Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Marilyn Monroe and James Dean

I recently posted a few pictures / paintings that featured Marilyn with James Dean. While it was obvious that most were photoshopped (the pics, that is), it did get me wondering, What was the relationship between Marilyn and James, and did they ever date???

Here's what I found:


Marilyn Monroe and James Dean never dated. They never even met each other when they were alive. Monroe was several years older than him. While Dean was starting to establish his career and status in Hollywood, his life ended abruptly. Monroe died several years later as well. They each lead their own lives.

 However, both Monroe and Dean are considered icons in Pop Culture.
Both died very young. They are often depicted in art indicating that their beauty and tragic lives.

Monroe and Dean allegedly met once during the premiere of his debut film East of Eden(1955) and apparently disliked each other over 'Hollywood differences' (she enjoyed the spotlight and he hated it). They would've made an attractive couple though.


Interesting, isn't it? And for some reason, it almost makes sense that they knew each other and dated briefly. But, didn't happen.

Just something else to dream about.....

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Marilyn and Joe...Crazy Love?

Have you ever heard of The Wrong Door Raid? Possibly, if you're a Marilyn fan or Rat Pack fan, but surprisingly, many haven't heard of this outrageous tale.

Although Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio had quite the love affair, their union ended in divorce after less than a year of marriage. However, it's fair to say that Joe had a hard time getting over Marilyn.

(The following info / retelling is from June 5, 2011 L.A. Time article by Steve Harvey)

One version of the story holds that Joe DiMaggio and Frank Sinatra were having dinner at the Villa Capri restaurant in Hollywood on a November evening in 1954 when they got the tip: A private investigator phoned to say the ballplayer's estranged wife, Marilyn Monroe, was inside a nearby apartment building, possibly with a lover.

Without bothering to pay the bill, DiMaggio stormed out of the eatery, followed by Sinatra and various associates, as well as Billy Karen, the restaurant maitre d'.Someone volunteered to pay the bill later, but the maitre d' responded that the bill was no problem, he just wanted "in on this thing."

A few minutes later, the group kicked in an apartment door on Waring Avenue. They found not Monroe but a lone resident, Florence Kotz, who was in her bed, screaming in terror, witnesses later related.
One of the fascinating aspects of the Wrong-Door Raid, as it came to be known, was how easily it was covered up. Half a century ago, paparazzi didn't stake out celebrity haunts, so there was no initial alert that anything was up.
Later, police were called to the apartment building but, as was their job back then when big celebrities were involved in some sort of mischief, they just took a report and calmed everybody down.
No charges were filed.
Kotz didn't rush out and file a lawsuit.
And the scandal-wary Times published no story on the affair for more than two years.
 Pictures of Marilyn from the press conference, where she announced her separation / divorce from Joe.
I've read a few accounts of The Wrong Door Raid. Some contend that Sinatra stayed in the car, others say he was part of breaking down the door--and that the door was broken down with an axe!
I've also read that Florence filed charges a year later and settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. 
Marilyn WAS in the apartment building, which was not a typical apartment complex that we tend to think of nowadays. She was in the apartment next door, visiting her friend Sheila.
Ah, the scandals of Old Hollywood.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Marilyn's Lost Loves, pt. 3

Joe DiMaggio

(most info from

It was the ultimate All-American romance: the tall, handsome hero of the country’s national pastime captures the heart of the beautiful, glamorous Hollywood star. But the brief, volatile marriage of Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio–the couple wed on this day in 1954–barely got past the honeymoon before cracks began to show in its brilliant veneer.

In 1952, the New York Yankees slugger DiMaggio asked an acquaintance to arrange a dinner date with Monroe, a buxom blonde model-turned-actress whose star was on the rise after supporting roles in films such as Monkey Business (1952) and a leading role in the B-movie thriller Don’t Bother to Knock (1952). The press immediately picked up on the relationship and began to cover it exhaustively, though Monroe and DiMaggio preferred to keep a low profile, spending evenings at home or in a back corner of DiMaggio’s restaurant. On January 14, 1954, they were married at San Francisco City Hall, where they were mobbed by reporters and fans. Monroe had apparently mentioned the wedding plans to someone at her film studio, who leaked it to the press.

While Monroe and DiMaggio were on their honeymoon in Japan, Monroe was asked to travel to Korea and perform for the American soldiers stationed there. She complied, leaving her unhappy new husband in Japan. After they returned to the United States, tension continued to build, particularly around DiMaggio’s discomfort with his wife’s sexy image. One memorable blow-up occurred in September 1954, on the New York City set of the director Billy Wilder’s The Seven Year Itch. As Monroe filmed the now-famous scene in which she stands over a subway grate with the air blowing up her skirt, a crowd of onlookers and press gathered; Wilder himself had reportedly arranged the media attention. As her skirt blew up again and again, the crowd cheered uproariously, and DiMaggio, who was on set, became irate.

DiMaggio and Monroe were divorced in October 1954, just 274 days after they were married. In her filing, Monroe accused her husband of “mental cruelty.”

In February 1961, she was admitted to a psychiatric clinic; it was DiMaggio who secured her release, and took her to the Yankees’ Florida spring training camp for rest and relaxation. Though rumors swirled about their remarriage, they maintained their “good friends” status. When the 36-year-old Monroe died of a drug overdose on August 5, 1962, DiMaggio arranged the funeral. For the next two decades, until his own death in 1999, he sent roses several times a week to her grave in Los Angeles.

Although Joe made his mark as husband no. 2, it's fair to say that their relationship lasted beyond their marriage. In fact, Joe and Marilyn had reconnected, and shortly before her death, there was even talk of them reuniting. Perhaps, despite his flaws, Joe was the love of her life. They made a decent couple, both had a lot going for them. Even in this picture, it's obvious they had chemistry and seemed to be a good fit. Reportedly, the last words on Joe's lips? "At last, I get to see Marilyn."

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Marilyn's Lost Loves, pt. 2

Arthur Miller

(most info from

Marilyn Monroe married Arthur Miller on June 29th, 1956. The marriage lasted five years. In the early months of 1956 Marilyn Monroe was preparing to star in Bus Stop, discussing with Laurence Olivier a role in The Prince and the Showgirl and romancing Arthur Miller, who was divorcing his wife, Mary. She was also formally changing her name from Norma Jeane Mortenson to Marilyn Monroe and being attacked by red-baiters for associating with the playwright, an alleged Communist sympathizer.

In February Walter Winchell broadcast an item about ‘America’s best-known blonde moving picture star’. Said to have been directly inspired by J. Edgar Hoover himself, it described her as ‘now the darling of the left wing intelligentsia, several of whom are listed as Red fronters’. The filming of Bus Stop was completed by the end of May. Miller’s Reno divorce came through in June and Marilyn joined him in New York, besieged by swarms of pressmen. On June 29th they held a press conference at Miller’s house in Roxbury, Connecticut, whose local newspaper had dryly announced the day before, ‘Local Resident Will Marry Miss Monroe of Hollywood’, adding, ‘Roxbury Only Spot in World to Greet News Calmly’.

Once the 400 pressmen had gone away, the couple sneaked off to the Westchester County Court House in nearby White Plains, where they were married by Judge Seymour Rabinowitz shortly before 7.30 pm in a ceremony that lasted all of four minutes. The bride was thirty years old to the groom’s forty. Miller’s cousin, Morty Miller and his wife, were the witnesses and there was not a solitary pressman or flash camera in sight. This was the civil ceremony out of the way. A traditional Jewish rite was planned for July 1st at the home of Miller’s agent, Kay Brown, near Katonah, which went ahead although Marilyn was now having severe misgivings and almost refused to go through with it. The wedding rings were inscribed ‘Now is forever’ and the bride was given away by her acting teacher and guru Lee Strasberg. There were twenty-five guests and the ceremony was performed by Rabbi Robert Goldberg. The writer George Axelrod made a witty speech congratulating the happy couple and adapting George Bernard Shaw to wish that their children would have Arthur’s looks and Marilyn’s brains: which was uncomfortably near the knuckle.

The newlyweds soon went off to London for the filming of The Prince and the Showgirl. Some days later, Marilyn happened to come across Miller’s notebook lying open on a table, looked at it and discovered that he was disappointed in her, feared that his own creativity would be threatened by this pitiable, dependent, unpredictable waif he had married and was seriously regretting the union. Marilyn told friends that he also wrote, ‘The only one I will ever love is my daughter’, though Miller could not recall having written that. It was a blow from which the marriage would never recover. Things went steadily from bad to worse and although Miller wrote the script of The Misfits for Marilyn, the pair separated in 1960 and divorced the following year.

I think Marilyn sincerely tried in her relationship with Miller. For him she was a prize, but for her, she was hoping that she'd found what she needed all along--a father figure. Reportedly, both had affairs during the marriage, perhaps a sure sign that divorce was inevitable. Plus, I think Arthur grew bitter toward her, felt that she was more work than he wanted, and that few perks manifested from being her husband. But once again, Marilyn was on the hurting end, having endured painful remarks from Arthur. Of all people, Marilyn was most fragile when it came to criticisms.

She deserves credit for trying and for surviving yet another broken heart.

Marilyn's Lost Loves, pt. 1

James Dougherty

(most info from

How Jim and Marilyn Met:

Marilyn's foster mom was a good friend of Jim's mother.

Wedding Date and Info:

On June 19, 1942, Marilyn and Jim were married at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Chester Howell in Westwood, California. The short wedding ceremony was officiated by Reverend Benjamin Lingenfelder of the Christian Science Church. Their reception was at Florentine Gardens in Hollywood. Marilyn was 16 years old when they married and James was 21 years old. They did not have a honeymoon.
"To avoid another orphanage stay a family friend orchestrated a marriage proposal when she was sixteen years old."
Source: Official Marilyn Monroe Website
James: "Norma Jeane wore a pure white, long silken dress, with a short veil attached to her thick, curly hair. It was a borrowed dress, but that didn't matter to either of us."
Source: Jim Dougherty. To Norma Jeane with Love, Jimmie. 2001. pg. 31.


James and Marilyn were divorced on September 13, 1946. She took up residency in Nevada on May 14, 1946 so they could be divorced there.

Later in life, James said, "I never knew Marilyn Monroe," referencing the fact that she became a superstar after they separated and divorced. To him, she would always be Norma Jeane.
Anyone else think she resembles Judy Garland in this picture?

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Jackie-Marilyn 'encounter'

Interesting article from Everlasting Star.... #marilynmonroe #oldhollywood #jacquelinekennedyonassis

Jackie Kennedy and Marilyn’s ‘Allure’

Diana Vreeland, the formidable editor of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, included this photo of Marilyn (taken by Cecil Beaton in 1956) in her 1980 book, Allure.
Vreeland worked with Jackie Kennedy on the project, as William Kuhn recounts in Reading Jackie, a new study of the one-time First Lady’s career in publishing.
“Marilyn Monroe had a brief affair with JFK, and by 1980, when Vreeland’s Allure was published at Jackie’s behest by Doubleday, this was well-known…Monroe had committed suicide during the very week that Vreeland was taking over the editorial position at Vogue. She began work just as the outgoing editor was putting together the finishing touches on an issue which, by chance, included an article with a tribute to Monroe and several photographs. Vreeland’s colleague wanted one of the photos taken out. It was too ‘triste’ in light of what Monroe had just done. Vreeland replied, ‘You can’t leave that out! You cannot! It’s got all the poignancy and the poetry and the pathos of the woman in it!’ That was in 1962. In the late 1970s, Vreeland explained what she loved about this photo…‘Marilyn Monroe! She was a geisha. She was born to give pleasure, spent her life giving it – and knew no other way’…What did Jackie say to Vreeland about the Monroe photograph? Probably nothing, but the fact that she silently allowed Vreeland to include it shows Jackie content to acknowledge Monroe’s ur- sexiness, a quality that Jackie did not think she shared with the screen icon.
It seems as if Jackie was able to separate her editorial self from the woman whose husband had a public fling with Monroe. She was thrilled, about the same time she was working with Vreeland on Allure, when a proposal came from Doubleday that promised pictures from Bert Stern‘s last photographic session with the actress. ‘Marilyn Monroe!!!’ Jackie wrote in a memo to her colleague Ray Roberts. ‘Are you excited?’…Vreeland’s treatment of Monroe was probably like this for Jackie too: a publishing opportunity rather than a moment to reflect on a personal injury. In any case, if injury there had been, she was able to rise above it.”

Later in the book, Kuhn reports an interview with biographer David Stenn, who wrote about two Hollywood sex symbols pre-dating MM – Clara Bow and Jean Harlow – with Jackie’s support:
“Stenn also recalled a conversation he had with Jackie about Marilyn Monroe, a topic that he had avoided touching upon. That’s why he was surprised when she brought it up. Jackie didn’t mention Monroe in the context of JFK but rather as part of a continuum with Jean Harlow: both of them were blondes who made their sexual appeal the center of their screen personalities. As with Vreeland, Jackie was willing to discuss Monroe with Stenn in a completely dispassionate, even admiring way.”

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Seeing Double?

Jackie and Marilyn make both of these dresses work. Jackie's dress is designed by one of her favorites, Oleg Cassini, but I don't know about Marilyn's dress. Both look stunning.

Who wore it best?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Marilyn channeling Jackie

This is definitely one of those shots where I'd love to hear the story behind it. For one thing, it's like a garish joke. Everything representing Jackie in the shot is overdone: the hair, the pearls, the baggy clothes. Those elements are actually anti-Jackie. Also curious is the 'Marilyn mole'. Here, it looks more like someone smashed a fly on her face. Since this was among Marilyn's last photo shoots, you figure it's a *wink, wink* to her affair with JFK. Perhaps this was Marilyn's way of taking a jab at it by 'becoming Jackie'. After the Happy Birthday, Mr. President performance at Madison Square Garden in May, JFK (and probably his handlers, too) decided that he needed to cut ties with Marilyn, that the art of indiscretion was becoming increasingly lost on her when it came to their trysts. Unfortunately for Marilyn, she failed to realized that she was merely a drop in the bucket when it came to JFK's carnal conquests, and that he was probably incapable of developing genuine feelings for her. Sadly, Marilyn was dead only weeks after this shoot.

For those of you interested in all-things-Marilyn, check out my upcoming release, A DREAM CALLED MARILYN, a fictional tale about Marilyn's last days and the secrets she harbored.

#marilynmonroe #jfk #jfkmarilynaffair #books #reading #newrelease

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Eye-Catching Art

With the days to my book release counting down, I'm enjoying all-things-Marilyn. One thing in particular is the artwork "Hidden Truth" by Chris Consani. There are several of these pieces, and all bring a crazy-unique blend of his talents and trivia about the subjects. I don't know the story behind each one, but most puzzling for me is why he included Humphrey Bogart. The implied 'love triangle' of Elvis, Marilyn, and James Dean is all I need.

Here are a few samples to enjoy. Be sure to check out the details.

Another fun fact? Apparently Mr. Consani is the only artist who's been granted permission to use Elvis' image in such art forms.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Readers' Club

For those who have enjoyed (or will after reading this!) my series of short stories, The Kennedy Chronicles, I have good news. You can get all FIVE stories for FREE when you sign up and join my Readers' Club. Only four of the stories are available online. The newest addition, "Bouvier Afternoon" is meant as a special thank you gift for new members to the club.

In case you aren't familiar with the stories yet :) , here's a brief description of each:

"Encounter"--short, short story where JFK and Jackie cross paths on a train.

"Party Favors"--you're invited to attend the dinner party where JFK and Jackie officially met through mutual friends.

"Before the Proposal"--both JFK and Jackie face their doubts about marriage and consider what they'll sacrifice in exchanging 'I Dos'.

"Arrangements"--Joe and Rose Kennedy join Janet and Hugh Auchincloss for dinner to discuss each family's 'expectations' for the pending nuptials.

"Bouvier Afternoon"--Jackie is at the final fitting for he wedding gown and is determined to wear a dress she loves, but can she convince her mother?

Visit to find out more or click HERE to join the club.

Thank you!

Still not sure? You can read Encounter for FREE.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Jackie and Marilyn: The Men They Shared, part 5

Frank Sinatra.

You read that right. Ol' Blue Eyes himself.

Most accounts of a Marilyn - Frankie affair appear solid and consistent. Frank, like many men, probably enjoyed the 'bragging rights' of being with Marilyn. He was a sucker when it came to good lookin' dames, even married a couple. But with Marilyn, their relationship was probably doomed from the start, at least for Frank. Although Frank preferred beautiful, head-turning women, he also liked them smart. Of course, a woman with a sharp mind and even sharper wit was unlikely to keep her 'til death do us part' promise as Mrs. Sinatra, considering Frank's various issues. Having such issues, and knowing Marilyn had her own, probably also worked against these two making it as a couple.

Still, you could easily imagine them as a power couple of their time, had it worked out. Even temporarily.

When it came to Jackie, there's no doubt in my mind that Frank wanted an intimate relationship with her after JFK was gone. Jackie was a conquest for many. But, was she the type to date and sleep around like most of the Hollywood celebrity types? Personally, I'm not so sure. Despite everything she went through, every high and low, Jackie remained classy. A true lady. In the pictures of Jackie and Frank 'together', it's interesting to note their faces. Jackie seems happy. Happy to look anywhere other than at Frank. Frank, on the other hand, is doing his best to portray that smug look men like to display when they've got those 'bragging rights'. I'm not sure it's working as he's by Jackie's side though. But, oh, in his mind, Frank probably entertained the dream, the dream of having Jackie as his. However, I wonder if she even liked the guy.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Jackie and Marilyn: The Men They Shared, part 4

Although he had a specific function and objective when it came to each of them, there are many questions surrounding Bobby Kennedy and these two women.

When it came to Jackie, they had a strong relationship, built on a genuine foundation of friendship. Both quiet in nature, they bonded inside the rambunctious Kennedy family. After JFK's death, Bobby's role enhanced from friendship to protector. He seemed to adopt a deep responsibility for her. Depending on what information / which accounts you may believe, these two slipped into an affair. If so, perhaps it was natural for both of them. Perhaps it was inevitable. Regardless of whether the two became intimate, one thing is certain: Jackie and Bobby loved each other and were both an important part of the other's life.

And then there's Marilyn. Again, depending on which rumors / theories you buy into, there are claims that Marilyn and Bobby had an affair.
Some believe Marilyn was shared frequently between the Kennedy brothers (Teddy, too??) . Others believe Bobby served as the go-between for Marilyn and JFK, fielding her phone calls to the White House and doing his best to keep his brother's affair hush-hush. Still others think that when Marilyn's behavior became erratic during the summer of 1962, Bobby was the man sent in to silence her. It's easy to see why Bobby, or any man, would fall for Marilyn. She exuded sex appeal without even trying, and when she DID try, it's likely that she got whichever man she wanted. Did she have a tryst with Bobby to get back at JFK? Or was theirs a collision of a mutual attraction? Hard to say.

When it comes to the details of Jackie and Marilyn's lives, neither are complete with the mention of Bobby Kennedy.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Jackie and Marilyn: The Men They Shared, part 3

It's well known that Oleg Cassini was the man behind many of Jackie Kennedy's White House looks, but did you know he also designed for Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe? (In fact, he was briefly engaged to Grace, but somehow, Joe Kennedy discouraged the union.) Oleg launched a trend with his signature fabric colored buttons on several of Jackie's outfits, including her beige coat on inauguration day and the red dress she wore during the taping of "A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy".  He provided much of Jackie's wardrobe for her April - May trip to France and Vienna in 1961, and again for her tour of India and Pakistan in 1962.

Jackie and Oleg, doin' the Twist.

Jackie's dress for the inaugural gala.

When it came to his looks for Marilyn, Oleg was clearly inspired by her allure and her figure. Although his designs for the starlet don't seem as memorable or perhaps as successful. You decide.