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Digest Get Your Hands on Marilyn Monroe's Cookbook, Now Up for Auction

Get Your Hands on Marilyn Monroe's Cookbook, Now Up for Auction

1954:  American film star Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962).  (Photo by Baron/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
1954: American film star Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962). (Photo by Baron/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
By Dorynna Untivero
By Dorynna Untivero
June 19, 2021
As one of old Holywood's most formidable and intriguing icons, Marylin Monroe has stirred the curiosity of audiences the world over even decades after her passing. Recently, her personal cookbook went up for auction; here's what you need to know about it and a few facts to remember about the legendary actress

Interested to own a parcel from the Monroe estate? Robert A Siegel Auction Galleries just put up Marylin Monroe's personal cookbooks for bidding. With a starting bid of USD75,000, the books filled with annotations from the actress herself prove just how influential she remains to be in the present time.

Related: 100 Years of Chanel N°5: A Look Back at Its Most Exciting Pop Culture Moments

Snippet from Marilyn Monroe's Personal Cookbook | Photo: Robert Siegel Auction Gallery
Snippet from Marilyn Monroe's Personal Cookbook | Photo: Robert Siegel Auction Gallery

Between the pages of The New Fanny Farmer Boston Cook Book, two pieces of paper have been found with notes from Marilyn's hand—one, a listing a menu for beef bourguignon, and two, a grocery list. The other book titled The New Joy of Cooking has a typed diet with times for three meals (plus a schedule for egg nog at 11pm); a few other notes and reminders from Marilyn fill the pages. 

Related: How to Make Jam: A Surprisingly Easy Guide to Preserving Fruits at Home

Marilyn Monroe's Personal Cookbook | Photo: Robert Siegel Auction Gallery
Marilyn Monroe's Personal Cookbook | Photo: Robert Siegel Auction Gallery

Born Norma Jean Mortenson on 1 June 1926, the actress swept Hollywood with her undeniable charm and bombshell look. Fame was not particularly kind to her, having faced scandals, prejudice, and even deep loneliness throughout her life. Decades after her passing, she remains to be an inspiration to many and an enigmatic character to most. 

As her cook books shed a light on her home life and piqued the interest of loyal fans, we round-up a few facts about the actress that you may not know of:

1/5 Her Brentwood home was bugged

Marilyn Monroe's Brenwood Home | Photo: Variety, Lisa Optican / Mercer Vine
Marilyn Monroe's Brentwood Home | Photo: Variety, Lisa Optican / Mercer Vine
American actress Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962) poses outside her home during a photo call, California, USA, 1956. (Photo by Gene Lester/Getty Images)
American actress Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962) poses outside her home during a photo call, California, USA, 1956. (Photo by Gene Lester/Getty Images)

Pictured here is the only home Marilyn ever owned—where she lived and died at 36 years old. As the property changed hands, married actors Michael Irving and Veronica Hamel discovered that the house was bugged. Sometime in the early '70s, they remodelled the property and stumbled upon a sophisticated, government-grade eavesdropping and telephone tapping system that extended into every room of the house.

2/5 She was a bonafide bookworm

American actress Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962) relaxes on a sofa bed, circa 1951. The book she is reading is 'The Poetry and Prose of Heinrich Heine'. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)
American actress Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962) relaxes on a sofa bed, circa 1951. The book she is reading is 'The Poetry and Prose of Heinrich Heine'. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)

Although people often associate Marilyn with the 'dumb blonde' image, she was known to be quite well-read. At the time of her death, she owned around 430 books, including several first editions. She was also often caught reading in between takes at movie shoots. 

3/5 Her clothes are worth millions

Actress Marilyn Monroe sings "Happy Birthday" to President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden, for his upcoming 45th birthday.
Actress Marilyn Monroe sings "Happy Birthday" to President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden, for his upcoming 45th birthday.
Film star Marilyn Monroe poses over a Manhattan subway grate as the wind blows her white dress up. Photographers capture the moment on camera, which takes place on September 16, 1954, during the filming of Seven Year Itch. Reportedly, Monroe's husband Joe DiMaggio was displeased at the attention his wife received from the crowds.
Film star Marilyn Monroe poses over a Manhattan subway grate as the wind blows her white dress up. Photographers capture the moment on camera, which takes place on September 16, 1954, during the filming of Seven Year Itch. Reportedly, Monroe's husband Joe DiMaggio was displeased at the attention his wife received from the crowds.

Sold at USD1,267,500 in 1999, the gown Marilyn wore when she sang Happy Birthday to JFK in 1962 has become an icon in and of itself. Similarly, the white dress she wore for The Seven Year Itch promotion was bought for a measly USD4.6 million. 

4/5 She was married 3 times and as early as 16 years old

James Dougherty and Marilyn Monroe on their wedding day in Los Angeles being photographed in front of a fireplace 1942. (Photo by Getty Images)
(Original Caption) 1/17/1954- San Francisco, CA: "Mr and Mrs." Film star Marilyn Monroe and former Yankee great Joe Di Maggio press through a crowd of newsmen after their marriage in the office of Municipal Judge Charles Peery in San Francisco City Hall January 14. They were wed in a simple ceremony from which newsmen were excluded. DiMaggio said they planned a ten-day honeymoon.
American actress Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962) with her husband, playwright Arthur Miller at London Airport, 14th July 1956. Monroe is in London to begin filming 'The Prince and the Showgirl' with Laurence Olivier.  (Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
 

Her life and romances were the stuff of tabloids so much so that it caused strain for most (if not all) of her marriages. At 16, Marilyn married James Dougherty, although they soon divorced in 1946. Her second marriage was to Joe DiMaggio who was a famous baseball player, many thought of them as an up-and-coming 'it' couple who had the looks, charm, and popularity to boot. Despite what seemed like a magical pairing on paper, the couple separated in 1954, mere nine months into the marriage. Two years later, she fell in love with celebrated author Arthur Miller; they divorced in 1961—a year before her untimely death. 

5/5 She was reportedly insecure about her acting skills

1954:  EXCLUSIVE Marilyn Monroe (1926  - 1962) arriving at the premiere of  the film 'There's No Business like Show Business'.  (Photo by M. Garrett/Murray Garrett/Getty Images)
1954: EXCLUSIVE Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962) arriving at the premiere of the film 'There's No Business like Show Business'. (Photo by M. Garrett/Murray Garrett/Getty Images)
1956:  American actor Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962) adjusts her make-up, using a handheld mirror on the set of director Joshua Logan's film, 'Bus Stop'. She is standing next to a movie camera in a crowd of people.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
1956: American actor Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962) adjusts her make-up, using a handheld mirror on the set of director Joshua Logan's film, 'Bus Stop'. She is standing next to a movie camera in a crowd of people. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Several accounts mention that Monroe was emotional and quite unsure about herself, especially during shoots. Despite being a student of Lee Strasberg and even attending classes at the Actors Studio co-founded by Elia Kazan (with whom she had an affair), Marilyn had a reputation for being difficult on set.

Although she was a major star, she displayed erratic behaviour that cost her a few roles. Marilyn frequently demanded one too many takes, to the vexation of her co-stars. "For somebody who the camera loved, she was still terrified of going before the camera and broke out in a rash all over her body," shared Don Murray, her co-star in the 1956 flick, Bus Stop.

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