We’re excited to post our IntroCast! Get to know your hosts for All Things Marilyn, Scott Fortner and Elisa Jordan. How did we meet? When did we first discover Marilyn? Why are we launching a podcast? What are some of the experiences we’ve had through Marilyn? Listen and find out!
Stay tuned for our next episode: Our take on the new Netflix film Blonde.
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ATM Podcast: @allthingsmarilynpodcast
Artwork by @marilynmexico
Soundtrack by @silver_technicolor
Scott: Hey everyone. Thanks so much for tuning in. My name is Scott Fortner, Marilyn Monroe historian and collector, and owner of the Marilyn Monroe Collection.
Elisa: And I’m Elisa Jordan. I am an author and founder of LA Woman Tours, and I, too, am a Marilyn historian.
Scott: We want to welcome you to our intro cast, our very first podcast for our new show, All Things Marilyn, where we’re really just gonna share our knowledge and our stories and our information about Marilyn. Together we’ve got over 40 years of experience researching and writing about Marilyn and looking into her life and trying to get to know all the things that there is possible to know.
And We just really wanted to take an opportunity to get the true story out there about many different aspects of Marilyn’s life.
Elisa: We’ve been of talking about it for a while, at least a few months, and we’re finally getting to the point to where we’re doing it.
Scott: This is probably a good time to really acknowledge some people that have helped us along the way. a little bit. Sergio Serrano, who is an incredible graphic designer, has shared all of the graphics for the podcast. And if you liked our intro, you wanna acknowledge and follow Kelly at Silver Technicolor because she put that together for us.
It’s really just amazing how the Marilyn community comes together to support each other. And over the years, I think that we’ve really connected with and met some really amazing people and we’ve had some really incredible experiences, when it comes to Marilyn. So, speaking of Marilyn—Elisa …
Scott: How did you discover Marilyn?
Elisa: So, I discovered Marilyn, I was about five, I think, and I grew up in Southern California and we had a television station, Channel 5 KTTV. And on the weekends, they had a show called a Family Film Festival and it was hosted by a man named Tom Hatton. And I used to watch those movies. They were like Old Hollywood movies on Sunday mornings and one week it was Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
Elisa: And all I remember is seeing Marilyn singing “Diamonds Are Girl’s Best Friend.” I don’t know what it was, but it was just like a lightning bolt and it was love at first sight and I’ve tried to figure out what it was as an adult, but the only thing I could come up with it is it was everything little girls love, I guess. It was pink and hearts and sparkly and this pretty woman who looked like an angel singing and dancing and having fun. And I was so taken with it, I don’t even remember seeing the rest of the movie. And when it came on again, I remember seeing a commercial for it and telling my mom and my brother, “please remind me when this movie comes on because ‘Diamonds Girl’s Best Friend’ is coming on.”
And they were like, “What are you talking about? What movie is that?” And I said, “You know, the Marilyn movie with ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.’ That’s the movie.” And my brother kind of laughed at me and he said, “That’s not the name of the movie.” And he opened the TV Guide and he pointed to the listing and he said, “It’s called Gentleman Prefer Blondes.”
I had no idea. I remember watching the movie again that time, but I was so taken with “Diamond are a Girl’s Best Friend” that it was like the rest of the movie just went away. It was many years ago that that happened and it just kept going. I had Marilyn posters on my wall. I had Marilyn dolls. I got every book on her that I could find. So that’s how I got started. How did you get started?
Scott: Well, you’re really fortunate that you have an exact memory of when you discovered Marilyn. I actually don’t have that. My first foray into Old Hollywood was when I was about 12 years old—11 or 12, I don’t remember exactly. And on HBO, there was a television show, The Jayne Mansfield Story starring Loni Anderson.
And that was really my first, I think, look at the life of someone that was a star in Hollywood in the silver screen era—Jayne Mansfield. From Jayne, I pretty quickly transitioned to Marilyn and I don’t remember, as I said, the first time I saw Marilyn. I don’t know if it was a movie, a book a photograph, but immediately it was “Jayne who?” And it’s all about Marilyn, right? That was when I was about 12 or 13 years old, and just like you, it’s just this lifelong fascination with this person that just really has captured the wonder and the imagination of the world. And I think, you just hold onto that type of thing forever. So, you know, I wish I did have that first memory, and I know a lot of people do. They remember the very first photo or the very first film or those types of occurrences. But, sadly I don’t.
Elisa: So, do you remember the very first Marilyn item you got?
Scott: Yeah, it’s the Life Magazine from August 1982, the 20th anniversary of Marilyn’s passing. So that was the very first thing. And I still have those clippings. I just found them recently. I went back home to see my mom, and she pulled out a box of things that she had saved, and sure enough, there were my clippings that had hung on my bedroom wall when I was 12 years. The very start of the Marilyn Monroe Collection, the very first item. What was your first item?
Elisa: It was a postcard and we were at the mall and it was one of those little gift shop places. And for whatever reason, my mom told my brother and I that we could each get a postcard because they had a big postcard rack. And my brother selected a postcard of Ozzy Osbourne, and I selected a picture of Marilyn Monroe. It was one of those pictures where she is in the bunk of the Some Like it Hot train and she was of playing for the camera and it was a sepia tone. It wasn’t a regular black and white photo. But I remember picking that up and telling my mom and my brother, “I’m starting a Marilyn Monroe collection.” And my brother being my brother said, “You can’t have a collection with one item.” And I said, “Well, I’m starting a collection.” And my mom said, “She can start with one item.”
And I think back to that moment now, and I think if we all only knew what was coming, it all started with that! (laughs)
Scott: Right. Yeah. I mean the world’s definitely different today when it comes to the collectibles or Marilyn.
Elisa: I have higher standards today.
Scott: Sure. So, speaking of firsts, how did we meet?
Elisa: This is how I remember it and maybe you remember things differently, but I was freelance writing in 2008, 2009, and I started writing for a couple of websites. One was AllExperts.com, and I answered questions about Marilyn that people wrote in, and another was Examiner.com and that was my own column and I would write original copy.
Scott: I remember your column.
Elisa: I set up a Google alert and that’s how I first found the Marilyn Memorial. And I thought, “Oh, well, I should probably attend this because you know, I’m like a Marilyn reporter.” So, I went to the memorial and I didn’t know a soul, so I just sat in the back by myself. And that year, Penny, who was the trumpet player in the Some Like it Hot band, Sweet Sue’s band, was there and she spoke and you were there.
And that was the year Marilyn Remembered rededicated the bench outside of her crypt. And you were going to rededicate it. Greg Schreiner, who is the president and founder of the Marilyn Remembered Club is the host of the memorial. I now know that, and I now know that you help him with that. But at the time I didn’t know. So, everyone went outside to rededicate the bench and that sounded really neat, but I wanted to stay inside because I wanted to get a picture with Penny.
That was my first experience with Marilyn Remembered. And then I discovered them and did a couple club meetings. And again, I didn’t know anyone. And there was one particular meeting where you came up to me and were especially welcoming and you recognized me and said, “I really like your column,” and I thanked you. So that’s the first time I remember actually speaking to you.
Scott: Yeah, and that’s been many years.
Scott: Probably close to 15.
Elisa: And that’s my memory.
Scott: Yeah, that sounds pretty true to form for me, too. It has been a very long time. My very first introduction to you was reading your columns on the Examiner.com website. That was many years ago when I was really first getting into my own website and starting my own blogging and really writing about Marilyn and trying to get the truth out there, as well.
So that’s how we met, but we’ve also had some pretty cool experiences over the years when it comes to Marilyn. You’ve done something that I’m incredibly envious of, and that was you attended the 1999 Christie’s auction, the Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe.
Elisa: I remember hearing the announcement and thinking, “Well, I’m going to that, and you can’t stop me.” If you weren’t a fan at that time, it might be difficult to remember, but there was so much interest in that auction that they had to hold a lottery to see who could get tickets.
Elisa: And I was fresh out of college, so I was pretty young, and they weren’t going to announce who was a lottery winner until after you needed to basically buy tickets to go to New York and I didn’t have a lot of money because I was, you know, just out of school. But I was working two jobs and I remember calling to register for the lottery and telling the woman on the phone, you know, she was taking my name and number and everything, and I said, “You should just give me the tickets now because I’m coming. Whether you give me a ticket or not, I will be there.” And she started laughing. She was a good sport about it, and she said, “Okay, I’ll keep that in mind.”
Then you had to order the catalog, which was a hundred dollars and that was a lot of money in 1999. It’s a lot of money now. I remember hearing the thud on my front porch one day, and I just knew that’s the catalog, and I went running to the front door and opened up the box. I still have the catalog. Of course I do. I still have it in the box that it came in. It’s pristine. But I remember opening it up and just looking through it because I was so hungry to see what she was like in real life.
You were seeing Kleenex boxes and trash cans, and of course the big things like the gowns and the shoes and, but it was just every aspect of her life it’s a reminder that this was a human being.
Elisa: I was really young and we of turned it into a girl’s trip because my dad told my mom, “Listen, there’s no way we’re gonna be able to stop this kid from going to New York. Please go with her so she’s not in this city by herself.” So my mom and her friend Patty and her daughter Lauren, who is my age, and we grew up together, we made it a whole week trip in New York and it was amazing.
And then I went to the second day of the auction. Because the first day was the higher end stuff. That’s when they sold the Happy Birthday, Mr. President dress, and things like that. And I went to the second day, and by the way, you had to get a note from your bank to submit to Christie’s to prove you had money in the bank so that you could go. My bank number, I’m sure, wasn’t very impressive, but they let me in. I did get tickets, and I sat there all day. I think the doors opened at nine or something, and I didn’t win an item until like eight o’clock at night. If it was supposed to go for $200, it went for $10,000. And I remember thinking, “I’m just a regular person. How am I supposed to get something?” I had invested my entire life savings into that trip,
Elisa: I finally got an item and I had been bidding all day. And when they finally put the hammer down the whole auditorium applauded.
Scott: Just because you’d finally won something.
Elisa: I finally won something and people had been watching me and it was so cute. I was in shock. I just remember sitting there like, Oh my God. And these guys tapped me on the shoulder from behind and they said, “We’re so happy for you. We were going to bid on that, but we wanted you to get something.” And I just remember looking at them and, still stunned, saying, “Thank you.” Like, that’s all I could get out.
Scott: And what was it that you won?
Elisa: I got the book, Albert Camus’s, The Fall. I was trying to get The Great Gatsby, because that’s my favorite book, but I am convinced that you get what you’re supposed to get, because I wasn’t thinking of it at the time, but Arthur Miller, after Marilyn passed away, wrote After the Fall, which was a play about his time with Marilyn. And he named that play After the Fall, after Albert Camus’s The Fall. And I had Marilyn’s copy of The Fall. So, it was a deeply meaningful piece. And, of course, I still have it. And I remember walking home to the hotel, it was wrapped in tissue in a paper bag and just clutching it to my chest, so afraid someone was going to take it away from me.
Scott: Yeah. And you can’t believe actually what you have just purchased. That’s the way I am almost every single time.
Elisa: No, it was so new. That was the first big auction and I still can’t believe I did it. I came home to an empty bank account.
Elisa: I would do it all over again because that’s she meant to me, that’s what I was willing to do just to feel a little closer to her. And I realize that sounds extreme to some people and that’s fine. We all spend our money on something that’s special to us. That’s what I chose to spend my money on.
Scott: Well, I think, you know, you’re speaking to somebody who gets.
Elisa: I know, I think that’s part of our bond and, of course, you now have one of the best collections in the world. And I’m saying that because I know you’re very modest, so that’s me saying that. But how did you get started with the auction world and collecting.
Scott: Much like you, it was all about the 99 Christie’s auction. Once I discovered Marilyn, I pretty much started collecting anything and everything I could get my hands on. Mostly books and magazines, you know, there wasn’t a lot of availability of the tchotchkes that we see today. At that time, just your general merchandise, posters. I was at Knott’s Berry Farm, and had traveled to California to stay with friends of the family. And there was a poster that was at Knott’s Berry Farm, and I bought that and I actually still have that poster. And in 1999, the announcement came about the Christie’s Auction and the People Magazine story was really my first look at the items that were going up for auction at the Christie’s auction.
And I thought, Oh, my gosh, this is just really fantastic. Like, who knew all of this stuff still existed. That auction opened up a whole new world of awareness and insight and education into the life of Marilyn Monroe. Because as you said, you look through the catalog and you’re literally looking into her life.
You see clothing items that you have seen her wear in photographs, you see pieces that she wore to film premieres. You even see pieces that she wore in her films, her makeup, her jewelry, her scripts, her books, all of those types of things. You really are reminded that she was a real person. Not long after the 1999 Christie’s auction, I noticed that pieces that had sold at the 99 auction were actually available on eBay.
And this was at a time when eBay was used a lot differently, meaning that people actually sold real items. There are very, very few authentic items on eBay today. People have just turned it into a swap meet for used goods that are not real with created letters of authenticity.
So, I encourage anyone to really be cautious if they’re looking at something on eBay. I get emails from people all the time asking, Is this real? Is that real? Somebody’s listing a bunch of items from Kent Warner who was a costumer, but there’s no connection with him and Marilyn. So buyer beware. But anyway, I started to notice items that were coming up on eBay, and I thought to myself,
“Well, why am I collecting magazines and books when I could be collecting items that Marilyn herself owned?” And that’s what started it all. So that was over two decades ago, and today, I think it’s probably the largest privately held collection of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia and archives and personal artifacts in the world.
Privately held meaning I’m not a museum, I’m not a company. I know that a lot of museums and large corporations invest in Marilyn just for investment purposes and for display purposes. I’m a fan who happens to be lucky enough to be able to purchase some of these items, and today it’s hundreds of pieces. I pretty much lost count.
My website doesn’t show everything in the collection. I update it with the more higher end or unique pieces. For example, I just acquired a pair of Marilyn’s white Ferragamo heels in July. But my website doesn’t even have everything on it that’s part of my collection today.
Elisa: I love the heels and the dresses and everything, of course. But some of the things that I love the most are things like receipts or, what she was doing on a specific day. I love knowing that she bought an iced tea from room service when she was on location or something. It’s like, oh, she liked iced tea. I love the little things that humanize people and that’s one of the things that I appreciate about being able to go through her things and something you and I have bonded on, too, is because we’ve of been around the auction world and you especially because you now help authenticate things, but we’ve been able to look at a lot of her items in person. And we get, I think, as close as we can to the truth with the information available.
Elisa: I like looking at receipts and bills and what she paid for certain things.
Scott: Well, and where she was, what she was doing, looking at who she was writing her checks to. One of my favorite items in my collection are the two phone books from 1962, and I’m looking through those pretty regularly to see who was and who wasn’t in the phone book. And that was really the tool that I used as I went through and did my review of the Anthony Summers Netflix documentary.
I was just able to go through and say, “Well, these people weren’t even in Marilyn’s phone book, and Marilyn’s phone book basically is a look into who was close to her.” Did she have every person listed in her phone book? Probably not, but it gives us a good idea of those people that were close enough that she actually wanted to record their home address, and their telephone number.
Lots of her own handwriting annotations throughout. And pretty much anybody who was anybody in her life is included in her phone books—her hairdressers, her costumers, Jean-Louis, her film directors, her co-stars, her husbands, Joe DiMaggio, Arthur Miller, their children, her half-sister, other family members.
Everybody that’s listed in there, is basically someone that was close enough to Marilyn that she wanted to make sure that she had their information. So, they really are an interesting view into Marilyn’s personal life.
Elisa: And because we’ve been lucky enough, and I hate to use the word blessed because people always joke about hashtag blessed, but we really have been fortunate to see some cool things up close, and we’ve had some opportunities most people probably wouldn’t ever dream of having, like when I was a kid, I never thought I would be sitting next to the guy who bought the Happy Birthday, Mr. President dress in 2016, who we now know worked for Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
Elisa: And it’s so funny because you know, I’ve seen news footage from that because he bought the dress and then they asked if he would say a few words and he did speak to the press, and I’m sitting right there next to him and I think you’re behind him.
Scott: Yeah. I’m immediately behind him. I was sitting right behind him, and of course we were so excited.
That the dress was purchased by an entity that we thought would take care of it and preserve it and display it for the public to see, because the dress had been purchased by a billionaire investor in New York, and he basically put it on display in his penthouse in New York, and the public really had no awareness of the gown or no ability to view it. So, when we discovered in 2016 that it was purchased by Ripley’s, I was quite relieved and I was really encouraged thinking, “Okay, everything’s gonna be okay.” I thought that it was maybe gonna be purchased by a very wealthy, private individual and even taken out of the country.
I know that today a lot of higher end items that are up for auction, and not just Marilyn but just in general with pop culture, go to Asian countries or the Middle East. So my concern was, okay, we’re just gonna lose sight of this stress forever. So obviously, of course, very disappointing that they allowed the gown to be warned by Kim Kardashian at the 2022 Met.
Elisa: I know a lot of people are aware of you now because of that, and I was sort of, not literally, but at least figuratively, sitting next to you when all of that happened. I also know you went out of your way to not be in the public eye. And the reason I’m telling people this is because I don’t want anyone to think that we are out to make names for ourselves. So this really is about Marilyn, but I know you turned down a lot of interviews and things like that. But I do want people to know that you are the person who brought it to the attention of the public that the dress was damaged. Do you wanna talk about how you discovered that?
Scott: Sure. Well, basically the entire month of May was a whirlwind because I was contacted quite a lot to comment on the fact that Kim Kardashian had actually worn the dress. So that was the first news cycle, me being quoted by People.com, around the world, all types of news entities were reaching out for comment.
The second news cycle was when I announced that the hair that Ripley’s gave to Kim Kardashian was fake. It was not hair cut from Marilyn’s head. The night of the JFK that it was actually Kenneth Battelle. There was a receipt that was discovered in Marilyn’s personal files where he billed her for services for the Happy Birthday gala for President Kennedy.
So that, too, went viral. And then a couple of weeks later, ChadMichael Morrisette, my good friend and your friend, and also a member of Marilyn Remembered, and someone that we’ve worked with in the past, happened to pop into Ripley’s on his birthday and he discovered that there actually was damage to the dress.
He took photos and he sent them to me and I said, “Well, here’s the proof. Here’s the evidence. Can I post these?” And he said, “Please do.” So I posted them at about 4:30 on a Monday morning and it went viral. That was the craziest week of my entire life. I’ve never experienced anything like it. My phone was blowing up, email, Instagram, all of my social media just blowing up and I was contacted for interviews pretty extensively around the world. People were reaching out and wanting me to do interviews and I said, “You know, I’m not gonna do a video interview or a televised interview. I don’t wanna be the face of this. I don’t want this to be about me. I didn’t discover it, but I also don’t wanna be the person that is associated with it in this way.”
I want the damage to speak for itself. So please just focus on the photos and the images and the video. Of course, because Ripley’s released that video of the second fitting where they are literally forcing it up Kim Kardashian’s body, and you can hear the crystals falling to the floor and bouncing off the floor.
And so yeah, it was a crazy week. I know what it’s like now to go viral and I just think it’s really important to get this information out there that even though people still continue to say that there was no damage to the dress, the photos and the video speak for themselves. The dress is not in the same state it was prior …
Elisa: No, and I don’t get that—talk about gas lighting—we can see that the damage is done, there are rips to it, and crystals that are missing.
Scott: Right? I counted 22 crystals just in one small section in the back of the gown, the left side of the back of the gown. And that’s just one small section. So, we have no idea what the rest of the damage actually looks like, but of course the kick pleat looks like it had been utterly shredded and there’s a …
Elisa: I don’t know how that happened.
Scott: I don’t know how that happened either, but there’s also that huge tear out of the right front shoulder strap that Darrell Rooney took a video of and posted it and, of course, that added to the story as well. People are still denying it. The Kardashians are still denying it. Ripley’s is still denying it. People know just by looking at the photos and the videos. It’s what happened.
Elisa: They can say all they want, but yeah, we know the truth.
Scott: Yeah, exactly.
Elisa: I know you mentioned that you were jealous of me because I went to the Christie’s auction in 99. There is one thing that I’m really jealous that you got to do.
Scott: Let me just clarify. I said envious, not jealous. (laughs)
Elisa: Okay. (laughs)
Scott: I’m envious. Maybe a little bit jealous. Maybe a little. (laughs)
Elisa: Okay. Well, I am a little envious of the fact that you have been inside Marilyn’s home and it’s the house on Fifth Helena Drive, which is the house where she passed away. But it’s also important because if you like to study Marilyn, this is the only home she actually purchased. Marilyn moved around a lot and she rented.
So, this would be an important house just for that reason alone. The fact that she passed away in it, of course, gives it a deeper meeting. But there are a few things going on with that house and you have been inside.
Scott: I have been inside, not once, but twice. It’s been up for sale twice over the last 10 or 12 years, and I was able to get in when it was available for sale on different occasions and you know, to step across that front step with the tiles still in place that were there when Marilyn purchased the home in 1962, that read Cursum Perficio, translated to “my journey ends here” is just so meaningful. It was the first house we know that Marilyn ever purchased with her own money. She was so excited about the home, really going in and doing an awful lot of work. Decorating it …
Elisa: Remodeling …
Scott: She re-did the kitchen. And, to actually stand in the room where she passed away and know that you’re in the exact same spot where she took her last breath, was moving. It’s just an experience that just can’t ever be replicated or duplicated anywhere else. In my mind there are two places that are really important as far as Marilyn locations, like the most important places, obviously, where she’s buried. And then of course, her Brentwood home and the Brentwood home is just utterly exclusive.
Very few people have ever been in the home, and it’s really impossible to get access unless you know the person who lives there and they’re willing to share it with you or if you can get in when it’s available for sale. And that’s how I was able to get in. But it was quite an experience.
And on my Instagram account, on my Facebook page, I actually have posted a video and on my YouTube channel where I do a tour—and I will acknowledge and recognize and share before anybody has any comments or feedback that yes, it’s a crappy video. I had my phone in my shirt pocket because there was no recording that was allowed, and so my phone was in my shirt pocket facing out recording, and I was walking around and capturing the home and the grounds surrounding the home.
Yes, it’s crappy, but guess what—it’s the only footage that exists today, aside from the new footage in Blonde, which we will be talking about in our next episode. But aside from the new footage in Blonde, it’s really the only footage, the video footage of the inside of Marilyn’s house that’s available for fans to look at.
Elisa: So if you won the lottery, would you knock on the door with a blank check? I think I might.
Scott: It’s a tough decision. It is the Monroe location, as I mentioned, but at the same time, I know that fans regularly visit, pop over the fence, hold their phone up, take photos. There is video footage where somebody gained access to the property, walked around, filmed the outside of the property while someone was living there.
Elisa: We go to places where Marilyn lived or worked or, hung out, and we are very adamant about being respectful. Obviously, if you go to a restaurant where she ate, you’re going to sit down and enjoy a meal. But if you go to someone’s home, and I’ve been to a lot of them because growing up in Southern California, I could go to these places and obsess in person. And if you want to be welcome, you have to learn right away that you do not hang over the fence. You do not put your camera over the fence. You do not steal pieces of mail or flowers or things like that from the house I should point out that I took my love of Marilyn places so far that I started a tour company, which I named LA Women Tours. And the reason I did that was when I was writing columns for AllExperts and Examiner.com, I realized a lot of people really like Marilyn and care about her, and wanna know about her, but they didn’t know a lot about her because so much of the information out there is not good.
So, I thought, what if I put together a classroom on wheels and I start taking people to places where she went and it just became one of those ideas like, Oh, that’s crazy. I’m not gonna do that. But the idea didn’t go away, and when you have an idea that just persists like that, you have to finally say, “Okay, well at least let me try it.” And then soon after I decided, well, let me look into this. I realized I of know a lot about The Doors because they’re in LA-based band. So, I’m going to do The Doors, too.
Then one day I was thinking, I don’t know what to call this company. What am I gonna call my tour company? How am I going to cover both Marilyn Monroe and The Doors because they’re so different. And I was driving in the car and the song “LA Woman” came on the radio and it was like the universe slapped me on the back of the head and said, “Here dummy, this is how you do it.”
Scott: LA Woman Tours was born.
Elisa: It was The Doors song LA Woman. Marilyn is an LA woman because she was born and raised here. And then, I started doing rock and roll tours and Jean Harlow tours because I know a lot about Jean Harlow because if you love Marilyn, the natural extension is to get into Jean Harlow because she based herself or her look on Jean Harlow.
Where I’m going with this is I got really good at building goodwill in the community because I was respectful and I asked that my guests be respectful. When we go to these places, you do not walk up to the porch and take pictures. You don’t look through mail slots, you don’t look in windows.
Scott: You need to respect their privacy because that’s where people live, right? Particularly in Marilyn’s homes. Yeah.
Elisa: You and I are both good about that. And if someone hears this, then they wanna go to any of Marilyn’s homes, please, please, please respect the people who live there because, if they feel unsafe, we could all lose access. I’m on a soapbox there, but I just wanna throw that out.
Scott: Yeah, and there are many Marilyn locations that people can still visit today. And, I wanna just plug Michelle Morgan’s book, Marilyn’s Addresses, which really goes into great detail about many locations where Marilyn lived or where she worked, where she visited, and you can actually go to those locations.
I’ve done a series on my Instagram and Facebook account called In Her Shoes, where I’m actually taking photographs of the same spot where Marilyn was, and it’s really cool.
I’ve also had the privilege of spending quite a bit of time with Anna Strasberg, the widow and third wife of Marilyn’s acting coach, Lee Strasberg. And, I have a lot of stories to tell when the time is right about Anna and what she has shared with me. She’s really opened up over time, and provided a lot of insight into what it was like to be Lee Strasburg, and be married to Lee and the responsibility that came with that.
And I know a lot of people have a lot of varying opinions about that, but I think that in the absence of the information that I will be sharing someday, there’s always two sides to every story. And nobody asked to be in the position of being the individual that inherited Marilyn’s estate. Lee Strasberg didn’t even know he was listed in Marilyn’s will until after she died. So, there’s just a lot of different facets and tentacles about the story of Marilyn Monroe. And you know what, Elisa, this is probably a good time to, to share that that’s really why we’re here.
Scott: Is to get to the bottom of a lot of the stories that are out there and really try and get the truth out there.
Scott: And not just from our own experiences and research that we’ve done, but also people that we’ve come into contact with over the many years that we’ve been in the community—book authors, other people that have worked with Marilyn, knew Marilyn, we have a full list of people that we are really looking forward to being, on the show and, taking time to share their stories.
Elisa: Marilyn is one of those people who, you look at her and you can see in her whatever you want to see. So, for me, the reason I have been so loyal and true to her is because she’s been inspirational. I always viewed her as—she’s not technically an orphan, but basically an orphan. She didn’t have much in the way of parenting. She had been in an orphanage. She grew up in the Depression. She lived in poverty, and she went on to become the most famous woman in the world, and if she could do that, then there was nothing I couldn’t do. And so whenever I had a goal in mind or something that seemed insurmountable, I would look to her as a North Star and think, Well, she wouldn’t have given up. She would’ve continued and look what she was able to achieve.
So if I could just achieve a little bit of whatever it is I’m setting out to do, then I’ve succeeded. That’s what she’s inspired me to do. So that is the way I look at her. I see her as a human being. Someone who had flaws, but someone who had a lot of talent and grace and who lived her life with conviction.
She didn’t always have it easy, but she was a very brave person and she persevered. So that’s what she means to me. That’s why I’m here. And I don’t know what she means to you, so I’ll let you fill that in, but just of let you know again, why we’re doing this.
Scott: Right, Exactly. And just to recap, really just to try to get to the bottom of some of incorrect and inaccurate information that’s out there. For example, Marilyn’s approach to civil rights, and did she really help Ella Fitzgerald? We’re gonna get to the bottom of that in one of our episodes. To me, the thing with Marilyn is she’s just such a fascinating individual. You’re never gonna be able to pin her down. There are so many different facets of the life in times of Marilyn Monroe. So many different elements, so many different stories, so many different achievements, and I do think a lot of people relate to her in their own special, unique way, whether they experience a lot of the same challenges that she experienced with relationships or with image, or with self-confidence with being taken seriously, or people look at her the way that you do, as an inspiration.
Scott: Whether people know it or not, she did start from very humble beginnings and I just did a post on social media recently where I said, “She lived her dreams and she reached for the stars, and then she became one.” And, it’s just that thing that keeps us all together. And many years ago, I was sitting on a panel discussion as part of an exhibition in Australia, and somebody asked a question and said, “Why Marilyn? Why did you pick Marilyn?” And I said, “Well, you know, I don’t think that you ever pick Marilyn. I think Marilyn picks you.”
Elisa: That’s how I feel, too. I instantly become that little girl watching “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.”
Scott: Right, exactly. We really encourage everyone to follow us on Instagram. Our account is @AllThingsMarilynPodcast and we will be doing regular shows, regular updates. Again, just trying to get information out there that’s truthful and accurate. This is a challenging time right now in consideration of the release of Blonde, which really is a work of fiction, but we know that a lot of people are looking at this and going, “Wow, that’s the real story.”
In general, it’s not been a good year for Marilyn, starting with the Anthony Summers Netflix documentary and then Kim Kardashian wearing the Happy Birthday, Mr. President dress. Now the release of Blonde. But, we persevere, we maintain, and we get the real story out and the real information out.
Elisa: We’re here because of the love of Marilyn.
Scott: And to share what we know, share our information, share our experiences. So thanks again everyone for tuning in and I do wanna acknowledge just one more time, Sergio Serrano for creating all of our beautiful graphics for the podcast. You can follow Sergio on Instagram. His account is @MarilynMexico.
I also wanna acknowledge again, Kelly, who owns Silver Technicolor on Instagram, and her account is @Silver_Technicolor, or you can also find her on YouTube. She made for us our incredible intro and exit music. We’re glad that you’ve taken some important time from your busy day to learn more about Elisa and me.
If you’ve got ideas or suggestions for things that you’d like to hear about in future episodes, just drop us a line at AllThingsMarilynPodcast@gmail.com or message us on Instagram. We, invite you to tune in for our very first official episode, which will be all about Blonde. See you next time for All Things Marilyn.