Chapter Three: A Star Is Born


I think that the mixture of the darkness and the light is part of her mystique and part of our lore war because although she's giving pleasure you also want to be a friend or you also want to protect her and comes from the different kind of sparks. She was giving out hello and welcome to the third part of the killing of marilyn monroe. I'm jackie moran in this chapter. We're going to examine how maryland finally escaped the the life of poverty abuse and abandonment she was born into and how she wasn't averse to using whatever weapons were in her formidable armory to help achieve her dream of making it a big in tinseltown with spectacular effect. It'd be showbusiness luke. They don't i mean girls around backstage with nothing on your goodwill and nobody even turn his head. The same girl we'll address walks clerk's office pinched black and blue. What's a few people anyway anyway. In late nineteen forty four the eighteen year old maryland or norma jean dougherty as she was still then have been discovered by photographer david conover while working got a factory when he came to shoot morale-boosting pictures to help the war effort the effect was instant and astonishing charles castillo entertainment journalist and author of marilyn monroe the private life of public icon explains it was like the camera loved her and something came across that wasn't coming across and other models was that he was shooting and he said to her you can be a professional model and of course someone who wanted to be known as beautiful and wanted to be desired that might be her ticket so she pursued it and he helped her he introduced her to people and she got with a modeling agency was called the blue book modeling agency norma jean signed up as a model but at first the blonde bombshell that we know today was marketed as someone rather different evelyn snively owner of the agency remembers maryland as that girl next door he was a clean shining pleasant expressive face little girl. We said the girl next door type and she was wearing a little white dress. You wouldn't necessarily we're this on a photographic job. It was clean and white and ironed in shining she was but she had a great deal of expression and she was very surprised. I believe to be in the ambassador hotel where my office was. I looked at the board of cover girls and said ovo girls are so pretty but i thought what a wonderful little doll. She would be on a cover some day in front of the camera lens norma jean the one time withdrawn troubled foster child and teen bride was blossoming and as she grew in confidence as a model so the more her thoughts reach beyond simply pictures in magazines. Here's danforth. Prince publisher of marilyn at rainbow's end sex lies murder and the great cover up. There's almost a magic kind of charisma that she had. Nobody could quite figure it out and so there's magic. No one ever quite knew what it was. Call it a psychotic sides. Kids would desperate personality. If you call it a schizophrenic manic depressive manifestation of glamour nobody's ever been able to define it but they all agree that she you was a magic woman with a magic he started appearing on covers and people like howard hughes were noticing her so that it eventually intially became obvious that she needed to at least check out the possibly being a movie star because she was getting such great impact from her work as a model and being on the cover. There's so many magazines at first however it seemed hollywood was blind to marilyn's particular brand of magic. Here's lowest banner. Marilyn's career got off a to a bumpy start. She had a short contract at twentieth century fox and she had a couple walk on roles which would be you know one in wine and that would be it and she was dropped from her contract she wasn't she she just wasn't catching on for some reason and then she you got a six month contract at columbia pictures and that is where she makes her first starring appearance. It's a b-movie called committees of the chorus and she plays a show girl and that it's kind of a silly movie and her contract columbia isn't renewed either uh off in teaching me stress patel sent when we have not she really didn't do many movies in this early period in fact hardly any at all and she was fired after six months daryl zanuck who ran fox like a dictator simply didn't like her and he could do anything he wanted and then she was picked up by columbia pictures pictures for a while and then eventually worked a little bit for metro-goldwyn-mayer she had the distinction of being fired by all of hollywood cop studios before you're she finally got back to fox hollywood at that time was not the place it is today for a pretty girl desperate for a big break. There was another means of getting unnoticed by the men who mattered maryland had always been so willing to behead for a casting couch to get apart but also very promiscuous and very willing to sleep with people to be with hollywood producers and power people in hollywood. That's very very well documented in many many biographies of barrel monroe and days before feminism many decades before me to the movie industry was mostly run by men. There was very few new female executives casting agents so it was a male dominated industry and with that kind of power corruption comes in and so a lot out of the young struggling starlets who would do anything to have a break would fall victim to the casting couch. I think it was claudette. Colbert the actress from from the forties who said every actress who made it as a star at one time or another had to go through the casting couch system. It seems almost unthinkable now but back in the nineteen forties and fifties top studio bosses would treat these wannabe starlets as little more than attractive playthings do things there to do whatever please them and handed around like so many pieces of meat. Here's johnny russo. He was in the film the godfather and was also a friend of maryland's yeah so it's like obviously that's how i think. She thought she had to become a song was please. All these guys make took advantage of this so many hollywood stars if it was in the metoo movement like it is here now every every big producer the vanik brothers auto. They won't be be gone but that's what was those days casting couch festival which was wrong would happen with marilyn. They used to have these men. These executives used to have parties like polka parties and drinking parties disregard in the cards and they would have their cool party girls starlets from the studio would come to these parties and they would fill up the glasses an empty the ashtrays and just stand on the sidelines and be ornamental to the party and when when an executive saw one that he liked he would promise her the moon promise for contract promise her screen test and that might be their ticket more often than not it wasn't maryland marla may have been willing to play the game in order to get noticed by the right men but even then she was nobody's fool and although she was not averse to using her beauty and sex appeal to her advantage vantage as she had as a teenager when she saw modeling as a way to get out of her lonely childhood and hasty marriage. She was also prepared to draw the line when she had to. There's one distinction between marilyn monroe ambitious starlet of the day if she didn't genuinely liked the guy she didn't go with their war men that made passes at at her or promised her things that she just didn't like one of these men was harry. Cohn legendary and notoriously lecherous head of columbia pictures colin made a pass at her and promised her a lot of favors and she was in his office and he said i'd like to invite you out on my yacht for this weekend weekend and marilyn. She didn't see that he was a good person. She saw that he was just use. The word coast comes to mind. She was sleeping and she said oh i would i love to come on your yacht. Mr colin and i'm so looking forward to meeting your wife and he was furious. Because of course his wife wasn't invited for the weekend. He's one of the executives at dropped her from from the studio because she'll put out for norma. Jean may have been struggling to find any traction in hollywood hollywood but so determined was she to make it in the movies. She cut off all ties to her past. She divorced doherty would always been against her having a career and soon after receiving her first. I contract with paramount changed her name. Norma jean dougherty was no more marilyn monroe had been born. The name maryland comes from the twentieth. The century fox executive named ben lyon. He liked the name maryland because in his younger days when he was an after he dated a woman named marilyn miller who was an actress so maryland was the first name and maryland herself chose the last name monroe because that was her mother gladys's maiden name she she had never used the name monroe and her real life so i think this was her way of connecting with her biological family. In this long lost interview james daugherty the man she had been married to just weeks after her sixteenth. Birthday remembers the moment. He lost his wife to hollywood with my why i loved her is a movie star marilyn monroe. You never met when marilyn monroe became in maryland role and there were no more than that my life. I could have never been mr munro. Just go away right. I i did my educator my she said no. I ain't alike home winter golden there although maryland's career to this point have been limited to bit parts as a non speaking waitress nineteen forty seven dangerous years and a single line in the following year scudder who scuttle hey she was slowly getting noticed by the people that mattered the first of these as was twentieth century fox president joe shank some fifty years her senior and joe's gang fell head over heels madly now i don't j. he run to occur indulge jack but he would invite her to come to his partner his house every night and then and she would sit opposite him before a big roaring fire and he would just enjoy looking and sometimes cooper yeah will run through vanni. He made contacts. We tried to help. He was fond of her but it wasn't enough to get her to. The next level of movie movie stardom that came from a manning johnny johnny hyde was vice president of the william morris talent agency they represented all of the biggest names in the industry and as such johnny was one of the most important and influential men in hollywood. When he saw marilyn he immediately became obsessed with her in a professional sense cents because he could see the star quality in the young actress that few others at that time could but also on a personal level johnny hyde was with william william morris agency which is the top talent agency in hollywood and he literally matter and fell in love with her so he was there fighting for her very very hard to get roles in film and really really working on the sideline to help her with her career maryland became hides protege and also despite right there thirty one year age gap and the fact that he was married his lover johnny. I'd literally fell completely in love with her and he would do anything more. Her key truly became obsessed with her. She became the obsession of his life. He left his wife and children to devote himself. Exclusively to her obsessed he might have been but johnny was as good as his word when it came to helping her career and unlike those other executives he genuinely believed in maryland's ability to become hollywood star. I always say that if marilyn had not met johnny hide her courier probably wouldn't have been what it was he would call producers first and say i've got a girl. I want you to see she's phenomenal. She's the next big star and there was a who who is it and he would say marilyn monroe off. We know we saw that blonde already. Johnny hyde would say see her again. Take another look in may may nineteen forty nine with film roles still proving elusive maryland took on another job. Something johnny hyde hadn't swum for her here. She is later talking about what would become the most famous nude photo shoot in history. Kelly has asked is done. Some fear has prepared for his ass capoche news so i always round things and then so far the rent four weeks soon i think so i called recognized. He said i flagged twelve twelve at night and don't have any helpers to put some lies so we did it. That's always does spread housing reg delvis. He's had me down in such put some lotion on u._s._a. Messages he's very i simple news was this just another example of men exploiting maryland for their own interests or was it maryland playing them at their own game either way within within a year of that nude photo shoot maryland was to finally get her big break. Thanks in no small part to the persistence of johnny hyde. He got her to very very important. Important roles in nineteen fifty that changed the course of her career. One was all about eve which was an all star cast with bette davis and celeste holm and am baxter. She didn't have a big part but she had a showy part and crucial and it would stand out. She was terrific at it and then he got another part part in a movie called the asphalt jungle which was another big hit of nineteen fifty again a small part. She played the mistress of big time gangster and she only had a few scenes. The people walked out of the theater. They walked out saying who is that blonde in one thousand nine hundred fifty one all about eve received a record fourteen academy adamy award nominations it won six including best picture and the asphalt jungle also bagged four academy award nominations and suddenly maryland was in the two most talked about movies of the year. Here's president of the marilyn monroe fan club greg schreiner and there was so many studios in so many movies being made and maryland was incredibly beautiful so that already was foot in the door and then as she started being noticed by fans and started getting more and more fan mail the studio's really took notice of that and started giving your bigger and bigger pictures and i think that yes of course it's always hard to become a movie star and there were thousands and thousands thousands of women who tried to the same thing maryland et and they did succeed but somehow maryland had a certain flesh impact on the screen that they didn't have and she got noticed and they didn't and because of that she became the star shoes and this is where we see maryland's career starts to take off. These rules really resecure her place in hollywood. He also gets her a seven year contract at twentieth century fox so she guaranteed some sort of income for the next six seven years for tragically however in december nineteen fifty just a few days after she signed the contract. Johnny died of a heart attack. Marilyn was devastated have stated johnny hyde would have protected her and her career and steered it in different directions but he died. He was a sick man. They met he had a heart ailment so right at this crucial point he he died but he had done enough for her that she was already now becoming talked about ali. Finally the studios had caught onto what johnny fine had known from the moment he saw maryland and what theater audiences had also seen however fleetingly onscreen once you got the attention in those two films all about even ask jungle they started putting her in small roles just to see but it was always her those small roles that the audiences were relating to so even though she was maybe the fifth or sixth lead the poster for the movie would have her on it prominently featured so they realized you know now it was time they had to really start giving her substantial roles that when people went to the theaters they wanted to see her after that she never turned back every role after that was a major role for her in film and one of the unique things things about maryland and image is the fact that she was not only attractive to men would euchre movies and found her sexually appealing but also to women as well because in maryland spillman although she was kind of the ditsy blonde as a character she she would always end up winning. She would always end up winning. The man's heart winning the prize winning whatever it was. She always came across successfully. She was yeah so sparkling onscreen. She was not only beautiful. She was just a fascinating character. She seemed to have this vulnerability. Marilyn marilyn monroe may have left norma jean behind changing her hair her image even her name in her pursuit of dream of making it in hollywood but the effect her lonely upbringing as an abused an unwanted foster child had on her was harder to shake off it gave her an irresistible emotional vulnerability on screen but it also also left her mentally fragile and unprepared to cope with the unprecedented level of fame. She was about to experience in the next episode of the killing of marilyn monroe worldwide fame. She always wanted to be famous which is experiencing the kind of thing that even she expected i mean i don't think anyone at this point <music> time had ever been famous as marilyn monroe was caviar good to have yeah caviar day too much caviar <music>. She thinks she is <music>. Really most famous woman in the world not only andy warhol drawing her shoes great comic actress twentieth century. She's a female counterpart kamal and brando. She was just everywhere and she became like a catchphrase lake. If a woman is walking down the street and she was haughty or something the guys would yell out. Who do you think you are marilyn monroe. I mean that's how famous you she was the standard back to be judged by and with the attention of america's most powerful men to be seen as arm candy with marilyn monroe's or the pious status symbols missile man could possibly have in maryland was thrilling. She was charismatic would meet her once when she was being extroverted and the glamorous beautiful platinum blonde that she was wasn't and never ever forget it. She was fabulous status symbol to be seen a great conversation. The killing of marilyn monroe is <unk> hosted by me. Jackie moran executive produced by dylan howard and is a production of broad and water studios and endeavor audio executive producers also include. Tom freestone james robertson. Andy tillett the series is produced by carry budge and written by dominic reporting by doug montero. The series is mixed and engineered engineered by sean cabot and sam ada scoring by benz town. There is so much more to this story and you don't wanna miss anything. I can assure you make sure are you subscribe to the killing of marilyn monroe wherever you get podcasts.

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