70 Years Ago: Marilyn at the Oscars

On March 29, 1951, Marilyn made her first (and only) appearance at the Academy Awards, presenting the Oscar for Best Sound Mixing to Thomas P. Moulton for All About Eve, in a ceremony hosted by Fred Astaire at the Pantages Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. The latest issue of French e-zine Crazy for You looks back at Marilyn’s Oscar night, revealing that her black tulle gown was created for Italian actress Valentina Cortesa’s role in The House on Telegraph Hill, a minor classic of film noir shot several months earlier, which would be released in August 1951.

In his book Marilyn in Fashion, Christopher Nickens wrote, ‘Renié was the designer credited for the movie, but if Charles LeMaire suggested even a single sequin, he would likely claim it as a collaboration.’ Marilyn and Fashion, a sister blog to Crazy for You, notes the influence of Christian Dior’s ‘New Look’ on Marilyn’s ‘corolla-style’ dress, with a skirt ‘like a blooming flower’. You can watch footage of her Oscar speech here.