Marilyn Monroe & The Casting Couch

Marilyn Monroe was part of the casting couch system in Hollywood. That’s what many believe… but is it true?

In many people’s minds, Marilyn Monroe was unable to reach Hollywood stardom without using her body. However, she stated that she was “determined” to not become another starlet who slept her way to fame. That’s not to say she didn’t have help along the way…

 

IN HER OWN WORDS

In her ghost-written biography, My Story which was drafted in 1953 and 1954 (initially as articles), she discusses her time as a starlet, trying to make her way into Hollywood.

 “These wolves just could not understand me. They would tell me, ‘But Marilyn, you’re not playing the game the way you should. Be smart. You’ll never get anywhere in this business acting the way you do.’ My answer to them would be, ‘The only acting I’ll do is for the camera.’ I was determined, no one was going to use me or my body—even if he could help my career. I’ve never gone out with a man I didn’t want to. No one, not even the studio, could force me to date someone. The one thing I hate more than anything else is being used. I’ve always worked hard for the sake of someday becoming a talented actress. I knew I would make it someday if I only kept at it and worked hard without lowering my principles and pride in myself.”

Marilyn also discussed how she turned down offers of private yacht trips with Harry Cohn, head of Columbia Pictures, which he did not appreciate. It may have even slowed her career down as her contract was not renewed after Ladies of The Chorus.

She had completed 12 films (credited) in the space of five years. Five of those movies didn’t even show her on the screen. Alas, she kept working even when her contracts weren’t extended.

In fact, Marilyn didn’t get a starring role until Don’t Bother to Knock (1952)

 

“I’VE ALWAYS WORKED HARD FOR THE SAKE OF SOMEDAY BECOMING A TALENTED ACTRESS.”

 To stand out, Marilyn took several classes. She studied dance, singing and acting. Marilyn would also have many publicity photoshoots and attend events in an attempt to gain media attention.

“I could actually feel my lack of talent, as if it were cheap clothes I wear inside. But, my God, how I wanted to learn! To change, to improve! I didn’t want anything else. Not men, not money, not love but to ability to act.” – My Story

Whilst she was at Fox in the late 1940s, they sent her to The Actors Laboratory where stage writers and directors from Broadway came to present their work in Los Angeles. Many of the works focussed on the difficulties of the world which helped expand Marilyn’s outlook. It developed her interest in Method Acting, something she continued to work on until her death in 1962. Marilyn enjoyed her studies and spent 1947 following these acting lessons, reading plays and studying scenes. When she wasn’t working at the studio, she would often be taking part in study and theatre groups to continue her craft. 

 

 IT’S WHO YOU KNOW

Not only did she toil, but she attended many publicity events and studio parties where she networked, despite not being a fan of parties.

This is how she met connections like Joe Schenck (the former head of Fox) and Darryl Zanuck (current head of Fox at the time).

“In Hollywood a girl’s virtue is much less important than her hair-do. You’re judged by how you look, not by what you are. Hollywood’s a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty cents.” – My Story.

Rumours had circulated that Marilyn and Schenck had been sexually involved, however they both denied this. Marilyn stated to Maurice Zolotow:

“Get this straight Mr. Schenck and I were good friends. He gave me encouragement when I needed it. He didn’t do anything for me. He let Mr. Zanuck run the studio the way Mr. Zanuck wanted to run it. I know the word around Hollywood was I was Joe Schenck’s girlfriend, but that’s a lie. The only favor I ever asked him, Mr. Schenck, was later, when I was back at Twentieth. I wanted a decent dressing room, and I asked him about it, and he put in a good word for me and I got a good dressing room. I never asked him to help me get good parts at Twentieth, and he didn’t. He knew how I felt about it, that I wanted to succeed on my talent, not any other way, and he respected my feelings. I went to his house because I liked Mr. Schenck and I liked his food and it was better than the Studio Club food. I don’t mean to imply the Studio Club had bad food. I mean, let’s say, that Mr. Schenck’s cook was just better than their cook.”

Schenck himself said:

“She used to come here quite often for dinner. I think she liked to eat. We have good food here. No, I never had any romantic thoughts about Marilyn and she never had any thoughts about me.“

JOHNNY HYDE

Marilyn met Hollywood agent Johnny Hyde at the end of 1948.  Hyde, who was thirty years Marilyn’s senior, was married with children but became smitten by the young starlet. He left wife and children for Marilyn in the hopes she would agree to marry him, however Marilyn refused. She said of Johnny in 1961:

“I loved him dearly. But I wasn’t in love with him. He was wonderful to me and he was a dear friend. It was Johnny who inspired me to read good books and enjoy good music.”

Although Marilyn’s relationship with Johnny was not that of a typical casting couch system, it cannot be denied that he didn’t help her. With his connections, guidance and security Marilyn was able to help develop her status in Hollywood. Despite this, Marilyn’s career was slow and steady. with bit parts as a sexy secretary or dumb sex pot. It wasn’t until after Johnny Hyde’s death Marilyn’s career soared. 

Whatever connections Marilyn may have had it took networking, work and time to make Marilyn Monroe the icon she was (and is). As Marilyn’s benefactor, Lucille Ryman said to Floral Muir in the 1950s: “Under Marilyn’s babydoll exterior, she is tough and shrewd and calculating or she wouldn’t be where she is today.” 

 

Why We Love Marilyn Monroe

She’s beautiful. She’s sexy. But why does Marilyn Monroe still draw so many people to her, despite passing away almost 60 years ago? Here are 30 reasons why Marilyn fans love Marilyn Monroe:

  1. Marilyn worked hard for her craft, especially earlier on in her career. She studied acting, speech, dance and singing to try and increase her chances of getting movie roles.

  2. Marilyn proved that a girl from a poorer background with an unstable family can star in some of the biggest movies in the world and be known as a legend.

  3. Marilyn was open about her sexual abuse as a child. She spoke about it in My Story saying she discovered sexual contact when she was nine to a man called Mr Kimmel.

  4. Her book collection displayed her desire to learn, her passion for literature, art and history – something which people don’t expect from a sex symbol.

  5. Looks in other men weren’t important to her. She married Joe DiMaggio, a world-famous baseball star and playwright Arthur Miller, not. exactly heartthrobs like James Dean or Marlon Brando (although she did temporarily date Brando).

  6. Marilyn loved animals. It is said that when she was married to her first husband, Jim Dougherty, she wanted to bring a cow into the house because it was stuck outside in the rain.

  7. She wasn’t afraid to break the rules, embrace her body and her sex appeal. Marilyn wore clothes that were not the “norm” for women in the 1950s. Her plunging, tight gowns had much of Hollywood in horror but also encouraged women to be more open about their bodies.

  8. Marilyn wasn’t afraid of telling the truth. For example, when it was discovered she posed nude in the 1940s for a calendar, the studio wanted her to deny that she was the one in the photos. But she didn’t lie, she embraced it.

  9. Marilyn loved children and desperately wanted her own but unfortunately, she suffered from an ectopic pregnancy and miscarriages leaving her childless. She worked with various charities involving children and when she went to an orphanage in Mexico she donated $10,000.

  10. She was very generous. Marilyn’s friends often commented on how Marilyn would buy them gifts despite not having much money. If they commented that they liked something it would most likely be delivered to their door the next day.

  11. Marilyn didn’t talk badly about others. Even when she was angry at her studio after she was fired in 1962, she didn’t mention any names.

  12. Marilyn stood her ground. When filming the Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, she questioned why she was not given a dressing room considering she was “the blonde.” She wasn’t going to be walked over.

  13. She had the courage to stand up to the studio and made her own production company to ensure she wouldn’t be typecast in “dumb blonde” roles.

  14. She saw the best in people and forgave those for their wrongdoing (with the exception of a few). Seven years after her divorce from Joe DiMaggio, he had her released from Payne Whitney after she was wrongly institutionalised. Marilyn spent a lot of time with Joe before her death meaning she put all bad feelings aside.

  15. It was easy for Marilyn to talk about equal rights at a time when it was still a subject of taboo, whether it be sexuality or race. She was also very happy to socialise publicity with people of colour and those from the LGBT community.

    “People who aren’t fit to open the door for him sneer at his homosexuality. What do they know about it? Labels – people love putting labels on each other. Then they feel safe. People tried to make me into a lesbian. I laughed. No sex is wrong if there’s love in it.” – Marilyn to Journalist W.J. Weatherby on friend and co-star Montgomery Clift in 1960 recorded in Conversations With Marilyn.

    “I think you’ve got to love people, all kinds of people, to be able to have an opinion about them that’s worth anything. The whole idea of judging people is crazy. We do what we have to do, and we pay for it. We’re no better than we have to be. We can try to be better, and part of trying is not to condemn other people.” – Marilyn to Journalist W.J. Weatherby in 1960 recorded in Conversations With Marilyn.

  16. Marilyn knew what worked and what didn’t in the makeup and fashion department. She had many beauty techniques, doing things that made her stand out from the crowd.

  17. She was a feminist. Check out this book by Michelle Morgan [x]

  18. Marilyn truly cared about her career and wanted to do well at it. She wouldn’t give up just because there were those who doubted her ability or talent.

  19. She always believed in being true to herself.

    “I believe in myself, even my most delicate, intangible feelings.” – from a handwritten note.

  20. She wasn’t ashamed of her insecurities or anxiety. In fact, she wanted to overcome them and better herself.

  21. Marilyn appreciated and loved her fans.

    “And I want to say to the people, if I am a star, the people made me a star. No studio, no person, but the people did.” – Marilyn to Richard Meryman, 1962.

  22. Material possessions weren’t important to her. Marilyn didn’t own lavish gowns (they were often borrowed from the studio and worn on several occasions) or jewels or large homes. She was very modest in her decorating and lifestyle. In fact, when she died she had only a few thousand dollars, not much for the world’s largest movie star.

  23. She was a great comedy actress as well as a dramatic actress.

    “She was an absolute genius as a comedic actress, with an extraordinary sense for comedic dialogue. It was a God-given gift. Believe me, in the last fifteen years there were ten projects that came to me, and I’d start working on them and I’d think, ‘It’s not going to work, it needs Marilyn Monroe.’ Nobody else is in that orbit; everyone else is earthbound by comparison.” – Billy Wilder

  24. Marilyn didn’t sleep her way to fame (if she had she would’ve made more money, a lot faster). She spent time with men who would be able to further her career via networking, and she spent time with them so she would be fed as she had no money to live on. This is why she posed nude in 1949, so she could get her car to travel to work (the shoot had the photographer’s wife present).

    “I was determined, no one was going to use me or my body—even if he could help my career. I’ve never gone out with a man I didn’t want to. No one, not even the studio, could force me to date someone. The one thing I hate more than anything else is being used. I’ve always worked hard for the sake of someday becoming a talented actress. I knew I would make it someday if I only kept at it and worked hard without lowering my principles and pride in myself.” – Marilyn in My Story

  25. She was witty! This is one of my favourite moments [x]

  26. Marilyn wasn’t afraid to dress down or go without makeup in public. She was very down to earth and not as vain as some make-out.

  27. Her laugh was sweet, her smile radiant and her heart warm.

  28. She believed in respecting others.

    “Respect is one of life’s greatest treasures.” – Marilyn to George Barris, 1962.

  29. Marilyn knew exactly how to get the attention of those around her. She studied body language and movement and was able to switch it on as soon as she had to become the Marilyn Monroe that people expected to see.

  30. She wanted to be surrounded by intellectuals, not Hollywood stars. Her friends and associates were acting coach Lee Strasberg, poet Carl Sandburg, husband and playwright Arthur Miller and author Truman Capote.

Marilyn was more than just an image, she was a person. A human being who worked hard and suffered for her art. Why do you love Marilyn?

Marilyn Monroe’s Diet & Workout

Frankly, I’ve never considered my own figure so exceptional; until quite recently, I seldom gave it any thought at all”

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe has one of the most desirable figures in the world. Well, so the internet seems to say, each to their own, right?. Needless to say, Marilyn had a curvaceous, hourglass figure. So, how did she obtain it? First of all, this is by NO MEANS a recommended diet or workout plan, this is for informational purposes only. Every body type is different and reacts in different ways to dietary plans and workout routines. And I personally want to say YOU ARE MORE THAN YOUR WEIGHT OR SIZE. Focus on your personal mental and physical health and the rest will follow.


MARILYN’S WEIGHT AND MEASUREMENTS THROUGHOUT THE YEARS

  • 2nd August 1945 – Blue Book Modeling Agency
    120lbs
    36-24-34
  • 1951
    36½-23-34
  • 8th February 1954 – DOD ID Card
    118lbs
  • 1955
    38-23-36
  • May 1962
    Approximately 35½ – 23½ -33¼
  • 5th August 1962 – LA Coroner Medical Report
    117lbs

You can read more about Marilyn’s true size here


“NORMA JEANE HUMAN BEAN”

Growing up, Norma Jeane stood out from her classmates. Naturally, tall and skinny the children at her school nastily nicknamed her “Norma Jeane Human Bean.” A boy in her class also cruelly commented., “I hope someday your legs fill out.”

However, like many girls, Marilyn began developing a shapely figure on the cusp of teenagehood, resulting in getting attention from the opposite sex. She stated, “At twelve I looked like a girl of seventeen. My body was developed and shapely.”

As Marilyn had no money for a new blouse (her others were torn) she wore another girl’s sweater, which was too small. This accentuated Norma Jeane’s natural curves which drew in groups of boys on her way home from school. This attention she thoroughly enjoyed. These famous curves would later be a household name alongside her films, quick-witted personality and ethereal beauty.

By Andre de Dienes, 1945.

1952 DIET AND WORKOUT

When married to James Dougherty and living in Avalon, Norma Jeane was taught how to lift weights a skill she would continue to do for much of her adult life. In 1952 Marilyn was interviewed by Pageant Magazine where she discussed her diet and workouts. She was photographed by both Andre de Dienes and Philippe Halsman using weights in 1952 with De Dienes’s images being used alongside the article.

By Andre De Dienes, 1952

Frankly, I’ve never considered my own figure so exceptional; until quite recently, I seldom gave it any thought at all. My biggest single concern used to be getting enough to eat. Now I have to worry about eating too much. I never used to bother with exercises. Noe I spent at leasy 10 minutes each mornng working out with small weights. I have evolved my own exercises, for the muscles I wish to keep firm, and I know they are right for me because I can feel them putting the proper muscles into play as I exercise.

She Doesn’t Like To Feel Regimented

Exercise. Each morning after I brush my teeth, wash my face and shake off the first deep layer of sleep, I lie down on the floor beside my bed and begin my first exercise. It is a simple bust-firming routine which consists of lifting five-pound weights from a spread-eagle arm position to a point directly above my head. I do this 15 times, slowly. I repeat the exercise another 15 times from a position with my arms above my head. Then, with my arms at a 45-degree angle from the floor, I move my weights in circles until I’m tired. I don’t count rhythmically like the exercise people on the radio; I couldn’t stand exercise if I had to feel regimented about it.

How To Feel Blond All Over

Sports. I have never cared especially for outdoor sports, and have no desire to excel at tennis, swimming, or golf. I’ll leave those things to the men. Despite its great vogue in California, I don’t think sun-tanned skin is any more attractive than white skin, or any healthier, for that matter. I’m personally opposed to a deep tan because I like to feel blond all over. 

By nature, I suppose I have a languorous disposition. I hate to do things in a hurried, tense atmosphere, and it is virtually impossible for me to spring out of bed in the morning. On Sunday, which is my one day of total leisure, I sometimes take two hours to wake up, luxuriating in every last moment of drowsiness. Depending upon my activities, I sleep between five and ten hours every night. I sleep in an extra-wide single bed, and I use only one heavy down comforter over me, summer or winter. I have never been able to wear pajamas or creepy nightgowns; they disturb my sleep.

A Set of Bizarre Eating Habits

Breakfast. I’ve been told that my eating habits are absolutely bizarre, but I don’t think so. Before I take my morning shower, I start warming a cup of milk on the hot plate I keep in my hotel room. When it’s hot, I break two raw eggs into the milk, whip them up with a fork, and drink them while I’m dressing. I supplement this with a multi-vitamin pill, and I doubt if any doctor could recommend a more nourishing breakfast for a working girl in a hurry. 

Dinner. My dinners at home are startlingly simple. Every night I stop at the market near my hotel and pick up a steak, lamb chops or some liver, which I broil in the electric oven in my room. I usually eat four or five raw carrots with my meat, and that is all. I must be part rabbit; I never get bored with raw carrots. 

P.S. It’s a good thing, I suppose, that I eat simply during the day, for in recent months I have developed the habit of stopping off at Wil Wright’s ice cream parlor for a hot fudge sundae on my way home from my evening drama classes. I’m sure that I couldn’t allow myself this indulgence were it not that my normal diet is composed almost totally of protein foods.”

By Andre De Dienes, 1952
By Phiilippe Halsman, 1952

WEIGHT GAIN AND PREGNANCY

In both 1958 and 1960 when Marilyn stepped off the plane to make Some Like It Hot and The Misfits, the press commented on Marilyn’s weight gain.

1958

During the filming of Some Like It Hot, Marilyn was in the early stages of pregnancy so it’s natural she would’ve put on some weight. Nontheless it seems unnecessary to comment on her figure whether she was pregnant or not, and its unfortunate that even today the press comment on figures of both men and women and see weight gain as a negative. Marilyn was also a sufferer of endometriosis which can cause severe bloating. You can read more about endometriosis here.


1000 CALORIE DIET PLAN

In 2016, Marilyn’s personal diet plan, written by Dr Leon Krohn, was sold for $3,437.50.

Although the typed meal plan had been found in a 1958 notebook it is quite likely that it could be from after Marilyn’s 1961 gall bladder surgery where she was required to not eat fatty or rich foods, however, it is undated and unconfirmed.

This Calorie Restricted Diet/ 1000 Calories/ 100 Grams Protein, as stated by Julien’s “presents sound health advice even by today’s standards, recommending the restriction of sugar, fats and carbohydrates to whole wheat and “one small white potato boiled baked or riced” as a substitution for one slice of bread.”

The plan consists of two options for each meal, consisting mostly of fruit, vegetables and meat/fish.


AUGUST 1961

Marilyn was delighted with the fact she had lost an awful lot of weight, effortlessly, on the diet prescribed after the gallbladder operation.

“And all the massages are keeping the body firm,” she said. “As a matter of fact, I think I have a better body than I’ve had since the early days at Fox. If you want to give the diet to any of your friends out here, I would certainly recommend it.”

Then, as if I didn’t know it by heart, she repeated it. “Before each meal, half a grapefruitt. The grapefruit is better than half a glass of the juice , because the bulk helps grind up fat. For breakfast, the whites of four eggs, I poach mine. The whites of eggs are among the highest concentrated protein anywhere – the yellow highest concentrated of fat. A piece of toast. Lunch, a tuna salad with greens and diet dressing. Or, the white meat of chicken or turkey. Dinner, a salad, a small baked potato, and a filet mignon, preferably charcoaled. If I get ravenously hungry mid-afternoon, a few bites of white meat of chicken, a few shrimp. Vary the steak with fish of some kind.

“I never feel the need of stuffing the face withbread, or sweets, and oddly enough, fruit…”

… I thought it’s interesting that in the diet I could pass on to other friends, she neglectede to mention the split of champagne before dinner. I think that’s the main ingredient of any diet – relax.

Mimosa by Ralph Roberts

Along with her diet, Marilyn felt that a huge part of her losing weight was down to receiving regular massages with Ralph. She said to Ralph in September 1961, “Thanks to the diet and to you, I’m sure I could make the best impression for an awfully long spell” before going to a party with Frank Sinatra.


MARCH 1962

Ralph Roberts later comments in the book on how slim she looked in March 1962, ready for Something’s Got To Give.

She removed a loose jacket she was wearing, and displayed her trim, firm body, very slender.

“Having those massages while losing all that blubber sure paid off. I went to the wardrobe at Fox the other day and tried on a dress I wore in “Gentlemen,” and it was a perfect fit everywhere but the waist and a teensy bit loose there. I’m better than I’ve ever been.”


As with all of us, our weight and body change over time. Marilyn was no exception. Marilyn’s diet and routine would change regualrly depending on what was occurring in her life at that time.

As mentioned at the start of this blog post, this article is for information purporses only. I don’t by any means believe you should attempt to follow Marilyn’s diet just because it worked for her and health and diet advice has changed a lot over the years. Please talk to your own doctor or a dietician plus trainer when planning weight loss options.

Marilyn and her Battle with Endometriosis

Norma Jeane & Her Pain

When Norma Jeane reached puberty, she began experiencing extremely painful periods. Most girls suffer a certain amount of period pain but Norma Jeane’s pain was beyond a regular menstrual belly ache.

Could this have been diagnosed or treated? 

Yes, it could.

Was it? 

No…

Why wasn’t it? 

It was but not until Norma Jeane had grown into an adult.

Later diagnosed with endometriosis (endo-me-tri-o-sis), the now-adult Marilyn Monroe, like many women, suffered from the excruciating effects of the disease. The symptoms of endometriosis include painful periods, endo-belly (bloating), pain during and after sex, sickness, diarrhoea, heavy bleeding, increased fatigue and more. The pain is caused by tissue, similar to the lining of the womb, growing elsewhere such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

But why was it only later in her life that was it discovered? Well, endometriosis was first recorded in the 1920s so there was definitely a knowledge of the disease. However, when Marilyn was growing up in the home of her dear Aunt Ana, medical treatment for illnesses and the like was not an option.

Aunt Ana Lower fostered Norma Jeane between her time in the orphan’s home in 1937 and her marriage to James Dougherty in 1942. Ana held a dear place in Marilyn’s heart her whole life. However, Ana’s beliefs in Christian Science meant she didn’t believe in medicine or medical treatments. Sadly, this meant Norma Jeane had to endure this awful pain on a monthly basis, sometimes more. Norma Jeane even practised the religion herself throughout her first marriage leaving her to suffer from the condition until her twenties.

First husband James Dougherty said, “Norma Jeane had so much trouble during her menstrual periods, the pain would just about knock her out.”

Mind, Body & Spirit

Marilyn’s behaviour on set and lateness for appointments can partially be explained by the suffering she experienced with endometriosis. With Christian Science behind her, she was able to freely have surgeries in order to treat the condition. Marilyn had three surgeries (1954, 1959 and 1962). Sadly, nothing could be done to entirely wipe out the condition and it still can’t, even with today’s technology.

Not only did the pain lead to discomfort, sleepless nights, fatigue and agony, but the overall impact can also have a great effect on one’s mood. A lot of women who have endometriosis also suffer from depression. The strain it had on her physically and mentally must have affected her day-to-day activities, especially during her periods and when trying to conceive. When your body is physically unwell, it can cause the same fragility in the mind.

Her desire to start a family was evident when she wrote a note to her Doctor. on 28th April 1952 when she had her appendix removed, she stuck a note to her body stating:

Dear Dr. Rabwin,

 

cut as little as possible I know it seems vain but that doesn’t really enter in to it. The fact I’m a woman is important and means much to me. 

 

Save please (I can’t ask enough) what you can – I’m in your hands. You have children and you must know what it means – please Dr Rabwin – I know somehow you will!

 

thank you – thank you – thank you – For God’s sakes Dear Doctor no ovaries removed – please again do whatever you can to prevent large scars.

 

Thanking you with all my heart.

 

Marilyn Monroe

Clearly having a baby was a big deal for Marilyn and she was adamant that she would have a family one day. It was recommended that she should have a hysterectomy but Marilyn refused. Sadly, the build-up of scar tissue and complications with the illness caused Marilyn to suffer at least two pregnancy losses.

In August 1957 Marilyn had an ectopic pregnancy (where the fertilised egg implants itself on the outside of the womb) causing her to lose the baby. She was in the hospital for about 10 days before she left, still glowing but with a heartbreaking smile on her face. Confidently Marilyn stated she would try again. Which she and Arthur succeeded in doing in 1958 until she had a miscarriage. In 1959, after surgery, she was told she would never be able to have children.

On top of stomach pain, back and pelvic pain, period cramps, depression and aching, Marilyn’s body was working against her, stopping her from having the one and only thing she truly desired.

It should be quickly noted that this is why so many members of the Marilyn Monroe fan community feel frustrated by claims that she was plus-sized when she was in the early stages of pregnancy and claim pregnancy when she was in fact suffering from endo-belly. Nothing should ever be assumed when it comes to the physical appearance of someone as you don’t know their physical or mental struggles.

Marilyn Monroe, the sex goddess, was unable to carry a child full term. This must’ve been a terrible burden to bear for one of the most desirable women in showbiz. Sex isn’t just about pleasure, especially when you’re trying to conceive. And during her marriage to Arthur, it was likely they spent some time trying to start a family of their own.

This sex symbol status must have hurt her personally at times, at least on some level. Marilyn so desperately wanted a child. Being physically desirable but physically unable to have a full-term healthy pregnancy cannot be an easy part of any couple’s relationship. Considering Arthur later had children in his third marriage to Inge Morath, it must have taken a toll on Marilyn’s confidence as a woman who wanted to become a mother.

In addition, despite the fact that not all women with endometriosis endure painful sexual experiences, it’s possible and quite likely Marilyn did.

This could’ve made her intimate relationships throughout her life difficult. Seeing herself portrayed as a sex symbol must’ve been a bittersweet reality one that she never shook off. Marilyn was very open about her sexuality and spoke to friends about her enjoyment of having sex, but again this may have been a part of the sex goddess picture she had painted for herself. To endure the idea of being a sexual being without carrying her babies full term or being able to have pleasure in sex can dampen one’s vision of themselves to a large degree. Marilyn adored children and always spoke about her desire to become a mother.

Again, this is another reason why so many Marilyn Monroe fans despite the accusations that she had an abortion (in some cases, there are rumours to have been twelve). This is not true. This is possibly the last thing Marilyn would’ve ever done.

Endometriosis Today

Sadly, there is still no cure for endometriosis, and it can still be difficult to treat even by today’s standards. Treatment aims to ease symptoms as opposed to stop the condition.

Treatment is given to:

    • help relieve pain 
    • slow the growth of endometriosis tissue 
    • improve fertility
    • stop the condition returning

These include:

    • your age 
    • what are your main symptoms are
    • whether you want to become pregnant as some treatments may stop you from getting pregnant 
    • how you feel about surgery
    • whether you have tried any of the treatments before 

Treatment isn’t always required especially if there are no fertility problems. Endometriosis can also get better on its own but it can get worse if it’s not treated, which is what happened with Marilyn.

There are several self-help groups such as Endometriosis UK which can be good if you’re learning how to manage the condition

10 Marilyn “Facts” That Are Actually Myths II

After a lot of positive feedback after my last “myth-busting” post, I thought I would do another… But I would like to firstly say I take no credit for this information. Of course, some information is just based on my memory of things I’ve read before or discussions I’ve had with friends… but more often than not I had some help thanks to a few wonderful researchers, various books and more.

1. MARILYN WAS SEWN INTO HER “HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR PRESIDENT” GOWN

The Jean Louis beaded gown was indeed a clinging design and obviously incredibly tight fitting. This was the create the illusion of nudity. But no, Marilyn wasn’t not sewn into it. There’s nothing mentioned within the book Marilyn In Fashion (a highly detailed account of Marilyn’s outfits and costumes) that mention that the dress needed to be sewn on, not to mention there was a zipper. She did however find difficulty putting it on (even without any underwear). Don’t you think she looked flawless? You can read more about the dress here.

2. MARILYN HAD SIX TOES

This bizarre rumour still gets flung around occasionally… Based on this image:

I can see where people are coming from. It does look like a sixth toe! But the sand on her foot, lighting and composition of the photo is what is creating this illusion. However, it doesn’t take much time to have a look at some other photos to see that, no, Marilyn did not have six toes on her left foot (or right for that matter!)

3. MARILYN OWNED A RED DIARY FULL OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE KENNEDYS AND GOVERNMENT SECRETS

Another one of Robert Slatzer’s tales. Remember him? He’s the fella who claims he married Marilyn… with zero proof. The guy who said he and Marilyn stayed in touch with Marilyn up until her death with ZERO PROOF. He’s also the guy who said Marilyn kept a red diary full of government secrets, again with zero proof.

The notebooks and documents Marilyn had in her possession can be seen in Fragments. And no red diary is included.

In addition, none of Marilyn’s friends, family or acquaintances ever saw this book which supposedly contained information about the Kennedy brothers or their government secrets. And seeing as the only source is Slatzer… Well, we can assume it’s a big fat lie. You can see some information about reliable and unreliable sources here.

4. MARILYN WAS CLOSELY ASSOCIATED WITH THE MAFIA

The only association Marilyn had with the mafia was the fact she knew Frank Sinatra, who had connections with those within the mafia. Some of Frank’s buddies had connections to organised crime. But a lot of people knew Frank Sinatra. This doesn’t necessarily tie them to the organised crime syndicate. There is no valid proof that puts her alongside the likes of Jimmy Hoffa and Sam Giancana (who claimed he helped Marilyn’s career, which again is fiction). The claims that Giancana and Marilyn had a relationship or that she was with them at Cal Neva is undocumented and outlandish.

5. MARILYN WAS GIVEN A DOG BY FRANK SINATRA (MAYBE)

Ahhh, Maf Honey! The story goes is that Frank gave Marilyn this adorable white poodle named Maf (short for Mafia as a joke). But this isn’t the only story… the dog was apparently given to Marilyn by Pat Newcomb, her press agent, in March/April 1961. Maf had been the puppy a dog owned by Natalie Woods’ mother, Maria Gurdin. You can read more about Marilyn’s pets here.

6. JOE DIMAGGIO AND MARILYN WERE GOING TO REMARRY

Despite the fact, that Marilyn and Joe were close again in 1961, after her incarceration at Payne Whitney (in which he insisted Dr Kris had her released), the likelihood of marriage was not feasible at that present time.

Marilyn and Joe had spent a lot of time together and clearly were enjoying each other’s company. However, Marilyn had just bought her own house (with Joe loaning her some money) which she was incredibly proud of, and it is doubtful that she intended to share it with her ex-husband (or anyone for that matter). Moreover, speaking to Alan Levy in 1962 she said, “Believe me there is no spark to be rekindled; I just like being with him.” She had also said to Earl Wilson, “I like my freedom; I like to play the field.” In addition, she told Hedda Hopper, “I’m very glad to be free again. This is the happiest I’ve been in a long time.”

7. MARILYN HAD AN AFFAIR WITH TONY CURTIS AND BECAME PREGNANT WITH THIS CHILD

Tony Curtis claimed to have had an affair with Marilyn in 1948 in the book The American Prince. He has also stated in interviews they were together when Marilyn was 19, which would have taken place in 1945 when she was a married factory worker and part-time model. Marilyn hadn’t even started acting until 1946!

Some Like It Hot: Me, Marilyn and the Movie (2009) changes the dates once more placing the affair at 1950.

The confirmed dates of their meeting are in 1951 when they were photographed for a LIFE magazine in a segment called ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ and at a birthday party for a mutual friend, Sammy Davis Jr. in 1954.

He claimed in his book that the affair was rekindled on the set of Some Like It Hot. In Some Like It Hot: Me, Marilyn and the Movie, he states that Marilyn fell pregnant with his baby during filming. When she lost the baby in 1958, she was 3 months pregnant which wouldn’t match up to the filming schedule. So, yeah… not his baby.

If you’re going to make up affair rumours, do your research…

Not only that, but Marilyn also wrote a note regarding Tony Curtis’ comments about kissing her being “like kissing Hitler”. This foes to show that she wasn’t interested in him sexually and never had been.

8. MARILYN HAD ABORTIONS

Marilyn’s gynaecologist, Dr Leon Khron, stated “And the rumours of her multiple abortions are ridiculous. She never had even one. Later there were two miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy requiring emergency termination [of a pregnancy] but no abortion.”

9. MARILYN’S PIANO WAS ALWAYS WHITE

In My Story, Marilyn talks about her piano saying, “I have it in my home now in Hollywood It’s been painted a lovely white.”

This implies it wasn’t always white. Berniece, Marilyn’s sister, stated in her book My Sister Marilyn that the piano was originally black, however, I cannot find proof that it was physically black.

What we can see is that in 1953, it was a pale wood and not white. Sometime between 1953 and 1958, it was painted white.

10. MARILYN HAD AN AFFAIR WITH LEE STRASBERG

I have never heard this one until someone brought it up to me in July 2021. But Marilyn saw Lee as a father figure, she felt like she was a part of his family. She admired him deeply and loved him, but nothing happened between them romantically or sexually. Paula Strasberg was present with her A LOT in the final years of Marilyn’s life, working with her on her acting and on set. Marilyn spent time with his family including his daughters. There is absolutely no way Marilyn or Lee would’ve crossed that line.

As mentioned before, it’s high time we focus on facts, sources, and documents that support claims instead of believing articles and information that is released to tabloids decades after Marilyn’s passing.

Sources: Private and Undisclosed by Michelle Morgan, My Story, My Sister Marilyn by Berniece Miracle, The Marilyn Report website