Role Of Joe DiMaggio Is Cast In Marilyn Monroe Miniseries

The cast for the next Marilyn Monroe miniseries is rounding itself out.

The A.V. Club is reporting that Jeffrey Dean Morgan, formerly of Starz Networks’ Magic City, has been tapped to portray Marilyn Monroe’s second husband. The four-hour miniseries, Marilyn, which is based on Randy Taraborelli’s book The Secret Life Of Marilyn Monroe, will air sometime next year. Stephen Kronish, who wrote for The Kennedys TV series, is writing the miniseries, with Laurie Collyer from Sherrybaby directing.

Keri Selig and Kronish will produce the miniseries for Asylum Entertainment.

Casting includes Susan Sarandon as Marilyn’s troubled mother, Emily Watson as Marilyn’s childhood guardian Grace McKee, Gladys Mortensen, and Kelli Garner as the titular character.

DiMaggio and Monroe were married in 1954 for just over nine months, then divorced. Monroe went on to marry playwright Arthur Miller in 1956, and then divorce in 1961. DiMaggio never remarried.

There were rumors, however, that DiMaggio and Monroe were attempting to rekindle their relationship at the time of Monroe’s death in 1963. DiMaggio, in a loving tribute to Monroe, sent roses to her crypt three times a week for 20 years. According to his lawyers, DiMaggio’s final words were, “I’ll finally get to see Marilyn.”

Marilyn Monroe died in 1963 at the age of 36.

Morgan’s experience in Magic City will definitely help the actor acclimate to the period piece. Set in 1959 Miami, Morgan portrayed Ike Evans, a hotel owner with mob ties. The series, which was cancelled, is being rewired for a major motion picture which will bring back Morgan, and add Bruce Willis and Bill Murray to the cast.

Also boasting experience in a period piece is Garner, who had a leading role in ABC’s Pan Am.

The Wrap is reporting that Morgan will play a darker DiMaggio, wherein the original relationship held rumors of physical violence. Morgan has been seen in The Watchmen and the recent remake of Red Dawn. He’ll be next starring opposite Chad Michael Murray for the History Channel’s Texas Rangers, which will focus on the beginning of the Rangers themselves.

UTA and Rob Gomez Management represent Morgan.

According to the Daily News Archive, in an article from October 38, 1954, Monroe was granted a divorce after testifying that DiMaggio was cold and indifferent. Monroe testified for five minutes, and had the courtroom hanging on her every word. At one point, Monroe stated that her and DiMaggio had broken up for about a week, but shared the house; her upstairs, him downstairs.

Monroe ended her testimony by saying DiMaggio knew of his feelings, telling her, “I know I am wrong in my approach to coldness and indifference. I regret it but I cannot help it.”

[Image courtesy of Fansided]