September 15, 2011


Marilyn Monroe still compels 49 years after her death. She even wrote two of the many books about her life and career. Not even Elizabeth Taylor, equally beautiful and living a life that often made headlines, seems to have captured the public’s imagination like the woman we shall always picture standing over a street vent with her dress floating high above her legs.

There have been several iterations of her image, the latest on Vogue Magazine’s cover. In the film “The Help” a woman sees herself as “southern white trash” and despairs she will ever find her place in society.  

I think it’s safe to say Marilyn never seemed to “fit in.” How could she?  In our minds she was so much larger than life. But unlike Elizabeth Taylor, she oozed a vulnerability that allowed us to feel this goddess did occasionally walk among us.  I liked Marilyn Monroe and I thought she was a wonderful actress. She made me laugh in “Some Like it Hot,” cry in “The Misfits,” and want to protect her from disappointment in “The Prince and the Show Girl”  — a film where she upstaged the great Shakespearean actor, Laurence Olivier. Others mimicked her dumb blonde innocence but never with her pathos. Like Charlie Chaplain, she could make us laugh and cry simultaneously. I would have loved to see a script that put Marilyn and James Dean together. What a duo they could have made. Together, their electricity would have knocked out the national power grid.

Marilyn died in August 1962, a probable suicide, ruled the L.A. County Coroner. In the hubbub of the Arab Spring and another fall in the stock market, I let the moment pass without comment. I wish to make amends now:

I miss her luminous talent.