Her Iconic Scene Preceded A Nightmare
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"When I do a scene over again, I feel that I'm relaxing a little more, and that perhaps I'll dare go a bit further at the next try. I'm shy, and when you're shy you can't help it. I'll probably never be daring and I don't know if I'll ever become a great actress. I have to find out how I work best the way to make the most of my acting, whether It's good, bad, or indifferent." – Marilyn Monroe #marilynmonroe #normajeane #thesevenyearitch #1954
Everyone knows it. The classic photo of Marilyn, beautiful and beaming, standing on a subway grate as a rush of air blows the billowy white skirt up around her legs. She looks perfect. She looks happy. You’d never expect what that shot cost her.
Playing “The Girl” in Billy Wilder’s “The Seven Year Itch”, Marilyn was shooting a scene on location in New York City. On 52nd and Lexington, 5000 onlookers watched, hooted, and applauded as the crew filmed. One of those onlookers was Marilyn’s husband, baseball great Joe DiMaggio. He was not pleased.
DiMaggio, a staunch Catholic, stood by fuming while powerful movie lights shone through the TWO pairs of panties Marilyn had worn for modesty. He felt something that was his was on display and it infuriated him. After the scene was shot, DiMaggio and Marilyn went back to the St. Regis Hotel and what followed was a fight so intense that hotel guests alerted management, worried that “someone was getting badly hurt”.
Natasha Lytess was Marilyn’s acting coach and she claims this was not the first incident of violence between Joe and Marilyn. In the room adjacent, Natasha knocked on the door of the DiMaggio’s suite and shouted, “Is everything okay in there?”
The next day, Marilyn was seen to have bruises on her shoulders and back. The studio hairdresser covered them with makeup.
Less than a month later, Marilyn filed for divorce. And, in a cruel twist of fate, the footage filmed that caused DiMaggio so much outrage? It was deemed unusable due to the noise of the crowd and had to be reshot off-location on a soundstage in LA.