Marilyn in the news

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Memory of Marilyn in Korea

Marilyn Monroe in Korea by Bob McMillan
Every time I deliver my PowerPoint presentation dealing with presidents and fun vignettes, the item, which gets the most laughs and questions is my coming face-to-face in Korea with Marilyn Monroe. This goes back to February of 1954.
One of my assignments as Company Commander of an Engineer Combat Company was to wet down roads so as artillery or tanks moved from one area to another Chinese spotters could not determine the locations. Wetting the roads prevented dust, and it was the dust which spotters used to track the movements of artillery or tanks. The road wetting process was one of the most unpopular assignments in my Company.
Now to the story of Marilyn Monroe. It was late on one afternoon, and my phone rang. It was my Group Commander, and he ordered me to come to his office at Camp Casey immediately. As I drove to Camp Casey, I wondered what could be so urgent? Arriving in the Colonel’s office, he pulled down a map of the area. He stated very clearly that he wanted roads sprayed with water from the helicopter pad in Camp Casey to the General’s Mess, and then to the Amphitheatre. “But, Colonel,” I said, “The spotters cannot see dust here, because mountains block the view.”
Then, he hit me with the reason for wetting down the roads. It was to keep dust off of Marilyn Monroe as she lands on the helicopter pad. Wow, what an assignment.
As I went back to my company, I thought about how best to get the job done. The word about the reason for wetting the roads leaked out, and it seemed everyone wanted to be on those trucks. The next morning we were all set. The trucks had never been so well staffed, and I had to be present to be sure the work was done effectively.
While the roads were not washed away, they were soaked. There was not a speck of dust from any moving vehicle.
After convincing the military police that it was essential for the trucks, my jeep and the soldiers to stand by for Marilyn Monroe’s arrival, we stationed ourselves next to the helicopter pad. Soon, we heard the sound of a large helicopter coming up the nearby valley. Next, after landing, we all saw the radiant Marilyn Monroe. She was beautiful. With a wave and blowing a kiss, we felt thrown to all of us next to the helicopter pad, she was off for her luncheon with the general.
After the luncheon she changed into a low cut sparkling purple dress and was off to perform for us at the amphitheater. By the way, that performance can be seen whenever the biography of Marilyn Monroe appears on television. And if you look closely, you will not see one speck of dust on that beautiful dress. Interestingly, at an auction in 1999, that dress was purchased for $112,000!
As I look back, that was an event I will always remember.
Robert McMillan Website:

Marilyn Monroe photos found at garage sale still a mystery

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Photographer Anton Fury's hobby of searching weekend garage sales for collectible toys led him to dozens of apparently unpublished photos of a young Marilyn Monroe.
Fury has allowed CNN to publish the images just days before what would have been Monroe's 85th birthday. They apparently were taken during a photo session before she was well known.

"I found an envelope of negatives, didn't know what they were, but I realized they were old," Fury said. He paid $2 for the folder, which contained two envelopes of black-and-white negatives.
That was in Parsippany, New Jersey, in 1980, when Fury says he was "a fledgling photographer."
"I took it home, put them on the lightboard with a loupe and, needless to say, these are Marilyn," he said. "That was probably my greatest garage sale discovery ever."

The second envelope was filled with about 70 negatives of actress Jayne Mansfield.
Fury held onto the photographs for the last three decades, not knowing much about them.

"The only thing we're sure of is who," he said. "We don't know where, we don't know why, we don't know when, we don't know who shot them. But we do know it is Marilyn."

Fury flew to Los Angeles this week to show the images to David W. Streets, a Beverly Hills art dealer and appraiser experienced with Monroe photos.

Monroe was one of the most photographed women ever, but Streets suspects these photos are from her early years, soon after she cut her hair and evolved into the iconic look most people associate with her.
"I've looked for early photographs, early test shots, magazine shots, books, and haven't been able to find anything yet, so the mystery we're just beginning to unravel," Streets said.

Streets' best guess for now is the photos were taken in 1950, a breakout year for the nearly unknown Monroe because of her minor roles in "The Asphalt Jungle" and "All About Eve."

"I know they were taken here in Los Angeles," which we know "from the backgrounds that we see in the photos," Streets said. "You see Hollywood Hills, Hollywood 1950s architecture."

There are more questions than answers, though.

"For me as an appraiser and as a researcher, I want people to call, I want people to e-mail and say, 'This is where it is, this is what it is, this is who I think took it,' " Streets said.

One clue that could be important is the coincidence of a man seen in both the Monroe and Mansfield photographs. It is possible he was the photographer for both sessions, Streets said.

"We know that Monroe and Mansfield were here working at the same time, were contemporaries and friends," Streets said. "So, there's an intertanglement there that we're going to unravel and see where the mystery leads."

Monroe, who would have been 24 in 1950, wore two bathing suits, including a bikini, and short pants during the poolside photo shoot.

One risk Fury runs as he brings his garage sale find to the public, and possibly for sale, is that someone could make a legal claim to the photos, which are possibly still protected by copyright laws even after 60 years.

"That's kind of what we're trying to figure out," Fury said. There's way more questions than there are answers at this point. We don't know where this is going to lead."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Smash coming to NBC

Now that the trailer for the new NBC show "Smash" (based on the behind the scenes making of a Marilyn Monroe Musical) has been released....I am even more excited about it.  Here are some more details as well as a link to the trailer.

NBC knows what you’re all thinking: Smash is just a ripoff ofGlee, right? Well, star Debra Messing has something to say about that. “I think Glee is extraordinary and original and fabulous,”  the Will & Graceactress told EW after NBC’s presentation to advertisers Monday. The drama will bow on the Peacock’s 2011-12 midseason schedule. “I think Smash is similar in that there is singing, but I think that’s where the similarities end. Glee is a comedy and ours is a drama. And Glee is in a fantastic sort of elevated world and Smash is completely naturalistic, a very real look at life in New York as an actor, producer, composer, lyricist, what have you.”
The drama, which also stars Anjelica Huston, Jack Davenport, and Katharine McPhee, is about a cross-section of characters who come together to put on a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe. Messing plays a lyricist who, together with her husband, are supposed to be taking a break from Broadway to adopt a baby when they get the idea for a musical.
“Glee does music that was already made, and we have original Broadway music being composed for us by a Tony-Award winning lyricist and composer,” Messing explained. “So every episode there will be a new song. It’s about the making of a musical about the life of Marilyn Monroe. So the music will be focused on that project. There will be a reason for the song.
“I think that it’s so exciting,” she continued. “I think it looks so beautiful. It’s shot like a film. All the characters … there’s something universal about somebody who is unknown and has nothing and is trying to fulfill their dreams. It’s like Rocky. And, of course, to have these two magnificent voices, from Katharine [McPhee] and Megan [Hilty], I was levitating by the end of [the promo].”

Monday, May 23, 2011

New Wrinkle on Ebay

Sorry for the delay in posting this in case anyone wanted in on the action.  Auction is over and it sold for $310 US!  In addition to the recent authentic Golden Dreams calendar on ebay a very rare New Wrinkle Calendar was also listed.  This calendar has advertising on it which is desirable to collectors.  However, the reason it is special is the year.  This is the first time I have seen a 1951 calendar.  Thanks so much to Steven for passing this along as I have been seeking additional information on the release dates of Marilyn's nude calendars.   If this was also the larger version of the calendar I would have been fierce in the bidding.  However, at this point I favour the size over the year.

The earliest Golden Dreams calendar I have seen remains to be my 1952.  If anyone comes across an earlier example please send it my way.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Golden Dreams Calendar on Ebay

Here is a beautiful example of an authentic Golden Dreams Calendar from 1953.  This is the large size with company advertising.  If I didn't already have one I would snap this up.   Marilyn Calendar on Ebay

Learn more about the Golden Dreams calendar on my site HERE.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Marilyn's Dress Sells for $348,000

A black cocktail dress worn by the "Some Like It Hot" star sold for a record-breaking amount at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills

Not just any LBD! A little black dress worn by Marilyn Monroe sold at auction on May 8 for $348,000 at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills. The custom-made black crepe dress with a plunging v-neck was expected to go for $20,000 to $30,000, but far exceeded that. Monroe wore the dress to a cocktail party at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1958 and also appears in it on the cover of the book Marilyn Monroe: From Beginning to End by Michael Ventura.
The cocktail dress was part of the Hollywood Legends auction at Julien's Auctions, which took place on May 7 and May 8. Other iconic items on the block included Monroe's MGM-branded swimsuit (winning bid: $84,000), Audrey Hepburn's straw hat from 1957's Funny Face(winning bid: $15,360) and the throne used by Elizabeth Taylor in 1963's Cleopatra (winning bid: $7,040).
More recent film memorabilia included an outfit worn by Angelina Jolie in 1999's Girl, Interrupted (winning bid: $1,792) and Alicia Silverstone's Batgirl costume from 1997'sBatman & Robin (winning bid: $12,800).
-The Hollywood Reporter

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Grauman's Chinese Theatre Sold

I was sad to see the following article.  Here are photos of fans from all over the world visiting Marilyn's handprintsIt is just such a historic building that the public can still watch films in.  Sounds like that is going to change.....

One of Hollywood's most iconic landmarks, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, is once again changing hands.

A partnership between Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures parent Viacom Inc. has signed an agreement to sell the historic theater on Hollywood Boulevard for an undisclosed sum to a pair of movie producers: Don Kushner, executive producer of "Tron: Legacy," and the flamboyant and controversial entrepreneur Elie Samaha, two people familiar with the deal said Thursday.

"Samaha has been doing walk-throughs at the Chinese for some time," the source says, "and it is clear from conversations with his people that he wants to turn the Chinese into a mixed venue that can show films, hold concerts, be rented out with removable seats to accomodate dance floor or standing-room-only crowds, etc, along with adding a bar and kitchen. 

"Samaha can sugarcoat this 'mixed venue' concept all he wants, but clearly his intentions are not for the preservation of a grand movie palace, but rather for a grand club," the source contends. 

Samaha "also intends to convert the Chinese 6 plex upstairs into a tri-level night club that would serve as after-party location for premieres and events that might be held at the Graumans, so the studios would be more or less forced to book a package with him if they want a film to premiere at Grauman's Chinese."

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mariah Carey Names Daughter After Marilyn

Moroccan & Monroe: Mariah Carey names her twins
LOS ANGELES — Singer Mariah Carey, who gave birth last week to boy and girl twins, announced on her website Wednesday that she has chosen the names Moroccan and Monroe for the infants.
In a statement, the music star said that she and husband Nick Cannon named their newborn son after the Moroccan Room -- the top floor of the New York apartment where he proposed to her, and which has Moroccan-inspired decor.
Daughter Monroe "was named after Marilyn Monroe, who has been an inspiration to Mariah her whole life," the statement said.
The pop diva has long been fascinated with Monroe: She bought the Hollywood icon's white piano from Christie's auction house, and has written into her will that the piano will one day go to the Smithsonian museum.
Carey announced last October that she was pregnant, ending months of rumors.
She revealed that she had had a miscarriage two years earlier, which explained her reluctance to go public early on in the pregnancy.
"It has been a long, emotional journey for this family, and I couldn't be happier for all of them," said her publicist, Cindi Berger, in the statement.
Carey and Cannon, a rap artist and actor, married in the Bahamas in April 2008. It was the second marriage for Carey, whose five-year union to legendary music producer Tony Mottola ended in divorce in 1998.
The singer, 41, has sold 175 million records since the start of her singing career in 1990. She is the third best-selling female artist of all time, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.