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> Marilyn And Judy Holliday
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post Mar 28 2005, 10:24 PM
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Whilst surfing the net I stumbled across the Judy Holliday Resource Center online. I was surprised to find an article on Marilyn with photos to accompany it. Here is the article and photos. Can anyone varify if this is all correct or not? It all seems legit.

Blonde On Blonde

Written by Martha Weinman Lear
Photo by Howell Conant*
From "FAME" magazine November 1988

When New York was a small town and fame a club for the chosen few, Marilyn Monroe and Judy Holliday found themselves in front of a mirror where myth and reality converged.

It seemed to happen in mirrors, faces peering into mirrors, fame peeking out, Peekabo!, amid the hot shadows of an Indian-summer afternoon in the Dakota apartments on Central Park West in New York. The Dakota, the venerable copperturreted heap where Rosemary's Baby would later be shot and John Lennon would still later be shot...a great deal of cultural history has been written at the Dakota.

Thirty blocks downtown, a billboard dominated Times Square. This was in 1956, a cave age, but you remember that billboard. Even if you weren't born yet you remember that billboard: Marilyn Monroe, starring in The Seven Year Itch, loomed twenty feet tall, legs straddling Broadway, calves popping, skirt billowing up toward a finger-lickin'-good smile, eyes beaming torporous promise, emanations of damp flesh roiling forth from that great big beautiful paper doll in what was, and remains, one of the most powerful images ever to come out of movie advertising.

A few blocks east, more peekaboo: Judy Holliday, the Funny Girl of her day, was transforming herself nightly into just that paper doll, and packing them into the Blue Angel supper club with her impersonation -- never mind the makeup, it was an act of brains and will, and it was brilliant -- of Marilyn Monroe.

It was my first job, at Collier's magazine, doing my own impersonation -- eager researcher playing cool reporter -- and yearning for some epiphanic professional moment. It came...

Leonard Lyons, gossip columnist for the old New York Post, was strolling down Fifth Avenue with Holliday one day, or so he reported, and they ran into Monroe. Reality and illusion head-to-head; how avidly the two must have eyed each other! Introductions were made. Someone said, "we ought to get together," and the women arranged to have tea at Judy's apartment in the Dakota, Collier's to record the event for some ravenous posterity. I was sent to take notes.

Eager? My god. I arrived much too early and was shown to a bedroom where Holliday was systematically removing every dress from her closet, pulling it on, confronting herself wretchedly in the mirror, growling, "I look fat," and ripping it off. Oh, you funny girl. Her mother, who had come by subway on this sweltering day with two shopping bags of food, including hot chicken soup, sat on the bed reciting the requisite litany: "You're not fat, you're not fat." Judy's son, Jonathan, a golden cherub, then a preschooler, stood staring. Palpable in that room was the high anxiety of a humanoid about to face the camera with a goddess.

The photographer Howell Conant, was all set up in the living room. The appointed hour came, and no Marilyn. A half hour later, no Marilyn. Judy grew tenser. Finally, after an hour, a person arrived, and it appeared that this person was Marilyn Monroe.

Time has done nothing to dim the details: She wore a black cotton shirt, sleeveless, a brown cotton skirt and flats. There was a big grease stain on the front of the skirt. The belly protruded. The legs were covered with bumps and scabs, which she kept scratching. The platinum hair showed dark at the roots and, when she raised her arm, I saw a luxuriant dark undergrowth. This was before political statements; we were all shaving our armpits. She looked...tatty, a bit. Only the voice was unmistakable, pure sigh (was it afraid to be heard or demanding that we lean in to listen? I have never been sure). Only the skin, which was truly luminescent, would have stopped you in the street.

"We were getting worried about you!" Judy cried. Her voice shook, I think with wrath.

"I've got mosquito bites," the goddess whispered, and bent to scratch yet again. And though the sequitur escaped me, I instantly and utterly forgave her for being late.

She wanted to makeup her face. Then the two of them thought that it might be fun for Judy to put on her Marilyn face first, while Marilyn watched in the mirror. They began, and it was impossible. Marilyn guided graciously, with soft breathy urgings: "Mm, make the eyebrow a little pointier...Yes, that's right..." But Judy couldn't do it. She did it every night, but here, now, in the presence of the real thing...who did not herself look much like the real thing, which gave rise to problems of philosophic scope, because who or where was the real thing? Was it here, in this sweetly scruffy presence, or was this a mere mortal metaphor for the real thing, which was up there on the billboard? Judy fussed and fussed, and then tried getting it through gestures -- chin up, head tossed back with cosmic abandon -- but gestures didn't work.

"How do you do that?" she asked.

"Do what?" Marilyn said.

"Oh you know," Judy answered, tossing her head again.

"Well, uh..." Marilyn began, and giggled, craning her own head back gingerly, as though trying to ease a stiff neck. And that was when I finally saw, quick study that I was, that both women had the same problem: They were both straining to impersonate Marilyn Monroe.

So they tried it the other way. Marilyn would make up first. "Oh, I look awful," she said, but in the mirror she took on authority. She set to work with that total Teutonic dispassion of models, a touch of shadow here, a dab of highlight there, an extravagance of mascara, an artful swirling of hair around the roots. I waited, wild with curiosity -- Judy too -- for the transmutational touch, peekaboo! But Monroe was doing no magic tricks; she was simply spiffing up what she had, as we all do.

And then came this remarkable moment. The child, Jonathan, appeared in the doorway. Judy bent to him and took his hand. "Jonathan," she said, "do you remember that lady we saw in the movie, Marilyn Monroe?" The cherub nodded. "You want to meet her?" Again he nodded, wide-eyed. "Jonathan," she said, and her hand swept across the room -- flourish of trumpets, roll of drums -- "this is Marilyn Monroe."

Marilyn was standing. She had just hitched up her skirt to pull down the blouse from underneath. She looked at the little boy, and he at her, and in that instant it happened. She metamorphosed. The skirt stayed up. One scabrous leg came forward and pivoted on its toe. The calf muscle popped. The knee described small circles in the air, the pelvis gently following its delicate gyrations. And the head tilted easily back, the eyelids closed down, she licked her lips, became that myth and smiled full into the child's face and sighed, "Hi-iiii."

Conant shot hundreds of exposures that afternoon; not a single one of Marilyn was bad, and most were splendid. Ultimately, what one saw in the room did not matter. Her face, as they say of certain faces -- as they first said of Valentino's face -- made love to the camera.

The pictures were never published because Collier's, soon after, went out of business. The one shown here was taken as a souvenir for me, and I have never looked at it without remembering that moment of her transmutation, and wondering: What on earth she thought she was doing? And it must be that she simply had not thought at all, but had simply heard the bell and gone on automatic. If it was male it was her audience, her element, and she would play to it. This is a gift. It is not necessarily a gift that makes good actors, but it almost invariably makes great performers.

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wootness
post Mar 28 2005, 11:13 PM
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Wow that is a great story... thanks so much for sharing!
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Zelda Zonk
post Mar 28 2005, 11:32 PM
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Interesting, I enjoyed it. Thanks a lot! (IMG:http://www.everlasting-star.net/boards/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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Mandydolphin
post Mar 29 2005, 07:31 AM
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Loved the story,thank you for sharing it with us.
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strawberry
post Mar 29 2005, 01:56 PM
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That was fabulous, thank you very much for sharing! (IMG:http://www.everlasting-star.net/boards/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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Tara
post Mar 29 2005, 01:59 PM
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Fascinating, thanks (IMG:http://www.everlasting-star.net/boards/style_emoticons/default/clapping.gif) I love Judy Holliday - like Marilyn, she had a great talent for comedy, and was far smarter than the characters she played. It sounds like she shared some of Marilyn's insecurities too. I know that Marilyn tested for Born Yesterday - Judy is great in the part, but I think Marilyn would also have been wonderful.
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monroe62
post Jul 1 2009, 04:58 PM
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(IMG:http://www.wtv-zone.com/lumina/other/jhmonroe.jpg)

Written by Martha Weinman Lear
Photo by Howell Conant*
From "FAME" magazine November 1988

When New York was a small town and fame a club for the chosen few, Marilyn Monroe and Judy Holliday found themselves in front of a mirror where myth and reality converged.

It seemed to happen in mirrors, faces peering into mirrors, fame peeking out, Peekabo!, amid the hot shadows of an Indian-summer afternoon in the Dakota apartments on Central Park West in New York. The Dakota, the venerable copperturreted heap where Rosemary's Baby would later be shot and John Lennon would still later be shot...a great deal of cultural history has been written at the Dakota.

Thirty blocks downtown, a billboard dominated Times Square. This was in 1956, a cave age, but you remember that billboard. Even if you weren't born yet you remember that billboard: Marilyn Monroe, starring in The Seven Year Itch, loomed twenty feet tall, legs straddling Broadway, calves popping, skirt billowing up toward a finger-lickin'-good smile, eyes beaming torporous promise, emanations of damp flesh roiling forth from that great big beautiful paper doll in what was, and remains, one of the most powerful images ever to come out of movie advertising.

A few blocks east, more peekaboo: Judy Holliday, the Funny Girl of her day, was transforming herself nightly into just that paper doll, and packing them into the Blue Angel supper club with her impersonation -- never mind the makeup, it was an act of brains and will, and it was brilliant -- of Marilyn Monroe.

It was my first job, at Collier's magazine, doing my own impersonation -- eager researcher playing cool reporter -- and yearning for some epiphanic professional moment. It came...

Leonard Lyons, gossip columnist for the old New York Post, was strolling down Fifth Avenue with Holliday one day, or so he reported, and they ran into Monroe. Reality and illusion head-to-head; how avidly the two must have eyed each other! Introductions were made. Someone said, "we ought to get together," and the women arranged to have tea at Judy's apartment in the Dakota, Collier's to record the event for some ravenous posterity. I was sent to take notes.

Eager? My god. I arrived much too early and was shown to a bedroom where Holliday was systematically removing every dress from her closet, pulling it on, confronting herself wretchedly in the mirror, growling, "I look fat," and ripping it off. Oh, you funny girl. Her mother, who had come by subway on this sweltering day with two shopping bags of food, including hot chicken soup, sat on the bed reciting the requisite litany: "You're not fat, you're not fat." Judy's son, Jonathan, a golden cherub, then a preschooler, stood staring. Palpable in that room was the high anxiety of a humanoid about to face the camera with a goddess.

The photographer Howell Conant, was all set up in the living room. The appointed hour came, and no Marilyn. A half hour later, no Marilyn. Judy grew tenser. Finally, after an hour, a person arrived, and it appeared that this person was Marilyn Monroe.

Time has done nothing to dim the details: She wore a black cotton shirt, sleeveless, a brown cotton skirt and flats. There was a big grease stain on the front of the skirt. The belly protruded. The legs were covered with bumps and scabs, which she kept scratching. The platinum hair showed dark at the roots and, when she raised her arm, I saw a luxuriant dark undergrowth. This was before political statements; we were all shaving our armpits. She looked...tatty, a bit. Only the voice was unmistakable, pure sigh (was it afraid to be heard or demanding that we lean in to listen? I have never been sure). Only the skin, which was truly luminescent, would have stopped you in the street.

"We were getting worried about you!" Judy cried. Her voice shook, I think with wrath.

"I've got mosquito bites," the goddess whispered, and bent to scratch yet again. And though the sequitur escaped me, I instantly and utterly forgave her for being late.

She wanted to makeup her face. Then the two of them thought that it might be fun for Judy to put on her Marilyn face first, while Marilyn watched in the mirror. They began, and it was impossible. Marilyn guided graciously, with soft breathy urgings: "Mm, make the eyebrow a little pointier...Yes, that's right..." But Judy couldn't do it. She did it every night, but here, now, in the presence of the real thing...who did not herself look much like the real thing, which gave rise to problems of philosophic scope, because who or where was the real thing? Was it here, in this sweetly scruffy presence, or was this a mere mortal metaphor for the real thing, which was up there on the billboard? Judy fussed and fussed, and then tried getting it through gestures -- chin up, head tossed back with cosmic abandon -- but gestures didn't work.

"How do you do that?" she asked.

"Do what?" Marilyn said.

"Oh you know," Judy answered, tossing her head again.

"Well, uh..." Marilyn began, and giggled, craning her own head back gingerly, as though trying to ease a stiff neck. And that was when I finally saw, quick study that I was, that both women had the same problem: They were both straining to impersonate Marilyn Monroe.

So they tried it the other way. Marilyn would make up first. "Oh, I look awful," she said, but in the mirror she took on authority. She set to work with that total Teutonic dispassion of models, a touch of shadow here, a dab of highlight there, an extravagance of mascara, an artful swirling of hair around the roots. I waited, wild with curiosity -- Judy too -- for the transmutational touch, peekaboo! But Monroe was doing no magic tricks; she was simply spiffing up what she had, as we all do.

And then came this remarkable moment. The child, Jonathan, appeared in the doorway. Judy bent to him and took his hand. "Jonathan," she said, "do you remember that lady we saw in the movie, Marilyn Monroe?" The cherub nodded. "You want to meet her?" Again he nodded, wide-eyed. "Jonathan," she said, and her hand swept across the room -- flourish of trumpets, roll of drums -- "this is Marilyn Monroe."

Marilyn was standing. She had just hitched up her skirt to pull down the blouse from underneath. She looked at the little boy, and he at her, and in that instant it happened. She metamorphosed. The skirt stayed up. One scabrous leg came forward and pivoted on its toe. The calf muscle popped. The knee described small circles in the air, the pelvis gently following its delicate gyrations. And the head tilted easily back, the eyelids closed down, she licked her lips, became that myth and smiled full into the child's face and sighed, "Hi-iiii."

Conant shot hundreds of exposures that afternoon; not a single one of Marilyn was bad, and most were splendid. Ultimately, what one saw in the room did not matter. Her face, as they say of certain faces -- as they first said of Valentino's face -- made love to the camera.

The pictures were never published because Collier's, soon after, went out of business. The one shown here was taken as a souvenir for me, and I have never looked at it without remembering that moment of her transmutation, and wondering: What on earth she thought she was doing? And it must be that she simply had not thought at all, but had simply heard the bell and gone on automatic. If it was male it was her audience, her element, and she would play to it. This is a gift. It is not necessarily a gift that makes good actors, but it almost invariably makes great performers.

*Due to scanning limitations, only a portion of the original photo is represented above.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Boy would I just love to see those photos. Wonder if some big agency bought them, or if they ended up being destroyed. BTW, the black blouse in the photo above I believe is the same one that sold last week.
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Mezzo
post Jul 1 2009, 10:59 PM
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I love this story! I think I've read it before, but appreciate the opportunity to read it again.

Judy Holliday's early IQ tests showed a result of 172, and I've read that Marilyn's IQ was 168. It's ironic but also kind of sad that they had to pretend to be dumb.
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Tara
post Jul 2 2009, 11:27 AM
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Merged with previous thread...
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monroe62
post Jul 2 2009, 02:06 PM
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Did a search to see if there was another thread on this already. Didn't see one. Amazing that the first had a contact sheet.
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Tara
post Jul 2 2009, 08:24 PM
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Wonderful that they met! I love Judy Holliday...

I wrote an article about Born Yesterday, a film Marilyn was said to have tested for, on Immortal Marilyn a few years ago.

http://www.immortalmarilyn.com/BornYesterday.html
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Cello
post Jul 8 2009, 09:03 AM
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QUOTE(Mezzo @ Jul 1 2009, 04:59 PM) *
I love this story! I think I've read it before, but appreciate the opportunity to read it again.

Judy Holliday's early IQ tests showed a result of 172, and I've read that Marilyn's IQ was 168. It's ironic but also kind of sad that they had to pretend to be dumb.


Did they actually TAKE IQ tests or were people just guessing.
Because I know a lot of people are attributed IQ ratings without having ever taken a test. "Professionals" are guessing. I'd take it all with a grain of salt.
That's not to say I don't think these two were intelligent..I know they were.
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Mezzo
post Jul 8 2009, 01:22 PM
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Here are some references available on the internet:

from http://jwa.org/discover/infocus/comedy/holliday.html:
"Educated in New York City public schools, Holliday graduated from Julia Richman High School at the top of her class in January 1938, having already scored 172 on an IQ test when she was ten."

from http://www.metroactive.com/papers/sonoma/1...liday-0151.html
"The yellow hair was supposedly her own, as was the fluffy name--a translation of her birth name, Judith Tuvic (tuvic means "holiday" in Hebrew). When she died early of cancer at age 43, the New York Times pointed out that Holliday had an IQ of 172."

from http://www.socyberty.com/People/Our-Marilyn-Monroe.811057, written by James Bankes, June 22, 2009:
"Most consider Marilyn Monroe a dumb blonde. Think again. She had a professionally-measured IQ of 168 (150 considered highly gifted)."

Marilyn's IQ is listed as 163 here: http://psych.boisestate.edu/mbelcheir/psy4...resentation.pdf

At http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_was_marilyn_munroe's_IQ her IQ is listed as 163+, but the author states that according to official records and Marilyn herself, she never took an IQ test.

I don't know if you can get a definitive answer to your question. It seems to be generally agreed that Holliday's IQ was measured at 172, and the information available on Marilyn's IQ varies according to author.



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meganmarilyn
post Apr 14 2010, 10:44 PM
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http://www.wtv-zone.com/lumina/misc/videoarchive.html
http://www.wtv-zone.com/lumina/misc/listening.html

Judy doing a Monroe impression (not very nice)... (IMG:http://www.everlasting-star.net/boards/style_emoticons/default/throb.gif)

"Kaleidoscope" (1955) - Clip #1

This is Judy hosting the Max Leibman TV Spectacular Kaleidoscope. As part of her opening monologue, she does her impression of Marylin Monroe.
http://www.kf-80.com/holliday/Kaleidoscope1.wmv



KALEIDOSCOPE (1955)
Television special hosted by Judy Holliday.


1. Judy does an impression of Marilyn Monroe
http://www.wtv-zone.com/lumina/av/monroeimpression.mp3


This post has been edited by meganmarilyn: Apr 14 2010, 10:53 PM
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Tara
post Apr 15 2010, 08:47 AM
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Thanks Megan! Judy was very talented of course, but I guess most impersonations are cruel. I don't think she meant it in a bad way though, she was just following the crowd. As we know, the real Marilyn was nothing like the 'dumb blonde' stereotype Judy captures here, and while the skit is quite funny, it also shows Judy in a poor light, IMO.

Marilyn could play these ditzy characters and still come off as true and appealing, whereas 'Judy as MM' is more of a caricature. But I don't take it too hard, and I still have respect for Judy's body of work as a whole. And by the way, I always wonder - how many people who made that old Karamazov joke actually read and understood the book, as Marilyn did so well? (IMG:http://www.everlasting-star.net/boards/style_emoticons/default/wink3.gif)
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magda24
post Apr 15 2010, 01:49 PM
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From our point of view it may seem rather cruel but in 1955 Marilyn was still "only" known as a sexpot who wanted to play in Dostoyevsky's plays. Imagine how would we ridicule, excuse for the example, Megan Fox if she decided to study theather and become a thespian. So not very nice but I also think that Marilyn as a public person knew that she had to stay strong and frow thick skin.(and to be honest, it was quite funny)
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meganmarilyn
post Apr 15 2010, 03:53 PM
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QUOTE(magda24 @ Apr 15 2010, 05:49 AM) *
From our point of view it may seem rather cruel but in 1955 Marilyn was still "only" known as a sexpot who wanted to play in Dostoyevsky's plays. Imagine how would we ridicule, excuse for the example, Megan Fox if she decided to study theather and become a thespian. So not very nice but I also think that Marilyn as a public person knew that she had to stay strong and frow thick skin.(and to be honest, it was quite funny)



But yes, pretty women in that era were seen as pin-up and cheesecake potential by photographers and movie studios. Sad it was that way. I just wish someone would have stood up for her in the press and public more. Or she would have herself. Like James Dean did when he was attacked by the press or anyone. He came full force back. She had that in her, but I think too fragile emotionally.

This post has been edited by meganmarilyn: Apr 15 2010, 04:08 PM
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