Marilyn Monroe attended one of her biggest movie premieres with no underwear on, according to notes penned by her former hairdresser in a new book.
The late movie starlet also had a penchant for bleaching her nether regions, her hairstylist Kenneth Battelle noted in the newly released tell-all, Kenneth: Sheer Elegance.
Though Battelle died in 2013, his stories about the blond bombshell were included in the book about his career working with A-list starlets in the 1950s and ’60s.
In excerpts from the tell-all shared by The Daily Mail, Battelle wrote that he first met Monroe in 1958 after she experienced hair loss due to heavy beaching and perming while she was filming the movie Some Like it Hot with co-stars Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis.
Battelle was front and center to witness the public’s obsession with the starlet, as well as her vulnerability. He claimed to have saved the day ahead of the world premiere of Some Like It Hot after a film executive spilled champagne on Monroe’s form-fitting, nude silk dress during a 1959 premiere party, causing it to become see-through.
“You could see everything, like she was in a wet T-shirt,” Battelle wrote. “She was going to throw the mink coat over the stains for the press conference, but I told her that if she wasn’t changing her dress, she should at least put on some underwear.”
Battelle revealed that Monroe refused to wear panties because she didn’t want visible lines showing under her sheer dress, so he came up with a solution for a hairy problem.
“I said. ‘I hear Jean Harlow didn’t wear underwear, either — but she used to bleach her [pubic] hair so it wouldn’t show through.’ So I went downstairs to the hotel drugstore and bought her powdered milk of magnesia, 20 percent peroxide, and spirits of ammonia. It’s a very old formula for decolorizing hair. I told her, ‘Now go in the bathroom and bleach [it].’ Nothing showed through when they switched on those bright lights.”
While it may not be a big deal for a female celebrity to go panty-free today, 60 years ago it was nothing short of shocking.
The Some Like It Hot premiere wasn’t the only time Monroe went commando. Last year, The Daily Mail reported that in the compilation, Life Isn’t Everything: MikeNichols, as Remembered by 150 of His Closest Friends, it was revealed that the late filmmaker was standing right behind Monroe for one of her most famous fashion moments just three months before her shocking death at age 36.
As Monroe sang a breathy rendition of “Happy Birthday Mr. President” to John F. Kennedy in May of 1962, she wore a sheer, beaded gown that was so tight on her buxom body she had to be sewn into it by couturier Jean Louis.
In the book, a friend of Nichols revealed the famed director was standing behind Monroe when the back of her gown split open.
“And there was Marilyn, and, yes, indeed, she didn’t wear any underwear,”‘ the author noted.