendary actress? Do you see a businesswoman / model? Or do you see a very unhappy lady that just wanted to be loved?

Marilyn Monroe Lovely
Well, according to this episode of 'Biography', I'd say that all of these summations are pretty on the money. Furthermore, I'd like to add something else stated by Mitzi Gaynor if I may -- 'She was someone who was used'.

Personally speaking, I find this to be a very honest statement. Try to think about it for a moment or two, dear reader. Marilyn Monroe was a used person. She was used by women as an iconic image to look up to. She was used by men as a 'good looking dame' to hang on their arm. Plus she was used as a trophy of sorts -- a prized possession -- for which both genders can aspire to either become or possess.

Marilyn Monroe SexyGranted, I'm sure that there were some people who liked Marilyn for other things too (like a friend or a social acquaintance for example). But I honestly don't think that Ms Monroe would've been able to see it like that. Oh no. As her tarnished and very eclectic upbringing, shaped her early life into what it would later become -- a merry-go-round of very emotional ups or downs.   

Once again, please try to think about it for a moment, but this time by putting yourself in Marilyn's own shoes. Your mother couldn't look after you, and you were shoved around from pillar to post for most of your childhood. Then, once you got a bit older, and people saw you as being more desirable, once again you were shoved around from pillar to post by your respective spouses and your work alike.

So what do you do about this, huh? Fight back by flaunting your bits? Try to curb your wares by forming a production company? Or just say 'f*ck it', and then take a trip to heavens gate?

Marilyn Monroe Naked

Marilyn Monroe
Now do you see where I'm coming from with this, folks? Marilyn Monroe was a used person. And when she tried to fight back... well... the rest if now history. Just like these relatable facts. (1) Norma Jeane Mortenson was born on the same day that Ignacy Moscicki was elected the president of Poland -- the 1st of June, 1926. Plus she died on the same day that the first quasar was located by radio -- the 5th of August, 1962. (2) After her mother was institutionalized; Marilyn spent over a year in a Los Angeles County Orphanage, and was placed with 11 different sets of foster parents not so long thereafter. (3) Although it states that her name is 'Norma Jeane Mortenson' on her birth certificate, and she was baptized under the given name 'Norma Jeane Baker', when Marilyn was a model, she used the names Jean Norman or Mona Monroe. Her first idea for a screen name was Jean Adair, yet, she legally changed it to Marilyn Monroe in March, 1956. (4) In 1953 Marilyn was 'Playboy Magazine's' first 'Sweetheart' -- later renamed 'Playmate of the Month'. She was paid $50 to model for this picture, and Hugh Hefner eventually bought it for $500. (5) Two people claimed paternity over Marilyn body when she died. The first person was her biological father that she never met -- C. Stanley Gifford. And the second person was the gentleman who married her mother at the time of her birth -- Edward Mortensen. (6) Marilyn left seventy-five percent of her estate to her close friends, Lee and Paula Strasberg, which eventually fell into the hands of Anna Strasberg, Lee's third wife. (7) Even though Marilyn's estate is currently worth approximately five million dollars a year today, back in the day, she was paid a lot less money than some of her co-stars. For example, in 'A Gentlemen Prefer Blondes', she was paid ten-time less than Jane Russell. And in 'Something's Got to Give', she was paid five times less than Dean Martin. (8) Marylyn is buried in a vault situated in the famous Westwood Memorial Park, Los Angeles, California. Other famous people buried at this prestigious site include: Truman Capote, John Cassavetes, James Coburn, Rodney Dangerfield, Janis Joplin, Walter Matthau, and Roy Orbison.

Marilyn Monroe With No Clothes

If I'm going to be honest with you, dear reader, overall this episode of 'Reel Lives: Marilyn Monroe' wasn't really the most well polished and insightful documentary I've ever watched. It was kind of sparse in content, and I found it very superficial on the surface. Yet, whilst saying that, what it lacked in originality and substance, it more than made up for in poignancy and tone, and has honestly made me want to know a little bit more about this one time screen icon.

Bless you, Norma. You're a star.