Don Murray was a promising young Broadway actor when Hollywood offered him the chance of a lifetime. He made an auspicious screen debut as Marilyn’s leading man in Bus Stop (1956), beating out established stars like Rock Hudson, and earning himself an Oscar nomination. Now 91, Murray looked back on his career in a recent interview with US magazine Closer Weekly. ‘Marilyn was very kind to me,’ he recalled. ‘I thought she was magnificent. I never understood why she was not nominated.’
“What did you find most surprising about Marilyn?
I had been overseas, so I didn’t know much about her. I was totally taken aback by how important a movie star she was. There was press around all the time because of her.
What was Marilyn like to work with?
She had difficulty remembering her lines, so we had to do many takes. Often, when we were doing a scene, she would get so emotionally involved that she’d go off her mark. The director told me to put my hands on her hips and move her to her marks. That’s what I did whenever we were shooting above the waist.
Marilyn was notorious for showing up late to the set.
She was always late. Not 10 minutes, but two hours or half a day! She also took a week off and called in sick, but she was actually having a romance with Arthur Miller at the Chateau Marmont! It was quite a trial. Being from theater, I wasn’t used to that!”