spoto

4

“Are you going to use my voice for songs at all? I’ll work hard on my voice,” Audrey said, adding that she would “have as many lessons as you like. It’s all part of the business, to learn to sing and dance.” Jack Warner and director George Cukor had told her that they had no doubt that she would render the songs magnificently and her voice would be used (but for a few minor interpolations). But this was an astonishing act of deliberate deception, and it would miscarry in a way that seriously diminished the effect of Eliza’s character in the picture. 

On May 16, 1963, Cukor and Alan Jay Lerner had met privately with singer Marni Nixon to do a brief audition. She was asked to keep the matter regarding the dubbing strictly private. Audrey, who was still engrossed in singing lessons was unaware of this development. The decision had already been made to have Marni dub her voice and yet no one conveyed that news to Audrey, who continued to believe that, except for an occasional high note from Nixon’s recordings, her own voice would be heard in the picture. Audrey dutifully worked on her vocalises for a half hour or so every morning, and the weeks went by. To make matters worse, Cukor, Lerner and André Previn listened to Audrey’s singing and praised her lavishly, and Audrey, unfortunately, began to believe them. And when she completed the scene in which she performed “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?” to a prerecorded track, the bit players and crew applauded loudly.

“Did you hear that?” Audrey asked Cukor excitedly at the end of the day. “They actually applauded!” “Audrey,” Cukor said gently, “they thought it was you.” Unknown to him, to Lerner and to Previn, the technician in charge of playback had indeed used her track instead of Nixon’s. “George,” Audrey replied, tears filling her eyes, “it was me.”

“Opening night of the Ringling Brothers circus at Madison Square Garden, on March 30, was a benefit for the Arthritis and Rheumatism Foundation. Among all the stars who turned out none was more visible or roaringly approved by the eighteen thousand spectators than Marilyn[…], she made a grand entrance in a tight, sexy outfit of feathers and spangles, riding atop an elephant painted shocking pink (x). "It meant a lot to me because I’d never been to a circus as a kid,” she told the nation a week later.“ - Donald Spoto

Kennedy, John Fitzgerald (1917 - 1963)

So much has been said about relations between Mr. President and Marilyn that the truth is well and truly buried beneath layers of speculation and supposition. The consensus view is that they had a weekend together in March 1962, though some people, such as Marilyn’s friend and movie stand-in Evelyn Moriarty, say they never saw any evidence of a relationship with either of the Kennedy brothers. 

According to Fred Lawrence Guiles, Marilyn’s affair with JFK continued through the last year of her life, especially when she went on trips to New York. Then again, there are those who discount anything more than a one night stand. Donald Spoto writes “no serious biographer can identify Monroe and Kennedy as partners in a love affair. All that can be known for certain is that on four occasions between October 1961 and August 1962, the president and the actress met, and that during one of those meetings they telephoned one of Marilyn’s friends from a bedroom soon after, Marilyn confided this one sexual encounter to her closest confidants, making clear that it was the extent of their involvement.”

The first of the four occasions documented by Spoto was in October 1961, when Marilyn and fellow leading ladies were invited to Peter Lawford’s beach house to attend a dinner in honor of Patricia Lawford’s brother, President Kennedy. The second was in early 1962, a dinner party for the president in New York. Encounter number three took place on March 24, 1962. This was at Bing Crosby’s home in Palm Springs. This was where they shared a bedroom and Marilyn made a call to Ralph Roberts, who later said, “Marilyn told me that this night in March was the only time of her ‘affair’ with JFK. Of course she was titillated beyond belief, because for a year he had been trying, through Lawford, to have an evening with her. A great many people thought, after that weekend, that there was more to it. But Marilyn gave me the impression that it was not a major event for either of them: it happened once, that weekend, and that was that.”

Two more of Marilyn’s close friends agree. It is Susan Strasberg’s opinion that, “Not in her worst nightmare would Marilyn have wanted to be with JFK on any permanent basis. It was OK for one night to sleep with a charismatic president - and she loved the secrecy and drama of it. But he certainly wasn’t the kind of man she wanted for life, and she was very clear to us about this.” Sidney Skolsky has said, “For Marilyn, what counted was the idea of ‘the little orphan waif indulging in free love with the leader of the free world.’”

It was during the Palm Springs weekend that Marilyn agreed to attend the Democratic Gala planned for May 1962 at Madison Square Garden, and promised to personally lead the “Happy Birthday” chorus. She did not know that fulfilling this promise would be seized on by Twentieth Century-Fox as an excuse to close down production of Something’s Got To Give, the film she was working on at the time. This was the last documented occasion Marilyn and JFK met. Marilyn gave her inimitable breathy rendition of “Happy Birthday” before 17,000 Democrats and a huge assortment of stars who had gathered to fund JFK’s successful presidential campaign. Marilyn also paid the $1,000 admission price. Hosting the evening’s entertainment - which included Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Henry Fonda, Maria Callas, and Harry Belafonte - was entertainer Jack Benny. Late as usual, and rather drunk, Marilyn was ushered on stage by Peter Lawford, who announced her as “the late Marilyn Monroe.” In a dress that veteran diplomat Adlai Stevenson described as “skin and beads - only I didn’t see the beads,” Marilyn sang the first verse of “Happy Birthday” and then waved her arms to encourage the audience to sing along for a reprise as a six-foot cake with forty-five oversized candles was carried on stage by two chefs. Marilyn then sang (to the tune of “Thanks for the Memory”):

Thanks, Mr. President
For everything you’ve done,
The battles that you’ve won - 
The way you deal with U.S. Steel
And our problems by the ton,
We thank you - so much.

At the end of the event, Kennedy thanked the evening’s performers: “I can now retire from politics after having had ‘Happy Birthday’ sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way.”

According to biographer Donald Wolfe, a week after the birthday event Marilyn was informed by Lawford that JFK no longer wanted to have anything to do with her. Wolfe is one of many to assert that this was the end of an affair that had been going on for eight years or more. Marilyn and JFK are said to have met as early as 1951, though 1954 is more commonly cited, at a party thrown by Charles Feldman, Marilyn’s agent at the time. Reportedly during a period of hospitalization in October 1954, Kennedy hung a poster of Marilyn wearing blue shorts, upside down opposite his bed - a story very similar to an apocryphal tale about Howard Hughes. Under this scenario Marilyn was sneaking off to motels in Malibu with Kennedy during the last couple of months of her marriage to Joe DiMaggio. Allegedly throughout the course of Marilyn’s marriage to Arthur Miller, she continued to meet the future president for rendezvous at his habitual New York hotel, the Carlyle, or at Lawford’s Santa Monica beach home.

Marilyn was reputedly flown from New York to Los Angeles by Kennedy to provide him with a celebratory romantic interlude after his triumphant 1960 Democratic Convention. After delivering his “New Frontier” acceptance speech, he met up with Marilyn, who had been brought to the celebration party by Sammy Davis Jr. Part of the evening’s entertainment for the future president, reportedly, was when he put his hand up Marilyn’s dress under the table - and found out that she did not wear anything underneath. Later that night they went skinny dipping in the ocean. There have been allegations too that Kennedy asked Lawford to accompany Marilyn to the East Coast on Air Force One, and that once Jackie Kennedy was enraged to find blonde hairs in the presidential bed.

Rumors about a romance between JFK and Marilyn began to surface in the press during 1960. Late that year, influential columnist Art Buchwalf penned a piece entitled “Let’s Be Firm on Monroe Doctrine.” The article read: “Who will be the next ambassador to Monroe? This is one of the many problems which president-elect Kennedy will have to work on in January. Obviously you can’t leave Monroe adrift. There are too many greedy people eyeing her, and now that Ambassador Miller has left she could flounder around without any direction.”

Kennedy aide Pete Summers told biographer Anthony Summers (no relation) that Marilyn was a frequent visitor to the Lawford beach house during the presidential campaign: “They were very close friends. I would say she was a very special guest - the president was really very, very fond of Marilyn….I did feel that she was so impressed by Kennedy’s charm and charisma that she was almost starry-eyed….But she was totally able to hold her own conversationally; she was very bright.”

JFK’s name has been often mentioned in connection with the last weeks of Marilyn’s life too. Although nobody has yet leveled the accusation that they met up at this time, some biographers believe that Marilyn’s trip to the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital on July 20 (or the following weekend in some accounts) was to abort JFK’s love child.

The mot stalwart accusers of JFK claim that he was the man who decided that Marilyn had to be silenced. Stories have circulated that the president’s sexual escapades with Marilyn at Lawford’s home had been bugged - either by the FBI, Mafia boss Sam Giancana, or even Teamsters’ boss Jimmy Hoffa. Conspiracy theories of this type frame Lawford as the hit-man, in league with Dr. Ralph Greenson to prescribe Marilyn an unusually large quantity of Seconal and then force her to take an overdose.

- The Marilyn Encyclopedia by Adam Victor.

thesherlockdavenger  asked:

Sometimes, on a particularly dark and chilly night, Robbie suddenly wakes and Spoto-boy isn't there. He's worried until he realizes that his crystal must have gone of, so he puts a warm glass of milk on the nightstand of Sportacu's side of the bed, so he can get toasty again when he gets back.

oh,, yes. 11/10 

it’s all cute and fun until sporto comes back and puts his ice cold hands on robbie’s back under his pajama shirt 

Drugs

Marilyn: “When you’re on a film you’ve got to look good in the morning so you’ve got to get some sleep. That’s why I take pills.”

John Huston: “The girl was an addict of sleeping tablets and she was made so by the goddamn doctors.”

Arthur Miller: “Doctors had gone along with her demands for new and stronger sleeping pills even though they knew perfectly well how dangerous this was…there were always new doctors willing to help her into oblivion.”

According to Donald Spoto, Marilyn began to be addicted to sleeping pills in early 1954, after she took some to combat jetlag-induced sleeplessness. However, the evidence is that by the time she had already been using pills for as many as eight years - Marilyn told Amy Greene that she had been taking pills since the age of seventeen or eighteen. Certainly by 1950, on the threshold of her big break, Marilyn resorted to drugs to combat the overwhelming anxiety she suffered before screen tests. Since 1950 Marilyn had had a ready source of pills from her friend, confidant, and sometime mouthpiece, columnist Sidney Skolsky, who worked out of Schwab’s drugstore and could be relied on to provide sleeping pills and the like. Joe DiMaggio reputedly referred to Sidney and Marilyn as “pill-pals.”

The use of barbiturates, amphetamines, and narcotics was common in Hollywood. It was an exciting and dangerous thing to do, and there was far less awareness of the harmful long-term effects of substance abuse. Drugs ultimately claimed the careers and lived of many famous stars, from Errol Flynn to Judy Garland and Montgomery Clift.

Marilyn used barbiturates, hypnotics, and anti-anxiety drugs. Apart from one documented occasion in 1962, when she met Dr. Timothy Leary, she did not take pills for recreation or thrill-seeking, but as a way of combating her crippling inability to sleep, to calm her frayed nerves, or to tackle the debilitating fear and anxieties which assailed her. Susan Strasberg writes, “People mixed champagne and pills all the time, to increase the effectiveness of the pills. As for Marilyn, she had the burdens of her fear, her timidity, her insecurity and her unusually agonizing monthly periods that rendered her literally incapable of moving.” Once the addictive spiral began, she began to take yet more pills to counteract the effects of other drugs she had taken.

Marilyn was visibly affected by the after-effects of sleeping pills in 1954, when she regularly turned up late and groggy to work on There’s No Business Like Show Business - this was a time of high emotional tension as her recent marriage to Joe DiMaggio was running anything but smoothly.

After escaping the immediate danger of Hollywood and moving to New York in late 1954, Marilyn embarked on a year of self-discovery and acting experimentation, but she still needed sedatives and barbiturates to sleep. She continued to wash down the barbiturates with champagne, hoping that this would give her the chance of a good night’s rest. Eight years later, on the set of Something’s Got To Give, Marilyn was still fraught enough to swallow valium pills with champagne.

Despite warnings about the dangers of her drug abuse, Marilyn seemed unable to cut down her intake except for short periods - there was always some new crisis or her perennial insomnia to bring her back. Gynecologist Leon Krohn warned Marilyn that if she wanted to have children, she should do something about her intake of drink and drugs. After her second miscarriage, Marilyn was consumed with fear that she had brought this on by her intake of Amytal, a barbiturate (medical name amobarbital). By the late fifties, Marilyn was trapped in a dangerous spiral of having to take drugs to sleep, different drugs in the morning to battle through the grogginess, and then take more pills during the day to control her anxiety. Typically, Marilyn scheduled no appointments before midday; the hangover from Nembutal took all morning to clear. 

Marilyn’s dependence on barbiturates and sleeping pills increased even further during tumultuous shooting on The Misfits in 1960. Her Los Angeles doctors sent out stringer drugs, 300 milligram doses of Nembutal (sodium pentobarbital), three times the standard dosage for treating insomnia, and so strong that just seven of these pills would have been enough to kill a person without her tolerance. When she felt that these weren’t enough, she persuaded doctors to inject Amytal directly, in quantities not far off the administered for general anesthetics. In the mornings Marilyn was so groggy that makeup man Allan “Whitey” Snyder had to start making her up while she lay in bed. Rumors circulated that Marilyn had to be walked around her bedroom for hours to get her sufficiently clear-headed, and some biographers write that the only way to get her to actually wake up was to put her in the shower. 

In the last years of her life, Marilyn increasingly switched to chloral hydrate, more commonly known as “Mickey Finn” knockout drops. These were prescribed to her by psychoanalyst Ralph Greenson in an attempt to reduce her dependency on the barbiturates she habitually took. Greenson apparently also prescribed Dexamyl, a potent combination of Dexedrine (a now banned stimulant) and amobarbital, a barbiturate. He remarked in correspondence that her dependence was such that she resembled an addict, yet “did not seem to be the usual addict.” There were times, though, when her behavior was very much that of the addict, seeking new ways to administer the drugs she craved, including injection. Reputedly in the last month of her life, Marilyn’s regular doctor, Dr. Hyman Engelberg, attended Marilyn almost daily to give her so-called “youth shots,” which altered her mood and gave her redoubled energy. 

On August 3, 1962, just two days before her death, Marilyn had two prescriptions for Nembutal, her regular barbiturate sleeping pills, filled at her local pharmacy, from two different doctors (Dr. Engelberg and Dr. Seigel) at the San Vicente pharmacy on 12025 San Vicente Boulevard. 

On her last day alive, Marilyn probably took pills of phenobarbital and chloral hydrate. By mid-afternoon that day, she was seen on the beach walking with a little difficulty, and her speech was slurred. The autopsy showed levels 10 times the normal dose of the first drug and 20 times the normal dose of the second drug: blood levels of 4.5 mg Nembutal and 8 mg of chloral hydrate, and a much higher concentration of 13 mg of Nembutal in Marilyn’s liver. Disparities in these figures have been used to support allegations of foul play in Marilyn’s death and speculation that the lethal dose of drugs was administered either by injection or by enema. Controversy has even surrounded the exact list of drugs that Marilyn had in her bedroom at the time, with some commentators suggesting that only half of the pill bottles found on the bedside table were ever listed by the coroner on his toxicology report (Librium, Nembutal, chloral hydrate, Phenergan, and others without labels).

- The Marilyn Encyclopedia by Adam Victor.

The next time I read that people believe that The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe is accurate I will scream.

Read these books and then come back to me and tell me it’s accurate:


Marilyn Monroe The Biography by Donald Spoto

My Sister Marilyn by Bernice and Mona Rae Miracle

MM: Private and Undisclosed by Michelle Morgan

The Marilyn Encyclopedia by Adam Victor (looks at a lot of different viewpoints of each topic)

My Story (ghost written by Ben Hecht, released after her death)

Fragments

Marilyn; Her Life In Her Own Words by George Barris


Read this and you will see that there are so many flaws in its accuracy it may as well have been about someone else.

And Marilyn said in 1962 “Lies! Lies! Lies!”

mynervescouldstandadrink-blog  asked:

Sorry it took me so long to reply Rafael! You can call me dre (my nickname) by the way ;)

The book does indeed bring something new for it focuses more on her career than on any other aspect of her life. If you haven't seen one of her movies, you will feel like you have after reading this book. Every stage performance and TV/movie role is accounted for. The author did his research and gives in depth descriptions of her theatre and movie productions, even going as far as giving his own movie reviews.

The book also gives a good look into her family life (the Kelly's not the Grimaldi's).The book doesn't start off by going into a detailed history of her parents and where their wealth comes from (most biographies I have read about her usually describe that part a little too thoroughly). The author quotes family members and honestly explains her relationship with her family (the Kelly's) better than any other biography I've read. The book also doesn't focus on her love life. Each affair (or alleged affair) is talked about but really the book is not at all gossipy.

Grace first met Mr. Spoto for a book he was writing about Alfred Hitchcock. After that she gave him permission to write a biography about her, if he promised to wait to publish it after she was long gone (25 years gone to be exact). He kept his word and so most of the quotes from Grace come from his personal interviews with her.

I think it is worth reading if you want to know more about her acting career and how Hollywood worked back in the 50's.
~ dre

Thanks so much, dre! I’ll remember your meticulous review. Have a good one, Rafael