Thursday, January 30 :
The article explained, making her 2 years younger, that this "18 years old blonde baby-sitter has met a recruiter of talent" and was immediately propelled to glory.
They concocted her a sweetened biogaphy, being officially an orphan, to say nothing about her mother.
The Fox lengthened her contract of 6 months and she made a publicity picture session for the studio(,,,).
A few time later, she was contacted for a hiring for the movie "Scudda Hoo, Scudda Hey !". After about 6 months of contract with the Fox, Marilyn was relieved to finally get a part.
The studio sent her to the Actors Laboratory (Crescent Heights Boulevard, south of Sunset Boulevard) in order to follow the drama lessons. The Actors Lab came from the Group Theater of New York, whose founders Harold Clurman, Cheryl Crawford
and Lee Strasberg (), and also the playwright of committed plays Clifford Odets (), presented works on underprivileged life conditions, and took position against capitalism and for the defense of the left-wing ideas.
The company had been disbanded in 1940 after 10 years of activity, but its members continued to inspire a new vitality to the American theater, and during the following decade, some actors of the Group Theater, like Morris Carnovsky and his wife Phoebe Brand, J.Edward Bromberg and Roman Bohnen continued to train actors, to give a theatrical teaching and to stage plays for the Los Angeles students and public.
Stage writers, actors and directors from Broadway came to present their work in California.
The pupils studied plays which dealt with the difficulties of the workers world, allowing a critical discussion about capitalism. Marilyn liked very much this work; she had grown in an environment identical of the one described in the studied plays.
During this year, Marilyn followed those lessons, read plays and studied scenes with a huge number of experienced actors come form New York.
At the Actors Lab, Marilyn found some recurrent themes (social dissatisfaction, depression, the conditions of the poors deprived of civic rights), and the same name constantly came back : Clifford Odets and Lee Strasberg, Cheryl Crawford and Elia Kazan
In the eyes of Marilyn, child of the Great Depression, those texts and discussions carried a strength and an acuity which, until then, had missed to the screenplays produced by the big Hollywood studios, including the Fox.
The Actors Lab crew found Marilyn en extrelmely shy young person, a little bit awkward.
According to Phoebe Brand, "she worked her scenes with care", without however making a great impression.
Beginning of the shooting of "Scudda Hoo, Scudda Hey !", a movie shot in Technicolor under F.Hugh Herbert 's direction
The film related the story of a farmers familiy who quarreled about the best way to take care of jennies (the title of the movie alluded to the traditional scream used to goad the jenies harnesses).
Marilyn embodied a student. She shot 2 scenes : in one of them, she was in a rowing boat with another starlet (scene cut during
the other one, where she furtively appeared on the screen, she was
background and said hello to June Haver, the leading role.
Marilyn played 3 short scenes in "Dangerous Years", a melodrama about the juvenile delinquency; it was her first real part, at least, the first one where she made a line. She played a waitress, Eve, in a coffeehouse, the Gopher Hole, where a young louts
She lived 131 South Avon Street in Burbank, near the Warner studios, where she kept the house of a couple left on vacation.
Saturday, July 26 : the Fox announced her that her contract was about to expired and wouldn't be renewed.
Whatever was her wish to succeed, she recognized that she belonged to the small actors herd, not much employed, who cost much than they brought in to the studios.
Her last salary, dated from August 31, 1947, was 104$ and 13 cents (after deductions).
She attended the annual golf tournament of the Cheviot Hills Country Club, opposite the Fox studios. Some celebrities attended and in order to brighten the atmosphere, the organizers had called some caddies, attractive starlets, supposed to carry the
Two weeks before the expiration of her contract , Marilyn was sent there, among others, with the Fox compliments.
There, she was assigned to John Carroll, actor and renown singer. He was aged 41 and a looked attractive, which had often
Patrons of the arts, the Carrolls gave lots of support, moral as well as financial, to young beginners.
Lucille Ryman thought at that time that Marilyn couldn't interest the MGM heads. She was pretty, sexy, but hadn't the class Mr Mayer was looking for with his stars in this year 1947.
She got on with posing as a model, and continued her lessons at the Actors Laboratory.
Those few months she studied made appear new aspects of her character which dominated her whole life. Within her was a deep conflict, because she was torn between the actor's desire to appeal and being loved, and an artistic aspiration , hunger for learning.
Complexed by curtailed schooling, she was still attracted to educated men and women who could enrich her knowledge in theater, literature or history. She had a deep compassion for the poors and the weak-willed persons (with who she had more or less become identified) in her life as in fiction.
It was from the other actors she met at the Actors Laboratory (and the kind of the theater they fought for) that she became aware of all those aspirations, during this year 1947.
Under Phoebe Brand's advice, Marilyn studied many extracts of plays which had been performed in New York by the Group Theater.
During the discussions that invariably followed each rehearsal, Phoebe Brand explained to the students that such contradictions (the art and the material need) inhered in all the great artists nature. Writer Clifford Odets himself had been torn between the pure artistic creation and the material well-being, in other words, between Broadway and Hollywood.
However, the Actors Laboratory was a revelation to her. The actor playing appeared suddenly to her as an elaborate process, subjected to a strong discipline.
Her 2 parts at the Fox had only been appearances, but during the shootings, she had noticed that the actors didn't have to memorize more than 1 or 2 lines at a time.
A day of shooting lasted 10 or 12 hours in a row (and 6 days a week), for an effective job very reduced.
The stars arrived late and there were the cameras whims, the lighting changes and the changings constantly brought to the screenplay. The producers could estimate themselves happy when, after an endless day of shooting, they had only shot 4 minutes of the movie.
Conversely, the professionals of the stage read, memorized, analyzed and discussed with the director, involving themselves in a few lucrative and very demanding research.
The Carrolls invited her to dinner ; she broke the news about her ambition, her passion for stage, her lessons at the Actors Lab. Her light savings were invested in her singing lessons, dancing and drama lessons.
As good Samaritans, the Carrolls took things in hand. Most of the time, they lived in they ranch of Granada Hill, in San Fernando Valley. They were also the owners of an apartment at the last floor of El Palacio, an elegant Spanish style building, located at the corner of La Cienega Boulevard and Fountain Avenue(8491-8499 Fountain Avenue, West Hollywood) :
They decided to house Marilyn (she stayed there 5 months) and also provided her small amount of money.
Lucille Ryman introduced Marilyn to the owners of the Blyss-Hayden Miniature Theater.
Lila Bliss and Harry Hayden, her husband, had often welcomed such and such protégé on the little stage of their school theater. In return, Lucille Ryman gave an MGM contract to one or another of their students. The case was quickly concluded, and Marilyn obtained a part in "Glamour Preferred", a musical of the 40's.
In "Glamour Preferred", she played a Hollywood starlet whose project to seduce a charming masculine leading role was frustrated by the intelligent and honest wife of him.
But the lines quickly sank into a dead end, due to Marilyn late arrivals and her inability to memorize her lines.
At the end of a long discussion, Lucille Ryman drew the obvious conclusion. The bottom of the problem lay in Marilyn's fear to displease. She changed her costume and several times retouched her make up before leaving to the theater. Actually, she knew her part by heart, but the stage fright made her stutter, to such a point that her sentences were inaudible.
Sunday, October 12 :
Premiere of "Glamour Preferred" at the Bliss-Hayden Playhouse :
Marilyn secured with difficulty the performances, about which there wasn't any echo in the press. The play was performed until November 2.
In November 1940, the play had been performed in Broadway and wasn't yet a success.
Thursday, December 4, she signed a contract () linking her to John Carroll, a contract in which Carroll promised to pay her the sum of 100$ a week, and 10% on Marilyn's takings as an actress to her agent Harry Lipton. Carroll represented her from December 1st 1947 to February 29th 1948.
Marilyn spent all her week-ends of the end of this year at the Carrolls ranch, in Granada Hill, San Fernando Valley. The fear of loneliness encouraged her grap her new benefactors as a life preserver.
She also attended the "Alan Young radio show" which theme was about Scotland : .