HOLLYWOOD PROJECT: MARILYN MONROE / by David Goddard

“I’ve never fooled anyone. I’ve let people fool themselves.”

-Marilyn Monroe

One of the most fascinating people to ever grace the silver screen, Marilyn Monroe continues to make platinum blonde waves. So much could be said about Marilyn, but as an actress she is underrated. Besides her physical beauty and undeniable sex appeal- she's hilarious. In 1953’s How to Marry a Millionaire- Marilyn plays gold digger Pola Debevoise. For nearly the entire film, she foregoes the glasses she desperately needs because “men aren’t attentive to girls who wear glasses.” The performance is endearing and nuanced and by the end of the film Pola finds her match in a man who is similarly site challenged. The two meet on a flight that Pola was never meant to be on, after she misreads the flight information do to her near blindness. In the classic filmGentleman Prefer Blondes (also 1953)- Marilyn spends most of the movie pulling from her usual bag of tricks as the dim blonde bombshell with a thirst for diamonds, Lorelei Lee. By the end of the film however and after a series of memorable musical numbers- including the iconic, “Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend,” Marilyn gives a fantastic little monologue comparing rich men to pretty women and asks, "you wouldn't marry a girl just because she's pretty, but my goodness doesn't it help?” 

The legend of Marilyn Monroe grows as the mysteries of her life are blurred by the passing of time. Like so many people in this series- Marilyn's personal life was far more dramatic than the roles she played on screen. Alleged affairs and troubled marriages remain the subject of debates among historians and fans alike. Something not up for debate however is the mark Marilyn has made. From her appearance to her dalliances and through her trials and triumphs- Marilyn burns like a fire- mesmerizing, untouchable, and seemingly inextinguishable. The woman in the photo is my friend Blake Shutterly.