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These Men Desperately Tried to Save Marilyn Monroe

Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe was a star who inspired absolute devotion from the men who knew her. The blonde bombshell grappled with addiction, and fell deeply in love with Joe DiMaggio, Arthur Miller, and Frank Sinatra. All three of them in their own ways tried to rescue her from bad influences, including herself. Monroe brought out the protective nature in the men she became involved with, but sadly, it was never enough. While she was easily loveable and adored, her darker side proved to be too much for those that loved her. In this video we’ll take a look at the three men who were closest to her, and see how they did their best to try and save the gorgeous and talented Marilyn Monroe.

Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were very alike

American greats Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio had a short-lived relationship that still managed to capture the hearts and attention of a nation. When the two met, Monroe was becoming one of Hollywood’s greatest stars, and DiMaggio had already claimed the mantle of greatest baseball player of all time. The two were the American dream made real, having both risen from humble backgrounds to reach the pinnacle of their chosen careers.

It was in 1952, when DiMaggio asked an acquaintance to set up a date with Monroe. Ahead of their first meeting, Monroe was skeptical, expecting a flashy New York sports type, but instead DiMaggio was reserved. He treated the Hollywood actress like she was something special. The attraction between them was strong and they began dating.

Skeptics tried to highlight differences between them, but Monroe only spoke of their similarities, including a common desire for a stable home and children. While DiMaggio was outspoken about their strong physical attraction, it was balanced by his respect for her intelligence and vulnerability. It didn’t take long for a wedding to be part of the conversation. On January 14th, 1954, they married in a quiet ceremony at City Hall, in DiMaggio’s native San Francisco.

It was the second marriage for both, DiMaggio from his first wife, Dorothy Arnold, in 1944, and Monroe from childhood neighbor James Dougherty in 1946. From the very start, their marriage was challenged. During their honeymoon in Japan, Monroe was asked to travel to Korea to perform for the American troops that were stationed there. DiMaggio was left behind in Japan. Once back on home soil the couple sought a so-called normal life, but the volatility of her career and DiMaggio’s reported jealousy and involvement in her professional contract negotiations, as well as role choices, began to take its toll on Monroe.

DiMaggio apparently wanted a stay at home wife, while Monroe was keen to expand her cultural horizons with a husband who was interested in her work. The new groom also struggled with his wife’s image. While filming The Seven Year Itch in New York, DiMaggio had serious issues with the now-famous subway grate scene. Monroe explained that exposing her legs, thighs, and crotch was the last straw for the retired baseball legend. Monroe publicly announced their divorce just nine months after they wed, visibly tearful and upset.

Arthur Miller got divorced so he could marry Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe had her longest marriage with her third husband, Arthur Miller. The two were very much opposites. She was a movie star sex symbol in love with a cerebral, award-winning playwright. But in the end, Miller fell down the same road as her second spouse DiMaggio, and wasn’t enough for the fragile actress. Monroe suffered marital stressors like failed pregnancies, misunderstandings and clashes over work. Her demons revealed themselves through her drinking and drug use, and proved impossible for her to escape.

It was in 1950 that Monroe first met Miller. While Monroe was still trying to find fame at that time, Miller was already acclaimed as one of the country’s leading playwrights, thanks to his Pulitzer Prize-winning Death of a Salesman. She was also sleeping with Miller’s friend, director Elia Kazan, who happened to be in Los Angeles to pitch a screenplay with Miller. Kazan instructed Miller to take Monroe to a party, and since she was with his friend, Miller didn’t act on his obvious attraction to her. Monroe took it as him being respectful of her, which certainly made him stand out from other men she knew.

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While the two kept in touch by exchanging letters, Monroe and Miller didn’t meet again in person until 1955 after she’d moved to New York City to study at the Actors’ Studio. With her most recent marriage to DiMaggio lasting less than a year, she was single and still very much interested in Miller. She even forged a relationship with his friends Norman and Hedda Rosten in order to get closer to the playwright.

Soon Miller and Monroe embarked upon an affair, despite the fact that Miller was already a married man. In the years since they’d first met, Monroe had become a star, and the press paid close attention to every move she made. Their affair couldn’t remain secret for long.

Monroe wanted to be with Miller, as he offered her something she had yearned for, both love and a sense of security. Miller was reluctant to leave his wife, but he was very much in love with Monroe. In the spring of 1956, he went to Nevada to establish residency so he could divorce his wife.

On June 29th, 1956, Miller and Monroe married in White Plains, New York. Together, they next headed to England so Monroe could work on The Prince and the Showgirl with Laurence Olivier. Monroe was delighted by her marriage, claiming that it was the first time she’d really been in love. But the movie shoot didn’t go smoothly and she clashed with Olivier. Then she found notes Miller had been making about her. While the exact words that she read are unknown, they related that Miller was disappointed by their marriage and sometimes found Monroe embarrassing. Monroe idealized Miller and was devastated by what she viewed as a betrayal.

Adding to the stress of the marriage, Monroe suffered several miscarriages. She was devastated by her inability to give birth to Miller’s child. As a regular user of pills and alcohol, Monroe blamed herself for their second miscarriage. She then had an affair with co-star Yves Montand, and noted that Miller didn’t fight for her, or even object to the liaison. Their relationship reached its end point while they worked together on what would be her final film, The Misfits.

The movie script, which was based on a short story by Miller, had initially been intended to help Monroe be seen as a serious actress. By the time the film was shooting in the summer of 1960, she disliked the script, declaring that Arthur doesn’t even want her in it. The shoot was made harder for Monroe by Miller’s rewriting, as she had trouble learning the last-minute dialogue. Her ongoing substance abuse created even more difficulties in getting scenes done on the film.

While they managed to complete the movie, her marriage to Miller was over. Their plans to divorce were announced on November 11th, 1960. As a result of the divorce, Monroe’s psychiatrist urged the emotionally shattered star to rest at the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic in New York. It was six years after her split from second husband, DiMaggio, who went to the front desk and demanded his wife be released, or he would take the hospital down brick by brick. She was released the next day.

Frank Sinatra wanted to save her career

A known womanizer, Frank Sinatra was reportedly in an open-romance with Marilyn Monroe, in 1962, while the two continued to see other people. But despite the casual nature of their romance, Sinatra had fallen in love with Monroe. Like most men who knew her, Sinatra fell under her spell. He treated her like he had never treated any other woman, and had become very protective of her. Sinatra even asked the blonde bombshell to marry him several times, to which she politely declined. 

When Monroe’s not-so-secret troubles began hurting her career, Sinatra announced that they would make two movies together. But his lawyer was much more cautious and advised Sinatra not to marry her. He then stated that, “She’s gonna kill herself. If she’s married to you, you will go down in history as the person who killed Marilyn Monroe.”

Marilyn Monroe continued to haunt the men in her life

Sadly, Frank Sinatra’s lawyer was right. On August 4th, 1962, Marilyn Monroe tragically died of an overdose of barbiturates. She was 36 years old. The men who loved her remained haunted by the woman they couldn’t save. DiMaggio was so heartbroken after finding out she had been dating Sinatra, that he banned the singer from attending her funeral.

Her third husband, Arthur Miller, opted not to attend her funeral. He simply stated, “She won’t be there.” In January of 1964, Miller’s play, titled After the Fall, premiered in New York. One character, named Maggie, had the same background, mannerisms and self-destructive tendencies of Monroe. While Maggie was a singer, and not an actress, she was obviously based on his ex-wife, with the actress even donning a blonde wig.

Miller was widely criticized for turning Monroe’s pain into material for a play, but he denied the link between the two. He didn’t stop there, however, as he went on to include characters with links to Monroe in other works. These included the 2004 play Finishing the Picture, which was based on the chaotic shoot of The Misfits.

Do you think it was possible for Marilyn Monroe to be saved, or was she destined to always be misunderstood? Let us know in the comments section below and don’t forget to subscribe to Facts Verse for more. Click the bell icon to stay updated on all our latest content.

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