54 Years Without Marilyn.

It’s hard to believe that on the night of August 4th, Marilyn passed away and would no longer bless us with her presence on Earth. It’s even more amazing that this didn’t happen last year, but fifty four years ago today. Marilyn was found on the early hours of the morning on August 5th and thus her death was announced as that day, however, rigor mortis had already set in which shows she actually passed sometime late the night before.

When I think about this day I’m filled with sadness, as the world didn’t just lose a huge star, more importantly, we lost a beautiful person which a kind soul and sensitive nature. I often wonder if Marilyn can see the world now and knows the huge legacy she has left over half a century on. Would she believe she was capable of this? Sadly I don’t think so, she never gave herself much credit for her special qualities. However, I’m sure she would be filled with happiness and feel loved, something she strove to find her whole life.

Although there is a huge amount of love for Marilyn, there are a lot of misconceptions and upsetting myths and lies that people have spread about her. You’ll probably notice that if a star dies young and tragically, millions of ridiculous theories with zero credit or substance start pouring out each year. Whilst making notoriety for themselves and lots of money, they neglect the one person that they’re making a profit from and not once do they think about the damage they are causing.

I can’t begin to tell you the amount of ignorance I’ve had to deal with regarding Marilyn over the years, some of it is curiosity, some just downright offensive and a lot can be pretty morbid. I shudder to think what Marilyn herself would feel if she knew about this but then I remember she had to deal with a lot of judgement and misconceptions during her life time. Even then she was ahead of her time and always handled things with maturity and grace;

“Those people that have been writing all those lies about me. All I know, it’s their problem. Those people, I don’t even know [them], or if we have met, it’s been brief. Can I take it? Are you kidding? I’m used to it, and remember the old saying: consider the source.”

–  Marilyn to photographer friend and author George Barris in the summer of 1962.

[Marilyn: Her Life In Her Own Words, page 128.]

Of course, everyone is entitled to have their own opinion and feelings about someone, however, at least learn the actual truth and stop reading perpetual myths and lies as fact. I know it’s hard to believe but I do realize that Marilyn wasn’t actually perfect, but hating someone based on judgement and conspiracy is just plain ignorant and petty. At the end of the day I just remind myself it’s their loss, they’re the ones missing out on one very special lady.

I hope whatever you do today that you take a moment to think about this beautiful human being and hold a special thought for her. Marilyn may have not achieved her dream of having her own family, but she did achieve everlasting love and devotion from her millions of fans all around the world. She is instantly recognizable and ultimately immortal due to her iconic screen presence which is truly like no other.

When I think of Marilyn, a feeling of warmness and hope comes over me, to me this incredible lady was one of the strongest people who has ever lived. She suffered abuse, loneliness, isolation and through all of this worked extremely hard to achieve her dreams. Marilyn never stopped believing  and always aimed to perfect her talents and improve herself, even when so many never saw her more than an image.  It’s incredible to see how far she came in just thirty six years with such odds stacked against her.

 I wonder if she ever thought someone was looking down on her, perhaps a Guardian Angel? I bet she never thought that so many, including myself, would one day see her as theirs.

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Marilyn Monroe Design Centre Chelsea & ONGallery Exhibits.

I have just returned home from London after spending a wonderful three nights there to see the temporary Marilyn Exhibition held at the Chelsea Design Centre. Marilyn Collector David Gainsborough Roberts has announced he will be selling his large collection of costumes and personal items at Julien’s in November. Before then, they will be displayed all over the world with London being the first stop until 20th June. Also being sold are personal items of owned by The Estate of Lee Strasberg, who Marilyn left 75% of her belongings to when she passed in 1962.

I’m very lucky to be able to say I’ve seen quite a lot of Marilyn’s items since I discovered her in October 2010. I previously saw a fair amount of David’s Marilyn Collection in March 2012 and as soon as I heard about him selling all of his items in November 2016 I knew I had to see them one more time, as well as Lee Strasberg’s which are also being sold. Marilyn fans are very fortunate that a lot of private collectors such as, Scott Fortner and Ted Stampfer kindly continue to share their Marilyn owned items with us. However, so many of her items get sold and tragically are never seen again which is incredibly upsetting as I always like to think if Marilyn belonged to anyone, it was to the public who loved her so much.

It was so lovely to see how beautifully displayed Marilyn’s items were at the Design Centre in Chelsea, as soon as myself and my mum arrived the staff asked if I was here for the Exhibition, I guess I don’t hide my excitement very well! As soon as you enter the building you are surrounded by beautiful portraits of Marilyn that are displayed from ceiling to floor. It gets even better when you walk through the doors and sense what’s to be seen in only a matter of seconds!

The first collection that you witness is Lee Strasberg’s Marilyn items, so everything from make up, jewelry, letters, shoes and sketches! I had not seen any of these personal belongings before and was truly amazed at what was just a few inches in front of me. Of course I am slightly biased, but everything really was truly stunning and ever so special. I think one of my favourite items would have to be Marilyn’s sketches, in particular one called, “Lover watching his lover sleep.”  I instantly thought of Marilyn sleeping whilst Arthur gazed at his beautiful wife.

The collection of jewelry was effortlessly glamourous. Most Marilyn fans will know that Marilyn did not think Diamond’s were a girls best friend and was much more interested in books than the perfect ring. Therefore, because of this I think the items that were on display were extra special, as any items Marilyn owned must have had some special personal attachment or value. I absolutely adored the Revlon Lipstick, I think if I could own anything from that part of the collection this would be it. Of course, red lipstick is forever linked to Marilyn’s image, but I just loved the vintage display of it, so effortlessly glamourous. I actually tweeted Revlon telling them that they should re-release this shade to coincide with the auction and they liked my tweet so, I shall keep my fingers crossed!

For me, what I found most special in Lee Strasberg’s owned items were all of Marilyn’s personal letters and stationary. I recognized a lot of the writings as it is featured in the amazing book Fragments – a must for any Marilyn fan! Of course a lot of it was very sad to read as Marilyn suffered so much with her anxieties, but what warmed my heart were the beautiful inspiring sayings she would write to herself, “Dare not to worry” being a favourite.

Part of me feels reading the items is an invasion of Marilyn’s privacy and to an extent it is as I’m sure if Marilyn was still alive we probably wouldn’t be reading them. However, reading these items shows a lot of the true Marilyn which is sadly so often hidden by conspiracies and inaccuracies. These writings so a talented artist who forever wanted to learn and improve and a beautiful, vulnerable soul who ultimately just wanted to be happy. I’m sure after reading these a lot of people would have more respect and admiration for Marilyn and I’m sure that would mean a lot to the wonderful lady herself.

After experiencing this amazing collection I then walked through to the final part of the exhibit; Marilyn’s film costumes and clothes owned by David Gainsborough Roberts. The display lay out was absolutely stunning, all clothes where shown on a circular display with two levels, and four huge posters of Marilyn wearing the clothes hung at the top of the ceiling. Some of the costumes even had blu-ray footage of Marilyn wearing the clothes which was a wonderful addition.

It was fascinating to see the age range of people visiting the exhibition, it just further emphasizes the impact Marilyn has on everyone, she truly is loved by people of all ages. I think if I could choose one item from David’s collection to own it would have to be the Green Leotard Marilyn wears in Bus Stop (1956) to sing, “That Old Black Magic” I just adore it. Everyone who viewed the items kept saying how tiny Marilyn was, I still find it fascinating that people are shocked by this when her measurements were 35-22-35.

The exhibit was truly beautiful and a must see for any Marilyn fan or lover of Old Hollywood. The only thing that was sad to see was The Prince and The Showgirl dress was now displayed on a directors chair instead of a mannequin compared to the last time I saw it. I guess it’s become extremely fragile now, if only sixty years ago people realized how important these costumes would be! I also wished that all of the clothes had photos of Marilyn wearing them, I have seen her in all but three of the items so it shouldn’t have been to hard to find. One of my favourites, the costume Marilyn wears for, “There’s No Business Like Show Business” when she sings “After You Get What  You Want, You Don’t Want it” was displayed on the upper level. I found this to be a shame as it would have been lovely to be able to have seen the dress with clips from the film of her wearing it like some of the other costumes.

I was fortunate to be able to visit the exhibition twice during my stay in London and when leaving for the final time I felt pretty sad that the majority of the items I will probably never be able to see again. However, I realize how fortunate I am to have had this opportunity and the memories will stay in my heart forever.

I also managed to visit the ONGallery which is currently displaying the Happy Birthday Miss Monroe exhibit until 30th June. As soon as I walked a lovely staff member named Keith said I was looking very, “Marilynesque” which made my whole day! He realized I was a huge Marilyn fan and he was wonderful to talk to, loved photography and you could tell he appreciated Marilyn as an artist which was very refreshing. It was so wonderful to see photographs from all of Marilyn’s career, beginning in 1946 and ending in 1962.

While I was there I noticed two older men who had been fans since Marilyn was alive and they were very sweet. I was looking through a portfolio of vintage photos and noticed one of them was taking pictures of me! I looked up and he asked me if I was a Marilyn lookalike and I told him that was very sweet but no I wasn’t. He then said that I was absolutely gorgeous and he used to be a portrait photographer so wanted to take my picture. I almost teared up, I’ve rarely had such sweet things said to me face to face. I then heard them asking about a picture that I was looking at from 1952 and I helped identify the event for them, I don’t know why but they reminded me of my Grandad and it really was a lovely moment.

I continued to talk a lot with Keith, especially about the Frank Worth photos of Marilyn from 1953 and 1954 which are pretty rare. I told him how I had sent off for the free Marilyn print they offered in the Daily Express for Marilyn’s 90th Birthday and I mentioned an image Worth had taken of Marilyn and Sammy Davis Jr. which was pretty rare. Keith then told me that the image I was talking about was actually offered previously and he would give me a print, I couldn’t believe it!

I had such a wonderful time in London and truly recommend both exhibits to all Marilyn fans, actually, I recommend them to everyone! Admissions are free for both events and they are extremely special and simply a must see.

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Happy 90th Birthday Marilyn!

It’s hard to believe that today my favourite person, Marilyn Monroe, would be turning 90 years old, it even sounds absurd to say as she is forever etched in our minds as eternally young and beautiful. However, I wish she was here now to see how loved she is, even more so than the fifty fours years ago when she tragically left us.

For the past few years I have always made sure to write or blog about Marilyn on her Birthday and Death Anniversary, so if you’ve followed me for the last four years you’ll probably be pretty aware of that. Therefore, I’m not here to say anything new really, I’m just here to speak from my heart because as silly as it made sound to some people, that’s truly where Marilyn will always have a special place.

“Respect is one of life’s greatest treasures. I mean, what does it all add up to if you don’t have that? If there is only one thing in my life that I am proud of, it’s that I’ve never been a kept woman.” – Spoken to Photographer George Barris in July 1962.

Marilyn came into my life unexpectedly just before my 17th birthday in October 2010, when I picked up a Vanity Fair Issue with her on the front cover as their cover girl. As mentioned before, I’ve told the story numerous times of how I instantly felt connected to her and started my research and I’ve been collecting ever since.

I think I’ve always felt attached to the underdog, which ironically, many people probably don’t see Marilyn as. After all, she was viewed as beautiful and loved by all – America’s Sweetheart. However, when you actually take the time to learn about Marilyn, you realize she succeeded against extreme odds. She came from a broken home, was an illegitimate child to a mother who suffered with paranoid schizophrenia  and after the first seven years of her life with the Bolender family, Marilyn was shifted around to various different guardians and even an orphanage. She suffered physical and emotional abuse, anxiety, depression and insomnia but never let any of this stand in the way of achieving her dreams.

“The time I sort of began to think I was famous, I was driving somebody to the airport, and as I came back there was this movie house and I saw my name in lights. I pulled the car up at a distance down the street; it was too much to take up close, you know, all of a sudden. And I said, “God, somebody’s made a mistake.” But there it was, in lights. And I sat there and said, “So that’s the way it looks,” and it was all very strange to me, and yet at the studio they had said, “Remember, you’re not a star.” Yet there it is up in lights. “
Spoken to Richard Meryman for Life Magazine in July 1962.

I also owe Marilyn a lot of thank yous as since discovering her in October 2010 and setting up my blog, alwaysmarilynmonroe I have met so many incredible people and experienced so many wonderful memories. Not only did I find an inspiration for each day, I found a Guardian Angel, someone who would always be there in spirit and never judge or upset me. Someone who could cheer me up by just watching one of their films or seeing a photo and someone who went through so much but never gave up on herself even in her toughest times.

Sadly so many look at Marilyn as a victim, due to the endless conspiracies, (thanks Norman Mailer) and her young death which makes me really frustrated as in doing this they miss out on an incredible person. They view her as just a pretty face and a little dumb blonde when it reality this blonde was an avid reader, with a library of over 400 books ranging from Russian Literature to Psychology.  They’ll call her a drug addict without having any compassion or understanding for her debilitating anxiety, depression and insomnia. They’ll hear about how hard she could be to work with or her lateness without knowing she suffered such extreme anxieties that she would often stay in her dressing room terrified to act a scene encase she messed up. Many even think she was playing herself on the screen and have little respect for her talent, thinking, “How can someone so beautiful be a good actress?” The irony being if they did some legitimate research they’d realize she was probably the greatest of them all as she’s fooled so many people for all of these years that she is the person they all perceive her as.

“What I really want to say: That what the world really needs is a real feeling of kinship. Everybody: stars, laborers, Negroes, Jews, Arabs. We are all brothers.”
– Spoken to Richard Meryman for Life Magazine in July 1962.

Another year has gone by and Marilyn’s star keeps growing brighter and brighter, people are still fascinated and enthralled by this beautiful soul. Did Marilyn have her faults? Of course she did, it’s hard to believe, I know, but she was a human being just like us. I love Marilyn for Marilyn and that will never change. I’d like to think that there are more genuine fans who love and respect Marilyn then conspiracy lovers who just follow their ignorance.

If I could hope of anything to come from this article it’s respect for Marilyn and maybe a little more compassion and understanding. She was a woman ahead of her time, a talented artist, a caring and sensitive soul but mostly importantly, she was a beautiful person.

“Fifty years on, we’re still watching her movies and talking about her. That’s not a dumb woman – trust me!” – Lauren Bacall to TCM in 2005.

More on Marilyn;

alwaysmarilynmonroe IG
Celebrating Marilyn’s 88th Birthday
52 Years Without Marilyn
Happy Birthday Marilyn
53 Years Without Marilyn

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Max Factor Marilyn Monroe Lipsticks.

If there’s one thing I love more than make up, it’s Marilyn Monroe, (you guys can learn all about that here) and so my whole day was made when I found out that Max Factor were releasing Marilyn Monroe Lipsticks! Marilyn is currently the face of Max Factor, although personally, I believe all credit for her look should go to her Make-Up Artist and friend, Allan “Whitey” Synder – but, that’s another story!

There are four lipsticks in the collection; Berry, Cabernet, Ruby Red and Sunset Red, I currently have the Cabernet and Sunset Red. Max Factor suggest the shades Sunset Red for Warm Tones and Cabernet for Dark Tones, however I feel you should wear whichever shade you like.

What makes the product stand out from the other Max Factor Lipsticks is the bold red colour, which further emphasizes the Marilyn inspiration. The bottom of each case matches the shade of each lipstick, so without even opening the container you will know what colour you’ve picked!

At first when I tried Cabernet, I noticed how shiny and glossy the lipstick was when I applied it, therefore I was quite apprehensive on how the product would last. However, after I blotted my lips the texture of the lipstick became more matte and I was pleasantly surprised to see the colour had stayed put. I wanted to see how long the lipstick would last and therefore didn’t apply a lip pencil and hours later, after eating numerous times the lipstick was still there! I was very impressed.

At £7.99 these lipsticks are well worth the money and are a quality product! With being inspired by Marilyn they have a lot to live up to and  they definitely do her justice. After wearing Cabernet yesterday, today I decided to try Sunset Red, before trying either I had an inclination that I would prefer Cabernet and I was right.  Sunset Red is a lovely colour, but I personally find it too orangey and coral for my liking. It applies fine and both lipsticks smell absolutely gorgeous, they remind me of the Tutti Frutti sweets. However, out of the two I definitely prefer Cabernet and will wear that one more often.

I can’t wait to try the other shades; Berry and Iconic Red, it will be interesting to see how much I like Berry as that lipstick is meant to suit cool skin tones. If any of you try the Marilyn Lipsticks yourself then please let me know which is your favourite and why, I’d love to hear your reviews!

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Creating Your Own Lipstick Colour.

After seeing Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face (1957) last week, I was determined to find a Rusty Red shade lipstick which she wore in the film. I started searching google for photos and to my shock  realized that even though I own a million red lipsticks – I don’t have a Rusty Red shade!

Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face (1957)
Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face (1957)

Therefore, I came to the realization that instead of buying a new one, for now I would mix my own shade. The credit for this goes to Marilyn and her Make Up Artist/Friend Allan “Whitey” Snyder who was known to mix multiple shades of lipstick to create Marilyn’s signature pout.

Marilyn Monroe by Milton Greene in Bus Stop (1956)
Marilyn Monroe by Milton Greene in Bus Stop (1956)

Looking through pictures of Marilyn, I realized that not only did she like to wear her signature blue toned red, she too also wore a Rusty Red shade, most noticeably in her 1956 film, Bus Stop. Who could be more inspiring than Marilyn and Audrey?!

I decided to use a red lipstick in a coral shade and a brownish nude shade, choosing; Rimmel’s Lasting Finish by Kate Moss in 12 and MAC’S Twig. Sadly I don’t think 12 is available to buy anymore, but there are some pretty similar shades such as 37 and 110.

To create this look I used my Real Techiques Retractable Lip Brush for the best application.  Firstly, I applied a layer of MAC’S Twig for the base of my lip colour, after applying Twig I added Rimmel’s Lasting Finish in 12. After blending the two colours together, I found that the shade was more predominantly red then brown so I added another layer of Twig. 

After just these three steps I now was wearing a red shade of lipstick that I do not yet own – Rusty Red! I’m definitely going to mix lipstick shades together more often, it’s so fun to see what you can create!

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Old Hollywood Actresses I Relate To.

As you probably know by now, Old Hollywood is a huge passion of mine and I have spent a lot of time learning about the stars and watching movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood.  I was tagged on Instagram to post six Old Hollywood Actresses I relate to and I must say, I found it a lot harder than I expected! After  narrowing my list down to about nine stars, I finally picked my beautiful six.

Marilyn Monroe

(1926 – 1962)

I think it’s safe to say that I relate to Marilyn the most out of all of the Stars I’ve picked. Marilyn suffered with depression and anxiety, she was her biggest critic and a very sensitive soul. She also loved to read, learn, adored animals and looking after others. Marilyn was also very misunderstood and people often judged her on their perceptions, without knowing who she really was.


Gene Tierney

(1920 – 1991)

Gene suffered a mental breakdown and experienced depression and anxiety throughout her life. During her lifetime she was very candid about her mental health and contributed to lowering the stigma considerably in today’s society. I absolutely adore Gene, she was a beautiful soul and I relate to her suffering, but her recovery gives me hope.

Brigitte Bardot

(1934)

Brigitte is strong willed, passionate and determined, never following societies expectations and always being her own person. She fights for what she belives in and loves to love and be loved. She adores animals and fights for those who can’t fight for themselves. Brigitte is also misunderstood and has been judged by certain perceptions which are not accurate.

Audrey Hepburn 

(1929) – (1993)

I like to think I have Audrey’s caring heart and sensitive soul. She had so much joy for life and was very humble. She thought other people were more important than herself and gave so much to those in need. I can relate to her passion about what she believed in and her determination to help in whatever way she could.

Katharine Hepburn

(1907) – (2003)

Katharine was always a bit of an outsider and rarely followed societies expectations. She was quirky, an individual and a bit different. She was very ahead of her time and could be quite sassy and I like to think I have some of her spirit. She was reliable, loyal and devoted a lot of her time to those who needed her.

Carole Lombard

(1908) – (1942)

I like to think that I have Carole’s sense of humour, she was witty, loved to laugh and could be a bit cheeky! She didn’t always act like the lady people expected her to be in a time when women were meant to behave in a certain way and I love that about her. 

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The Misfits (1961)

You may recognize this dress from an earlier post, however, I’ve yet to write a full blog on this outfit. Therefore, I thought what would be better to wear to see a Marilyn film then a Marilyn style dress?

With seeing one of my favourite Marilyn films on the big screen, I was even more inspired to follow my vintage style and my mum suggested wearing my Hollister dress.  Since wearing it for one of my earlier posts, until today I’d not worn it since! I absolutely adore the dress, there’s no doubt about that, I’ve just felt too self conscious in it to wear it in public. The main reason for this is because it shows a lot of cleavage, now I’m all for embracing your body and showing off whatever you want, I simply don’t have enough confidence or feel comfortable enough to do that. 

However, my wonderful mum suggested a great idea, why not wear a black vest top underneath the dress? I wasn’t sure if it would work, but I thankfully listened to her advice and because of that I could finally wear my beautiful dress! The great thing about the top was that the top half is covered in lace so it gives the dress and extra vintage feel and really compliments the style.

To keep warm in the English Weather I wore my black shrug, I think it goes really well with the dress and almost looks like it’s part of it. I thought in wearing the shrug it would be a bit more sophisticated than wearing my usual cardigans.

For my hair I washed it on Friday evening and was too lazy to pin curl it that night, so I left it until yesterday to roll up my hair and sleep in it. Therefore, I wasn’t expecting my curls to turn out as authentic as they usually do, although I was pleasantly surprised at the effect it had. I will say though, it’s always best to pin curl it once your hair after washing it and it’s dried naturally, it makes the curls last a lot longer. I was going for looser pin curls anyway, but it did frustrate me how after an hour or so they dropped quite noticeably. Luckily, I got the pictures before that happened!

I kept my make up pretty similar to my everyday look, which is inspired by Marilyn’s make up as you can probably tell. I’m wearing my current favourite red lipstick, it’s called Clinique Cherry Pop and I absolutely adore it! It’s a vibrant 1950s blue tone red and just perfect for any vintage style, I really feel like it’s a lipstick Marilyn would have worn. It almost has a 3D effect as it’s slightly glossy, I really can’t fault it. I kept my eyes a nude colour with dramatic winged eyeliner, I think mine is a bit more heavy than Marilyn’s but it’s just the way I think suits me best personally. The only downside is because it’s slightly heavier my eyelashes look shorter, therefore I really should invest in some false ones, I just find them so uncomfortable as I haven’t worn them for years.

Lastly, I chose one of my favourite pairs of earrings to wear, pearls encrusted with diamonds. I think these were from River Island and I’ve had them for years, to me they are just perfect for the Vintage Style and scream 1940s/1950s.

I’m lucky to be able to say that this was my third film of Marilyn’s I have been to see on the big screen. The other two being River of No Return (1954) and Some Like It Hot (1959), what I love about FACT Picturehouse is that they specializes in Vintage Sundays, so I’ve been lucky to see quite a few old films there, which is wonderful for a lover of Old Hollywood like myself.


It was nice to see the Cinema pretty full too, I especially love seeing older people there as I like to think they may have saw the movie during it’s original release. The Misfits is one of my favourites, if not favourite Marilyn Movie. Although, Marilyn wasn’t a big fan of it herself – sadly she was her worst critic and personal problems during the filming definitely didn’t warm her to it – I find it to be just wonderful, The cast, performances, script, music and cinematography are simply superb and I find it so emotionally moving. I also think she looks so ethereal, simply beautiful.

Sadly, I’ve had some comments saying that I’m trying to look like Marilyn and I should be myself etc. To that  I say, I adore the vintage style and obviously Marilyn is one of my inspirations. But having blonde curly hair and wearing red lipstick does not mean I’m trying to be Marilyn, I’m happy enough to be myself and let Marilyn be her wonderful self. However, I take it as a huge compliment, who wouldn’t want to be compared to Marilyn? Even if it’s far from accurate, lol.

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53 Years Without Marilyn.

Officially, August 5th 1962 marks the death of an incredibly beautiful soul, Marilyn Monroe. Technically, Marilyn died around 10pm on the night of August 4th, but she was found in the early hours of the 5th and that is classed as her official day of death.

Marilyn's first assignment as a Hostess at an Idusty Show for The Blue Book Modelling Agency in 1945.
Marilyn’s first assignment as a Hostess at an Industy Show for The Blue Book Modelling Agency in 1945.

Sadly over the years, so much fascination and conspiracy has became attached to Marilyn’s death that it can be incredibly hard for fans to talk about. I, like many, like to focus on her amazing life and what she achieved. Personally, it’s sad to say that so many people love conspiracies and controversy and when a person is no longer with us, it’s easy to sell and tarnish their name. Marilyn had a history of suicide attempts and without the likes of Arthur Miller, Natasha Lytess and Paula Strasberg, she may have left us a lot earlier. However, I firmly believe that her death was an accident, primarily down to Medical Negligence. If you follow my Marilyn Tumblr or have read my previous post on Marilyn, you’ll know how little time I have for slandering or Marilyn, I stick with substance and legitimate research.

Marilyn by Richard Miller in 1946.
Marilyn by Richard Miller in 1946.

I don’t want this post to focus on Marilyn’s death, I wanted to write this post to emphasize what an incredible impact one person has made on so many people. Over fifty years after her death, Marilyn thankfully, shows no signs of going anywhere. Although some would say her name and image is being exploited for money, I am thankful to say that there are so many people out there that absolutely adore this beautiful lady. Thanks to Marilyn I have met so many special people, she has given me so much and has helped me through a lot of personal struggles.

Marilyn by Andre de Dienes in August 1949.
Marilyn by Andre de Dienes in August 1949.

Since finding Marilyn at aged 17 in October 2010, I have made it my aim to see past the beautiful Bombshell image and learn about what a sweet, kind, gentle, witty person Marilyn was. When I think of Marilyn, I always think of her as a Beautiful Soul, not only was her beauty breathtaking, but her nature and heart were just as special. Some may say I am biased and that’s fair enough, I probably am, however, I do admit that even someone as amazing as Marilyn had her flaws. But to me, this makes her even more unique and I embrace and accept her as she really was.

Marilyn by David Cicero in 1951.
Marilyn by David Cicero in 1951.

Sadly, so many people see Marilyn as a Tragic Figure, who died young and didn’t have much to offer other than a pretty face and figure. This is because Society seems to find it hard to grasp that a beautiful woman can be so much more than that, we all have to learn to never judge a book  by it’s cover. Marilyn was always striving to learn and improve herself, an avid reader, she could put us all to shame with her extensive library of over 400 books, ranging from Russian Literature to Psychology. She suffered with Mental Illnesses; Anxiety and  Depression and she was also plagued with Insomnia and Endometriosis. Yet, during her career, she never let any of these fears or illnesses stand in her way, anyone who watches her on film would not think for a second of how much emotional pain she went through. When she passed, so many people couldn’t understand how a beautiful, young and successful lady could take her own life – at the time Marilyn’s death was listed as, “Probable Suicide.”

Marilyn at The Foreign Press Association of Hollywoods First International Film Festival on January 26th 1952.
Marilyn at The Foreign Press Association of Hollywoods First International Film Festival on January 26th 1952.

When I found Marilyn in October 2010, through reading Vanity Fair magazine – she was on the cover and the article was publicizing the wonderful book, Fragments, little did I know that I was months away from a Nervous Breakdown. My Anxiety and Depression became so bad that I could no longer go to Sixth Form and I was suffering from Panic Attacks, I was on the verge of becoming Agoraphobic. However, through Marilyn, I found comfort and ultimately, a Guardian Angel. I could watch her films and read about her and I wouldn’t feel so alone and hopeless, even when she was in this depths of despair – she always had hope.

Marilyn by Milton Greene in 1954.
Marilyn by Milton Greene in 1954.

“I believe in myself, even my most delicate, intangible feelings.” – Fragments.

“I will be as sensitive as I am, without being ashamed of it.” – Fragments.

“Maybe I’ll never be able to do what I hope to, but at least I have hope.” – Love, Marilyn
 
“I think you’ve got to love people, all kinds of people, to be able to have an opinion about them that’s worth anything. The whole idea of judging people is crazy. We do what we have to do, and we pay for it. We’re no better than we have to be. We can try to be better, and part of trying is not to condemn other people.” – to Journalist W.J. Weatherby in 1960.

Marilyn by Hal Berg in 1955.
Marilyn by Hal Berg in 1955.

In August 2012, it was to be Marilyn’s Fiftieth Anniversary and an incredible Marilyn Fan Club; Immortal Marilyn, were arranging a five day Marilyn themed event in Hollywood. I dreamed with all of my heart of going to Hollywood, placing my Hand Prints in Marilyn’s, visiting her Crypt at Westwood Memorial Park and visiting her Home. However, I thought it was an impossible task, emotionally, 2011 had been the hardest of my life so far. My Mental Health was so bad that I couldn’t go to University and I was very lonely and cynical about my life. Thankfully, I had the wonderful support and understanding of my parents and as always, Marilyn was my light in the dark. My parents knew how important this would be for me and a huge step in my recovery and very kindly arranged for me to go with my wonderful Mum.

Marilyn by Sam Shaw in 1957.
Marilyn by Sam Shaw in 1957.

To prepare for the trip my Dad had to drive me to the Airport multiple times to get me used to the idea and prepare me. I was having Therapy weekly also, but we all still didn’t know if I would be able to do this. When the day came – August 1st 2012, I was absolutely terrified, but I kept thinking of Marilyn and all that she had went through, as depressing as it sounds, I wasn’t living a life at the time and this was my hope, my chance to achieve something important to me and start recovering, that’s how I managed to do it. 

Marilyn at Nikita Kruschevs Luncheon at Twentieth Century Fox in September 1959.
Marilyn at Nikita Kruschev’s Luncheon at Twentieth Century Fox in September 1959.

Since October 2010, I have built up a blog dedicated to Marilyn, on Tumblr and Instagram called, alwaysmarilynmonroe. Marilyn has done so much for me, I’ve made so many amazing friends and moved forward so much since those horrible days in 2011. I bet wherever Marilyn is she would find it astounding to realize the impact she has had on society, on so many people and myself. Her star shows no signs of diminishing and frankly, it never should.

Marilyn by Erich Hartmann filming The Misfits in 1960.
Marilyn by Erich Hartmann filming The Misfits in 1960.

Marilyn achieved so much in her thirty six years, she was one of the first women to created her own Production Company in Hollywood. She spoke candidly and always looked for equality, she was very ahead of her time and I’m so thankful that she blessed us with her presence. I bet the Norma Jeane Baker, born illegitimate in a time of prejudice, with no father to support her and a mother who suffered incredibly through most of her life with Paranoid Schizophrenia, never thought she would become the worlds most loved Movie Star. She had many different homes, one of them being an Orphanage and after the first seven years of her life with The Bolender Family, never felt stability or love. She grew up dreaming that Clark Gable was her father and could she have imagined, she was to star with him in her last completed film, The Misfits.

Marilyn at the Golden Globe Awards were she received, "World Female Favourite" award in March 1962.
Marilyn at the Golden Globe Awards were she received, “World Female Favourite” award in March 1962.

Links:

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“I cannot say goodbye. Marilyn never liked goodbyes, but in the peculiar way she had of turning things around so that they faced reality – I will say au revoire. For the country to which she has gone, we must all someday visit. – Lee Strasberg’s Eulogy for Marilyn on 8th August 1962.

Magazines covering Marilyn's death in August 1962.
Magazines covering Marilyn’s death in August 1962.

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My Top Ten Favourite Classic Films.

Firstly, I’d just like to apologize for my lack of posts as of lately! The past week I was staying at my boyfriends for just under a week for his birthday and then the day I got back home I found out I had Chicken Pox – yay! I’m one of the few people that hasn’t had it as a child for some reason, so there will not be any Fashion or Beauty Posts until I’m fully recovered, I hope you all understand.

I was tagged in a post on Tumblr to list my ten favourite classic films, so I thought I’d share them with you here! It was really hard to pick just ten, so to make it easier I went through my favourite stars and chose a particular film of theirs that I love.  I hope you approve of my choices!


1. Gone With The Wind (1939)

Yes, an obvious choice but this is without doubt, not only my favourite classic movie, but, my favourite movie of all time. I can laugh now, but the first time I watched this – I actually watched it the wrong way around! As a lot of Old Hollywood fans will know, this film is extremely long, almost four hours, so naturally a lot of the DVDS are in two parts. However, the disc was clear on both sides and had only a tiny note saying which was A and which was B. Watching it on my own and having no one to tell me I’d put the wrong side on first meant I watched it back to front. However, that didn’t put me off and I’ve now seen it the right way many times! Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Hattie McDaniel especially are absolutely incredible. I will never get bored of this film and I highly recommend  reading the book too, there would be no movie without it after all!


2. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

The first Marilyn film I saw and it’s just absolutely wonderful, the costumes, the musical numbers, the acting and most importantly Marilyn, are all faultless. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this movie, as a huge fan of Marilyn’s I’ve seen all of her films many times and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is no exception. It’s so lovely to see Marilyn paired with Jane Russell, they make such a great team! At this time in Marilyn’s career, she won the role of Lorelei on her 26th birthday, June 1st 1952, over Betty Grable, because she was younger and they wouldn’t have to pay her $100,000 as they would for Betty. Marilyn was still on her average salary and didn’t even have her own dressing room! When asked why this was she was told she was not the star to which she replied, “Look, after all, I am the blonde, and it is Gentlemen Prefer Blondes!” Because still they always kept saying, “Remember, you’re not a star.” I said, “Well, whatever I am, I am the blonde!” Sadly, a lot of people assume that Marilyn is playing herself, when in actuality, Lorelei Lee couldn’t be anymore different from the real Marilyn and it just goes to show what an incredible talent she truly was.


3. Singin’ In The Rain (1952)

Besides The Wizard of Oz (1939), I think this was the first classic movie I watched, long before my love for Old Hollywood began. This is probably my favourite musical of all time, although in 1952 it was only moderately successful compared to Gene Kelly’s previous film, An American In Paris (1951) – I have to say, I find this a million times better! The cast, the script, the musical scores, everything about it is truly flawless and over sixty years on it hasn’t aged. Plus, who can ever forget THAT dance with Cyd Charisse!?


4. This Gun For Hire (1942)

I’ve seen the majority of Veronica Lake’s films and this one is definitely one of my favourites. Veronica is flawless, sings two musical numbers and of course, it is her first pairing with Alan Ladd. The two of them have such great chemistry and create a perfect Film Noir – 1942 was THE year for Veronica as she released hit after hit and at the time was considered one of Paramount’s Top Box Office Draws. All of this being achieved at the mere age of 19 years old! When picking my favourite Veronica film it was a close choice, between I Married A Witch (1942) and The Blue Dahlia (1946) but This Gun For Hire just took the winning place!


5. The Lady From Shanghai (1947)

Out of all of the Rita films I have seen and that’s quite a few, The Lady From Shanghai is truly like no other. Not only is she paired with then husband Orson Welles and the wonderful actor Everett Sloane, her appearance and personality are completely different. This shocked fans at the time, who could not associate the Fiery Red Head as a Blonde Bombshell and the complicated plot, now considered a classic, was too much for audiences of the time. Needless to say that the Blonde Rita didn’t last, the marriage to Orson Welles didn’t last and at the time, neither did The Lady From Shanghai. However, the film today is now seen as it truly should be – a thrilling classic. Originally, the film ran over two hours, but the studio stupidly made Orson cut away a chunk of footage and now it is just under 90 minutes. One can only guess what the film would be like if the footage was ever found!


6. Rear Window (1954)

As a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock, choosing only one of his films wasn’t easy! It was a very close call between North By Northwest (1959) and Vertigo (1958) alas, Rear Window took the spot. This film was a huge hit upon it’s first release, cemented Grace Kelly as The Ultimate Hitchcock Blonde and made the 1950s the decade for Hitchcock. It has it all – suspense, thrills, romance and even a bit of comedy thrown in there too. The first time I watched this, although I appreciate it as a whole, I didn’t warm to it as much as I have now. I don’t know why that is as there really is no other film like this and especially for the time. If you end up feeling the same way on first watch, don’t be disheartened, it’s now my favourite Hitchcock movie! You can’t really go wrong with Grace Kelly and James Stewart after all now can you?


7. On The Waterfront (1954)

This film is just incredible, the cast is superb, the direction is wonderful and it really was groundbreaking for 1954. Originally intended to be a play by Arthur Miller entitled, “The Hook” that never came to fruition and with all of the Anti-Communist Testimony’s, which Elia Kazan was apart of – On The Waterfront came to life. Although many didn’t agree with Elia telling names, Arthur Miller included, when you watch On The Waterfront you really can’t root for anyone but Terry Malloy. The chemistry between Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint is just wonderful and both actors deserved their Oscars.


8. And God Created Woman (1956)

Already a big star in France at the time, And God Created Woman was the film that cemented Brigitte Bardot’s status as The Ultimate Sex Kitten and The Most Desired European Actress In The World. Directed by then husband, Roger Vadim, the film caused controversy throughout America and divided the nation. This film propelled Brigitte into the worldwide spotlight and she continued a very successful acting career until retiring at age 38 to become and Animal Rights Activist. Brigitte has often said that in this film, Juliette, is simply being herself and Saint Tropez, the location of the film has been her home for over 60 years and is now a huge Tourist Attraction.


9. Sabrina (1954)

After winning an Oscar for her debut American Performance in Roman Holiday (1953) just a year before, Audrey Hepburn began a hugely successful acting career. This film also stars the incredible Humphrey Bogart and William Holden and is directed by my favourite, Billy Wilder. This was also the first pairing of Givenchy and Audrey, a fashion love affair that would last her entire lifetime. This is a must see for all Classic Cinema Lovers and will warm your heart with happiness. They really don’t make the movies like they used to and I guess this is why the classics are even more special! A lot of people have said that Humphrey Bogart is too old for Audrey, however, all of her leading her men are almost twice her age – it was very common to do that in the 1950s.


10. Houseboat (1958)

After reading Sophia Loren’s Autobiography earlier this year, I absolutely adore her and naturally have started to watch her movies. I’ve been wanting to see Houseboat (1958) for quite a while and was thrilled when I found it on Netflix. It’s a classic Romantic Comedy and Cary Grant  and Sophia make a great pairing. This was the second and sadly last film they made together, the first being one of Sophia’s first American films, The Pride and The Passion (1958) with Frank Sinatra. It is now known that Cary actually fell in love with Sophia during the making of their first film and signed on to make Houseboat just because Sophia was going to be in it. Obviously Sophia married Carlo Ponti so their brief romance didn’t work out, but it’s lovely to see what could have been on film.

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Favourite Films Of The Sixties.

Here is the third post in my, “Favourite Films” series and this will be on the last of my most loved decades, The Sixties! This era of film was the time for flower power, twisting the night away, big hair, winged eyeliner and the end of the Hays Code in motion pictures. The fashion and films from the Swingin’ Sixties could be considered the most iconic of the century; Bond, Go Go Boots, Mini Skirts, Clint Eastwood and Brigitte Bardot automatically spring to mind.

Like my previous posts, I will list my favourite films from this era in categories, choose my most loved stars and their movies and bold my favourites.

Alfred Hitchock's Psycho was something audience's had never seen before and the Box Office Receipts show it.
Alfred Hitchock’s Psycho was something audience’s had never seen before and the Box Office Receipts show it.

Brigitte Bardot

  • The Truth (1960)
  • Love On A Pillow (1962)
  • Contempt (1963)
  • Shalako (1968)
Brigitte Bardot in Contempt (1963)
Brigitte Bardot in Contempt (1963)

Sharon Tate

  • Eye of the Devil (1966)
  • Don’t Make Waves (1967)
  • The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)
  • Valley of the Dolls (1967)
  • The Wrecking Crew (1968)
  • 12 + 1 (1969)
Sharon Tate in a publicity still for MGM in 1965.
Sharon Tate in a publicity still for MGM in 1966.

Audrey Hepburn

  • The Unforgiven (1960)
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
  • The Children’s Hour (1961)
  • Charade (1963)
  • Paris When It Sizzles (1964)
  • My Fair Lady (1964)
  • How to Steal a Million (1966)
  • Two for the Road (1967)
Audrey Hepburn in Charade (1963)
Audrey Hepburn in Charade (1963)

Musicals/Comedies

  • Let’s Make Love (1960)
  • West Side Story (1961)
  • Something’s Got to Give (1962)
  • The Notorious Landlady (1962)
  • Irma la Douce (1963)
  • Promises! Promises! (1963)
  • Mary Poppins (1964)
  • Barbarella (1968)
  • Olivier! (1968)

Drama

  • La Dolce Vita (1960)
  • Too Hot to Handle (1960)
  • Psycho (1960)
  • The Misfits (1961)
  • One-Eyed Jacks (1961)
  • Splendor in the Grass (1961)
  • Cape Fear (1962)
  • Dr. No (1962)
  • Lolita (1962)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
  • The Birds (1963)
  • Marnie (1964)
  • The Night of the Iguana (1964)
  • Repulsion (1965)
  • The Sandpiper (1965)
  • Arabesque (1966)
  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
  • Belle de Jour (1967)
  • Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
  • Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
The Misfits (1961)
The Misfits (1961)

I hope you enjoyed this post and watch some of the films I’ve recommended. If you’ve watched any good ones that I’ve not listed then please tell me, I’d love to watch more from this amazing decade!

Here’s the few 1960s movies I have on DVD that I’ve yet to watch;

  • The Loves of Hercules (1960)
  • Gyspy (1962)
  • It Happened at the World’s Fair (1962)
  • It Happened in Athens (1962)
  • The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
  • Viva Las Vegas (1963)
  • Harum Scarum (1965)
  • Morituri (1965)
  • Spinout (1966)
  • Speedway (1968)

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