Johnny Hyde: Marilyn’s Ambitious Affair in ‘Yours Retro’

Marilyn’s relationship with Hollywood agent Johnny Hyde – which set her ‘on the road to stardom’ – is explored by Brian J. Robb in the latest issue of UK nostalgia mag Yours Retro (#58, with Paul Newman on the cover.)

While rumours about Marilyn and the ‘casting couch’ are mostly unfounded, her affair with Hyde speaks to her calculating side as much as her genuine affection for him. And while her refusal to marry Hyde for his money is admirable, we shouldn’t gloss over the unsavoury fact that he was already married, with two young children, when they met.

During the course of their affair, Marilyn’s career was lifted from the doldrums. He helped her to secure an important part in All About Eve, and a permanent contract at Twentieth Century Fox. He’s also credited with her breakthrough role in The Asphalt Jungle, although MGM talent scout Lucille Ryman had campaigned for her as well.

It’s tempting to wonder how Marilyn might have fared without Hyde’s early support, and if their love could have survived had he not died so suddenly. Nonetheless, her grief was sincere and she would always remember him fondly.

Author Brian J. Robb has also written a short ebook, Who Killed Marilyn Monroe?, which examines the various conspiracy theories surrounding her death. It’s a clear and concise read for the most part, although the final chapters – in which Robb outlines his own theory – are less compelling.