A ‘Springer’ Walk in the Park With Marilyn

Gary Springer, son of Hollywood publicist John Springer, has revealed that during his boyhood, Marilyn “would call by their Upper East Side apartment and took Gary and his sisters out for walks in Central Park,” the New York Post reports. This is certainly in character for Marilyn, who adored her own stepchildren and was always happy to babysit for friends like Milton Greene, Sam Shaw and Eli Wallach. Born in 1954, Gary is now an actor, writer and publicist, following in his father’s footsteps.

John Springer first met Marilyn during filming of Clash By Night (1952), while working for her home studio, Twentieth Century Fox, as a magazine publicity director. In 1960, he joined Arthur P. Jacobs’ public relations firm, which represented Marilyn from 1955 until her death in 1962. While his colleague Pat Newcomb became something of a personal secretary to Marilyn in her final years, Springer more of a background figure, overseeing her public appearances and press interviews. He was photographed with Marilyn in January 1961 at an Actors Studio benefit at the Roseland Ballroom, and when she was discharged from Columbia Presbyterian Hospital that March.

In 1963, Springer formed his own company, promoting some of the most celebrated  films of the 1960s. Springer went on to mount stage shows for established stars like Bette Davis, and although he would publish five books about his life in the film industry before his death in 2001, he refused all offers to write a ‘tell-all’ memoir about his famous clientele. Nonetheless, he spoke warmly of Marilyn in the 1987 documentary, Marilyn Monroe: Beyond the Legend.

“I was completely involved through the Actors Studio period. She was funny, she was a funny girl … She was a very smart, witty, bright person … There’s never been anyone quite like Marilyn Monroe. She has elements that many stars have, of the people that I’ve been involved with. There’s everyone from Judy Garland to Ingrid Bergman.”