The Genius and the Goddess: Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe

By Jeffrey Meyers

The 1956 marriage ceremony of Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller shocked the realm. The Genius and the Goddess offers an intimate portrait of the prelude to and supreme tragedy in their brief marriage. uncommon biographer Jeffrey Meyers skillfully explores why they married, what sustained them for 5 years, and what finally destroyed their marriage and her life.

The maximum American playwright of the 20th century and the most well-liked American actress either complemented and wounded each other. Marilyn craved cognizance and luck yet turned depending on medications, alcohol, and sexual adventures. Miller skilled inventive affliction with her.  Their marriage coincided with the inventive height of her profession, but inner most and public clash triggered either one of them nice anguish.

Meyers has crafted a richly nuanced twin biography according to his quarter-century friendship with Miller, interviews with significant gamers of degree and display through the postwar Hollywood period, and wide archival learn. He describes their mystery courtship. He additionally finds new information regarding the influence of the HUAC anti-Communist witch-hunts on Miller and his friendship with Elia Kazan. The attention-grabbing forged of characters contains Marilyn's co-stars Sir Laurence Olivier, Yves Montand, Montgomery Clift, and Clark Gable; her major administrators John Huston, Billy Wilder, and George Cukor; and her literary acquaintances Dame Edith Sitwell, Isak Dinesen, Saul Bellow, and Vladimir Nabokov.

Meyers bargains the main in-depth account of the making and that means of The Misfits. Written by way of Miller for Monroe, this now-classic movie used to be a private catastrophe. yet Marilyn remained Miller's tragic muse and her personality, exalted and tormented, lived on for the subsequent 40 years in his work.

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2 In 1946 Norma Jeane signed on along with her first agent, Harry Lipton, who for the following years helped her safe a number of momentary contracts with Hollywood studios. She signed a six-month agreement with Fox in July 1946, renewed it in January 1947 and used to be terminated by way of Fox – who didn’t understand what to do along with her – in August of that 12 months. She replaced her identify in 1947. She signed a six-month agreement with Harry Cohn’s Columbia photographs, then a minor studio, in March 1948, and used to be overwhelmed once they dropped her in September. ultimately, she signed one other six-month agreement with Fox, which was once switched over to a seven-year agreement with incremental pay increases, in may perhaps 1951. In those early years Marilyn had tiny elements in 5 forgotten video clips. She was once nearly solely minimize out of her first photos. prior to Fox dropped her in 1947, she seemed within the harmful Years as a waitress in a teenage hangout. She warned a relative to not blink or she may possibly pass over her fleeting visual appeal. This used to be a typical occupation direction for younger movie actresses like Marilyn: she labored as a version, turned a starlet lower than agreement to a studio, posed for exposure images and received small elements in videos, frequently by means of acting sexual favors for influential males. Such tiny components have been slightly a step clear of modeling: she was once only a clean, lovely face in a pretty physique. only a few younger women received the breakout half that made them stars. As a starlet within the studio approach, Marilyn was once frequently taken care of with contempt. Orson Welles recalled that she used to be even humiliated in public: “At a Hollywood get together which Marilyn attended (circa 1946 or ’47) whereas she was once nonetheless a lowly starlet, he observed an individual really pull down the head of her costume in entrance of individuals and fondle her. She had laughed. ‘Just approximately every person on the town had slept along with her. ’” Being sexually to be had, Marilyn felt, was once a necessary if disagreeable a part of her activity. It concentrated awareness on her maximum asset and allowed her to teach off her physique. Laughter during this state of affairs was once her simply protection; ethical indignation could were unnecessary. She was once definitely sexually exploited, yet in her informal and carefree method she used to be additionally complicit. 834O_tx. qxd 19/1/09 10:40 web page 29 a celeb is Born 29 Marilyn had many short affairs, yet speedy realized the variation among one-night stands that assuaged her loneliness yet accomplished not anything, and liaisons with strong yet unattractive males that complicated her occupation. Her first “protector,” the influential manufacturer Joseph Schenck, whom she met in 1948, used to be fifty years older than Marilyn. Like many Hollywood moguls, he used to be a self-made guy with a colourful earlier, born in jap Europe and from a Jewish historical past. He got here from a Russian village at the Volga, the place his father was once a woodfuel service provider, emigrated to the US in his adolescents and labored his manner up from errand boy to proprietor of a number of manhattan drugstores. In 1912 he obtained the Palisades entertainment Park, around the Hudson River from big apple, then equipped a sequence of nickelodeons and picture theaters with Marcus Loew.

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