Marilyn in the news

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Wishing all of you a wonderful holiday season.  I hope Santa brings you lots of Marilyn goodies this year.  Can't wait to turn on the fireplace and settle in for some christmas movies tonight.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dearly Departed - Hal Schaefer

#MarilynMonroe Friend and Jazz pianist, Dies at 87

On Nov. 5, 1954, not long after Marilyn Monroe filed for divorce from Joe DiMaggio, DiMaggio was having dinner with Frank Sinatra when he heard, probably from a private investigator, that if he went to a certain apartment house on Waring Avenue in West Hollywood, he’d find her in the arms of another man.
There are different accounts of what happened later that night, but what is certain is that a party of men, including DiMaggio and Sinatra, showed up at the address and someone broke down the door of the ostensible love nest, terrifying the woman who lived there, Florence Kotz — sometimes identified as Florence Kotz Ross — who was in bed by herself.
“Mrs. Ross was fast asleep about 11 p.m. when five or six men suddenly battered down the back door to her apartment, tearing it from its hinges and leaving glass strewn on the floor,” The Los Angeles Times reported, adding, “A bright flash of light was shone in her eyes and she was confronted with a number of men, some of whom seemed to be carrying an instrument which at first sight she believed to be an ax.”
The incident, which came to be known as “the wrong door raid,” resulted in a lawsuit filed by Mrs. Ross against Sinatra, DiMaggio and four others, which was settled for $7,500. And where was Monroe? A female friend of hers claimed at the time that they had been together that evening, but years later, Hal Schaefer, a jazz pianist who was also Monroe’s vocal coach and who had become her confidant and romantic partner, admitted in interviews that he and Monroe were trysting in an apartment just a few yards away.
“We were very close to making love; I don’t remember the stage we were at, but I would say half-dressed,” Mr. Schaefer recalled. He added: “And all of a sudden for some reason, Marilyn got these vibrations, and we went over to the window and saw this group standing across the street, one of whom was Joe DiMaggio and another was Frank Sinatra. They all came en masse and broke this door in, demolished it. We scrambled to get out the back way, and we made it, luckily.”
Mr. Schaefer died on Saturday at 87 at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. A friend, Charles Bryant, said the cause was congestive heart failure.
In his professional life as well as his personal one, Mr. Schaefer was often the least famous person in the room; his musical career was substantial but largely uncelebrated. A former prodigy who was inspired by the clean, tumbling melodic lines of Art Tatum, Mr. Schaefer played with big bands led by Benny Carter and Harry James and was the accompanist for Peggy Lee, Billy Eckstine, Vic Damone and other singers. Before he was 21 he led a trio that performed at the intermission of Duke Ellington concerts.
He was also an arranger and a modern jazz composer and for more than 50 years performed and recorded as a soloist and as a leader of small ensembles and jazz orchestras.
“A romantic with a rhythmic soul,” John S. Wilson of The New York Times called Mr. Schaefer after a performance at the Kool Jazz Festival in New York in 1982. “Mr. Schaefer is very much a mainstream pianist, but he has his own way of looking at the mainstream, enlivening the relatively standard repertory that he played with fresh and entertaining ideas.”
Mr. Schaefer probably made his biggest imprint as an arranger and vocal coach in Hollywood, where he often worked with the choreographer Jack Cole. He coached Monroe through “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” her signature number in the 1953 movie “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (he arranged the music as well), and Jane Russell, who also starred in that film. He also worked on other movies with Mitzi Gaynor, Betty Grable and Judy Garland. He wrote film scores for “The Money Trap,” a 1965 police drama with Glenn Ford, Elke Sommer and Rita Hayworth, and “The Amsterdam Kill,” a 1977 thriller with Robert Mitchum.
Harold Herman Schaefer — he legally changed his name to Hal — was born in Queens on July 22, 1925. His father, Louis, was a housepainter who loved jazz, kept a player piano in the house and taught himself to play ragtime by slowing down the mechanism so that he could memorize where to place his fingers. Young Hal attended the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan before he began playing professionally at hotels in the Catskills.
Mr. Schaefer’s first marriage, to Leah Cahan, ended in divorce. His wife of many years, the former Brenda Goodman, whom he met in 1973 when she was sent to him for voice lessons, died in 2000. A sister, Eve, died two years ago, and a daughter, Katie, died this year. He is survived by a brother, Robert, and a grandson.
Mr. Schaefer’s romance with Monroe did not leave him unaffected. After the “wrong door” episode, he was reportedly followed and threatened in anonymous phone calls, and though he remained deeply in love with her, he said, he had understood that he would not be able to hold onto her. On July 27, 1955, he tried to take his own life, he said, by washing down sleeping pills and Benzedrine with typewriter cleaning fluid.
“It seemed overwhelming to me,” he said. “I was still a young man, and I couldn’t really handle it. And I thought the only way out was for me to disappear.”
Monroe came to see him in the hospital, but their relationship flagged as he recovered.
“Marilyn was an unsettled soul,” Mr. Schaefer said. “She could never come to rest anyplace. So her falling in love with somebody I don’t think would ever have any long-range stability to it.”

For a timeline of the Marilyn connections who have passed away visit

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Film Fashions by Travilla - WIN A COPY

Being a fan of #MarilynMonroe dolls, what is not to like about a paper doll book dedicated to her!  In fact, what makes this book even more interesting is that it focuses on one of Marilyn's most famous designers, William Travilla.  

Illustrator Tom Tierney, author of Marilyn Monroe: Paper Dolls (2000), has produced a second book dedicated to Marilyn.   Film Fashions of Travilla was commissioned by the costume designer’s estate and feature 24 costumes from Marilyn films.

The book can be ordered directly from Eric Woodard (author of Hometown Girl) via email at monroesixtytwo[at]msn[dot]com.

If you are interested in winning your very own copy head on over to my facebook page.  Be sure to like the page and look for the contest entry post.  

3 winners will be randomly selected from all those who like/post in the entry post on facebook.  Each winner will receive a copy of Film Fashions by Travilla, courtesy of Eric Woodard.  Contest closes December 1, 2012.


Another Fan in her Hands

Thanks to David from Mexico for sending in this great shot of him with Marilyn's handprints in Hollywood.  I have added it to the fans in her hands section.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

"Roberta Moves In" by Tonner Dolls Review

Here is a look at another Marilyn outfit available from Tonner Dolls. It is called "Roberta Moves In" and is based on Marilyn's character in the 1951 film Love Nest.  It is pictured here on their Pola doll.

Since Love Nest is not a widely known film it seems like a strange choice for a mass market oufit.  It certainly isn't on the list of well known dresses Marilyn is famous for.

In addition since the film was in black and white it never had that wow colour factor like all of the other dresses in this collection have.

Nevertheless, this is another fun outfit to put on your Tonner doll.  The earrings are very detailed and surprisingly accurate to the film.  The hat with the veil was a little tricky to put on her but it was worth it.  The overall look is beautiful.

My only accessory complaint is the gloves.  I realize there is nothing doll makers can really do to make them look more like gloves instead of mitts.  However, they still bother me.

The outfit consists of a skirt and jacket.  The skirt is not as skin tight as the others and you can dress her and then put her on the stand.  It is a nice gray with white accents.

Definitely recommend this outfit.  It is something unique in the Marilyn doll world as it has never appeared on another doll.

You can purchase this through the Tonner website here.

My Review of Tonner's "Hot Night" 

My Review of Tonner's "I am Lorelei Lee"

My Review of Tonner's Pola Doll

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Best of the My Marilyn Podcast

I want to thank everyone who has participated in and listened to my Marilyn podcasts.  The My Marilyn podcast was an internet show that ran from 2005-2010.  I had put the show on hiatus with the intent that I would go back to it someday.  Well it is time to face the fact that I have not done a show in 2 years and I really don't see that changing.

So at this point I have posted up my favourite 10 episodes of the show.  They can be found here

I'm not sure how long they will be left online since I have to pay for extra hosting to keep them up.  So I would recommending downloading them to your computer if it is something you want to keep.

Thanks everyone for listening!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"Hot Night" by Tonner Dolls Review

I must admit that this is the outfit I have been the most excited about.  Finally, Tonner dolls have released their version of Marilyn's famous dress she wore in the film "Niagara".  This scene from Marilyn movie history has been ignored in the past by other doll companies.  Kudos to Tonner for making this a reality.  I would have loved it to be named "Get out the fire hose" :)

I have reviewed the doll itself in a previous blog post.  The best thing about the Tonner doll is the fun you can have dressing her up in different outfits.  I hope they decide to continue with their Marilyn outfits (the misfits cherry dress please!).

Again, the outfit came packaged beautifully.  It included the white shawl, jewelry and shoes.  A minature record would have been a really fun accessory as Marilyn carries her Kiss record wearing this dress.

The shoes were even trickier to put on her than the Pola versions.  The straps are shorter to work with so it took some time.  However, once you get them on it is well worth the effort.  They look fabulous.

I absolutely love the heart bracelet which is true to what Marilyn really wore.  I do have a gripe when it comes to the jewelry though.  I do not understand why the earrings are silver but the bracelet is gold.  It makes no sense and looks silly.  Marilyn clearly wore gold hoop earrings in the film so why send them as silver.  I ended up changing them out for the gold hoops from the Franklin Mint Korea outfit.

The centerpiece of course is the pink peekaboo dress that is instantly recognizable from the film.  They did a fantastic job capturing the look of this dress.  The material is sturdy and well made.  It fits her like a glove.  Any tighter and she'd have to be sewn in (which the real Marilyn did from time to time).  I think they nailed it with the colour.  Very true to the film.  Even the way it sits on her shoulders is the same.  This is my favourite outfit that they have done.  Highly recommended.

Purchase "Hot Night" outfit directly from Tonner Dolls here.

Marilyn on Cover of December Playboy

#MarilynMonroe has once again graced the cover of Playboy magazine.  She is featured in the December issue in stores now.

This is Marilyn's 7th Playboy cover (one was an impersonator).  You can see them all on my site here.

This time a photo by Andre DeDienes was used where Marilyn is holding up a towel.  It is a beautiful cover.

She is also featured inside in a 12-page story.  The photos, unfortunately, are nothing new.  Just a rehash of golden dreams, Moran, Schiller and Stern photos.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Marilyn Monroe Cafe Opens in Ontario

The first Marilyn Monroe Cafe is now open in Oakville, Ontario.  

Industry leaders have partnered with Authentic Brands Group to launch the first ever Marilyn Monroe™ Café, located next to Millionaires’ Row (350 Lakeshore Rd. E.) along Toronto’s affluent lakefront suburb of Oakville. 

Furnishing by prestigious designers like Philippe Starck with Dedon, Eero Saarinen with Knoll, Diesel with Foscarin, and Tom Dixon, inspires the interpretation of the clean aesthetic and sensual lines of the mid-century modern era. A luxurious choice of materials, modern furniture and subtle architectural detail culminate into an inviting space for all guests, whether on-the-go or casually snacking and sipping premium espressos.
Captivating international audiences with her charming personality and graceful cinematic performances, Marilyn Monroe’s timeless beauty and charisma are the inspiration behind the chic and contemporary Marilyn Monroe™ Café. The café is designed by Mason Studio to be a place Marilyn would be comfortable in, not a shrine, featuring a relaxed but elevated design experience with lush menu options.
The Marilyn Monroe™ Café drink menu features smoothies ranging from flavours like Mango Tango to Mint Chocolate Chip and luscious hot drinks like Red Velvet and Crème Brule Lattes made with the Ferrari of modern espresso machines, the Adonis T3; custom designed in Italy providing the perfect cup of coffee.
Breakfast goers can pair lattes with hearty organic wholesome oatmeal, New York style bagels and French Flaked Croissants. Those with something sweeter in mind have a wide number of selections from the dessert menu like Gourmet Cupcakes and Artisan Cheesecakes.
Marilyn Monroe™ Café guests can use a sleek new Mobile App called “MM Café” to order ahead of time and skip the line. The app is available on Apple iTunes, where it can be downloaded for free.
In addition, café guests’ experiences will be further enhanced by stunning JBL Audio, featuring 22 speakers of complete clarity. Music programming is selected digitally by the vibe of the songs’ algorithms. The sound system automatically sets the volume level, based upon activity in the café, a very state of the art feature.
The café features Marilyn Monroe Photographer Milton Greene’s exclusive photographs of the world’s most legendary blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe. The photos featured in the café are from Marilyn’s Ballerina Series, Red Sweater Series, Tennis Sweater Series and more.
A wide array of merchandise will also be available at The Marilyn Monroe™ Café, included in this collection is a Marilyn Monroe tote, canvas sleeve for laptops and the very popular iPhone case, which is currently the hot, must-have accessory among young Hollywood celebrities.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

"I am Lorelei Lee" by Tonner Dolls Review

In addition to the release of Marilyn Monroe dolls that come as either Pola or Diamonds, Tonner also released some additional outfits for these dolls.

I have the outfit named "I am Lorelei Lee".  Fantastic name.  This is a lesser known gown that Marilyn wore in the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

I am so thankful they didn't pick the over used gold lame dress or red little rock dress.

Marilyn wore this dress during a memorable scene where she is asked "Have you got the nerve to tell me you don't want to marry my son for his money?" to which she replies "It's true ....  I want to marry him for your money."  

The outfit comes nicely displayed in its own box.  It comes with an electric blue dress and accompanying bolero jacket.  Accessories included are bracelet, earrings, shoes and a fabulous mink!  

I love this outfit on the Pola doll.  I prefer it over the bathing suit.  It looks nicer on the stand.

Speaking of the stand.  This dress is form fitting.  So much so that I found it impossible to put the doll on the stand after you have her dressed.  You need to put the dress around her ankles and put her on the stand at that point.  Then pull the dress up over the stand.  I was surprised there were no undergarments included (like the Franklin Mint dolls had).  Then again, Marilyn was known for not wearing them anyway.

The jewelry is true to the film and the shoes are gorgeous.  I still think the mink steals the look.  It is a large mink that you can wear in many different ways due to the length.

I'll be keeping Marilyn in this outfit until the next one arrives.  I really love how the blue looks on her.  She stands out in a room full of Marilyn dolls as the first I have ever seen in this outfit.  I highly recommend this dress for your Tonner Marilyn doll.

You can purchased this outfit directly from Tonner Doll Company

"Marilyn Monroe as Pola Debevoise" Tonner Doll Review

The fabulous new Marilyn Monroe dolls have been released by Tonner Doll company.  The 16 inch dolls have been eagerly anticpated by fans.  Since Franklin Mint ceased their doll production there has been a void.

I am happy to report that the new dolls do not disappoint.  The Marilyn as Pola doll comes complete with the bathing suit as seen on screen in How to Marry a Millionaire.  The doll comes well packaged and includes a COA and a doll stand with a clear base.  

The suit looks great and also includes great drop earrings.  I wish they had included the matching cover-up worn with this suit in the film. Marilyn fans will instantly recognize the clear platform shoes worn in the film and reproduced for this doll.  They are tricky to put on her - ribbons might have been an easier choice.

A big difference between Tonner dolls and Franklin Mint is the increase in articulation.  Tonner dolls are fully jointed.  This makes them a lot of fun to play around with.

I like how the hair looks but I am sure some fans will want to restyle it themselves. As far as the face sculpt goes I think she is a beautiful doll and they did a good job but I don't think they completely nailed it.  Honestly no doll company has completely nailed her likeness - it takes the OOAK artists like Kim Goodwin and Noel Cruz to really pull that off.  The chin and jawline are off.  I do wish that they had kept the same paint job that was used on their limited edition Animal Magnetism doll.  Just a few more eyelashes painted on the top lid like their previous doll makes a difference.  That being said, I think she looks much better in person than the stock photos portray. 

Overall, I am thrilled with her and I think fans will also love her.  The best part of this doll is the additional outfits that are available to dress her up.  Coming up of "I am Lorelei Lee" dress from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (a dress that has not appeared on any previous Marilyn dolls).

You can purchase this Marilyn Monroe as Pola Debevoise doll directly from Tonner

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Kim Goodwin Doll at Auction

UPDATE:  This lot only sold for $312 US.  Someone got a great deal!!

It isn't very often that I see a Kim Goodwin doll for sale.  In fact, since the initial offering on Ebay many years ago I haven't seen one available since.  So I thought I would pass this on since I get lots of requests from people interested in buying one of Kim's dolls.

Part of Lot 2114 at the November 18, 2012 Bonham's auction is a Kim Goodwin Doll.  It is the Vicky Heatwave Doll and is stunning.  The estimate for the lot which also includes, records, calendars, 8mm film, newspapers, etc is $300-$400 US.

Keep in mind that prices at auctions usually exceed the estimates especially when we are talking about Marilyn items.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Calling All Artists: Looking for MarilynGeek artwork


I have had many wonderful fans email me original Marilyn artwork they have created.  This got me to thinking about giving the artists out there a challenge.

I am looking for artwork to use for the new "MarilynGeek" theme.  In particular, I would like to create some cafepress products and graphics for my website.

So if you are an artist who enjoys creating Marilyn artwork show me your best MarilynGeek artwork.

My ONLY requirement is that it must depict Marilyn wearing glasses (not sunglasses).  My inspiration is her character Pola from How to Marry a Millionaire.  I love the photo used above in the blog's header with the title. If someone is able to recreate this look I would be thrilled.  I don't really need you to add any text just the artwork itself.

I will be sure to post all the submissions so everyone can enjoy them even if I don't end up using them all.

If you have a submission email it to me at (ensure the file is at least 2000 pixels at 200dpi but the bigger the better).  By submitting an entry you agree that all intellectual property rights of the artwork transfer to me to be used by my sole discretion.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Becoming Marilyn: Asian's Model Contest 2012

More proof that 2012 has been the year of Marilyn.  She is absolutely everywhere.

Wind machines, bottle blonde wigs and lashings of lipstick on show as Asian wannabes channel the iconic star in modelling competition

This year marked the 50th anniversary of her death and up and coming models paid tribute to Marilyn Monroe during Asia's biggest modelling contest last night.

Finalists for the Asian Super Model 2012 were required to channel their inner Marilyn for a special segment of the competition in Nanning, China.

The young women, who are battling against each other for the title of Asian Super Model, mirrored the screen icon’s most famous poses and wore recreations of some of her most recognised dresses.

One contestant donned the pink dress the star wore while performing Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend in the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes while the moment Marilyn's white dress blew up around her legs as she stood over a subway grating while promoting 1955 movie The Seven Year Itch was also recreated.

Wannabe models from China, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Colombo, Thailand and India took part in the contest.

The contest, which launched in 2006, is open to professional models who already have a portfolio.

The event has become hugely popular and is broadcast to an audience of 60 million people in China.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Marilyn MAC Cosmetics Sold Out Online

UPDATED:  The 2 items I purchased online Sept 27 arrived today.  The packaging is absolutely gorgeous.  When you open the boxes there is a red lip print on the inside of the lid.  Just real cool touches.  I went ahead and ordered a couple more items online from Ebay.  I'm really in love with how they look.

The much anticipated line of Marilyn Monroe cosmetics by MAC were released online today.  The MAC website features some beautiful photos of Marilyn from the black sitting.  The makeup designs also feature these photos.

I was really looking forward to picking up some of the items.  I don't have any MAC stores near me so I was planning to order them online.

I know the collection was advertised as limited edition but wow I was not expecting everything to sell out online the first day.

I went online during my lunch and found only a couple items still in stock.  I purchased an eyeshadow (the only colour that was left - silver) and a dazzleglass (as all the lipsticks were gone).

For those of you lucky enough to have access to a MAC store get ready for October 4th when the collection is set to be released in stores.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Another Fan in her hands

Thank you Dorina for sending in your photo.  It has been added to the fans in her hands section.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

MarilynGeek is here!

#MarilynMonroe I'd like to introduce you all to my new social networks handle "MarilynGeek".  In recent years the term "geek" has really evolved to include more than just computer nerds.  It also refers to "a person heavily interested in a hobby."

I've considered myself a geek in many areas like podcasts, apple and of course Marilyn.  So it seems a natural evolution to put the terms together.  Thus a "MarilynGeek" is akin to a super fan.

You can find me @MarilynGeek on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.  In addition, is now the home of my blog.

I'm so excited to have an easy to remember username on so many platforms :)

More Fans in her hands

Thank you Ramon for sending in this photo with Manel taken during the #MarilynMonroe Memorial Week in August 2012.  It has been added to the Fans in her hands section.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Marilyn: A Hollywood Farewell eBook

#MarilynMonroe Book

On August 5, 1962, Life Magazine photojournalist Leigh Wiener was assigned to cover the sudden death of one of Hollywood’s most celebrated icons, Marilyn Monroe. This photo-essay of black and white images is an observance of the days surrounding the passing and funeral of a legend. In his words, illustrated with his images, Leigh Wiener recounts that mid-summer day from outside Marilyn’s Brentwood home, to the Westwood Mortuary, and finally scenes from her funeral at Westwood Village Cemetery. First published in 1990, only 500 hardcopies of Marilyn: A Hollywood Farewell were printed. Less than half were signed by Leigh Wiener.

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of her passing, 7410 Publishing presents this second edition available only in eBook format.

New to the second edition are the Introduction by Devik Wiener, Leigh Wiener's son, and the Afterword by Allan Abbott, a pallbearer at Marilyn's funeral. High-resolution digital drum scans of Leigh Wiener's original negatives reveal a striking clarity and detail.

You can order the ebook through amazon below...

#MarilynMonroe Documentary at TIFF

A new #MarilynMonroe documentary has premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. It is based on the book Fragments.  HBO has already secured the rights to air the documentary on US television.

Love, Marilyn takes an intimate look into the never-before-seen letters, diaries and notebooks of Marilyn Monroe. Appearing on screen to perform Marilyn’s words are renowned contemporary actresses, including Marisa Tomei, Uma Thurman, and Glenn Close.

Marilyn Monroe invented a public persona that concealed a private side known only to her closest confidants. This is a woman who did not believe true love was possible, and yet sought it all her life. This is an actress who, at the height of her fame, abandoned Hollywood to study acting with Lee Strasberg because she wanted to be taken seriously. This is a wife who took pills because the husband she had saved from infamy no longer believed in her. Fifty years after her death, her creation still blazes brightly in our cultural imagination, while the creator continues to lurk in the shadows.Love, Marilyn brilliantly reverses this polarity, casting the icon aside and bringing the real woman to life.
Drawing on never-before-seen personal papers, diaries and letters, Academy Award®–nominated director Liz Garbus works with acclaimed actors to evoke the multiple aspects of the real Marilyn: passion, ambition, insecurity, soul-searching, power and fear. Elizabeth Banks, Ellen Burstyn, Glenn Close, Viola Davis, Jennifer Ehle, Lindsay Lohan, Lili Taylor, Uma Thurman, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood each appear on screen to enact Marilyn’s words. As Garbus re-invents the woman, she also reinvigorates the non-fiction form. It’s fascinating to watch such distinct interpretations of the same real-life character, and Garbus weaves these performances together, along with newly released outtakes, home movies, photos, and interviews with Monroe’s closest companions to create the most intimate picture yet of an American icon we all think we know.
Rounding out this portrait, Adrien Brody, Hope Davis, Paul Giamatti, David Strathairn and others bring to life the writings of Marilyn’s friends and admirers, completing the evocative image of this young woman who, over time, came to embrace life, friendship, and the possibility of her future. In Garbus’ film, Marilyn finally gets what she always yearned for: a great role.

Amy Greene was in attendance for the screenings in Toronto.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

More Fans in her Hands

#Fansinherhands - Thanks to Ernesto for sending in this great group shot of international fans during the Marilyn Memorial Week 2012.  I have added it to the Fans in her Hands page.

New Marilyn Tattoo Added


Thanks to Ashley for sending in a photo of her Marilyn tattoo.  It has been added to the website.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Photo library can license #MarilynMonroe images, court rules

By Lisa Richwine
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court has upheld the right of a Marilyn Monroe photo library to license images of the film star taken by a celebrity photographer who was one of her business partners.
Milton H. Greene Archives Inc has been in a long-running court battle with Anna Strasberg, widow of Monroe's acting coach, Lee Strasberg, and her licensing agent CMG Worldwide, which controlled use of Monroe's image for years.
In a ruling on Thursday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California backed a lower court decision that allowed Greene Archives to license its images of Monroe.
The star's estate, however, said it still retained exclusive rights to the film star's likeness under federal law.
Greene was a fashion and celebrity photographer who became friends with Monroe during a photo shoot, and the two formed a film production company. At one point, Monroe lived with Greene and his family at their Connecticut farmhouse, where he produced several photographs of the star. Greene died in 1985.
The legal battle over Greene's images hinged on where Monroe was living at the time of her death on August 5, 1962 at age 36. The court ruled Monroe resided in New York and therefore she did not have the posthumous right of publicity based on the state's law.
"Because no such right exists under New York law, Monroe LLC did not inherit it ... and cannot enforce it against Milton Greene or others similarly situated," Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw wrote for the court.
Strasberg's Marilyn Monroe LLC sold its rights to the film star's persona in September 2010 to The Estate of Marilyn Monroe LLC, and Strasberg maintained a minority role.
In a statement on Thursday, the estate said the appeals court decision affected only publicity rights under state law and that its federal rights remained valid. "The Estate still enjoys the exclusive right to use Marilyn Monroe's signature, name, likeness, image, voice, or anything else associated with her persona," it said.
An attorney for Milton H. Greene Archives could not immediately be reached.
Interest in Monroe remains high. She is the subject of NBC television drama "Smash," a story about the making of a Broadway musical about the blonde bombshell, and last year's film, "My Week with Marilyn." Several books about her were released around the anniversary of her death.
Forbes magazine ranked Monroe as the third-highest money-maker in its annual ranking of "The Top-Earning Dead Celebrities," with income of $27 million in 2011, according to the court ruling.
Wardlaw wrote that the lengthy dispute over Monroe's persona "has ended in exactly the way that Monroe herself predicted more that 50 years ago," pointing to Monroe's quote: "I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful, but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else."
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Kenneth Barry and Lisa Shumaker)