Marilyn fell in love at first sight with Arthur Miller, who was married at the time. They wrote romantic letters to each other and she found him a gentleman. In one, he confessed he couldn’t live without her. He divorced his wife and married Marilyn in a Jewish ceremony just two days later.
Longing to have a baby with the playwright, Marilyn endured several miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies. She wanted to be a mother for years but acknowledged her miscarriages may have been caused by all the substances she was putting into her body.
The Happy Birthday Dress
Late, and out of breath, Monroe scampered up to the podium in quick, high-heeled steps to sing the famous “Happy Birthday” song to President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden. Removing a fur coat, she revealed one of the most famous dresses ever worn.
The long, slinking gown by French designer Jean Louis had to be sewn onto her frame and was covered in crystals. She wore little underneath to allow the fit of the golden gown. It cost her $1,440 in 1962 and it sold for a record of $4.8 at auction in 2016. Her life ended two months after that famous appearance.
Standing Up for Ella Fitzgerald
Monroe had a great admiration for jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald. She listened to her early records and tried to imitate her voice. Monroe respected the singer so much that she made her a star. When Marilyn got word that the Mocambo club would not allow the jazz performer to play because of her color, she called the club directly.
She told them she would sit at the front table every night if they booked her. After that, Fitzgerald remarked, she never had to play a small club again. “I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt”, the jazz queen said.
Marrying Playwright Arthur Miller Inspired Marilyn Politically
Monroe had a deep fondness for the intellect of her last husband, Arthur Miller. She loved him dearly. The marriage lasted four years. During that time, Arthur Miller wrote the western “The Misfits” for her. It was his first screenplay and she starred in its film production. Through him, Marilyn developed a political side.
In 1960, she became a founding member of the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy in Hollywood. She, of course, supported the Civil Rights Movement. She openly supported her husband from the Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) when they called Miller to testify.
Marilyn was not satisfied with Arthur Miller’s first screenplay and she flatly resented it. Complaining, she said, “Arthur could have written anything for me, and he comes up with this, cowboys and horses.” She hated it and she didn’t want the part. She took so many pills she could hardly wake up in the morning. This was out of control and the stylists had no option but to apply makeup while she yet slept.
Director John Huston had to send her to the hospital for a week to detox halfway through the shoot. And the film location was absolutely miserable, shot outside Reno in the middle of the summer when temperatures can get into the 100s. She hated making the film and complained bitterly.