Thursday, August 06, 2015
It's as though she never left
Hollywood never much respected her. In real-time, that is. Back in 1962, La Liz had just won her first Oscar with her fourth nomination. Never-nominated Marilyn had just been fired from Something's Got to Give. Monroe and Taylor were both working for 20th Century Fox at the time, and Fox was doing absolutely everything it could to make Liz happy on the set of the blockbuster Cleopatra. Marilyn they canned, blaming her for the cost overruns on her little rom-com. With Cleopatra, Fox made Liz the first actress ever to make $1,000,000. Marilyn was making $100,000.
Yet today, she personifies Hollywood. Marilyn is big business. According to Forbes, her image generated $27 million last year. You can get officially licensed Marilyn snowglobes, ornaments, wrapping paper, handbags, lunchboxes and throw pillows.
I wonder how she'd feel about being ubiquitous. I'm sure that the fatherless child, the mousy brunette who craved attention, would be thrilled to be recognized and adored as an icon. But what about the actress who studied tirelessly with Lee Strasburg and dreamed of the classics, even as producers gave her dreck like Let's Make Love? Her movies aren't cable staples, the way Elizabeth Taylor's, James Dean's and even Elvis' are. Wouldn't she prefer to be known for her work than her cleavage, red lips and platinum do?
A natural, gifted comedienne, she was often as witty as she was sad. It's that touching combination that has earned her a place in my heart. And so I'm closing this post with the lady's own words.