At the Fox,
it was chaos. The New York shareholders and producers were stuck on
their phone, demanding that this confrontational situation, and mostly
potentially disastrous, found a solution as soon as possible.
Friday, January 1 Marilyn received the "Award of Achievement" by the Motion Picture Herald in association with Fame
Monday, January 4 the Fox suspended her for non appearance on the set of " Pink Tights".
Monday, January 11 Charles Feldman () informed Marilyn that she was suspended for a month.
,), Joe's brother , this one asked once again Marilyn to marry him, and this time, she agreed.
It was Joe's friend,
It was Joe's friend,Reno Barsocchini who called his friend, judge Charles S.Perry, of the San Francisco City Court , so that he celebrate their wedding.
Thursday, January 14 she married Joe DiMaggio at the San Francisco town hall.
They wanted a wedding as discreet as possible, and Marilyn only warned the studio, through Harry Brand, the head of the Fox
Joe wanted to marry Marilyn in church, but the San Francisco archbishop, John Mitty, refused to recognize the validity of his
divorce from his ex-wife, Dorothy Arnolds ().
So there was only a civil wedding, celebrated by the city officer, judge Charles S. Perry.
The ceremony started at 1.48 PM and ended 3 minutes later.
On the register, Joe wrote his age (39) and signed; Marilyn gave her legal name, Norma Jeane Mortensen Dougherty, but made
,) and spent their first day of honeymoon at the Clifton Motel (), in Paso Robles (California).
The next day, Marilyn called her lawyer, Lloyd Wright to have some news and her messages ; by way of compliment for this wedding, the Fox had reinstated her in her statuts of home actress.
Darryl Zanuck had no other choice than lifting her suspension. Otherwise, the press and the public wouldn't have forgive him.
She would be paid again, and she was respectfully begged to come back on January 20 (at the latest January 25) on the set of "Pink Tights" for the first rehearsals.
But Joe didn't see it that way : his wife would never appear in a movie half-dressed, where she had to embody a woman of easy virtue. Even if she hadn't sworn it when getting married, Marilyn obeyd.Joe and Marilyn spent the 2 following weeks in a house, outside Idyllwild, near Palm Springs, in a house owed by Marilyn's lawyer, Lloyd Wright.
Palm Springs was a tourist resort located in the desert, favourite escapade place of Hollywood big bosses.
They had to stay 10 days, and after, Joe had to go back to New York City in order to discharge a TV involvement.
Sunday, January 24 the DiMaggios went back to Los Angeles. When she arrived at her Doheny Drive's apartment, Marilyn discovered a copy of the screenplay of "Pink Tights". Zanuck had sent it to her with his compliments, and had sent another copy to the Famous Artists Agency.
Tuesday, January 26 when the studio noticed that she hadn't come on the set of "Pink Tights", she was suspended once
Charles Feldman was glad to learn that, as soon as Joe DiMaggio would be back from New York City (where meanwhile he had gone for his business), he planned to take Marilyn in Japan, for the official start of the base-ball season.
Marilyn was temporarily excluded from the studios and because her career wasn't the point, they left for a honeymoon in Japan.
Thursday, January 28 Marilyn landed in San Francisco. Joe had arrived from New York earlier that day.
Monday, February 1st , Marilyn and Joe, his friend Frank "Lefty" O’Doul and his wife Jean, left San Francisco on flight 831 of
Before her wedding, Joe had agreed to accompany his friend and mentor to a base-ball game and also to a beginners training session in Japan. Marilyn being suspended by the studio, Joe had offered her to come with him.
Policemen had to intervene to escort them, Marilyn being on the verge of a fit of hysterics, in an isolated waiting room
Tuesday, February 2 arrival at the Haneda
International Airport of Tokyo ()
where Marilyn's fans were so many that they were forced to turn back in
the plane, to get out of it much later, discreetly through the baggage
Tuesday, February 2 arrival at the Haneda International Airport of Tokyo () where Marilyn's fans were so many that they were forced to turn back in the plane, to get out of it much later, discreetly through the baggage hold
But this collective fury focused on Marilyn, continued at the Tokyo Imperial Hotel where they planned to stay. 200 policemen were mobilized to maintain order when Marilyn's admirers (hoping to catch sight of her or simply having a picture of her room) suddenly fell over each other, creating a real riot. The crowd piled up and chanted Marilyn's name, who
Everybody wanted to see Marilyn, so the couple decided to show itself only for the official outings.
According to Lefty O’Doul, it was the first time that Joe had the measure of Marilyn's fame and that he saw for himself how she surpassed his one. That made him sullen. Joe's discontent only got worse when the next day, Wednesday, February 3, during the only press conference which had been organized for him, all the questions were asked to Marilyn
Friday, February 5 :she also visited the injured soldiers at theTokyo Army Hospital
The Emperor of Japan offered her a string of natural pearls designed by Mikymoto () (she wore this necklace the day of her divorce from DiMaggio and later, offered it to Paula Strasberg, who then gave it to her daughter Susan ; it was sold in 1999).
Things got worse between them when Marilyn accepted an invitation from General
Things got worse between them when Marilyn accepted an invitation from GeneralJohn E. Hull who ran the Far East headquarters, to visit and entertain the American troops in Korea.
As Joe and Lefty had very busy timetable (base-ball during the day, meetings with the sports press at night), Marilyn found the idea excellent.
DiMaggio was very upset : he didn't want her to leave and threatened to divorce right away.
Monday, February 8 she received the service number 129278 as an Army artist with officials papers to join Seoul in Korea
She visited a dozen of camps where 100 000 soldiers, plus 13 000 Marines welcomed her with deafening screams and
She performed a least a dozen times.
Within only 2 days, her public, enthusiastic to frenzy, gathered the 3rd, 7th, 24th and 15th US Army troops divisions, in all 60 000 men. Most of them had never seen any of Marilyn's movie (they had been enlisted before her vertiginous rise).
She sang "Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friends", "Bye, Bye, Baby", "Somebody Loves Me" and "Do it Again" (attenuated in "Kiss Me Again" to avoid overexciting a public already very enthusiastic).
Everywhere, she was very warmly welcomed.
from Hollywwod, Marilyn had performed spontaneous and extremely
brilliant representations. Anyway, she had achieved this kind of
exploit on her own, without her husband critics or the inquisitive look of Natasha Lytess,
her directors or producers who, all of them, only reinforced her in
this conviction that she wasn't at grade and that she missed real
Instead of being paralysed with stage fright as it often happened on stage, on the contrary, she let her reached by the love streams of an enthusiastic public.
to Tokyo, she ran toward Joe as an excited girl, telling him how
she had been so well welcomed. But Joe, still realistic, didn't seem to
pay attention to what she was saying.
She came back from Korea ill, having caught a pneumonia. She remained at the Imperial Hotel for 4 days, with antiobiotics.
Back to Hollywood, the couple went through serious difficulties.
Monday, March 8 it was her friend Sidney Skolsky who accompanied her () at the prize-giving of "The Best Actress" for her roles in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and "How to Marry a Millionaire", awarded by Photoplay magazine,
at the Beverly Hills Hotel (,,,,,,
Marilyn and Sidney then went and had a drink in the suite she had rented at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Tuesday, March 9, she took part in a radio show for CBS (,).
During this month of March, Marilyn, still at the Beverly Hills Hotel, talked with Charles Feldman and Hugh French
() (both of the Famous Artists Agency) of a possible autobiography, a literary genre which began to be greatly prized because it guaranteed the artist both an excellent publicity and a substantial income.
She agreed, on condition that a major writer was hired, someone to who she could talk to about her past with trust and sincerity. Of course, she demanded to supervise the whole text.
So her agents contacted Jacques Chambrun, himself Ben Hecht 's agent (), reporter, novelist and prolific screenwriter, and an agreement was concluded.
and Hecht had met with much cordiality while a movie based on Hecht's screenplay was preparing
("Monkey Business" ), agreed on regular meetings, several times a week and often on Marilyn's express request, in the presence of Sidney Skolsky.
Hecht worked quickly (if it's taken account of the lack of suitable recording material at that time) and suggested a preliminary draft at the end of April.
On this occasion, Marilyn contacted Lucille Ryman and asked her to fully collaborate with Ben Hecht.
She did some round-trips to
She did some round-trips toSan Francisco, where Joe was, in particular on Thursday,March 18, when she bought a ticket of
the United Airlines (), at its Los Angeles Knickerbocker Hotel counter.
Wednesday, March 31 although Charles Feldman represented her unofficially and without any contract since Johnny Hyde's death, the William Morris agency
was legally entitled to receive a commission on each Marilyn's fee for
Once this delay expired, Marilyn finally signed with the Famous Artists Agency, at the moment when Feldman and French made it up with the Fox in Marilyn's name.
The studio, facing the fact of losing its major asset, ended "Pink Tights".
It was Charles Feldman who managed to convince Zanuck. Furthermore, the head of the Fox agreed to pay her more and not to make her play in more than 2 movies a year, but refused to give her the choice of screenplay, director and camera operators. Feldman agreed for her that she could only choose her choregrapher and drama teacher.But Zanuck wished that Marilyn agreed to the shooting of "There’s No Business Like Show Business". this part allowing Marilyn to come back in Los Angeles after having lived in San Francisco for 2 or 3 months.
So she was allowed to be surrounded by her own crew : Natasha Lytess her drama teacher (), Hal
All of them developed her acts in "There's No Business Like Show Business".
In return, her producers demanded that her 2 suspensions of January were added to her current contract, i.e before her 7th year renewal took effect, that is to say, in August of this year. Thus, they gained time and Marilyn would still be available to shot another movie. All those dealings shows how worried they were to see Marilyn vanish into thin air.
As an encouragement, the Fox promised her the leading role in the Billy Wilder's project, "The Seven Year Itch". The Fox acquired the copyrights of the play "The Seven Year Itch" of George Axelrod, for the amount of 500 000$.
Marilyn imposed a raise : her request was considered in the signature of her new contract in August. It was also planned a bonus of 100 000$ for "The Seven Year Itch, although it wasn't written down, totally paid.
It was because "The Seven Year Itch" had to be co-produced by Billy Wilder and Charles Feldman (who kept excellent relationship alive with many people within the Fox) that Marilyn realized that once again, she would allow the studio and the producers to handsomely grow rich behind her back, whitout finding herself in her own work, any fair financial compensation nor a gratifying artistic freedom.
In the mean time, she had already ruminated the plan to fly away and for a time much more longer than planned.
During all this year 1954, Lloyd Wright, Marilyn's lawyer, and Frank Delaney, Milton Greene's one, exchanged an important mail and many phone calls, with the wish to start their financial agreement and to set up a new adventure which would be names the Marilyn Monroe Productions.
The talks took place secretly because, if the Fox had heard the slightest thing, the studio could have broken Marilyn's contract in accordance with the "contrary intentions" Marilyn cherished (in such a case, it was a legal clause for a breach of contract).
During her wedding, Marilyn didn't see Natasha Lytess a lot out of the work sessions.
Tuesday, April 13 Marilyn's suspension from the Fox officially ended, and within 2 days later, she was at the studio.
She worked a lot with Hal Schaefer and Jack Cole (respectively singing teacher and choregrapher) to prepare the singing and dancing acts of "There’s No Business Like Show Business".
Hal Schaefer was in charge of 4 songs of Marilyn in the movie, and also some others she recorded for the RCA this year.
He had already been her musical director in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and "River of No Return".
Friday, April 30 release of "River of No Return"
During this month, photographer Milton Greene arrived in Los Angeles and together, they made several picture sessions.
Milton found in the Fox wardrobe the costume of Jennifer Jones in "The Song of Bernadette", a close-fitting
jacket , a long skirt, thick stocking and black sabots. He took her in the Fox studios, in the little French village built for the movie
Become confident by Milton Greene's warmth, Marilyn complained bitterly to him about what she was subjected to from the Fox, because she had no control on the movies she made, and the roles Zanuck wished she'd play. Before she came back to New York, they set up together their project about an independent production company.With DiMaggio, she rented a house located 508 North Palm Drive (,,
Waiting for the end of the works of the house, they stayed at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
After, they lived at 508 North Palm Drive, opposite Charles Feldman's home, Marilyn's agent.
The house was rented for 6 months, for a monthly rent of 700$.
It consisted in 8 rooms, including one reserved for Joe DiMaggio Jr and a pool.
Joe was very meticulous, at home as well as in his business; Marilyn was exactly the opposite. He preferred the quiet life in San Francisco, she needed Los Angeles; he was taciturn and reserved, she was impulsive and prone to scenes; he liked to spend time with his family and friends or spend an evening watching the television; to her, who had given the Hollywood parties up, wanted more intellectual satisfactions.
For the first time of her life, she tried to pass her knowledge and literary inclinations on. She tried to interest Joe to books, from St Exupery to Mickey Spillane, and Jules Verne, but he didn't let him turned away from his main interest, television.
Their life was as tough as before their wedding, although they were both ready to mutual concessions.
Wednesday, May 5 Charles Feldman called Marilyn, informing her that the Fox was preparing her new contract and that she would soon receive a copy of it.
When she received the contract; she was appalled : even the slightest control rights she had obtained verbally didn't appear. The conclusion was obvious, the studio had no respect for her.
Saturday, May 8 Feldman called her to tell that finally, "The Seven Year Itch" would be produced by the Fox (while until then, it had to be Feldman and Billy Wilder the director of the movie).
Marilyn insisted on her demands to be included to her new contract.
Convinced that Zanuck wouldn't give up, Marilyn's agents urged her to accept once again a compromise.She seemed to be ready to discuss about the giving up of the choice of her directors and camera operators, but she remained
agents suggested her that she made a list of the drama teachers and choregraphers with who she wanted to work.
Marilyn complied but maintained she would sign the contract only if the Fox would leave her the last word in case of agreement.
Friday, May 21 Marilyn was judged for unwise driving ; with her convertible Cadillac
she had crashed into Bart Antinora's car, at the corner of Sunset
Boulevard and Beverly Drive. This day, DiMaggio was with her.
B. Antinora claimed 3 000$ (or 5000$) but the penalty was reduced to 500$.
Friday, May 28 beginning of the shooting of "There's No Business Like Show Business".
Couldn't get rid of a bronchitis contracted during her trip in Korea and suffering of anemia, she entered the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital and was treated by Dr Robert Rosenfeld.
The shooting was postponed to August.
character, Vicky, added at the last minute to the final screenplay,
appeared to Marilyn as the studio's revenge : it was a For
the first time she suffered from the side effects of the sedatives she
repeatedly took, which made her hazy and staggering, prone to crying
fit the rare times she was on the set on time.
For the first time she suffered from the side effects of the sedatives she repeatedly took, which made her hazy and staggering, prone to crying fit the rare times she was on the set on time.
Marilyn's relation with the director of the movie, Walter Lang, were particularly bad. Lang didn't miss any opportunity to denigrate
her () : she was late on the set but however worked hard with her teachers to give the best of herself, very worried not to measure herself up to the dancing and singing professionals she shot with. Natasha Lytess accompanied her on the set
Reporters Sidney Skolsky and Earl Wilson visited her on the set (,,,
Marilyn had signed an exclusivity contract with the RCA, shortly before; the voice heard in the original soundtrack isn't hers but Dolores Gray's one, a star of Broadway. Marilyn recorded another version of the songs she sang in the movie, intended to be distributed by her record company.
"There's No Business Like Show Business" was just a pretext in Cinemascope to show the musical acts concocted by the great
composer Irving Berlin (), vaguely connected with a brief story of a "terribly nice" Irish family of variety artists.
Marilyn came at an awkward moment as a locker room employee who falls in love with one of the characters, and ended by proving that she also know how to dance and sing.
Lytess wasn't the only witness of Marilyn's married life
disintigration; the Greenes, among others, were later informed of every
details, as well as Elia Kazan, Arthur Miller and Lee Strasberg.
Natasha Lytess wasn't the only witness of Marilyn's married life disintigration; the Greenes, among others, were later informed of every details, as well as Elia Kazan, Arthur Miller and Lee Strasberg.
It was at that time that Marilyn became used to barbiturates : she only wanted to forget she was mistaken, and more than everything else, she needed to sleep; not only she needed some rest to face the next day of shooting, but it was also a way to avoid a clash with Joe.Apparently stable and serene in his personal relations, whatever it was with his friends or with strangers (but however always condescendent and often frosty with women), he definitely wasn't the ideal husband for Marilyn at this level of their respective existences. Actually Joe had many similarities with Fred Karger. Effectively, Marilyn repeated the same situation : she tried to unite with a man who didn't really have any respect for her, who ridiculed her appearance and who was convinced that he knew what was suitable for her, better than herself.
The collaboration between Ben Hecht and Marilyn for the writing of her autobiography collapsed : Ben Hecht learned that his literary agent Jacques Chambrun, had sold some extracts of his manuscript to Empire News in London, without his agreement, nor Marilyn's one.
Sidney Skolsky right away wrote a small booklet about Marilyn, who gave her consent for the publication in the form of a serial story in newspapers and magazines, later this same year.
Wednesday, July 7, in Morningside Park, Inglewood, California, Marilyn received an award from the American legion for her
Tuesday, July 27 this evening, Hal Shaefer had an appointment with the actress and singer Sheila Stuart, he made rehearse at Harry Giventer's place, the studio's lyric writer. Schaefer, being too late, they called at his home, and at his office, then at some mutual friends place, but without success. They decided to go to his bungalow, at the Fox, where they found him unconscious, at 4.00 AM. Harry Giventer and Sheila Stuart went with him in an ambulance at the Santa Monica Hospital, where a gastric lavage saved him from an overdose of Benzedrine mixed with Nembutal, swallowed with some white out for typewriter.Marilyn went to his side and remained one of the most regular people to visit him during his recuperation.
Marilyn asked the studio to postponed the last recording until the end of the shooting, in order to give Schaefer enough time to recover. The recording was finally made in November of this year.
During this summer, she posed in Palm Springs for photographer Ted Baron (,
The Fox made her sign a 7 year contract, with a raise and a bonus of 100 000$ for Billy Wilder's movie, "The Seven Year Itch", Marilyn agreed to shoot.
Monday, August 23, costumes tests for "The Seven Year Itch" (,) whose shooting was about to begin in New York City in Fall. The shots in studio were scheduled from mid-September to the beginning of November.
Friday, August 27 while Joe and his friend George Solotaire were on th set, Marilyn's dance was being shot, with an
After the 15th shot, Marilyn ran and flung herself around Joe's neck who pushed her away from him; for her, no tender welcome, nor encouragement. Marilyn went back on the set. After having stayed 5 minutes watching her making capers in a tight-fitting clothes, undresssed and highly provocative, Joe went out, angry, damning the movie industry in general and in particular Jack Cole, Hal Shaefer…
Despite his protests, the scene was kept.
During the shooting, Marilyn gave an interview for an article which was published in Drew Pearson's column, a columnist from Washington DC : "Not being a born-actress, not a singer, not a dancer, I still pinched myself when I'm going to the studio in a very beautiful car, and sing, and dance, and perform a dramatic part in "There’s No Business Like Show Business" of Irving Berlin!".
It was during this shooting that she met Paula Strasberg, who was introduced to her by her friend and reporter Sidney Skolsky.
Of course Marilyn had already heard about Lee Strasberg since she had attended the Actors Lab
Paula Strasberg, former actress, had played in "Night over Taos" Marilyn had worked on; and Lee Strasberg had often been described in front of Marilyn, by the Carnovskys (of the Actors Lab.) and by Elia Kazan, as the most competent teacher to train the great actors, including Marlon Brando.
She already knew Lee Strasberg's reputation and confessed to Paula that she had always wanted to work with him , in particular after having heard the impressive account of Marlon Brando about him.
While she was shooting "There’s No Business Like Show Business", Brando embodied Napoleon in "Desirée", on the next set
Paula told her that she was welcome and could visit them whenever she wanted to, in New York City.
Wednesday, September 8, Marilyn left to New York for the shooting of "The Seven Year Itch", by the 9.00 Pm flight.
Billy Wilder had arrived a week earlier so that everything was ready for the shooting.
She stayed at the Hampshire House
Hotel. Friday, September 10 she posed for Milton Greene in his studio of Lexington Avenue (,;
Friday, September 10 she posed for Milton Greene in his studio of Lexington Avenue (,;
Photographers Sam Shaw (,,,,
Between September 9 and 11
At the St James Theater for attending "The Pajama Game" piece Press conference at the St Regis Hotel
Press conference at the St Regis Hotel
Sunday, September 12, the Greenes picked them up and took them at the El Morocco restaurant
Milton and Marilyn talked about her problems with the Fox, and Amy and Joe talked about base-ball, Amy having been used to attend base-ball games with her father.
Monday, September 13 shooting of the first outdoor scene in New York, at the apartment located 164 East 61 Street.
The film could have easily been shot at the Fox, but it woudl have been missing such a fantastic publicity. Each newspaper and magazine reported many anecdotes or interviews : the Fox accountants rubbed their hands in glee, with the perspective of profit the movie would engender.
During the breaks and the shooting, she was taken in picture by Bob Henriques (,,Shaw had been hired by Charles Feldman (), Marilyn's agent, in order to work for the Fox and make some pictures of the shooting; he became one of her friend.
director, Ben Lyon ().
Marilyn suffered from a pulmonary infection and was treated by the doctor of the Fox, Dr Lee Seigel.
The decisive turn of Joe and Marilyn's marriage, took place on Wednesday, September 15, the day the reporter Walter Winchell persuaded Joe to join the crowd of several hundred of onlookers who waited for hours in front of the Trans-Lux Theater, on Lexington Avenue, at the corner of 52nd Street, to lastly see Marilyn's pleated skirt been blown away, revealing her legs, above a subway grille. The scene was shot around 1.00 AM, in the middle of a crowd who cheered each time Marilyn's skirt was blown away, under the effect of the draft caused by a huge fan set up below the subway grille ().
The shooting of this scene was mainly advertising : indeed, everyone knew that anyway, it would be shot at the Fox studio because the surrounding noises completely covered the dialogues, there were not enough freedom in the movements because of the crowd and the fan used didn't produce the expected effect.
Amy and Milton Greene were also present, next to Joe.
The scene and the public cheering put Joe in a blind rage : he immediately came back to the St Regis Hotel. When Marilyn returned to the hotel, they had a violent altercation, and it's reported that Joe became violent. Tears and raised voices were heard from their room.
Back to Hollywood to finish the movie scenes in studio, Marilyn called Billy Wilder and informed him she couldn't come to work, because she was ill, confined to bed with a big cold which was changing into a pneumonia.
The lenght of the shooting had changed from 35 to 48 days, and the movie was really completed at the end of November.
Against her doctor's opinion, but to Billy Wilder's great hapinness, Marilyn came to work a few days at the studio, between
Joe had to go back to New York. Aware that he didn't want to loose Marilyn and admitting that his behaviour was questionable, he tried to make amends toward her, but she was inflexible.
Monday, September 27 Joe left to New York and Cleveland for his TV programs, the "World Series", where he commentated on the New York Yankees games.
He stayed with his friend George Solotaire at the Madison Hotel.
She also made Inez Melson come from her house of Laurel Canyon, to take care of her.
Saturday, October 2 Joe came back from New York; he found Marilyn having her breakfast with Sidney Skolsky, her friend, reporter.
Marilyn informed him that she ended a living together of 8 months and 13 days, and that she had already contacted her lawyer to begin the divorce proceedings.
Furthermore, having broken the news about her intentions to Darryl Zanuck, this one forbid Joe to come at the Fox studios.
Monday, October 4 Marilyn called Billy Wilder and annonced him she was unwell and that one more time, she couldn't come to work.
Then, she called Harry Brand, head of the Fox publicity department and announced him that she had entrusted Jerry GieslerHarry Brand answered her that he took care of everything; effectively, the big studios publicity agents exerted their exorbitant power by openely interfering in everything concerning their stars, whatever it was about births, weddings, divorces, ilnesses and deaths.
Tuesday, October 5 , the North Palm Drive house was surrounded by a hundred of reporters and photographers.
In the villa, Giesler was seated next to Marilyn, who, from her bed, suffered from the effects of the sedative given by her doctor and friend, gynecologist Leon Krohn.
She signed a one page and a half document where she sued for divorce, invoking that during the 8 months of their wedding, she had endured "serious anxiety and moral suffering, and that all the actions of the respondent weren't the consequence of the plaintiff's fault".
The complaint pointed out that the couple had broken up on September 27, when Joe had come back on the East Coast. that there were no alimony, and no property to share.
The lawyer Jerry Giesler went down and joined Joe, giving him the papers and informing him that he had 10 days to contest this request , before a a decree by default was granted. Joe didn't say anything, put the papers in his pocket and stood in front of the television.
Giesler left the villa, warning the reporters that a reconciliation seemed unthinkable but that the divorce would proceed by mutual consent.Wednesday, October 6 : around 10.00 AM, Joe with Reno Barsocchini (), his friend and best man at his
Around 10.55 AM Marilyn and her lawyer, Jerry Giesler, announced to the press, in front of the house of North Palm Drive
Joe didn't consider the beginning of a divorce proceedings as the end of their relationship; he thought he could regain Marilyn and that she was simply under bad influences.
Thursday, October 7 from 9.00 AM, Marilyn was back on the set of "The Seven Year Itch".
Tuesday, October 26 the day before the first official summons, prior the divorce, Joe made a last attempt to join Marilyn : he called Sidney Skolsky to come to the rescue and tried to convince Marilyn to change her mind. But she didn't.
Wednesday, October 27
Marilyn appeared in front of judge Orlando H. Rhodes. She told him :
"Your Honor. My husband was sometimes in a so dark mood that he didn't talk to me at all for 5 days, even 7 days in a row. Sometimes even more. I asked him : "What's wrong?". No answer (...). He forbade me to have some visits; in 9 months, I've only received my friends 3 times (..) Most of the time, he only showed me coldness and indifference".
Natasha Lytress had offered to testify but Marilyn dissuaded her.
At the witness stand, Inez Melson () declared in a quiet voice : "Mr DiMaggio was completely different and didn't really care of Mrs DiMaggio's happiness. I saw him pushing her away from him and telling her to leave him alone".
"Since the beginning of their wedding, the defendant has showed the plaintiff a big mental cruelty, provoking thus serious psychic sufferings, and a big anxiety, every actions and behavior from the defendants couldn't be attributed to the plaintiff; so the defendant is guilty to have caused the plaintiff's mental distress, her sufferings and anxiety".
The divorce definitive judgment was granted by judge Elmer Doyle, in Marilyn's favor, for the motive of mental cruelty in 1955.
Marilyn stayed for about a month in a luxurious duplex located 8336 Delongpré Avenue, West Hollywood.
Thursday, November 4 end of the shooting of "The Seven Year Itch".
The Fox guaranteed her she would receive a bonus of 100 000$ for "The Seven Year Itch", and that she would shot "How to be Very, Very Popular", with a screenplay written for her by the very prolific Fox screenwriter, Nunnally Johnson.
Friday, November 5 she recorded the songs of "There's No Business Like Show Business" with her singing teacher, Hal Schaefer. The recording had been postponed in July, after Schaefer's sucide attempt.
In the evening, they had dinner at another Schaefer's student's place, Sheila Stuart, who lived Waring Avenue, West Hollywood.
Private detective Philip Irwin (he worked for the City Detective and Guard Service agency of Barney Ruditsky ) Joe had hired to watch Marilyn since mid-October (obviously, to collect faults against her), announced Joe that while he was tailing Marilyn, he
Informed by the detective, Joe went on the spot, and mad with rage, wanted to force his way into the apartment where was Marilyn, sure of discovering her in a compromising situation.
The detective waited few minutes and called on Frank Sinatra for help, who arrived at the corner of Waring and Kilkea Avenues with some hired hands (Sinatra pretended having remained in the car, a little further away). Around 11.30 PM, the door shattered.
They hadn't manage to locate Sheila Stuart's apartment which was a bit further away. The racket alerted Sheila and Marilyn who took advantage of the mêlée to clear off.
This event was widely commented on the press of November 6 and 7.
This story lived on as the "raid on the wrong door" (). Florence Kotz brought a lawsuit against Sinatra and DiMaggio, asking for 200 000$ damages. Sinatra denied every involvement to this commando action, and 4 years later (in 1958) , the case was closed by the California Supreme Court, after Sinatra's lawyer, Milton Rudin
In 1957 the Senate of the State of California decided to have a close look at the activities of some private detectives and made
people, including Philip Irwin.
Frank Sinatra had also to appear (),
but he denied to have been involved in the breaking and entering.
Irwin, him, declared that Sinatra had helped DiMaggio to break
down the door.
As there was 2 different versions, the Grand Jury was seized.
Frank Sinatra's lawyers gave the private detective Fred Otash () the responsability of collecting informations allowing to block Irwin's allegations.
Officially, the conclusion of the case was never known; the Grand Jury debates got stuck, the members of the jury passed the file on to the Chief of Police, in case there would be other testimonies. DiMaggio never gave his own version.
,,) organized a reception at the Romanoff’s restaurant (,) in Beverly Hills, in Marilyn's honor.
She was accompanied with photographer Sam Shaw.Jack Warner (), Sam Goldwyn,Tom Ewell (,) and Sidney Skolsky
But It was not only a friendly and noble gesture from Charles Feldman : the first reason was that this party was the answer to the recriminations which only got worse in the course of time, from Zanuck to Marilyn, her absences, lateness and sputterings which forced the technical crew to make many shots of a single scene. To Feldman, those reproaches were ridiculous. The same day she completed "There's No Business Like Show Business", she left to New York CIty to shoot "The Seven Year Itch".
Her divorce had made her unavailable for a week, sure, but she had worked 5 days in a row. He added that, as Zanuck knew it, 20 shots or more were usual for a meticulous director.
Sunday, November 7 to Friday 12 Marilyn entered the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital of Los Angeles for an endometritis.
She was operated by Dr Leon Krohn on Sunday, November 7. Joe DiMaggio visited her () and kept her company. He also made her bring a big bottle of Chanel n° 5 and the rumor of a possible reconciliation began to spread.
Despite months of important tension and a divorce, Joe and Marilyn kept on meeting.
She had dinner with him at the Villa Capri restaurant (. To celebrate Joe's 40th birthday (born on November 25), she offered him a gold watch he wore during many years (until the day it was crushed while a minor car accident).
She stayed for a while at the Voltaire
Apartments, West Hollywood.
Sidney Skolsky kept on going with her everywhere, to the Tiffany Club or to the Palm Springs Raquet Club.
Friday, November 19, accompanied with Sidney Skolsky, she went to see Ella Fitzgerald who was performing at the El
Monday, November 22 Marilyn went to Charles Feldman's home. She told him about her project to move to New York, and behaved as if she planned to keep him as her agent.
Feldman gave her a copy of a light comedy of Terence Rattigan, "The Sleeping Prince". Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh had performed the play in London in this year 1954.
Since February, Feldman prepared the ground for buying Marilyn's part. He wanted her to play the dancer with Richard Burton playing the prince.
Friday, November 26 Marilyn gave an interview at the Beverly Hills Hotel (,,
Week of November 27 Marilyn arrived at Frank Ferguson's office at the Fox and asked him a copy of her contracts. Surprised, Ferguson asked her why she asked for the papers, and not her lawyer or agent. Marilyn answered him that they didn't know about it.
He gave her the papers but contacted Marilyn's lawyer, Lloyd Wright, who himself contacted Feldman to keep him posted about Marilyn's step. But she had already sent her contracts copies to Milton Greene and her lawyer Frank Delaney.
Delaney studied the documents and discovered that few months earlier,
the Fox, after Marilyn's suspension, hadn't add the non-used time
on her contract, as it was usual to do it. According to him, the Fox
hadn't well calculate the number of days during which the studio could
wait before renewing Marilyn's contract. According to Delaney, this
technical mistake made Marilyn's contract, signed in 1951, null and void. So she had started "The Seven Year Itch" without any valid contract.
The shooting being completed, she was free to do whatever she wanted to.
Frank Delaney drafted the documents setting up the Marilyn Monroe Productions, and Milton Greene flew to Los Angeles in order to bring her the papers.
Weary of being distributed in stereotyped parts by studio heads without any imagination, disgusted with the idea of being forced to spend 7 more years at the Fox, and revolted to see that the 100 000$ promised for "The Seven Year Itch" delayed coming, she yearned for better screenplays, more ambitious parts and the right to choose her movies and directors.
She knew that in Spring, the Fox would need her for the promotion of "The Seven Year Itch", and she also knew that she was the biggest American movie star and was ready to try her luck.
Decided not to be subjected anymore to a boss or a capricious husband's mood, she felt attracted by Milton, not only because he knew how to take pictures of her like nobody else, but also because precisely because he was out of the system.
Not more than her he knew how to negotiate a movie set-up, because he ignored everything about the profession of producer, a budget management or the tricks which governed the development of a movie. In some way this venture was a folly for both of them, but Marilyn wanted it to be this way.
to only be a sex-symbol, a part of her aspired to become a real
actress. It was the same thing for Milton Greene who didn't want to
remain a simple photographer.
She also felt that the friendship between Charles Feldman and Darryl Zanuck was prejudicial to her. Her agency had more contracts with the Fox than any other local artistic agency. This didn't suit Marilyn. Feldman not necessarily defended her interests at best when she was fighting for the revision of her contract.
In her opinion, anyone who had relations with the studios was suspicious.
she left Feldman, there again breaking her contract, although
she owed him the sum of 23 350$ he had lent her personally ;
he had advanced this money to her so that she could buy the rights of a
work which would never been adapted, to pay Natasha Lytess, to pay her
lawyers and to order an original screenplay.
Feldman didn't sue her, but he waited 5 years before Marilyn paid the lent amount back.
ensured that Marilyn was represented in Los Angeles by him or his
colleagues, and in New York City by Jay Kanter and Mort VIner. Marilyn
knew that Wasserman was the most powerful agent in Hollywood. He had
managed to negotiate an historical contract for James Stewart : first,
the actor received a fee less important in exchange of a
percentage on the movie takings.
This contract sparked off the famous " percentage contract" which revolutionized the actors remuneration system, and allowed them to become producers , then actors-producers-screenwriters-directors, making them the real one-man bands in Hollywood.
Thursday, December 2 she spent the evening at Jesse Rand's home, Sammy Davis Jr's press agent
Charles Feldman received his lay-off letter, dated from December 11.
After having dismissed her agent and her lawyer, Marilyn informed the Fox that from then on, the studio had to negotiate directly with her or her new lawyer, Frank Delaney. She also indicated that she had no more obligation toward the studio.
Friday, December 8, Marilyn and Milton Greene, among others, attended Sammy Davis's Jr birthday party at his home
Thursday, December 16 release of "There's No Business Like Show Business" (;,,
Thursday, December 16 release of "There's No Business Like Show Business" (;,,
She left Los Angeles with Milton Greene and travelled under the name of Zelda Zonk. Natasha Lytess, Anna Karger and Joe DiMaggio were the only persons aware of her leaving of Hollywood.
Amy Greene came to pick them up at the airport.
Marilyn lived at Fanton Hill Road, the Greenes house located in Weston, Connecticut and lived in the guest room.
She liked to live in this part of New England, doing long walkings, alone in the country, with one of the Greenes dogs (they had 2
She spent Christmas with them (,) to trace the main lines of her new life in New York which included, among others, outings in Broadway and lessons with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio.
It was in Louella Parsons's column (), her friend and ally, in the Herald Examiner, that Marilyn explained to the public why she had left the Fox.
This year, she made a new picture session with Philip Halsman (,,,,