Fifty years ago on July 4, Marilyn Monroe began her last interview, with Life magazine’s Richard Meryman, which was published on August 17, 1962, as “Last Talk With a Lonely Girl.” When she gave the interview, she no doubt had no idea that she had less than a month to live, but it nevertheless contained some of her most poignant and enduring quotes:

“The time I sort of began to think I was famous, I was driving somebody to the airport, and as I came back there was this movie house and I saw my name in lights. I pulled the car up at a distance down the street; it was too much to take up close, you know, all of a sudden. And I said, ‘God, somebody’s made a mistake.’”

“I do have feelings some days when I’ll wish, ‘Gee, if only I had been a cleaning woman.’ On the way to the studio I would see somebody cleaning and I’d say, ‘That’s what I’d like to be. That’s my ambition in life.’”

“A struggle with shyness is in every actor more than anyone can imagine. I’m one of the world’s most self-conscious people. I really have to struggle.”

“There is a need for aloneness, which I don’t think most people realise for an actor. It’s almost having certain kinds of secrets for yourself that you’ll let the whole world in on only for a moment, when you’re acting. But everybody is always tugging at you. They’d all like sort of a chunk of you.”

“I think that when you are famous every weakness is exaggerated. This industry should behave like a mother whose child has just run out in front of a car. But instead of clasping the child to them, they start punishing the child. Like you don’t dare get a cold. How dare you get a cold!”

Check out this great little review, one of Oprah’s “Ten Titles to Pick Up Now”

In the August issue of Elle magazine, The Empty Glass was described like this: “It’s L.A. Confidential meets the Bio channel with a little TMZ thrown in for fun.” Cool.

In his 1976 book, Investigation Hollywood, infamous Hollywood PI Fred Otash (see him in Players), whose sticky fingers were in any number of conspiratorial pies—including the wiretapping of Marilyn Monroe—featured a chapter called “Homosexuals Are Also Movie Stars.” First of all, duh. But back in the 1950s, when Otash was hired by Rock Hudson’s beard of a wife, Phyllis Gates, this wasn’t quite so commonly known. Here’s his transcript of that bugging (the names weren’t used because Hudson was still alive and closeted in 1976). This is also featured, edited, in The Empty Glass:

STAR:  I think it would be a good idea if we hired a press agent to stop some of these stories, because it seems you are getting the brunt of it. We have never argued about money in any way and this seems to be the only thing they are saying. With all the things they have already said, God knows what will be printed and said in the next few months.

WIFE: When you came back from Italy, you told me you were glad I had told Chris so much about you, because it would be so difficult for you to tell her, and yet you haven’t gone to see the doctor. You know the doctor knows your problems.

STAR: How?

WIFE: By your ink blots. You told me you saw thousands of butterflies and also snakes. Chris told me in my analysis that butterflies mean femininity, and snakes represent the male penis. I’m not condemning you, but it seems that as long as you recognize your problem, you would want to do something about it. Lots of people go through their entire lives without realizing they have a problem, but you know about yours.

STAR: I was completely honest in those tests. I didn’t try to cover up anything.

WIFE: They wouldn’t do any good if you lied. You would only be lying to yourself.

STAR: I told the doctor everything. I didn’t hedge on anything at all.

WIFE: You mean about homosexuality?

STAR: Yes, I told him everything, but I told you we were just talking about the movies.

WIFE: Then what kept you from going back to him?

STAR: Oh, he doesn’t say anything. He wants me to do all the talking, and he just sits back and never says a word.

WIFE: You are supposed to talk, not him. He is there to understand and guide you. There isn’t anything glandular about your homosexuality, it is only a freezing at an emotional state, and it’s up to the individual to grow out of it. Everyone has to help himself. No one can do it for you. Your great speed with me, sexually. Are you that fast with boys?

STAR: Well, it’s a physical conjunction.

WIFE: I don’t understand.

STAR: Well, boys don’t fit. So this is why it lasts longer.

To be continued.


The Flame of Love

This is bartender Pepé Ruiz’s recipe for the Flame of Love, his signature drink at the now-defunct Chasen’s restaurant in Beverly Hills. It was Sinatra’s favorite drink—and gossip columnist Jo Carnahan’s as well (visit Jo in Players).


1/4 ounce fino sherry

Several peels orange rind

2 ounces vodka, chilled

Here are the instructions from Pepe himself: “You swirl a few drops of La Ina Sherry in a chilled stem glass and pour it out. Than squeeze a strip of Orange peel into the glass and flambé it with a with match. Throw away the peel. Now fill the glass with ice to chill again, then throw that out. Add vodka, than flambé another orange peel around the rim. Now throw out the second burnt peel. Then just stir it gently. And drink, drink.”

The Empty Glass was just chosen one of the “Six Pageturners You’ll Tear Through” by “The characters may be, as Marilyn recounts, ‘slipping, which is what I feel a slow slipping,’ but Baker is totally in control, and watching him lead his hero along a precarious tightrope of reason is scary—and totally exhilarating.”

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Fifty years ago today, Marilyn Monroe began her last interview, with Life magazine’s Richard Meryman, which was published on August 17, 1962, as “Last Talk With a Lonely Girl.” When she gave the interview, she no doubt had no idea that she had less than a month to live, but it nevertheless contained some of her most poignant and enduring quotes:

“When you’re famous you kind of run into human nature in a raw kind of way…you’re always running into people’s unconscious.”

“It’s nice to be included in people’s fantasies but you also like to be accepted for your own sake.”

“Sometimes I’m invited places to kind of brighten up a dinner table like a musician who’ll play the piano after dinner, and I know you’re not really invited for yourself. You’re just an ornament.”

“Some of my foster families used to send me to the movies to get me out of the house and there I’d sit all day and way into the night. Up in front, there with the screen so big, a little kid all alone, and I loved it. I loved anything that moved up there and I didn’t miss anything that happened and there was no popcorn either.”

“Anything’s possible, almost.”

“Los Angeles was my home, too, so when they said, ‘Go home!’ I said, ‘I am home.’”