“Marilyn Monroe” Was An Act
Despite all the photos of her winning smile, Marilyn was a profoundly sad person. This makes sense when you think about it — the most desired woman in the world and she couldn’t find happiness with a man. Incredibly famous and her own mother didn’t know who she was. Desperate to have a family and unable to maintain a pregnancy. But back then, before social media and reality TV, the public had no idea about how Marilyn was struggling because the most important part of her image was projecting a happy, sexy starlet.
She considered “Marilyn Monroe” to be another person. Truman Capote, a good friend, once recounted a lunch where Marilyn disappeared to the bathroom and was gone so long he went looking for her. He found her staring in the mirror. When he asked what she was doing, she responded, “Looking at her.”
Susan Strasberg recalled a moment while she and Marilyn were walking through New York City. They’d been relatively unbothered most of the day; no one seemed to notice the blonde bombshell in public, which Susan found odd. Suddenly, Marilyn turned to Susan and said, “Do you want to see me be her?”
Susan said, “She seemed to make some inner adjustment, something ‘turned on’ inside her, and suddenly — there she was — not the simple girl I’d been strolling with, but ‘Marilyn Monroe’. Now heads turned. People crowded around us.”
In this day and age, I don’t think there’s a comparison for Marilyn Monroe. Of course celebrities have certain images to maintain but I can’t imagine literally being two different people: yourself and what the world wants to see. One of the most heartbreaking things said about Marilyn came from the director of “The Seven Year Itch”, Billy Wilder: