Marilyn Monroe’s secret life will unfold tonight in a new television miniseries about her life entitled The Secret Life Of Marilyn Monroe, starring Kelli Garner as Marilyn Monroe. The film is based on the book by J. Randy Taraborrelli. Many movies and documentaries have been made about the sexy vixen, but few have significantly researched her life as a child. The Secret Life Of Marilyn Monroe will go beyond the headlines to reveal what life was like for Marilyn Monroe growing up with a mother who had mental illness.
If Lifetime’s Marilyn Monroe movie sticks close to the book, then viewers can expect to see Marilyn Monroe as a flawed woman who is aware of her own problems with mental illness — or at least she suspects that she has mental illness. In addition to providing viewers with background information on her life as a child, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe will also reveal how Marilyn became hooked on drugs, her feelings and thoughts regarding sex, and her marriage to Joe DiMaggio. The movie, like the book, will most likely be a fair and tactful retelling of Marilyn’s sad life.
But there are some early criticisms. Die-hard Marilyn Monroe fans want to know how Lifetime knows these so-called secrets — if they were indeed secrets. The book’s author gives a lot of anecdotal information (hearsay) about Marilyn’s upbringing. Some argue that these “sources” were most likely too young to remember anything about Monroe for themselves, leading to speculation that the stories were told to the sources by other sources.
But in fairness, almost all of the first-hand sources are deceased. The book and the movie do the best job possible of sharing these stories, which were most likely passed down and told to other people.
Here are a few other “secrets” that will most likely not be a part of tonight’s movie. The following information comes from transcripts of conversations between Marilyn Monroe and her psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Greenson. The transcript was published in the Los Angeles Times.
On Being Naked
Marilyn Monroe loved walking around the house in the nude. She often stood in the mirror in full make up and with hair done while she admired her own figure.
“I stood naked in front of my full length mirrors for a long time yesterday. I was all made up with my hair done. What did I see? My breasts are beginning to sag a bit . My waist isn’t bad. My ass is what it should be, the best there is. Legs, knees and ankles still shapely. And my feet are not too big. OK, Marilyn, you have it all there.”
Marilyn Had Lesbian Sex With Joan Crawford
“We went to Joan’s bedroom… Crawford had a gigantic orgasm and shrieked like a maniac. Credit Natasha. She could teach more than acting. Next time I saw Crawford she wanted another round. I told her straight out I didn’t much enjoy doing it with a woman. After I turned her down, she became spiteful.”
Another old book entitled Marilyn Monroe Confidential gave a very revealing portrait of how life was for Marilyn at home. The book received a lot of criticism because of the private and shocking information revealed in it by Marilyn’s so-called friend, Lena Pepitone, her maid and seamstress from 1957-1962. Pepitone later claimed that many details in the book were for shock value because that’s what people wanted to hear but didn’t deny that the events in the book took place. Note that some of the same statements made by Pepitone were also made by other people who were around Marilyn Monroe when she was alive.
“Doctor, I want you to help me get rid of Murray (a different maid). While she was giving me an enema last night I was thinking to myself Lady, even though you’re very good at this, you’ve got to go. But how? I can’t flat out fire her. Next thing would be a book “Secrets of Marilyn Monroe by her Housekeeper.” She’d make a fortune spilling what she knows and she knows too damn much.”
At Home Marilyn Was Not The Marilyn We Knew
Her lovers were often disappointed with the real Marilyn. At home, she was often depressed and unkempt. In an interview, Lena Pepitone told William Stadiem that Marilyn Monroe didn’t like to wash her hair or bathe regularly but was obsessed with keeping her hair dyed blonde. She also hated underwear, which would sometimes lead to messy bed sheets during certain times of the month. And at least one news reporter and several people on set revealed that the actress would show up to the set late with a faint body odor mixed with the smell of perfume.
Many speculate that her personal hygiene and bouts with depression (or mental illness) could be one of the reasons that her marriages to Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller failed. In a conversation with her psychiatrist, she revealed that Arthur Miler didn’t seem interested in her, and often spent time in another room — away from her. After her last marriage, she made up for the sadness by having a string of lovers come to her home for sex.
“It’s different with Arthur. Marrying him was my mistake, not his. He couldn’t give me the attention, warmth and affection I need. As bed partners we were so-so. He was not that much interested.”
At the time of her death, she looked nothing like the Marilyn Monroe the world had come to know. One person who viewed the dead body of Marilyn Monroe made the following observation.
“Her fingernails were dirty. Her hair hadn’t been washed, let alone styled, for over a week. Her legs were unshaven and the dark roots of her natural hair color were showing through. It wasn’t a pretty sight.”
It will be interesting to see how Lifetime puts Marilyn Monroe’s story together. Be sure to watch tonight at 8/7c. After the movie, sound off below. Did Kelli Garner make a good Marilyn?
For now, check out this interview with the late Lena Pepitone.
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