Marilyn at Julien’s: In Her Own Words

An array of Marilyn’s film costumes will go under the hammer in the Hollywood Legends event at Julien’s Auctions tomorrow, July 15. There are also numerous lots containing her financial statements and correspondence, and a handful of more personal items – such as this shadow box display, which includes a 1944 letter from Norma Jeane to her half-sister, Berniece Baker Miracle.

SOLD for $8,750

A sheet of personal notes for Marilyn’s Actors Studio class, written on Waldorf Astoria notepaper (she lived at the hotel in 1955.) The opening salutation and start of the letter ‘Dear Art’ has been scratched out. The notes begin with Monroe quoting something said by Strasberg: ‘I want you all to know that this exercise went on for 1/2 hour and her concentration did not give way or slip once-and Marilyn there will be very few times ever on the stage where it will be necessary to keep such a concentration for one half hour/ straight.’ Monroe then asks herself, ‘Why did it/ mean so much to me.’ On the back she continues to ruminate about class, writing, ‘Strasberg it makes me (him he said) feel badly (and sadly) for you that you do things out of fear You must start to do things out of strength- (my question: where do I get the strength)- he said – by not looking for strength but only looking & seeking tecnical [sic] ways and means.

SOLD for $18,750

A handwritten note from Marilyn to Lee Strasberg: ‘Dear Lee, One of the most personally helpful things I’ve heard so far in my life was what you said in class Friday afternoon – it was helpful in that I feel as though I’m a little bit freer – also more – I can’t think of any I mean by that more relaxed 2 and 2 don’t necessarily make 4.’

SOLD for $7,680

An envelope with a rhyming poem titled ‘On Hospital Gowns‘ written in pencil on the back by Marilyn Monroe, making light of the fact that hospital gowns do not cover her ‘derriere.’

SOLD for $4,480

A single sheet of lined yellow paper with dialogue and additional notes written out in pencil in Marilyn’s hand. This document was likely part of an acting exercise.

The dialogue reads: ‘Where did he go? He told you I know he did/ If you’d only have given me a little longer – He was in love with me – we’d have been married you didn’t want me to have him from the beginning/ you wouldn’t let me wear those pretty things/ Even when I told you about the doll – you/ sent those people around/ He died! But he said/ he came back – Tell/ Me – tell me -.’

The front and back of the page is then covered with small performance notes, including: ‘The thought focus on partner not on word then let go of word‘; ‘don’t do with words & voice‘; ‘Let go everything elastic keep the pick up lay on the horse‘; and ‘to be as relaxed let go of mouth speech thought,’ among many others.

SOLD for $7,680

A note containing dialogue from Bus Stop (1956), with red ink stains and acting notes handwritten in pencil. In this famous scene, Marilyn’s character, Cherie, asks Elma (Hope Lange) for help.

SOLD for $6,400

A personal motivational poem handwritten in pencil on Beverly Hills Hotel stationery – possibly during filming of Let’s Make Love (1960.)

SOLD for $8,960

A short note from Sammy Cahn, who co-wrote the title song for Let’s Make Love.

SOLD for $2,560

Letters sent to Arthur Miller, including one dated December 19, 1959 from Elia Kazan providing feedback on his screenplay for The Misfits. ‘You’ve got the makings of a superb movie here. The last big sequence (Mustangs) can be a masterpiece. And its (sic) perfect for Huston … Perhaps it all suffers from not quite pointing to any definite ending. And to tell it all, I thought the girl a little too – well too a lot of things, too right, too often, too pure, too aware. But, on the whole damned good. I hope you work on it more before you start shooting.’

SOLD for $640