Marilyn: The Passion and the Paradox
Like her art, Marilyn Monroe was rooted in paradox: She was a powerful star and a childlike waif; a joyful, irreverent party girl with a deeply spiritual side; a superb friend and a narcissist; a dumb blonde and an intellectual. No previous biographer has recognized―much less attempted to analyze―most of these aspects of her personality. Lois Banner has. With new details about Marilyn's childhood foster homes, her sexual abuse, her multiple marriages, her affairs, and her untimely death at the age of thirty-six, Marilyn is, at last, the nuanced biography Monroe fans have been waiting for.
rational and irrational, strong and weak, calling herself strong as a cobweb, although more often slanting downward, heavy with the cold frosts, cheated by life.28 Friends in Hollywood complained that she didn’t contact them; Jane Russell, for one, was hurt that Marilyn didn’t keep in touch. That inattention gave rise to the myth that she dropped people with ease and made new friends when it suited her. But she was overwhelmed by the time needed to keep up with the many people she knew. Dropping
dating the star. Given Marilyn’s involvement with Arthur and the difficulties of filming Bus Stop, it seems unlikely that she had time for other men. Some say she was too affectionate toward Marilyn. Whatever the truth, Pat reentered Marilyn’s life four years later, during the filming of The Misfits, and she played a crucial role in her last two years.53 Meantime, Arthur wrote Marilyn about his disapproval of Milton, about his huckster mentality. He praised Marilyn’s progress toward independence
to open it with a new Arthur Miller play. Arthur leapt at the chance.29 The play would be After the Fall, Arthur’s diatribe against Marilyn. Miller and Kazan were moving toward reconciliation. In the end, they would reconcile over what amounted to an attack on Marilyn for her promiscuous behavior with men, an attack on her body, even though they had both earlier loved that body. Perhaps Arthur needed to symbolically “kill” Marilyn before he could break his writing block and move on to other work.
still pictures.” Makeup artist Whitey Snyder agreed with Lyon, although Norma Jeane spoke harshly to him at first. The docile Norma Jeane was becoming more forceful. She demanded that he replicate the makeup she applied to herself as a model, even though he told her it was too heavy for films. But he did what she demanded—and Shamroy chastised him for a bad makeup job. Norma Jeane heard the reprimand, and it set off her nervousness. She began to stutter, and her face broke out in red splotches.
Gladys to Rockhaven from Norwalk State Mental Hospital. At a ceremony in the Crystal Room of the Beverly Hills Hotel that evening, Marilyn received Photoplay’s award as the year’s best newcomer. Photoplay was the nation’s most widely read movie fan magazine, and its awards were as important as the Oscars. But Niagara had opened several weeks earlier, and women’s clubs throughout the nation were protesting the immorality of Marilyn’s character in the movie and especially the red dress she wore in