MARILYN MONROE’S big Birthday Bash took place at the EDWARD-LOWELL GALLERY in Beverly Hills, and featured the exhibition and sale of original photos taken from 1945-1962, Co-hosted by Andrew WEISS, owner of the largest personal collection, many signed by the iconic star.
The event also coincided with the 75th ANNIVERSARY of D-DAY, where the world turned the tide against NAZI EVIL in the Normandy Invasion, eventually leading to the victory of the ALLIED FORCES.
The Jewish calendar began with SHAVOUT when MOSES was given the TORAH, with instructions to conduct a vigorous head count, census of all his people, and to organize an army of all healthy males who’d attained the age of twenty, to defend their country, ISRAEL.
Later, during the first week in August, the anniversary of her death, murder? Suicide will take place, burying the legendary star
—-just 36 years old—in a endless haunting of conspiracy theories.
This is the “back story” of Marilyn’s life, and as I shared with film producer, documentarian, EDMUND DRU, the back story is everything, we agreed.
People who knew her and worked with her, some her contemporary rivals, were there including TERRY MOORE, MAMIE VAN DORAN and RUTA LEE.
Of course her doctors were so smart they had her cloned. They still collect royalties from her ubiquitous appearances, no doubt in BitCoin sent directly to heaven.
As a kid at Granada Hills High School my lovable coach, Mr. Rawley, had begun a Broadway career with a big lead role—set to open December 7, 1941.
Hollywood goes to War is a favorite history lesson and Marilyn was no exception. Married off at age 16 to future LAPD Detective, James Dougherty, young Norma Jean used to love to walk her collie dog along the beach in Avalon, Catalina, where her husband and other new G.I.s were in training. With her perfect figure, short shorts and tight sweaters, she’d remind the leering young recruits what they’d be fighting for.
In Burbank, she signed up with Lockheed to help the war effort with the male population largely deployed elsewhere. Thousands of women left the comfort of home to become “ROSY the RIVITER,” including my own Mom (before she became one), Lillian.
This led to Marilyn’s modeling career and the devout ambition that would propel her to stardom, with much help, mistakes and scandals along the way. The pain of perfection is a happy fairytale told over so many times, the listener only begins to hear what she wants to believe, but magical, untouched photos don’t lie and here is Marilyn at her best—which is forever.
The former Norma Jean invited an explosion in woman’s role in society, just like the atomic bomb in the Pacific Bikini Atoll inspired the shocking, nearly naked bathing attire.
Tom Kelley’s famous “red sitting” used for the first PLAYBOY magazine, was only revealed to studio heads after she became a star.
Press spin, and Marilyn’s disarming honesty won over the international public, and brought people to the 1950’s movie theatres faster than the smell of popcorn and the icy lemonade on a summer day.
Now was the cash in for Victory over death, it was sex in all its myriad variations.
My husband, David Paul Kane, served in the US Navy during WWII. The Boston born Captain Cohen’s ship delivered high test jet fuel to Pacific fleet carriers. One spark and the whole ship would blow. He had nerves of steel and a zion (Hebrew) to match.
The handsome Navy man retired to Hollywood, where his business ventures included real estate, stock brokerage (founder of Kennedy, Cabot 1960), and an exclusive gym, “The My Fair Lady Club” on Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills where starlets, models and other females could go to “keep” their girlish figures”, with personalized lockers, dance and barbells and the smell of their own sweat.
Marilyn eagerly worked out there, and David was only too happy to escort her to La Scala restaurant where she would enjoy vodka, while he sipped Glenlivet. They would confide their ambitions and frustrations. “Happy Hour”.
“Did you ever have sex with her?” I asked. He hesitated and grinned, “I’ll take the Fifth!”
So I have MM DNA by injection.
MY FAIR LADY CLUB SOON got bought out by John Robert Powers Modeling and Charm school where my parents gladly enrolled me when I was fourteen, convinced by the director, Miss Simone, that my looks and ambition would soon pay off their investment like a personal slot machine.
Miss Simone also whispered that my fellow student, Francesca Hilton, daughter of Zsa Zsa and Conrad, was doing very well, but because she was a “very high-strung girl” the rigors of charm school often forced her to run out in the street, scream uncontrollably and rip her clothes off in public. We have to keep a close eye on that girl, but she’s coming along nicely.”
I loved learning diction with famous British actress, Mrs. Anderson, and learning to walk in 3 inch heels with a book balanced on my head, I actually graduated with so much charm I became obnoxious.
Why do hysterical women always need to get naked? I guess that’s one for Sigmund Freud, whose daughter, Anna, was Marilyn’s New York analyst at the behest of method actor coach, Lee Strasberg. Sigmund must have puzzled over that, with Hitler’s annexation of Austria, hysterical woman with bad dreams were in no short supply.
Marilyn’s arch rival, Elizabeth Taylor, publicly called her a “dyke” after Marilyn seriously studied with a known lesbian drama coach and even moved in with her for a while.
Her departure for New York to be a serious (stage) actress was a blow to Hollywood studio minded types, who were forced to offer more challenging scripts.
At age 32, my then W. LA. Psychiatrist, Paul Hyman would tell me “You’re just like Marilyn Monroe.” I was shocked. As much as life seemed over when you hit that big 40th B-Day, I had no intention of exiting planet earth any sooner and certainly not by my own hand.
Marilyn probably saved play-write Arthur Miller, husband # 3 from much grief as he was under subpeana from Joe McCarthy’s House-UN-AMERCAN ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE, and liberals especially Jews, were intimidated, required to name all their friends and co-workers who might be sympathetic to the Soviet Union, and jailed and/or blacklisted like Dalton Trumbo and others. Having just married America’s sweetheart/sexual icon, the couple were simply asked if they’d take photos with Joe McCarthy. They politely declined.
Hyman had been close friends with Ralph (Romi) Greenson, MD, Marilyn’s Los Angeles analyst who treated her until her death, insisting it was an accidental overdose. “He mourned her death until his own”.
Fascinated, I read every book ever written about the actress, maybe 40 at the time, including an intimate account written by her maid who described Marilyn’s absolute emotional melt down after her miscarriage while married to ARTHUR MILLER.
Who can blame her? Losing a child is traumatic.
When David and I tried to conceive, and eventually did with the help of a fertility clinic, we were distraught after losing the baby at four months. With our fertilized eggs frozen and available we were told to wait a year and try again. A year later we were told the eggs had been lost! Turns out there’s now a big scandal about fertility clinics selling eggs—for $50,000 to $200,000! Maybe there’s some mini me/Davids walking around somewhere.
Marilyn’s August 1962 death triggered a flurry of copycat suicides—including a 16 year old, New York girl “with no history of depression” who drowned herself in her own bath, and a spike of nationwide overdoses—both men and women.
Conspiracy theories went wild, especially after her diary from her Brentwood home was missing, in which she was said to note pillow talk with President Kennedy, and sex details on dates with Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who was busy inking his own death warrant with his war on Sam Giancana, Meyer Lansky and the MOB.
NBC head, BRANDON TARTIKOFF told everyone she was killed by an enema loaded with seconal, and other narcotics on the order of Joseph P. Kennedy, the anti-Semitic patriarch who wouldn’t see his sons ruined.
Others blamed her doctors, including Greenson, a huge JFK fan, for murder. She was talking too much and threatening to go public.
I became friends with SUSAN STRASBERG who lived with Marilyn, in her parent’s New York apartment when she was starring in “The Diary of Anne Frank” and would witness MM dancing nude in front of a mirror, practicing Pal Joey dance routines. I urged her to write a book. A year or so later, she published “Marilyn and Me.”
Academy Award winner Shelley Winters, and housemate of Marilyn’s in their starlet days was a frequent guest of David’s on his TV show, the American Jewish Hour, and related how she put flowers on Marilyn’s grave every YOM Kippor,”She seriously converted to Judaism when she married Arthur Miller,” she said. She also said how intelligent she was, describing her as “Crazy like a fox.”
Shelly also shared with David her first visit to Israel, “I got off the plane at Ben Gurion, dropped to my knees and kissed the ground. I couldn’t help myself!”
Elizabeth Taylor later made republican Senator John Warner one of her seven husbands. Miserable in our nation’s Capitol, and bored with rolling bandages with the Senate Wife’s Club.
She quickly became hugely obese and bored out of her mind. Considering herself a feminist, she charged Warner with a view of women “stuck in the Rosie the Riveter” generation.
Elizabeth Taylor peeled off those pounds after her divorce from DC and some quality time at Betty Ford’s stigma breaking center.
David introduced us at the Greek theatre when Frank SINATRA was the headliner. She was very sweet and very tiny, perched on elaborate platform boots.
My dog trainer, Robert Romo, also trained her beloved Maltese. She wanted to make sure the dog was “one woman, devoted to her alone.” Unlike most of her husbands.
I thank Dr. Paul Hyman for getting me in touch with my vulnerable, female side without using a baseball bat.
If we live long enough, we all have pain, whether physical, emotional and the pain of memories….
After surgery for a broken hip, and total knee replacement by Cedar-Sinai’s brilliant trauma surgeon, Dr. Charles Moon, I can testify to pain.
I’m recovering nicely thanks to my physical and occupational therapists at the Rehabilitation Center of Beverly Hills, including former runway model, Hawaiian surfer Andrea, and former professional dancer, Rebekka.
With the current fear of SUPER BUGS, newly resistant bacterial strains and childhood illnesses like the measles coming back in pandemic waves, I’ve had my blood drawn and tested so often I had to replace it with ice water and a synthetic human plasma mix patented by my friends with a Tel Aviv start up. I should have invested in that company years ago, before their Wall Street IPO hits next year, expected to rake in billions!
Meanwhile I sleep in my freezer until my dogs open the door at dawn, in time for a walk and special K-9 chow.
I need to get in shape because my bucket list includes presenting a Lippizan Stallion in full Napoleonic regalia, and setting the Guinness Book for record number of female orgasms. Move over Barbarella.
Saturday morning I had the guilty pleasure of attending Orthodox services at the Beverly Hills Hotel—one of Marilyn’s favorite haunts, and celebrate Shavout. Closet Orthodox I call myself.
I was offered a Mikvah in one of the beautiful outdoor fountains, filled with ice cubes because of my condition. I happily took the plunge like a sturgeon turned mermaid. Three doctor-rabbis jumped in just to make sure I wasn’t just another Marilyn clone. I passed the test and left for the iconic Polo Lounge for lunch –and a parking validation.
I learned the La Brea Tar Pits seems to be seeping onto the other side of Wilshire Boulevard.
If I fall into that cavernous sink hole, I could emerge as a classically trained, ice age swamp creature, making her way to Hollywood and Vine, in time for photo ops with the tourists.
Marilyn Monroe had the kahonas to take on Hollywood stereotypes and the trap she found herself in as an aging ingenue with a future she was determined to craft herself. Her strength, talent and inner-beauty make her forever her uncompromising self.
Cheryl Kane, is a best selling author, socialite, political humorist, financial planner and a Leader of the RJC Republican Jewish Coalition. She lives in Los Angeles with a lot of dogs.
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