Marilyn wore the world-famous white cocktail dress in “The Seven Year Itch”. Captured in New York City, the legendary photo of her skirt blowing up above the subway as the train passed beneath took 14 takes on the street but ultimately had to be reshot at the studio.
The world-famous image that was used for the movie’s promotion was taken at the Fox lot in Los Angeles. The images of Marilyn wearing the instantly iconic dress drove her husband Joe DiMaggio mad and ultimately ended their marriage. To her account, he was mistreating her anyway.
Joe DiMaggio may be the greatest ball player who ever played in MLB, but Monroe said he was the “moodiest man” she ever met. After they got married, which seemed to everyone like the perfect match, the nuptials turned sour, and it all ended in nine months. In love, she used to hang on the phone for hours with him at the movie set, waving off her stage cues.
But his jealous and controlling nature drove her away. The famous white dress image was the harbinger of the end. He couldn’t tolerate seeing so many cameras focusing on her body as the iconic dress flared around her. That evening he blew up at her, enraged.
High on Applause
Marilyn performed to 100,000 American troops in South Korea. It was a 4-day tour in 1954 and it was the most rewarding gig she ever did. It proved that the piles of fan mail were real and it proved her fame existed. The pop icon’s presence fomented a near-riot. Singing “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” from her set, the cheers exploded in booms.
She interrupted her honeymoon with Joe DiMaggio to do it. She said, “You never heard such cheering!” The home run slugger cut her down quipping, “Yes, I have”.
The second fight about the white dress was out of control and it would be their last. She said he was obsessed with jealousy and wanted her to give up her career. Marilyn’s reasons for terminating the marriage cited his treatment. DiMaggio was desperate to apologize and save the marriage but was left bereft.
His obsession turned to sorrow and over the years he dated Marilyn look-alikes. Meanwhile, the troubled actress checked herself into a health facility but then quickly wanted out. She called him and he raced to her side. He hoped they’d marry again but sadly her life ended instead.
An Artist Beyond Artistry
Joshua Logan, who directed Monroe in “Bus Stop” (1956), said her acting was extraordinary. He found her to be a mix of Greta Garbo and Charlie Chaplin. In his estimation, Marilyn had the same profound mysteriousness as Garbo and the same comedic sense as Chaplin.
Logan said Marilyn was as close to genius as any actress he knew and described her as an artist beyond artistry. She taught him, for the first time in his life, that intelligence and brilliance have little to do with education.