DATELINE: Sad Anniversary
Was it really so long ago in August, 1962, that Marilyn died so suddenly and mysteriously? We heard the news on Sunday morning on vacation. Was it an accident or some kind of bizarre conspiracy that did her in?
She was thought to be a sad, pathetic suicide at the time of her death, body claimed by former husband Joe DiMaggio. Her last film was the Misfits with Clark Gable, written by her ex-husband and playwright Arthur Miller. It was extraordinary stuff. She could play light comedy or heavy tragedy (Some Like It Hot, Bus Stop).
She had become emotionally erratic, fired by the studio and dismissed from movies (The outtakes of Something’s Gotta Give show her radiant and perfect. Over an hour of film footage was reconstructed a few years back. Why did they fire her?). The career trauma seemed to explain her death—at first.
Over time, we learned she was a victim of the casting couch: with lurid stories of her promiscuity and misuse by producers and unscrupulous men (and Joan Crawford).
Then, we learned she was the victim of the President of the United States and his brother. Some even speculate that she was assassinated by the CIA because she was about to blow the whistle on political shenanigans and UFOs, state secrets she learned in her dalliances.
Now, more recently, we hear that she fought the casting couch mentality of Hollywood, walked out of movies when she was mistreated and sexually abused.
Whatever the truth, she was a luminous talent, who actually glowed on celluloid. Her career might have been on the skids because of age by the late 1960s, but we will never know whether she would have made a transformation to character actress, or into a legend as she is now.
Poor Marilyn. She was missed immediately– and is still missed today.