“In Hollywood a girl’s virtue is much less important than her hair-do. You’re judged by the way you look, not by what you are. Hollywood’s a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty cents.” - Marilyn Monroe, My Story. Photo taken for Love Happy (1949).
When Marilyn died, I was in Japan making a movie and I remember being so sad because it seemed to be our loss. But she lives forever on film; she gave so much, she had a deep caring for her work and cared a great deal. Actors care about the parts they play, but Marilyn cared even deeper. She was glorious, something else. She stands alone and is incredibly unique. When I need cheering up, I watch “Diamonds” or the opening number of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and it lifts my spirits. Marilyn was a lovely, kind person who wouldn’t hurt a fly, she was adorable but that isn’t even a good enough word. She was so gifted. -George Chakiris (who was a dancer in the “Diamonds” scene with her in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes)
I went on the set and found the producer Lester Cowan in charge. He was a small man with dark, sad eyes. He introduced me to Groucho and Harpo Marx. It was like meeting familiar characters out of Mother Goose. There they were with the same ahppy, crazy look I had seen on the screen. They both smiled at me as if I were a piece of French pastry. “This is the young lady for the office bit,” said Mr. Cowan. Groucho stared thoughtfully at me. “Can you walk?” he demanded. I nodded. “I am not referring to the type of walking my Tante Zippa has mastered,” said Groucho. “This role calls for a young lady who can walk by me in such a manner as to arose my elderly libido and cause smoke to issue from my ears.” Harpo honked a horn at the end of his cane and grinned at me. I walked the way Groucho wanted. “Exceedingly well done,” he beamed. Harpo’s horn honked three times, and he stuck his fingers in his mouth and blew a piercing whistle. “Walk again,” said Mr. Cowan. I walked up and down in front of the three men. They stood grinning. “It’s Mae West, Theda Bara, and Bo Peep all rolled into one,” said Groucho. “We shoot the scene tomorrow morning. Come early.” -Audition for Love Happy; from My Story