bill pursel

She didn’t find the little cottage and white picket fence; the three children and loving dog she sought. She loved the publicity and the attention she attracted, but she was not happy. She sank into the quicksand of Hollywood like many others have done, but placing blame for the inevitable is folly. I was surprised at her death. What a tragedy. Norma Jeane had a pure soul, and an immense love of life. She was kind and generous; loved children and animals and had a strong backbone—she almost single-handed made herself a world-renowned star and was so profound that I was almost afraid of her. To me she was like a dream and that is what she really was. Raising this past has brought melancholy to a very private part of my life and if Norma Jeane is looking down on all this, I hope she is smiling.

- Bill Pursel, Marilyn Monroe: Private and Confidential by Michelle Morgan

    Encouraged by Bill’s [Pursel; first boyfriend after James Dougherty] interest in opera, Marilyn was happy to learn that Madam Butterfly was to be performed at the Hollywood Bowl on 3-4 September 1948, with Eleanor Steber in the title role and Eugene Ormandy conducting. Bill picked her up in his car, and the two headed up to the Bowl to see the performance. Pursel remembered: ’She sat very close to me, listening intently to the opera. She was very quiet and moody all evening, but I asked if she was okay and she said she was. When we went to eat after the performance, she was melancholy throughout our dinner, so we just sat quietly, with very little talk. It wasn’t until years later that I read Norma Jeane had been in some kind of pageant at the Hollywood Bowl when she was a little child, and she had missed a cue or something. As fragile and fearful of rejection as she was, I thought maybe this little goof may have stayed with her and being in the bowl had turned her thoughts back to that early time in her life, but I didn’t push it. She sure had a right to be blue without me or anyone else tugging at her to explain why.’

Marilyn Monroe: Private and Confidential by Michelle Morgan

“She didn’t find the cottage and white picket fence; the three children and loving dog she sought. She loved the publicity and attention she attracted, but she was not happy. She sank into the quicksand of Hollywood like many others have done, but placing blame for the inevitable is folly. I was surprised at her death. What a tragedy. To me she was like a dream, and that is what she really was.”
- Bill Purself

“Norma Jeane was a very attractive female who could draw men like flies. She was constantly pursued, and she had an engaging personality - she was kind and gentle. So, when beauty and kindness are wrapped in a glamorous package like her, things can be explosive on the outside, but underneath this sparkle there was a profound softness and glow.”
- Bill Pursel

BOOK REVIEW

When I first read Michelle’s book, I had to email her and congratulate her on her impeciable writing quality. I found it gripping, easy to understand and fantastically well structured.

 Marilyn Monroe - Private and Undisclosed wonderfully summarises Marilyn’s life in an unbiased way which is a rare quality in a Marilyn biography! Michelle focuses captures the human being in Marilyn, which so many people forget.

For anyone who has read hundreds of books or for someone who has just started researching Marilyn, this book covers all major factors of Marilyn’s life including snippets of new information. For example, Michelle is the first person to track down Marilyn’s first boyfriend, Bill Pursel (whom she is still in contact with) which opens a whole new chapter to Marilyn’s life.

Michelle also moves away from dwelling on rumour, conspiracy and scandal (she leaves that for her Mammoth Book of Hollywood Scandals, also wonderfully fascinating and not in the slightest bit tacky!). Michelle clearly worked incredibly hard to ensure all sources were reliable and that the information was correct.

Definitely worth the purchase!

10/10