Happy Valentine’s? Marilyn’s Men
It’s Valentine’s Day! Love is in the air, and cards are delivered – hopefully! We at BB HQ get our fair share of course, but we wonder how many ultimate bombshell Marilyn Monroe got on February 14 each year?
Marilyn was certainly never short of admirers, and even years after her death, she’s still the ultimate woman for many men. But who were the men lucky enough to get close to Ms Monroe?
All sorts of rumours abound about who her lovers were; the most famous rumoured love being President of the USA, John F Kennedy. His alleged relationship with her, and possibly that of his brother, Senator Bobby Kennedy too, has been the subject of much debate over the years – did they or didn’t they, and in a more sinister vein, were the Kennedy’s directly involved in Monroe’s untimely death? Certainly her performance of Happy Birthday Mr President at Madison Square Garden months before her death is a strange event to this day.
So much has been written about Marilyn; her life, her loves, and her death, that it’s unlikely we will ever know the truth. Frank Sinatra is another name romantically linked with Monroe, said to have comforted her as a friend and then a lover shortly after her marriage to Joe DiMaggio fell apart.
Jo DiMaggio was Marilyn’s second husband. What we do know is that she was married three times. But even the marriages, the circumstances of them and the reasons for separation and divorce are the subject of much debate.
Marilyn Monroe most likely remains such a global icon and legend because like all good legends, her life story has become shrouded in mystery and myth.
She did however marry one Jim Dougherty on June 19, 1942. In various books, Dougherty claimed they were in love, but dreams of stardom lured her away. he told all sorts of tales over the years about his time with Marilyn; that she threatened suicide if her left her; that he invented the ‘Marilyn Monroe’ persona; that studio executives forced her to divorce him and that he was her true love.
His actions however, seemed to contradict his claims. Dougherty remarried months after she divorced him and he did later confirm that his mother had asked him to marry her so she would not be returned to an orphanage, just as Marilyn had claimed. Perhaps most telling was a 1962 report in the New York Times, that said Dougherty, on being told of Monroe’s death, replied “I’m sorry,” and continued on his LAPD patrol. He never attended her funeral.
Marilyn’s next marriage was to Joe DiMaggio – all American hero, baseball player. He saw a photo of her with other baseball players in 1951, but waited until the following year to ask the man who had set up that picture to set him up on a date with the star.
Marilyn said she wasn’t keen on meeting him, fearing a stereotypical ‘jock’. However, they eloped on January 14, 1954, and during their honeymoon in Japan, she was asked to visit Korea and performed ten shows in four days for over 100,000 servicemen.
It seems Joe wasn’t able to cope with being married to a woman who was adored by almost every man on the plant, and according to many the marriage went wrong from then. The filming of the skirt-blowing scene in today’s bombshell movie, The Seven Year Itch, created an almighty ding-dong between the couple. Hardly a surprise then when Marilyn filed for divorce on grounds of mental cruelty just 274 days after the wedding. What happened in their nine month marriage has been the subject of – what else – much speculation!
What is known is that in early 1961 when she was admitted to a psychiatric clinic, it was DiMaggio she contacted and he who secured her release. She spent time with him after that, and Bob Hope jokingly dedicated Best Song nominee ‘The Second Time Around’ to them at the 1961 Academy Awards. It has been claimed that in 1962, Joe was ready to ask her to remarry him. After her death, he claimed her body and arranged her funeral, and for 20 years arranged flowers to be laid on her crypt – this too however is the subject of debate. Some say it was red roses three times a week, some say white roses twice!
Marilyn’s third husband was playwright Arthur Miller. They got hitched on June 29, 1956, six years after they first met, in a secret civil ceremony in White Plains, New York. Miller has said of Monroe, “She was a whirling light to me then, all paradox and enticing mystery, street-tough one moment, then lifted by a lyrical and poetic sensitivity that few retain past early adolescence.”
Marilyn converted to Judaism for Miller and they longed for a child. Monroe had two miscarriages and embarked on an affair with Yves Montand, her co-star in Let’s Make Love. Miller’s screen play for The Misfits, Marilyn’s last completed film, a story about a despairing divorcee was meant to be a Valentine’s gift for his wife. However, by the time filming began in 1960, their marriage was beyond repair. A Mexican divorce was granted in January 1961 and a year later Miller married a photographer working on the making of The Misfits.
Miller has been quoted as lamenting the psychological work being done on Marilyn before her death – she was having all manner of treatments, and taking all sorts of medication. It does seem however, that despite the air of tragedy that hangs around Marilyn’s love life, there were many happy Valentine’s Days too.