Johnny Hyde's infatuation for Marilyn wasn't long to evolve in real obsession.
For her part, Marilyn claimed to love him as a father. She knew she could rely on him and easily let her convinced to join his agency.
So it was the William Morris Agency which represented Marilyn from this year.
Johnny Hyde made her meet the producer Lester Cowan. With Mary Pickford he produced a crazy comedy "Love Happy", of which it was hoped to restart the Marx Brothers career.
The shooting took place in the RKO studios. Marilyn shot in one afternoon : ,.
She earned 500$ plus an extra fee of 300$ for the studio pictures.
Natasha Lytess made her repeat her part : ,,,,,.
She spent the first months of 1949 with Johnny Hyde and Natasha Lytess, both native to The East of Europe. Natasha adjusted her diction and Johnny Hyde made her political conscience; he loved to hold forth about the last days of the Tsar and the October Revolution. His insistence to see a germ of hope in Communism and to take the defense of the underdogs could only seduce Marilyn. Soon, she made those ideas hers. Russias fascinated her each day more.
She received a letter from Grace McKee-Goddard, informing her that Gladys, her mother, had remarried during one of her outing from a mental institution, on Wednesday, April 20, with an electrician named John Stewart Eley.
About this wedding, they didn't really want to talk, and no more meet again.
Norma Jeane kept regularly sending her some money.
End of Spring :
Johnny Hyde left his wife Mozelle Cravens Hyde and his children.
Determined to make Marilyn the new Mrs Hyde, he convinced her to leave the Studio Club and to live with him in a villa he
rented at 718 North Palm Drive, in Beverly Hills : .
Marilyn called this house "her little Romanoff" (in reference to the restaurant "Romanoff's" whereJohnny Hyde and her often had lunch). The dining-room owed its own dancing floor and Hyde made install 4 leather wall seats(,,).
She paid herself her rent of the Beverly Carlton, and except the outings offered by Johnny Hyde, she met her personal expenses, thanks to her fee of "Love Happy".
had no intention to marry Hyde but he insisted, telling her that with
his health issues, he wouldn't live long and by marrying him, she would
become a rich woman. Marilyn opposed him a categorical no.
According to her own code, she couldn't marry a man without
Marilyn had no intention to marry Hyde but he insisted, telling her that with his health issues, he wouldn't live long and by marrying him, she would become a rich woman. Marilyn opposed him a categorical no. According to her own code, she couldn't marry a man without loving him.
Since she was a child, Marilyn was used to leave the initiative to the others.
To please the Bolenders, Gladys, Grace McKee-Goddard and Jim Dougherty, without realizing, she had sacrificed them her own desires. Her behavior, personality, appearance were made by the others. Karger had sent her to the orthodontist and had obeid...
Hyde went further. He took her to Michael Gurdin, a reputed plastic surgeon.
A light cartilage bump on her nose was removed, while a silicone prosthesis confered her a more net line of her lower jawbone.
Marilyn submitted to those surgeries with docility. She had to be perfect, so she would be.
Johnny Hyde hired hairstylists for regular sessions of bleaching, so that her hair was platinum. He supplied her a new wardrobe and made her know Sak's store (where Marilyn went regularly in New York and Los Angeles), and she was seen form then on at
Begining of May :
Helped with his wife Natalie and his brother Bill, photographer Tom Kelley was considered as a creator.
His productions were distinguishable by the quality of the lighting, the originality of the pictures, and a new approach of the relationships between the human model and the different products he presented. Not being under contract anymore with none of the movie studios, Marilyn needed 50$ (to pay her room at the Beverly Carlton Hotel or at the Studio Club, or to get her car back, according to the versions).
turned up at Tom Kelley's studio, after having found in her stuff his
business card; she needed money, because she had no proposition to
come. Excessively made-up, she wore a suit which hid nothing of her
body : white low-cut blouse, bright red skirt so tight-fitting
that it hindered her walk , and of course, assorted stiletto
Marilyn turned up at Tom Kelley's studio, after having found in her stuff his business card; she needed money, because she had no proposition to come. Excessively made-up, she wore a suit which hid nothing of her body : white low-cut blouse, bright red skirt so tight-fitting that it hindered her walk , and of course, assorted stiletto heels.
didn't really evoke the American ideal of the healthy girl celebrated
by the in vogue publicities, but the drilled eye of Tom Kelley didn't
stop to the appearance : yes, he had a job for her. He was working on a
publicity project for a beer mark and the model he had hired had
just let him down. Natalie Kelley led her to a sitting-room where
she retouched her make-up before giving her a one piece swimsuit and a
multicolored beach ball.
She didn't really evoke the American ideal of the healthy girl celebrated by the in vogue publicities, but the drilled eye of Tom Kelley didn't stop to the appearance : yes, he had a job for her. He was working on a publicity project for a beer mark and the model he had hired had just let him down. Natalie Kelley led her to a sitting-room where she retouched her make-up before giving her a one piece swimsuit and a multicolored beach ball.
Two weeks later, the Pabst Beer manufacturers received their new poster.
Two weeks later, the Pabst Beer manufacturers received their new poster.
Wednesday, May 25 :
Tom Kelley contacted her again : the beer publicity had attracted attention of John Baumgarth, a rich calendars manufacturer from Chicago. This one had contacted Kelley : for the next issue of the calendar, he wanted a new model, a nude artistic picture Marilyn agreed.
Friday, May 27 : she signed a contract with Tom Kelley under the pseudonym of Mona Monroe.
Saturday, May 28 : the picture session lasted 2 hours. Natalie, Tom Kelley's wife, attended. Kelley took 24 picture; only 2 were
Kelley resold the copyrights to the Baumgarth company for 500$, and Marilyn received 50$ for the picture session.
With her contract with the film production, Marilyn had to guarantee the promotion of the movie "Love Happy", although her appearance was minor.
Lester Cowan, the producer, granted her a weekly fee of 100$ for 5 weeks, plus the entertainment expenses, and sent her on tour through the USA.
this occasion, she chose some suits for the travel (3 wool suits,
actually inadequate to the East heatwave), she bought at
May Company, in Los Angeles.
She stayed at the 14th floor of the Sherry-Netherland Hotel in New York, where photographer Andre De Dienes met her again and suggested her a picture session in Tobey Beach, Long Island, on Saturday, July 23 (,,
Photographer Weegee took her in picture in Jones Beach, Long Island (,,,
Sunday, July 24 : she was interviewed by Earl Wilson, the famous columnist of the Daily News, at the Sherry-Netherland Hotel.
Having found her "quite boring", Wilson consulted his newspaper's archives, and after concocted an article devoid of imagination. He treated her as a starlet and the sexy blonde to who it's said "be pretty and shut up".
the roadshow, she was the focal point of a horde of reporters and
photographers. With a good grace she took part in the greedy
solitications of the press, cleverly combining her model experience
with what she had learned thanks to
Throughout the roadshow, she was the focal point of a horde of reporters and photographers. With a good grace she took part in the greedy solitications of the press, cleverly combining her model experience with what she had learned thanks toJohnny Hyde and Natasha Lytess.
During those days and weeks, she mingled with the crowd, giving smiles and kisses with grace.
At the end of an exhausting day, she took refuge in her hotel room where she plunged in the novels of Marcel Proust, Thomas Wolfe or "The Interpretation of Dreams" of Freud.
Then, she jumped on the phone to break the news of her thoughts with Natasha Lytess. Often, during endless phone conversations, Marilyn bombarded her with questions : she wanted to talk about Grouchenka, one of the character of the "Brothers Karamazov".
Compared to the literary exchanges between Natasha and Marilyn, the phone conversations with Johnny Hyde were less interesting; he kindly made fun of Marilyn'sv taste for the Russian classics.
When she went back to Hollywood after the roadshow, Johnny Hyde made her make another audition at the Fox.
She sang few lines of a popular chorus and was engaged to play a singer in "A Ticket toTomahawk", a musical western in Technicolor.
So she shot a sequence surrounded by 3 other starlets, dancing and singing "Oh, What a Forward Young Man"
The song had no success to the public but Marilyn was radiant in a yellow dress with green ribbons () made up by Allan Whitey Snyder.
At the same time, another comic western "The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Band" with Betty Gable, number one of the Fox, suffered froma bitter financial failure. As a result, the Fox lost interest in "A Ticket toTomahawk" and the shooting ended in a morose atmosphere.
At that time, John Huston (nonconformist director who had just won 2 Academy Awards for "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre") distributed parts for his new creation "The Asphalt Jungle", distributed by the MGM.
was a film noir, hard and burning, about a gang of losers involved in a
jewels theft doomed to failure. The part of Angela Phinlay, the
young mistsress of a crooked lawyer, hadn't yet been distributed.
This thriller marked a milestone in the cinema history, notably because it was the first movie telling the story from the crimminal point of view.
Johnny Hyde had introduced Marilyn to the tandem Huston-Hornblow (the producer of the movie). Convinced that her provocative appearance could get the upper hand on the 2 men. Marilyn had only managed to give them the image of "a young beginner stage fright scared" (according to the producer's own words). After having read 2 or 3 lines, Marilyn went back with Johnny Hyde.
Huston, for his part, had chosen Lola Albright, another coquettish blonde from the MGM. But Lucille Ryman, casting director at the MGM, reminded Huston of a detail he seemed to have forgotten : after the big success she had won with "Champion", beside Kirk Douglas, Lola Albright's fee came to 1 500$ a week. After all, Angela was a small part which didn't worth this price. Why not reconsider Marilyn?
Inflexible and stubborn, Huston kept on auditioning the starlets, knowing perfectly well that the MGM would refuse them. Meanwhile, Lucille Ryman and Johnny Hyde agreed and thought that Angela's part fitted Marilyn like a glove.
Furthermore, the Carrolls took care for a while, in their property, of Huston's horses (23 animals). The horses training had cost them 18 000$, but Huston (well-attested compulsive gambler) didn't think anymore to pay off his debt.
One Sunday, the Carrolls iinvited John Huston in they ranch and put him up against the wall. Either he granted a second chance to their protégé, or they sold Huston's horses to get the money he owed them. The problem was quickly solved, in Marilyn's favor.
Since the following day, Lucille Ryman called Sidney Guilaroff (), the studio's official hairstylist, and informed the head of the MGM, Louis B.Mayer, that an important audition would take place the next Wednesday.
Marilyn worked 3 days and 3 nights with Natasha Lytess, and this time, her performance gave the results hoped. Mayer, under the spell, found Marilyn very good; Huston and Hornblow had just to accept.
Marilyn met Rupert Allan, editor of Look magazine. At that time (he was aged 36), he was one of the most cultured and spiritual man of Los Angeles.
He soon changed his profession, becoming the press agent of Marlene Dietrich, Bette Davis, Gregory Peck, Deborah Kerr and Grace Kelly.
In the Hollywood society circles, an invitation at Rupert Allan's home and his friend Frank McCarthy, was equivalent to an inexpressible honor.
Thanks to Johnny Hyde, Marilyn crossed the threshold of the sumptuous residence overlooking the Beverly Hills canyon.
This evening, Rupert Allan had gathered a New York team of photographers and also a horde of starlets, in preparation for a photo test.
It was during this party that Marilyn met for the first time photographer Milton Greene, aged 27. He impressed Marilyn : his enthusiasm, the passion with which he spoke about his job, his original ideas captivated Marilyn. He compared photography to a "camera painting", a celebration of the feminine beauty.
Greene went back to New York on Wednesday, September 14, whitout having made any picture of Marilyn.
The issue of Life magazine dated Monday, October 10, published a picture test made by Philip Halsman (photographer for
Shooting of "The Asphalt Jungle" (,,,;
During the whole lenght of the shooting, Marilyn refused to play the slightest scene without Natasha
The result was absolutely fabulous, despite the constant presence of Natasha Lytess on the set. According to Huston and
The result was absolutely fabulous, despite the constant presence of Natasha Lytess on the set. According to Huston andHornblow, after each shot, Marilyn looked her teacher, and this one nodded or shook her head to inform her about her satisfaction or disapproval.
Her constant interventions, secretly, made Natasha extremely unpopular to the director. Natasha and Marilyn invented a serie of hand signs which allowed to know if she played in a way conform to the rehearsals.
The fact to play under her coach's ruthless look had exacerbated Marilyn's sensibility. However, her dependence toward her teacher didn't prevent Marilyn from playing admirably. Her performance, stunning, let think that other more important proposals would follow.
With this movie, Marilyn, until then considered as a beginner, won the title of actress. Her name was credited among the other subordinate roles.