Marilyn Monroe – A Hollywood Legend and Her "Secret Diaries"

There may be no actress on Earth better known than the iconic Marilyn Monroe.

From the foster home child, Norma Jeane Mortensen-Baker, through her rise as Marilyn Monroe, one of the most sought after stars to ever hit the screen, her life was filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

There have been numerous biographies and articles written about virtually every aspect of her fabeled life. Many speculate about her death and the missing hours between the discovery of her body and when medical assistance was finally called.

Despite any and all writings, there is, unfortunately, nothing definitive and that mystery will probably so remain: accident, suicide, murder?

Approximately one-and-one-half years ago, Vanity Fair magazine presented a cover story concerning the contents of what is being called Marilyn’s Secret Diaries.

Hidden away in two locked file cabinets were scores and scores of momentos, recipts, notes and other bits of the private, larger-than-life, sex symbol.

The short video below provides a glimpse into the contents of the cabinets. The magzine provides the overall picture and may be found on amazon.

The years pass. Marilyn endures. Her mystery is sure to provide writers with ample fodder for a long time to come.

Marilyn left behind a body of work for which she could be proud and which people around the world continue to enjoy.

Over For Now.

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Marilyn Monroe – Beautiful Icon, Talented Legend

The legend and mystic of Marilyn Monroe seems to grow year by year.

Aside from her early multiple foster home upbringing and surrounded by rumors, alleged affairs, a death conspiracy and more, Marilyn (born Norma Jeane Mortenson and baptized Norma Jeane Baker) became a cultural, pop, beauty and sex symbol icon for the ages.

Young Norma Jeane married in 1942 at 16 and when her husband, Jim Dougherty, went to the Pacific during World War II, the young lady’s career as a model began (as Norma Jeane Dougherty), ultimately gracing the covers of many magazines and leading to a movie contract and a divorce.

Initially her movie stage name was Carole Lind, soon changed to Jeane Monroe and finally she and the studio decided upon Marilyn Monroe.

Though the following scenes from 1948’s Ladies of the Chorus is not her actual first appearance on the big screen, it was her first major role. Her first appearance, uncredited, was in 1947’s The Shocking Miss Pilgrim.

All told, Marilyn completed 32 motion pictures in her short 15 year Hollywood career. Her first starring role was in the 1952 film Don’t Bother to Knock. Her last role was in the unfinished Something’s Got To Give.

Her many challenges as a woman making it in the world of Tinseltown, glamour and fame may not be the most that have been overcome and the constant conjecture of homicide over suicide have undoubtedly added to her mystery. Regardless, the lady was, indeed, a mega-star and combined beauty and talent as few others have ever done.

Over For Now.

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A Century of Hollywood aka Tinseltown

A century ago, back in 1911, the first film by a Hollywood-based studio, Nestor Motion Picture Company, was produced. However, Biograph, based in New York, is credited with actually filming the first movie in Hollywood when they sent D.W. Griffith west in 1910 and the director found his way to the then-small village and filmed the movie In Old California.

Those events marked the time when a flood of companies started relocating from the New York area, the then-predominant locale for the youthful movie trade, and by 1915 the silver screen king would be the Los Angeles basin.

By 1920, with both major and minor film companies and studios boasting a Hollywood address, the city had become known around the world as the film industry capital of the United States.

In 1923 the famous Hollywood sign, with 50-foot tall letters, was erected. Originally the sign was created as an advertisement for the “Hollywoodland” residential housing development in the Hollywood Hills and all 13 letters were visible until 1949, when the last four (LAND) were removed. Falling in and out of disrepair the sign was built anew in 1978, though the letters are five feet shorter than were the original, and remains today as a landmark of all that is “Star Struck Town.”

Sid Grauman and his partners (Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Howard Schenck) opened Grauman’s Chinese Theater in 1927 and, from that date, the venue has served as one of the most popular red carpet premier event locations for many movies.

Pickford and Fairbanks were two of the first three celebrities to place their prints in concrete at the theater. Today there are approximately 200. During the years 1944-1946 the Academy Awards were held at the theater.

The first Academy Awards presentations were held in 1929, at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, named after Theodore Roosevelt, which also opened in 1927 and also named as two partners Pickford and Fairbanks. Due to the seating restrictions at the hotel that was the only year the awards were held there. The Roosevelt was fully renovated in 2005 and is operational today. As is the way of marketing, however, one use of the hotel (and other multi-story buildings seemingly everywhere) is as a giant billboard.

In 1947 the first commercial television station in the western states began broadcasting from Tinseltown. During the 1950’s music recording offices and studios were coming to Hollywood with Capitol Records locating on Vine, north of Hollywood Blvd., in 1956.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame, a tribute to artists and other significant contributors within the entertainment industry, was created in 1958, with the groundbreaking two years later honoring director Stanley Kramer with the first of what is now more than 2,400 permanent stars.

Following decades of being rundown, Hollywood began a restoration project that included the Kodak Theater, which opened in 2001, and hosts the annual Academy Awards.

Though today there are no major studios located in Hollywood there remain auxiliary industries, such as editing, effects, props, post-production and lighting, as well as the backlot of Paramount Studios. The movie life, indeed, carries on, in much the same way as does life for the non-native palm trees that line many streets in Hollywood, as well as other cities in California.

Little did Thomas Edison know, when he first conceived the Kinetoscope in 1888, how moving pictures would forever change the world and that a small village in California, named interestingly enough after Hollywood, Florida, would become known as the film capital of the world.

Over For Now.

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