Marilyn at Julien’s: Friends and Family

Continuing a series on the Hollywood: Legends and Explorers event at Julien’s Auctions on July 17, I’m looking at notes, letters and mementos from Marilyn’s personal archive. First up, a card sent by her mother Gladys circa 1946:

“The autograph note in pencil reads in full, ‘Dear One; I am very grateful for all the kindness you’ve shown me and as a Loving Christian Scientist (my pencil broke) I hope our God will let me return some goodness to you with out doing myself any harm. For I know good is reflected in goodness, the same as Love is reflected in Love./ As a Christian Scientist I remain very truly your Mother.’ The undated note is in an unpostmarked envelope addressed to ‘Miss Norma Jeane Dougherty, 6707 Odessa Ave., Van Nuy’s, Cal.’ with return address for her mother listed as ‘From – G. P. Eley, 2713 Honolulu Ave., Verdugo City, Cal.'” (Estimate: $2,000-$4,000)

SOLD for $2,560

“An unsigned file copy of a letter composed by Marilyn to her stepchildren, Bobby and Jane Miller, in the voice of the family cat Sugar Finney, clumsily typed with misspellings, reading in part, ‘I’m having fun driving old Rocky and that old grumpy maid of yours nuts. … Thers never a dull moment in this shack. … Love, Sugar Feeny.'” (Estimate: $600-$800)

SOLD for $1,280


At left, a cast metal and stained glass table lamp owned by Marilyn (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); and at right, an unsigned watercolour sketch by Marilyn, showing a bedpost and assortment of objects on a bedside table, including a glass of water and book of poems, with the caption ‘Viewed From a Night Table’ (Estimate: $1,000-$2,000)

SOLD for $10,000 and $21,875 respectively

“An undated, handwritten letter from fellow Actors Studio member and Oscar-winning actress Patricia Neal. The letter reads, ‘Marilyn, Someone was kind enough to call about my baby yesterday. He was admitted again today. He is on the 9th floor. If you or Paula want to visit him – it is perfectly alright as far as I’m concerned. I hope you are much better. Thank you for your interest in Theo.’ The letter is signed ‘Patricia Neal Dahl.'” Her son had developed hydrocephalus after being hit by a taxi, aged four months. (Estimate: $700-$900)

SOLD for $512

“A handwritten note on personalized stationery under the name ‘Amelia Filenschmidt.’ The note reads in part, ‘Since receiving your book, The Lost Lady, my thoughts have been with you. Thank you for a kind consideration and a promise well-kept.’ The note is signed ‘Fondly, Sonny.’ The original envelope is included, addressed to Marilyn Monroe at 436 N. Roxbury Drive, Beverly Hills, California, which interestingly is the address of Dr. Ralph Greenson, Monroe’s psychiatrist.” Willa Cather’s 1923 novel, A Lost Lady, was a favourite of Marilyn’s. Her masseur Ralph Roberts recalled that she had wanted to star in a film adaptation, but the rights were unavailable. Date and sender unknown (Estimate: $300-$500)

SOLD for $320

“A handwritten note on a Beverly Hills Hotel notecard reading, ‘Dear Marilyn, These are yours, the ones you brought over to the bungalow the other night. Do call us!! Hope to see you soon again. Love Doris (Yul).’ Considering the name “Yul” in parentheses at the end of the message, this note is likely from Doris Kleiner, second wife of actor Yul Brynner.” The couple married in 1960, when Marilyn was also staying at the Beverly Hill Hotel. (Estimate: $300-$500)

SOLD for $576

“A handwritten letter on Beverly Hills Hotel letterhead reading in part, ‘Dear Cousin, Many thanks for a wonderful evening – I seem to have developed a happy craving for ‘bubbley [sic] over ice’ or maybe its [sic] just your company – If you aren’t busy this evening how about a glass or two or three – ?’ The letter is signed ‘Cheers no tears, Love, Dick.’ Interestingly, Marilyn Monroe is known to have used this same phrase. Included is the original envelope, addressed to ‘Miss Monroe, B. #1.’” Author unknown (Estimate: $300-$500)

SOLD for $1,152

“A handwritten letter on Harkness Pavilion letterhead dated April 23, 1961 from famed Italian-American ballerina and actress Maria Gambarelli. The letter reads in part, ‘I’ve just entered the Columbia Medical Center, and although I am usually a valiant soul, just now I’m a little scared! Remember in Strasberg’s class – the 11 o’clock class which you also attended – I was struggling with a painful pulled ligament in my leg, which precluded me from finishing my excersises [sic] completely. Well it got worse and the hip went out of place, and I have to have surgery.’ The letter closes with ‘Say a little prayer for me as I keep you always in mine. Love, Maria Gambarelli.'” Marilyn had recently been discharged from hospital after being admitted for six weeks’ rest. (Estimate: $500-$700)

SOLD for $512

“A one-page handwritten letter dated May 25, 1961, reading ‘Dear Mari [sic], Was so sorry to hear you were in the hospital. Please take care and don’t stay there any longer than you must … . I honestly worry myself sick over you when you aren’t well or when I see that you’re working too hard. I hope you’ll be coming back to New York soon … we honestly miss you. Love, Jo-Jo.’ Included is the original envelope addressed to ‘M. Monroe, c/o Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, Hollywood, California.’ The return address on the envelope reads ‘Gracie Terrace, New York, NY.'” Marilyn had been in a New York hospital, not Cedars of Lebanon. The letter was forwarded to the Beverly Hills Hotel and clearly reached her eventually. Author unknown (Estimate: $300-$500)

SOLD for $384

“A one-page typed letter to Monroe from television personality Jack Benny, dated July 13, 1961. The letter reads in part, ‘This little note is merely to say that I do hope you will be feeling much better and that I miss seeing you – even though it is on rare occasions.’ The letter is signed ‘Love – Jack’ in his own handwriting (probably referring to Marilyn’s recent gallbladder surgery.) Also, a holiday card from Mary and Jack Benny from 1954. Monroe’s first-ever television appearance was on The Jack Benny Show on September 13, 1953. They remained friends throughout her entire life.” (Estimate: $600-$800)

SOLD for $2,240

And finally, a copy of a five-page eulogy and funeral service program for Marilyn that belonged to Joe DiMaggio, gifted to his neighbors in Martinez, California.

SOLD for $24,320