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A Model To Follow—Marilyn Monroe

Were any proof needed that Marilyn Monroe is still one of the nation’s hottest topics of conversation, you have only to consider the public interest in her marriage to Joe DiMaggio.

The beautiful 25-year-old blonde bombshell who has made time stand still in Hollywood at sex o’clock, could easily be America’s champion enchantress with a collection of masculine hearts extending across the continent.

But . . . the incredible fact is she has always been true to just one guy.

Moreover, it is a steadfastness that has endured for two years and gives every indication of lasting.

The one-time art model did not go around with other men. She is not a night club girl, not a party girl at all. You know what? Marilyn Monroe is strictly a homebody.

For her, sex “is something you’re born with,” but she insists one shouldn’t add to natural sex, ’cause “that’s what attracts the men.”

A neat and for Marilyn a satisfying philosophy. She happens to be so amply endowed with curvaceous allure that she doesn’t need to aid nature in her appeal.

Of course, she likes MAN. But for her there has always been only one. She long since confided to friends that she wanted to marry Joe D.

“I’m sure I’m in love with him,” she said. “I like him better than any man I’ve ever met.” And she meant it sincerely.

Since she met the former Yankee Clipper in February, 1952, she had dated no other man. She had had no romantic interest in any other male.

“We’re just good friends,” she used to parry questioners, smiling her best inscrutable smile all the while,—“just good friends.” And then when asked concerning his interest in her, she struck her interviewer out by replying:

“We haven’t got around to baseball yet.”

An increasingly astonishing fact about Marilyn is that women like her. They are now ready to admit her unusual physical charms. But more, they are impressed by her integrity, her innate honesty.

Marilyn considers herself lucky. Her unhappy childhood during which she lived in orphanages and 11 different foster homes has apparently left no marks of frustration or cynicism upon her. Before she was born her father was killed in an auto accident. His death was such a shock to her mother that she spent a lifetime in institutions.

Luck played its part when Twentieth Century-Fox put her under contract three-and-a-half years ago and let her be her natural, beautiful, sexy self, thus making possible the Marilyn Monroe legend.

But even had she not become established as the nation’s “most sizzling heat wave,” she would have been the same honest individual. A model of models, on or off the screen, as it were.

Long before cameras were pointed at Marilyn and Joe together, the glamour queen had demonstrated how vividly a lens can bring out the beauty and shapeliness of a girl.

So vividly, indeed, that when she posed in the nude for an art calendar it took her no time at all to zoom to the top as Hollywood’s sexiest number.

She became the hottest thing in the film town since be-sweatered Lana Turner moved over from a soda fountain into the focus of studio magnates.

The reason Marilyn posed in the nude, she explained, was because the wolves were at the door. They were not human wolves either—then. She was having difficulty getting the kind of studio attention that would send her onward and upward along the glory road.

She was four months behind in her rent, and often she didn’t have enough money even to eat.

It is not on record there was a general scramble for dark glasses when the calendar began to decorate restaurants, barber shops, garages.

“I’m not ashamed of it,” Marilyn said. “I did nothing wrong.”

As a matter of fact, she declared, she has been criticized more for wearing clothes than for taking them off. In those days women were critical.

“But men appreciate what I wear, and I dress to please them,” she said. “That long and lean look is not my type. Clothes should follow the body.”

With her 37-inch bust, her 23-inch waist and 34-inch hips, her tight frocks, her panther-like walk, her low, throaty manner of talking, she has been tagged “naturally sexy.”

Describing Marilyn as extraordinarily gifted with physical magnetism, famed choreographer Valerie Bettis said:

“That kind of girl is born, not made.”

And the operators of a Hollywood modiste shop, patronized by the screen’s fashion seekers, said:

“Try as you may, you can find no structural defects in Marilyn.”

At any event, Marilyn Monroe doesn’t have to be the bundle in Joe DiMaggio’s arms to get her name in the paper. She’s got a sure-fire way. She poses for pictures.

She was working in the film, “Don’t Bother To Knock,” when she met Joe. She had pictured him as a fellow who would be dressed sportily. But Joe was garbed in the conservative blue he has favored throughout his life, when they were introduced to each other in a Hollywood restaurant.

“I thought he was very nice,” she said. He had no line either, as she had expected he, in common with most ball players, would have.

She took him home in her ear to his hotel because he asked her to drop him off there. Next night, he asked her to have dinner with him. She agreed. And that became their practice for every night until he returned to New York.

“Naturally, I became interested in baseball,” she declared, her eyes reflecting the frankness of her words. “I couldn’t very well be around with Joe and not learn something about the game.”

Once, when it was suggested to her that the 38-year-old DiMaggio might be too old for her, Marilyn replied as sagely as the Empress Josephine could have done:

“Age doesn’t count where love is concerned. I don’t care what age a man is if you love him and he loves you.”

Meanwhile, Joseph Paul DiMaggio, who saw service in 1,736 baseball games as a member of the Yankees, has become a successful telecaster since he hung up his uniform and retired as an active player.

Television has proved a nice green pasture for him. Though he is not TV’s biggest attraction—as he was baseball’s—he has managed to garner almost as big a salary, $100,000 annually, as he made with the Yankees.

His earnings at baseball compare favorably with a movie star’s, for that matter. From 1936 when he came up to the Yankees from the San Francisco Seals until he called it a day at the end of the 1951 season he drew $750,000 in salary and World Series prize money, and another $250,000 for subsidiary activities.

He was the highest-priced player in Yankee history.

Shortly after their first meeting he took Marilyn and his son to a Bel Air swimming pool for an afternoon’s outing. There was a jolting aftermath.

Joe’s ex-wife immediately demanded full custody of their son. There was, according to Dorothy, one too many persons in the scene and she didn’t mean Joe or Joe, Jr.

When the swimming-pool episode was backed up with such compelling newspaper comment as: “Joe, Jr. thought pop’s actress friend, blonde and bosomy Marilyn Monroe, was a ‘real doll.’ ” one can understand why there were fireworks.

She couldn’t do less, Dorothy fumed, than seek full custody of Joe, Jr., after noting that both Joes went swimming with Marilyn. She said she didn’t think the boy ought to be hanging around the Bel Air pool listening to the conversation of those who frequent the place, though no information was offered as to what the chatter was about.

“Such things are not conducive to a proper father-and-son relationship,” Dorothy said. “Naturally, I want little Joe to see his father, but I think it would be better for all concerned, particularly the boy, if the meetings were at my home.”

Under the divorce settlement granted his wife in 1944, DiMaggio has partial custody of the boy.

Terming “utterly ridiculous” his ex-wife’s charges, he declared he was wholly unable to get her view of the swimming pool incident.

“I never have and I never will take my son into places that wouldn’t be proper for a boy of his age to enter,” Joe said, as he explained how the incident came about.

“We had lunch at the Bel Air pool and went swimming. He saw Miss Monroe for about two hours. There were at least a dozen other children swimming there at the time. All persons there were respectable, there was no drinking, and I certainly don’t know what’s wrong with being at a pool.”

Later, Dorothy viewed the affair more calmly. She only wanted to keep the boy out of “glamour spots.”

What constitutes a glamour spot, one might ask? Obviously, a place where girls of glamour, with a capital G, can be seen.

The occasion was the first when DiMaggio was asked if he was thinking of marrying Marilyn Monroe.

He was as neatly evasive as if he were ducking a too-close inside pitch.

“She’s a wonderful lady and a very good friend,” he replied.

As for Marilyn, she thought Joe was as “wonderful” as when she met him in the Hollywood restaurant on that memorable night.

She gave him her exclusive attention, just as before their meeting she was wholly devoted to bandleader Freddie Karger.

When Joe and Marilyn were married they proved that they’d meant every word they had said about each other. And Hollywood proved to be right in calling Marilyn strictly a “one-man” woman.





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