2022: A Year in Marilyn Headlines

In January, a new docuseries, Reframed: Marilyn Monroe, aired on CNN; Some Like It Hot was released on 4K UHD Blu-Ray; and a Bert Stern exhibition opened in New York. In France, Marilyn graced the cover of Books magazine; while in Italy, OGGI kicked off its ‘Iconic Women’ series with a Monroe special.  Also this month, Joan Copeland (actress sister of Arthur Miller); filmmaker and historian Peter Bogdanovich; and Orven Schanzer, an assistant editor on several of Marilyn’s movies, all passed away.

In February, Michelle Morgan’s book, When Marilyn Met the Queen, was published, and Marilyn was also featured in The Method, a new history of the Actors Studio. In Australia, over 300 lookalikes joined the annual Marilyn Jetty Swim, a cancer research fundraiser. Also this month, Monica Vitti – who starred in the first Italian production of Arthur Miller’s After the Fall – and choreographer Joan Bayley, who coached Marilyn for There’s No Business Like Show Business, both died.

In March, a touring exhibition, Marilyn: The Woman Behind the Icon, arrived in Bavaria; and Marilyn graced the cover of German art magazine Palette. She was featured in a book about the golden age musicals of 20th Century Fox, and also mentioned in Truly, Madly, a biography of Laurence Olivier and his wife, Vivien Leigh. O. Henry’s Full House, the anthology film in which Marilyn had a cameo role, was released on Blu-Ray in the UK. And Marilyn’s beloved stepson, Robert A. Miller, passed away.

In April, The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe – a new documentary about her death – aired on Netflix; and a book looking behind the scenes of The Misfits was published. Another new documentary, Marilyn: Woman of Today, was broadcast in France, and Norman Rosten‘s memoir of Marilyn was reissued in French. Marilyn was also featured in Paris Match. And the great character actor Nehemiah Persoff, who played ‘Little Bonaparte’ in Some Like It Hot, died aged 102.

May 19 marked 60 years since Marilyn sang ‘Happy Birthday Mr President’ to John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden; and the iconic ‘pool scene’ from Something’s Got to Give, filmed shortly afterwards. Also in May, Andy Warhol’s ‘Shot Sage Blue Marilyn‘ sold for a record-breaking $195 million at Christie’s. A French-made documentary – Marilyn, Her Final Secret – explored her family history. About Marilyn Monroe, a critical anthology, was published in Spain; and Marilyn and the Hollywood Stars, a novel in the ‘Inspiring Women’ series, was released in Germany. Singer Vanessa Paradis posed for a Misfits-inspired photo shoot; and reality TV star Kim Kardashian wore Marilyn’s iconic ‘birthday dress’ to the Met Gala in New York.

June 1st marked what would be Marilyn’s 96th birthday. An online memorabilia sale was held at Julien’s Auctions, with a Carl Perutz photo the top seller. Also in June, Marilyn graced the covers of Yours Retro and CR Fashion Book. The Misfits was featured in a Montgomery Clift retrospective at Film Forum NYC; and in what has become an annual tradition, Marilyn was the poster girl for the Champs Élysées Film Festival in Paris.

In July, Marilyn’s ‘After You Get What You Want (You Don’t Want It)‘ gown from There’s No Business Like Show Business was sold for $218,750 at Julien’s. Forever Marilyn – an exhibition of photos by Sam Shaw, and items of Marilyn’s personal property – opened in Italy, where a new book, The Beauty of Marilyn, was published. In Paris, Isabelle Adjani starred in a one-woman show, Marilyn Vertigo; and a Monroe movie retrospective was held in Mexico City. An article about the infamous ‘Wrong Door Raid‘ appeared in Yours Retro; and Marilyn made the covers of Playboy in Germany, and Vanity Fair in France. She was featured in Killing Men & Dying Women, Griselda Pollock’s feminist study of the 1950s New York art scene; and in New York: 1962-1964, an exhibition at the Jewish Museum. Also in July, former actress Kathy Marlowe – whose ‘blonde bombshell’ image was compared to Marilyn’s – died aged 87.

Photo by George Vreeland Hill

August 5th marked the 60th anniversary of Marilyn’s passing. The annual service hosted by Marilyn Remembered was held at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles; and an auditorium was dedicated to her at the Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Also this month, Fascination Marilyn Monroe was published in Germany, and Musée Marilyn in France. Marilyn’s clash with Columbia Pictures boss Harry Cohn was mentioned in a Yours Retro article about the notorious Hollywood mogul. Some Like It Hot had a beach screening at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, California. And Sue Dunkley, the British pop artist who painted Marilyn and Yves Montand, passed away.

In September, Blonde – the fictitious Monroe biopic starring Ana de Armas, based on a novel by Joyce Carol Oates – was released via Netflix. ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’ was reissued as a vinyl single. Magnum Photos’ images from The Misfits went on display for Berlin Photo Week; and Marilyn graced the cover of German magazine Madame.

In October, a new podcast, All Things Marilyn, was launched. In France, The Last Sessions – a graphic novel about Marilyn – and Michel Schneider’s Marilyn: The Loves of Her Life were published; and another new documentary, Becoming Marilyn, made its debut on the Arte channel. James Collins, one of the Monroe Six (a group of teenage fans who followed Marilyn in 1950s New York) was interviewed for Vanity Fair‘s French edition; and a photo exhibit, Marilyn Monroe 1962, opened in Lyon. Also in October, Marilyn made the cover of the ‘Icons’ magazine series from Australian Women’s Weekly. Rapper Lil Nas X recreated Marilyn’s ‘subway scene’ from The Seven Year Itch for a Coca Cola drinks commercial; and Abbott Elementary star Quinta Brunson wore a replica of Marilyn’s ‘diamond dress’ from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in the TV sitcom’s Halloween episode. Marilyn’s most famous costumer, Travilla, was featured in Viva Hollywood, a tribute to the film industry’s greatest Latino and Hispanic artists. Richard C. Miller‘s photos of a young Marilyn were sold as NFTs; and one of her most celebrated photographers, Douglas Kirkland, died aged 88.

In November, My Maril, a memoir by Terry Karger (daughter of Marilyn’s musician boyfriend, Fred Karger), and a new biography of Arthur Miller were released; and actress Nancy Olson Livingston remembered Marilyn in her autobiography. Meanwhile, Marilyn and her Gentlemen Prefer Blondes co-star Jane Russell shared a cover story for Closer USA. In Massachusetts, the Brattle Theatre hosted a movie season, Marilyn Beyond Blonde. Her unfinished memoir, My Story, was reissued in France, alongside a comic book adaptation; and a novel, An Evening With Marilyn, was published in Germany. A 1967 screen-print of Marilyn by Andy Warhol sold for $252K at Bonhams; and she also appeared in books about photographer Bob Willoughby, and the history of filmmaking in Alberta.

And finally, in December Some Like It Hot: The Musical opened on Broadway; while the original movie claimed 38th place in Sight and Sound magazine’s poll of the 100 Greatest Films of All Time, while Variety put All About Eve in 9th place, and Empire’s readers named Marilyn among the 50 Greatest Actors. A photograph signed by Marilyn to husband Joe DiMaggio was sold for a record-breaking $300,000 at Heritage Auctions; and a selection of her best-known dresses and costumes – plus numerous personal items – also fetched high prices at Heritage and Julien’s. A retrospective of Marilyn’s movies was held at the Cinémathèque Française in Paris; and she graced the cover of UK magazine Professional Photo. Also in December, photographer Tony Vaccaro – who snapped Marilyn on location for River of No Return – and journalist Stanley E. Flink, who wrote her first cover story for LIFE magazine, both passed away.