Marilyn Monroe’s third marriage to playwright Arthur Miller hit the rocks when you think she found Mr. Miller’s doodles, where he called her a “w***e.” A documentary based on recordings of conversations between journalist and author, Anthony Summers, and the actress’s loved ones has given new insight into the tragic life of the Hollywood golden girl. Mr Summers began investigating her life in 1982, after being commissioned by the Daily Express magazine, following the reopening of the case of her death 20 years after the fateful night in August 1962.
“He had married a woman as imperfect as his previous wife had been.
“Miller also wrote in the note that she was aw***e.”
Mr. Summers went on to say that it was an incident that Marilyn often referred to, it seemed to mark the beginning of her decline.
Her hairdresser Sydney Guilaroff, who has known Marilyn throughout her career, told how she was not happy “many times” in her life.
Billy Wilder notoriously had problems with Marilyn on the set of the hit movie, Some Like It Hot, because she asked to redo scenes several times during filming in 1958.
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The director of many classic Hollywood movies also spoke with Mr. Summers.
However, Mr. Wilder shrewdly told Mr. Summers, now 79, that he had no problem with Marilyn, but she had a problem with herself.
He said: “She was slightly confused at all times but by God when you suffered through that scene, through the 30, 40, 50 takes sometimes…
“I had no issues with Monroe. Monroe had issues with Monroe. She had issues with herself.
Still, John Huston – who directed Marilyn in The Asphalt Jungle and The Misfits – said it was while working on the latter that he saw her decline and become dependent on drugs.
He told Mr. Summers how, occasionally, on set, Marilyn was practically unable to understand what was happening around her, like in a daze.
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Mr. Huston told Mr. Summers: “I was aware from the start [of her decline]. She wasn’t the fresh little girl I had originally known. Very quickly, we realized that she was a problem.
“She would always be late to the set. Sometimes the whole morning passed, sometimes it was fine. Sometimes she was practically non compos mentis.
“Narcotics were the problem. I discovered it over the photo [The Misfits]. I remember saying to [Mr] Miller one day, I said you know if she kept going at the rate she was going, why would she be in an institution in two or three years, or dead!
“And I said anyone who allowed him to take a drug should be shot.”
Marilyn abused prescription drugs as those in Hollywood often do, according to Mr Summers.
He told how Marilyn used rods, namely amphetamines for years – as well as sleeping pills, the same drugs she took before she died.
Tragically, she died aged just 36, a year after The Misfits was released in 1962, from “probable suicide” following an overdose.
The documentary, directed by Emma Cooper, is based on Mr. Summers’ book, Goddess.
The Marilyn Monroe Mystery: The Unreleased Tapes is available on Netflix.