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Our Marilyn Monroe Q&A II

I asked my followers on my Instagram to send me their questions! Thank you to all those who contributed! You can read Q&A I here

WHERE DO YOU WATCH MARILYN FILMS?

I used to have the boxset of her movies on DVD but now I have most of them via digital download via iTunes or Amazon. You can buy some via my shop.


WHAT IS IT THAT MAKES YOU STILL TO THIS DAY INTERESTED IN HER?

For all of these reasons really! There’s a lot to Marilyn and despite all I feel I know about her, more and more information springs up. I find her to be a deep, complicated person full of paradoxes and that intrigues me.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PHOTO OF MARILYN?

I have far too many but here are a few.


WHERE CAN I SEE HER DRESSES? IS THERE A TOUR IN LA?

You can view (what is left) of Marilyn’s Jean Louis gown at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.

There’s The Hollywood Museum but many of the items there aren’t actually Marilyn’s at all.

Marilyn’s costumes and dresses that were previously exhibited have been sold to private collectors. Sometimes Scott from The Marilyn Monroe Collection and Greg Shreiner exhibit some of her items.


HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE BOX HIDDEN BY GREENSON, NOT TO OPEN BEFORE 2030, CERTAINLY THE TRUTH OF HER DEATH?

Dr Ralph Greenson, psychoanalyst

The story goes that at UCLA, a private investigator found a box belonging to Greenson which The Daily Mail claims could state how Marilyn died. “Box 39” contains documents and tapes that are to remain sealed until 2039 (funny how the date should match the box number). However, it is my belief that these are therapy notes and session tapes as opposed to a huge discovery of how Marilyn died in 1962. The tapes and documents likely show what a poor Doctor he was, hence why Joan (his daughter) stored many of his boxes away as she didn’t want her father, or family, to be subjected to blame for her death..

The theory that they contain the source of her death probably stems from the tale that tapes were played by Greenson to a man called John Miner.

John Miner was an attorney who investigated Marilyn’s death. Decades after meeting Greenson, he wrote a transcript of Marilyn’s tapes from memory. The transcript doesn’t fit with how Marilyn spoke, at all and has been discredited by researchers.

He believes Marilyn died from suppository/enema due to the discolouration of her colon. It has also been reported that he believed it was an injection. Both theories have been thrown out by medical professionals based on the reports. This is because discolourisation occurs in death anyway so doesn’t prove this is the cause. He was not a medical examiner. Many ME’s do not believe in the enema or suppository theory.

He claims he was present at the autopsy, however, the coroner Dr Thomas Noguchi does not recall John Miner being there are all. You can read more about her cause of death here.

Could a box of documents prove how Marilyn died? Well, Greenson was partly responsible for her death alongside Dr Engleberg. Who knows if what is in those boxes is an honest account? Engleberg had lied about prescribing Marilyn the barbiturates but his name is on the pill bottles and signature on the prescriptions. The only person who knows what happened exactly that night was Marilyn. So, we have to use science and logic.


DO YOU THINK YOU’LL EVER STOP LOVING MARILYN?

Marilyn? No.

Having a fan account – yes. I dip in and out of moments where I can’t deal with the drama or the monotony of trying to do things differently from others etc. It takes a lot of effort to have a fan account and to keep an active blog. But I enjoy it because I feel it brings me closer to Marilyn. Having a troll account put me off for a while. I have had a couple of fillings out with other pages but sorted that. Then I had a falling out with another account, I was in a tricky, place mentally and I became a petty person who I didn’t like. I did apologise to the account, but they never responded, which is also okay.

I have discussed my love for Marilyn further down this Q&A.

I love her and will love her forever. There are some things I dislike about her, granted, but that doesn’t change how I feel about her overall.


WHAT DID MARILYN EAT? SHE WAS SO THIN AND DID THE PILLS MAKE HER LESS HUNGRY?

Marilyn wasn’t deemed as “so thin” in the 1950s and 1960s. It was common for women to have small waists. But I have written about her diet and workouts here. I’m not sure whether her medication would’ve affected her appetite.


DO YOU THINK THERAPY HARMED MARILYN?

I think the type of therapy she did wasn’t helpful to her personally. There are many different types but I think psychoanalysis was toxic for her. Having to relive your most traumatic moments over, and over… It seemed detrimental to her mental health and she did it all because of The Actor’s Studio. Because of Lee Strasberg’s recommendation, she felt the only way to become a “serious actress” was to delve into your subconscious. Some people just aren’t able to do that to the extent Marilyn did. I think even therapy was an addiction for her.


IS MARILYN’S SISTER STILL ALIVE?

It was recently discovered by fans online that Berniece Miracle died in 2014. It wasn’t made public as their family is very private.


WHAT COLOUR EYES WERE MARILYN’S?

Blue. No, she didn’t have brown eyes and wear contacts.


WHY DOESN’T A MUSEUM EXIST?

Anna Strasberg (wife of Lee Strasberg after Paula died) sold Marilyn’s possessions in 1999 and so it was distributed to buyers. Some collectors exhibit many of Marilyn’s items for a short time in various places.

Debbie Reynolds, who owned many movie items (not just Marilyn’s) had approached the Academy on numerous occasions requesting a museum for her items to be presented. They repeatedly turned her down so she decided to auction the items in 2011. I visited the exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum showcasing these items and I so so wish they were able to remain there. She passed away in 2016. The Academy opened a museum, without evening mentioning her clear desire and involvement in the idea, in 2021. The place, from what I have seen is practically empty with only a few items worth seeing…

Sometimes there are exhibits before an auction too. I was fortunate to see many lovely possessions in London in 2016. David Gainsborough Roberts who owned one of the largest Marilyn Monroe collections, sold it, making £1.5million which was said to go to charity. He sadly passed away in 2017.

Then items were further distributed at auctions to come. So unless a HUGE auction happens and everyone sells their Marilyn items to ONE buyer who will happily exhibit them, then I don’t see this happening.


WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO MARILYN? HOW DID YOU DISCOVER HER?

I may as well cover my whole relationship with Marilyn and being a fan page, as someone else asked a similar question… “What is your Marilyn story?”

SO

I first saw Marilyn when I was about 9 years old when I was staying with my Dad and she was singing Happy Birthday Mr President. I asked Dad who she was, this woman, glowing brightly on the screen. “Marilyn Monroe.” Then, when I was at a family party, because of my curly white locks someone said “you look like a baby Marilyn Monroe.” I laughed awkwardly because I really wasn’t sure what that meant but I remembered the woman on the screen and decided to take it as a compliment.

Fast forward to being 15 years old, doing art and history GCSE (the exams we take before leaving school) Marilyn’s name popped up a few times. I painted Andy Warhol’s Marilyn on the cover of my art book and wrote briefly about how she was the symbol of changing times in the 1950s and early 1960s.

Then when I was 18 I left a two-year-long, mentally abusive relationship. Coming out of that I was a bit lost. A friend of mine said “you need a hobby. Mine is currently Tony Curtis.” So, guess what we watched?

After seeing Some Like It Hot, I told my new boyfriend (who is now my husband since 2013) I wanted and needed to learn more about this woman. That she captivated me and I don’t know why. That there was clearly something more to her. Being the guy he is, he came along for the ride. So, we watched a crappy documentary and I was hooked. Books were bought, a Tumblr page was made (it was called ifoundadream from The Prince and the Showgirl) and in 2011 I became Our Marilyn Monroe.

It didn’t take me too long to find that Marilyn was not only a complicated, paradoxical individual but the stories that surround her are too. That many of the tales I heard in the documentary weren’t true, that she was actually far more interesting without the facade of myths and rumours.

My Tumblr page was (and I know those who knew me then won’t mind me saying this) one of the biggest Marilyn fan pages. There were a few who were also as popular, if not more. But I was in the top 3. This was both daunting and exciting. The Marilyn “Big Wigs” cared about my opinions, would ask ME questions, and get involved with research projects. They wanted to meet me in person. And with many of them, I did.

I also had a HUGE Instagram following. But I had to give it up a few times for my mental health. Not that having it was hard but my mind wasn’t as keen anymore, I couldn’t deal with the questions, the debunking, the arguing with people who didn’t care to listen.

In 2017, after helping a fan page with their website and content for two years, paying for it and all… I discovered I was disliked by the people I thought I was friends with. People who I was helping, for free. I offered to redesign their HUGE, messy website in order for it to be the number one Marilyn source. Then I was told I was taking over something that wasn’t mine. Needless to say I now absolutely refuse to help anyone with website design, people take it far too personally.

I began to feel used over the years. I felt people were talking to me purely because of my following count or my friendship circle. And not because they liked me. That circle has become significantly smaller. And it’s getting smaller. I have kept my memory of some of the friendships I had locked away and realised that maybe that will be it. But I don’t chase people that I was once very close with. In fact, for those who have remained friendly, we barely talk about Marilyn at all. I have a few new friends but it goes beyond Marilyn. And I’ve realised that is also important.

Anyway, I sold many of my Marilyn possessions as I felt bitter towards her and her fans. I stopped learning about her, ignored the news that surrounded her and barely watched a movie.

In 2021, my depression needed a distraction. And here we are.


DO WE KNOW HOW/WHEN MARILYN MET EUNICE MURRAY? WAS SHE ONLY AN EMPLOYEE OR A FRIEND?

Marilyn hired Eunice in November 1961 through the recommendation of Ralph Greenson who knew her personally. She assisted Marilyn in finding a home and chose 12305 Helena Drive as it was similar to Greenson’s home. Which just so happened to be Eunice’s old house until she couldn’t afford it any longer and sold it to Greenson in 1947. Marilyn bought it in February 1962.

I don’t believe their relationship was beyond professional means.

Eunice was supposedly relieved of her duties in August 1962, when Eunice was going to travel to Europe. This is the same time that Marilyn had told Greenson that she no longer wanted psychoanalysis with him. Of course, this has led to the silly belief that they killed her purely because Eunice didn’t stay the night at the home often and it was two days before her travels (you can read why that logic is flawed here). The reality Eunice was asked to stay because Greenson was concerned about Marilyn after their final session and felt it would be beneficial for her to have company. Of course, Eunice was unable to do anything about the events that occurred the night of Marilyn’s death but alas I feel Eunice enjoyed the attention she received from being there when Marilyn died.


WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE STYLE OF MARILYN’S THROUGH THE DECADES?

I love her with long(er) hair and dressed down.


FAVOURITE DECADE FOR FILM?

In general, or Marilyn? Well, Marilyn’s films would have to be from the 1950s as that’s when she made most of her biggest movies. And to be honest, I absolutely adore 1950s films in general too. Here are some of my favourite 1950s films including Marilyn’s:

  • Some Like It Hot (1959)
  • Sunset Boulevard (1950)
  • Alice in Wonderland (1951)
  • Vertigo (1958)
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
  • 12 Angry Men (1957)
  • Singin’ In The Rain (1952)
  • To Catch a Thief (1955)
  • Rear Window (1954)
  • How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
  • Roman Holiday (1953)
  • Dial M For Murder (1954)
  • The Seven Year Itch (1955)
  • Niagara (1953)
  • Peter Pan (1953)
  • An Affair to Remember (1957)
  • Don’t Bother to Knock (1952)
  • Cinderella (1950)
  • All About Eve (1950)
  • The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
  • North By Northwest (1959)

FAVOURITE ACTORS BESIDES MARILYN?

I don’t actually have particular favourites. I am more drawn to movies as opposed to who is in them. I don’t love Marilyn solely based on her movies but I do enjoy many of them immeasurably.

Some actors which I enjoy watching (not claiming to have seen all their films mind you… and also, this is purely based on movies, not their personal lives because I know how we all love to comment):

  • Audrey Hepburn (cliche I know)
  • Margot Robbie
  • Grace Kelly
  • James Stewart
  • Cary Grant
  • James Stewart
  • Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Al Pacino
  • James Dean
  • Marlon Brando
  • Michelle Williams
  • Emilia Clarke
  • Adam Driver
  • Johnny Depp
  • Natalie Portman
  • Christian Bale
  • Montgomery Clift
  • Tom Hardy
  • Tom Hanks
  • Emma Thompson
  • Vincent Price
  • Vera Farmiga
  • Cate Blanchett
  • Marion Cotillard
  • Hugh Jackman
  • Jack Huston

HOW BAD DO YOU THINK MARILYN’S MENTAL HEALTH WAS?

I cannot comment. I am neither Marilyn nor her doctor who are truly the only people who can comment.


THOUGHTS ON LOIS BANNER’S BOOK?

It’s not on my list of recommendations.

Our Marilyn Monroe

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