Jack Cole: Marilyn’s Hidden Hero

From Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) to Let’s Make Love (1960, pictured), Jack Cole was Marilyn’s choreographer of choice, and they became good friends. He is one of ‘100 Hidden Heroes of Cinema’ profiled in the summer issue of UK magazine Sight & Sound – click to enlarge his entry (by Dan Callahan), below.

Also featured is someone with whom Marilyn had a rather less congenial relationship. Angela Allen was John Huston’s trusted script supervisor. “On The Misfits (1961), she managed Marilyn Monroe’s suspicions that she was having an affair with Arthur Miller,” Matthew Sweet notes. This may have been a belated case of projection on Marilyn’s part, as she had recently had a very public affair with Yves Montand, and the Millers would divorce soon afterward.

Now 92, Allen has been interviewed for several books and documentaries, including Making the Misfits, and while she quite reasonably found Marilyn difficult to work with at times, she did come to appreciate her star quality.

Other, more peripheral figures in Marilyn’s career who nonetheless had a significant impact on Hollywood history include makeup artist Perc Westmore. Although her own ‘hidden hero’ in this department was Allen ‘Whitey’ Snyder, Marilyn was one of many studio stars who endorsed House of Westmore cosmetics while under contract to Twentieth Century Fox.

And finally, from Niagara onwards, Marilyn’s films often incurred criticism from Joseph I. Breen, who as head of the Production Code Administration (PCA), was the American film industry’s censor in chief for twenty years. “The most infamous and arguably the most influential figure in so-called Golden Age Hollywood,” J. Hoberman writes, “Joe Breen is not so much a hidden hero as a painfully obvious villain.”