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> New Book - The Secret Life Of Marilyn Monroe
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Tara
post Sep 14 2009, 11:03 AM
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My copy of Taraborrelli's Secret Life Of MM arrived this weekend and I put aside everything to read it. I liked it very much overall, with a few reservations. I'm going to review it for my blog and will post the link when it's up.
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Tara
post Sep 15 2009, 11:41 AM
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My review...

http://tarahanks.com/2009/09/15/marilyns-secret-life/
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LasseK
post Sep 15 2009, 05:05 PM
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Great review, Tara. Thanks.

Btw. What do you have on the Sinatra concert she attended?
I mean the early one that you indicated she attended, in late 1954 or 1955.

Lasse

This post has been edited by LasseK: Sep 15 2009, 05:07 PM
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Tara
post Sep 15 2009, 05:12 PM
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QUOTE(LasseK @ Sep 15 2009, 05:05 PM) *
Great review, Tara. Thanks.

Btw. What do you have on the Sinatra concert she attended?
I mean the early one that you indicated she attended, in late 1954 or 1955.

Lasse


Amy Greene mentions it in Milton's Marilyn, I think it was around the time of MM's press conference in January '55. May even be the same night. In Taraborrelli's book, Joey Bishop mentions Marilyn attending his show - he was part of the Rat Pack, and could have opened for Sinatra.
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LasseK
post Sep 15 2009, 05:33 PM
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QUOTE(Tara @ Sep 15 2009, 05:12 PM) *
Amy Greene mentions it in Milton's Marilyn, I think it was around the time of MM's press conference in January '55.


Thanks. That would have been in New York then.

If anyone has any more details as to the date and venue, like was it a small band club gig or big orchestra concert etc., I'd appreciate it very much.

Lasse
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Mezzo
post Sep 15 2009, 11:03 PM
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Frank arranged for Joey to open for him when he played at The Copacabana, The Riviera, and The Paramount when he performed in New York.
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Mezzo
post Sep 15 2009, 11:34 PM
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Okay, I found the reference in Milton's Marilyn:
The press conference announcing the formation of MMP was held on January 7, 1955 at Frank Delaney's townhouse. After it had ended, Marilyn asked Amy what she would like to do, and, following Amy's wish, Marilyn, Amy and Milton went to see Frank Sinatra at the Copacabana. The nightclub downstairs from the bar was packed, and Frank was performing with an orchestra. Following the show, Sinatra invited the three to his dressing room and they went to 21 for dinner. Amy is quoted, "Rumor had it that they were lovers before, during and after, but Frank always backed off because he respected Joe DiMaggio. Once Joe left the scene, Frank stepped right in."
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LasseK
post Sep 16 2009, 12:43 AM
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QUOTE(Mezzo @ Sep 15 2009, 11:34 PM) *
Okay, I found the reference in Milton's Marilyn:
The press conference announcing the formation of MMP was held on January 7, 1955 at Frank Delaney's townhouse. After it had ended, Marilyn asked Amy what she would like to do, and, following Amy's wish, Marilyn, Amy and Milton went to see Frank Sinatra at the Copacabana. The nightclub downstairs from the bar was packed, and Frank was performing with an orchestra. Following the show, Sinatra invited the three to his dressing room and they went to 21 for dinner. Amy is quoted, "Rumor had it that they were lovers before, during and after, but Frank always backed off because he respected Joe DiMaggio. Once Joe left the scene, Frank stepped right in."


Great. Thanks a lot Mary.

In the meantime I found out that Frank performed at the Copacabana in late December 1954 onwards, including on New Year's Eve.

There were rumours about a romance between Frank and newly separated Gloria Vanderbilt Stokowski.

On Friday, January 14, Sinatra left for a tour of Australia.

Lasse
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Mezzo
post Sep 16 2009, 04:32 AM
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QUOTE(LasseK @ Sep 15 2009, 06:43 PM) *
Great. Thanks a lot Mary.


You're welcome, Lasse. I've also read that Sinatra was involved with Ms. Vanderbilt. My, my, what interesting lives they led.
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chris
post Sep 22 2009, 10:03 AM
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I've got my own copy this morning
I can't wait to read it and to have my own advice
Chris
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eddie
post Sep 22 2009, 01:01 PM
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does anyone have a list of people he interviewed for this book? It would be much appreciated
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Tara
post Sep 22 2009, 03:37 PM
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There's an appendix at the back, I'll take a look for you later. (IMG:http://www.everlasting-star.net/boards/style_emoticons/default/thumbup1.gif)
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Tara
post Sep 22 2009, 06:08 PM
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James Haspiel
Charles Casillo (Marilyn Diaries author)
Maryanne Reed (MM collector)
Mickey Song (JFK gala hairdresser)
Charles Stanley Gifford Jr (Gifford's son)
Louise Adams (mother knew Della, Gladys, Ida)
Rose Anne Cooper (worked at Rock Haven Sanatorium, where Gladys lived)
Mary Thomas-Strong (her mother knew Ida)
Bea Thomas (knew Grace)
Mary Robin Alexander (father knew Atkinsons)
Dia Nanouris (mother worked with Grace)
Eleanor Ray (mother knew Grace)
Elliott Ross (provided orphanage material)
Magda Bernard (step-brother was in orphanage with Marilyn)
Marybeth Miller-Donovan (aunt knew Ana)
Jim Dougherty
Alexander Howell (Chester's nephew)
Martin Evans (knew Jim)
Anna DeCarlo (mother worked at Radioplane with Marilyn)
Agnews Hospital representatives
John Leonard (father knew Gladys)
Cohen family (Gladys worked for them in Kentucky)
Michael Shaw (acting coach and friend of Marilyn)
Norman Brokaw (Johnny Hyde's nephew, knew Joe D)
Beverly Kramer (father knew Grace & Doc)
Diana Herbert (father wrote Scudda Hoo)
Helena Albert (student of Natasha)
Susan Martinson (ditto)
Natasha Lytess's unpublished memoir
Bill Davis (worked with Johnny)
Marybeth Hughes (dated Johnny)
Susan Reimer (Gifford's niece)
Jerry Eidelman (Marilyn's actor friend and neighbour circa 1950)
Rupert Allan (publicist)
John Gilmore (actor/writer)
Employees of Eagle Rock hospital, where Gladys worked
Wesley Miller (worked for lawyers Wright, Wright, Green & Wright)
Marvina Williams (worked at Rock Haven)
Stanley Rubin (produced RONR)
Jane Russell
Joey Bishop (comedian, Rat Packer)
Esther Williams
Stacy Edwards (knew Joe)
Sydney Guilaroff
Marybeth Cooke (worked for Jerry Geisler)
Hal Schaeffer
Jimmy Whiting (knew Sinatra)
Joe Dougherty (policeman, re Wrong Door Raid)
Fred Otash
Charles Feldman papers
Milton Greene papers
Arthur Miller
Joseph Rauh collection (Miller's lawyer)
John Huston collection
Sidney Skolsky papers
Mable Whittington (worked at Parkside)
Susan Strasberg
Lee Strasberg's legal files at Fox
Edward Lovitz (knew Arthur)
Mitzi Gaynor
Jeanne Martin
Billy Wilder
Tony Curtis
Melissa Steinberg (daughter of Dr Steinberg, gynaecologist)
Diahann Carroll (performed at JFK gala)
Hildi Greenson
Greenson collection, UCLA
Psychiatrist colleagues of Greenson
Dr Milton Wexler (worked with Greenson)
Dr Hyman Engelberg
Barbara Miller (daughter of a friend of Dr Kris)
Peter Lawford
Sammy Davis Jr
Dean Martin
Pat Brennan (friend of Pat Kennedy Lawford)
Diane Stevens (John Springer's assistant)
Gary Springer (John's son)
Rose Marie Armocida (Springer's secretary)
Yves Montand
Ralph Roberts (interview transcripts provided by Bruce Abner)
Evelyn Moriarty
Jack Entratter (Sands manager, memos used)
Joseph D'Orazio (knew Sinatra, Hank Sanicola, Mannie Sachs)
Michael Selsman (publicist)
Carol Lynley (Selsman's actress wife)
Douglas Kirkland
Maureen Stapleton
Mickey Rudin
Richard Kollmar (Dorothy Kilgallen's husband, donated papers to Lincoln Center)
Hedda Hopper Papers
Photoplay and Look archives
Colleagues of lawyer Aaron Frosch
Tommy DiBella (accessed FBI files)
Justice Department files on Giancana, Kennedys
Transcripts of wiretaps on Kennedys
Bernie Abramson (JFK gala photographer)
Matthew Fox (knew Kennedys, Lawfords)
Don Dandero (worked at Cal-Neva)
Debbie Dandero (Don's daughter)
Walter Bernstein (SGTG screenwriter)
Joan Braden (attended party at Lawford home alongside Marilyn)
Ed Guthman (RFK's press secretary)
Edward Barnes (parking attendant at Lawford house-party)
Henry Weinstein
Milt Ebbins
George Smathers (US senator)
Andy Williams (singer, knew RFK)
Peter Levathes
Nunziata Lisi (knew Jackie Kennedy's sister)
Mort Viner (Dean Marin's manager)
John Miner
Stacy Baron (Cal-Neva guest)
Janet Leigh
RFK Oral History Project
Anthony Sherman
Larry Newman
Joseph Paolella - all 3 were secret service agents
James Wright (Sinatra's chauffeur)
Cyd Charisse
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eddie
post Sep 23 2009, 06:03 AM
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thanks. Looks like a few more people who haven't spoken about Marilyn before have in this book.
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Monroestar
post Sep 24 2009, 05:29 PM
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Mine arrived last Saturday. Started it 2 nights ago. Only about 50 pages in but its a good read so far. More detailed than other Marilyn books and so far makes sense!

I do agree with the review by Tara on points especially when he reconstructs events - you start to feel you are reading a novel as you start to wonder how he has been able to put that together. Especially when the only peopel involved are Norma Jean and someone who has died!!
I would at this stage certainly recomend buying it :-) (IMG:http://www.everlasting-star.net/boards/style_emoticons/default/jumpymm.gif)
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chris
post Sep 25 2009, 05:41 PM
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Well I'm reading it too and if it's a great one they are some great mistakes too !
I've got a problem with the chapter "Jaspier dies"
It's confused because he writes about Jasper Baker and at one moment he writes about Edward Mortenson
It's very confused no ?
and I've found another great mistake on the chapter Marilyn and Arthur marry
The date of the press conference where Mara Sherbatoff has an accident was not JUne 22 but June 29 and of course that it is the correct date for the civil ceremony not June 22!!!
It's a great mistake from the editor too as the text is wrong

And the passage between her first movies and Bus Stop was quickly quoted

I'm also shocked by the passage where Marilyn called the police to arrest Gladys I can't believe it !!

Even they are some great chapters and I've learned many things too but for a book like that I belive that the mistakes like those are incredible
Chris
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Tara
post Sep 27 2009, 01:29 PM
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A review in today's Observer...

The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe by J Randy Taraborrelli

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/sep/2...-marilyn-monroe

A life of Marilyn Monroe dispenses the gossip – and refutes some lurid rumours – but fails to capture her essence, says Peter Conrad

* The Observer, Sunday 27 September 2009

Film stars are nubile wraiths, wisps of light visible only in the darkness. On screen, Marilyn Monroe's pale skin and platinum hair glowed almost radio-actively. Her body shimmied, her eyelids batted, her lips pouted and kissed the air before uttering a word. The sounds she emitted were breathy, suggestive whispers, or, as when she performs her boop-boop-a-doop routine in Some Like it Hot, pneumatic squeals of delight. The gust from the subway grate that makes her skirt billow up around her waist in The Seven Year Itch might have been stirred up by the desire she excited.

Looked at closer, the love goddess decomposed into a ghost. Dean Martin, who in 1962 spent weeks coping with her neurotic tantrums and drug-fogged confusion on the set of a film she didn't live to complete, was horrified by her vacuity: "When you looked into her eyes, there was nothing there. No warmth. No life. It was all illusion." How do you write the biography of a phantom?

Marilyn was an invention in which she herself didn't believe. Her mother, a paranoid schizophrenic who gave birth to her in a charity ward and handed her over to a stranger two weeks later, called her Norma Jeane; when a film studio rechristened her in 1946, she didn't know how to spell her new name and had to be told that it contained a "y". She was hired, as the cinematographer who shot her screen test commented, "to sell emotions", which was a delicate way of saying that she merchandised sex.

The cost of doing so, in the hypocritical 1950s, was high: punished for her attractiveness, Marilyn was either demonised or insultingly dumbed down. In Don't Bother to Knock, she plays a demure babysitter who turns into a feral slut armed with a razor blade. In How to Marry a Millionaire, she totters around in a myopic daze, convinced that a pair of specs would ruin her chances of snaring a husband. If the roles were serious, she had to impersonate a promiscuous fiend; cast in comedy, this witty, articulate, ambitious woman was expected to be a gold-digging ditz.

Either way, the persona was a burden. "All my life I've played Marilyn Monroe, Marilyn Monroe, Marilyn Monroe," she sobbed to director Henry Hathaway. "I'm doing an imitation of myself." But her efforts to alter the direction of her career, as J Randy Taraborrelli describes them, were a rehearsal for suicide: "Now she wanted nothing more than to kill off Marilyn Monroe."

The men to whom she gave herself usually responded by abusing her, which, given the sense of shame and unworthiness she retained from a childhood spent in foster homes and orphanages, may have been why she chose them. Baseball star Joe DiMaggio beat her up. Her next husband, Arthur Miller, was more subtly vengeful: he let her read a journal in which he described her as a bratty, damaged infant, and in his script for The Misfits forced her to expose both her manic irrationality and her depressive despair. President Kennedy added her to his list of adulterous liaisons for a single weekend, then casually discarded her. Perhaps these lovers were all substitutes for the absent father who, when she tracked him down, indignantly rejected her.

The doctors she trusted as healers kept her quiet by prescribing lethal doses of uppers and downers, and on the night she overdosed there were 15 bottles of pills on her bedside table. It's a sad, tawdry tale, a template for later wasted lives – Michael Jackson and Heath Ledger are recent examples – in which fame serves as a substitute for love and chemicals supply the intensity required by performance.

The secrets unearthed in this telling don't add much to the cautionary fable. Taraborrelli imparts some extra information about Marilyn's crackpot mother, a proselytising Christian Scientist who creepily insisted, when locked up in psychiatric wards, on wearing a nurse's uniform. He also establishes that JFK didn't share Marilyn with his brother Robert, at the time US attorney-general. Nor did Robert Kennedy arrange her murder, as Norman Mailer and other conspiracy theorists have claimed. A stealthy executioner would have been superfluous; Marilyn was only too eager to put herself out of her misery.

Though Taraborrelli is an indefatigable gossip hound, he's less good at analysing Marilyn's inflammatory appeal. The films pass by with nothing but meagre synopses and details of extra costs incurred because of the star's lack of punctuality. When investigating what ailed her, Taraborrelli relies on contemporary therapeutic jargon. Dumped by her mother, she suffers "abandonment issues". Gynaecologically speaking, she has "feminine issues", not to mention related "emotional issues". Sleeping pills are "a real issue". A business partnership with photographer Milton Greene involves "creative issues" and her dalliance with JFK brings up "issues that were dark and dangerous".

The poverty of Taraborrelli's vocabulary reveals the feebleness of his understanding: when problems are turned into "issues" they are automatically resolved, because the new buzzword actually means exit or outcome. This glib evasion is useful in a world where half the population claims to be afflicted by imaginary syndromes and spurious dysfunctions, but it would have taken more than a confessional splurge on The Jeremy Kyle Show to save wretched, beautiful Marilyn Monroe.
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Alanma
post Sep 27 2009, 02:34 PM
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"A life of Marilyn Monroe dispenses the gossip – and refutes some lurid rumours – but fails to capture her essence, says Peter Conrad"


It strikes me that Randy [a name that does not inspire respect or confidence] is dispensing further gossip and points up yet more lurid rumours.
Mr Conrad seems to approach this book from a position of his own pre-existing distaste for, and ignorance of, Marilyn.

It's a small point I know, but I cannot get over Randy referring to Marilyn's character in TPATS as "Elsie Mariner".
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Mezzo
post Sep 27 2009, 05:00 PM
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I agree wholeheartedly, Alan. Conrad seems to have injected a review of Marilyn herself into his review of the book.

The book does have its errors, which, unfortunately, make me question the validity of the information I haven't learned before.
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Tara
post Sep 27 2009, 06:21 PM
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I thought the review was as critical of Taraborrelli as of Marilyn, but there is a certain snobbery I guess. I've encountered it myself, some people just don't think Marilyn is worth writing, or reading about - and obviously, I disagree. But the only part of the review I really disliked was Conrad's calling Gladys a 'crackpot'. I thought the whole point of the book was to make you more sympathetic towards people suffering from mental illness, but I guess Conrad missed that memo. I also doubted that Taraborrelli was really equipped to 'diagnose' Marilyn.
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