Story Of...

The Story Of Marilyn Monroe

Season 1, Episode 2 of 6

Although Marilyn Monroe featured in 30 films in her short life, her lasting star power has secured her place as an icon of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Featuring rare video and audio interviews, we reassess her life and career and reveal how she was systematically underestimated by sexist studio bosses who refused to recognize the intelligence and creative contribution of this tragic trailblazer. Despite her extraordinary box office appeal, Marilyn became increasingly frustrated at being typecast as the ‘dumb blonde’ both in films and within the industry. Rejecting a role in The Girl in Pink Tights for which her co-star Frank Sinatra was due to be paid three times her salary, she rebelled and left for to join the prestigious Actors’ Studio, ambitious to be taken seriously as an actress. She battled to quit her studio contract and started her own company, Marilyn Monroe Productions, nominating herself President. Her last public appearance before her untimely death from years of drug and alcohol abuse was at Madison Square Garden in May 1962, where she sang a famously seductive version of "Happy Birthday Mr. President" to her alleged lover, JFK. We hear from those who knew Marilyn intimately: her Oscar-winning dance partner George Chakiris from Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend describes her diligence and attention to detail on set. Edie and Meta Shaw, daughters of photographer Sam Shaw, describe the long hot night on Broadway when their father captured her in The Seven Year Itchone of the most iconic shots in movie history. Finally, John Strasberg of The Actors Studio in New York remembers how Marilyn came to live with his family when he was a boy and relates his impressions of her as a vivacious, effective woman.

Previously Aired

10 p.m.
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3 p.m.
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