During Marilyn Monroe’s 36 years of life, she starred in a great many films alongside plenty of actors. Despite all of the work that the actress left behind and the legends that persist about her; there is still a great deal of mystery surrounding the icon that keeps fans curious to this day. Since Marilyn hasn’t been with us for over half of a century, one of the only ways we have to learn about the person who she really was is through the testimony of those who worked with her. Some of the people that Marilyn worked most closely alongside during her short career include the many actors that she kissed on-screen. From their tales of what it was like to kiss the late iconic sex symbol. We can learn more intimate details about her life! Join Facts Verse as we explore what it was like kissing Marilyn Monroe.
Martin Landau was one of the first male stars of note to ever work alongside Marilyn Monroe; having struck up a friendship with her while the two were studying together at the Actors Studio in New York. While the two were members of the Actors Studio, other members of note included Marlon Brando, Geraldine Page, and Patricia Neal. Martin’s early impression of Marilyn was that she was incredibly shy and reserved. Especially in comparison to the more boisterous females present at the Actors Studio. However, when Martin got to know Marilyn better through their work together. He quickly realized there was a dark side to her innocence.
As Martin Landau continued working with Marilyn Monroe at the Actors Studio in New York. He grew to appreciate not only her beauty but also her immense acting talents. According to Martin, there’s something authentically disturbed about Marilyn that allowed her to convey deep emotion. While it impressed Martin, it also frightened him. The actor claimed to believe that the actress had demons.
Don Murray is another male star that worked alongside Marilyn Monroe. He could be seen performing alongside the icon in the film Bus Stop, which released in 1956. Like Martin before him, Don found himself impressed by the depth of Marilyn’s emotional conveyance. However, he also found himself perturbed by the actress’s apparent inability to perform professionally on set at certain times. Apparently, Marilyn was suffering from a lack of confidence around the time that had grown so severe that the actress would often break out into a physical rash. This made it hard for Don become fully attracted to Marilyn, although he certainly appreciated her.
Don claimed that Marilyn seemed terrified to step in front of the cameras during the filming of the movie; which he found to be odd given that she’s one of the most adored and lusted-after celebrities on the planet at the time. It seems that the public’s blind adoration was no remedy for whatever ailment was afflicting poor Marilyn’s broken psyche.
Another male star that worked with Marilyn Monroe was Laurence Olivier. Laurence Olivier performed with Marilyn on the set of the 1957 film The Prince and the Showgirl. Like Don Murray and Landau, Laurence Olivier was quick to note that there was something authentically concerning about the renowned sex symbol. However, that didn’t stop Laurence from falling slightly in love with her!
Despite the fact that Laurence Olivier found himself both charmed and impressed by Marilyn upon their initial encounters. Laurence eventually lost his patience as she began to exude more and more erratic behavior. Marilyn had become notoriously scatter-brained by the time of the production. And apparently had a hard time being very prudent when it came to filming schedules. Laurence claimed that Marilyn would often show up as many as four hours late for the filming of the movie. Which was something that eventually caused him to lose respect for the actress.
Some might think that Marilyn Monroe didn’t become a hassle to work with until later in her career. But this doesn’t necessarily seem to be the case. Richard Widmark was an actor that worked with Marilyn in the 1952 film Don’t Bother to Knock. Several years before either Don Murray or Laurence Olivier experienced their troubles with the actress on the set of their respective productions. Like Don would later claim, Richard said that Marilyn seemed like a nervous wreck on the set of the feature, so much so that he began to grow concerned for the young actress. He found her habits to be self-destructive and feared for the worst. A decade later, Richard Widmark’s fears proven accurate when Marilyn Monroe passed away at a tragically young age.
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1960’s The Misfits proved to be the last feature that either Marilyn Monroe or Clark Gable ever completed. Marilyn Monroe’s then-husband, playwright Arthur Miller, scripted the film. At that late point in young Marilyn Monroe’s life, things had gotten pretty bad in regards to her mental state. According to Clark, filming the picture with the beloved star made him feel so stressed out that he felt as if he was going to have a heart attack on set. The actor did end up having a heart attack just after the film wrapped production and would be pronounced dead within a little over a week. Marilyn Monroe was never officially blamed for Clark’s death, though his ominous words certainly proved prophetic!
Tommy Noonan was one of Marilyn Monroe’s costars in the 1953 feature Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Infamously, an interviewer asked Tommy just after filming a romantic scene with Marilyn what it had been like to kiss the actress. Tommy replied that it felt like being swallowed alive, and Marilyn within hearing distance. As soon as she heard Tommy’s remark, Marilyn said to have burst out into tears in front of everyone. Jane Russell, another of her costars on the feature, did her best to comfort the renowned leading lady. Sadly, Marilyn’s self-esteem didn’t match the way most in the audience saw her, and she never felt that she was as beautiful as the public did during her short lifetime. Though Tommy likely didn’t intend to hurt the famous actress’s feelings too bad with his flippant remark, he had no way of knowing just how damaged and fragile she really was.
Jack Lemmon worked with Marilyn Monroe on the 1959 film Some Like It Hot. While Jack certainly saw that Marilyn could oftentimes be difficult to work with. He found himself too in awe of her comedic prowess to really take up any issue with the late beloved actress. Still, Jack did note that Marilyn had a tendency to not be the most professional actress at certain points during filming. Often needing several dozen takes before she could accurately read a line. It seems that, as hard as Marilyn tried, she could never quite overcome her nerves enough to let her natural talent out in front of the cameras. Still, Marilyn did the best that she could do. And the best that she could do was enough to make her a star!
Robert Mitchum was another of Marilyn Monroe’s male costars that went on to comment that it seemed like the actress wasn’t always mentally sound, despite her innate performance talents. He was also one of many to note that Marilyn’s confidence didn’t always match the way that the audience viewed her, with her never quite seeing herself as a woman that was conventionally attractive. Robert finally commented on the fact that Marilyn seemed somewhat immature as if being surrounded by so many handlers in her professional life had dulled her senses. The two had first met before Marilyn’s rise to fame, and they went on to work together in the 1954 feature River of No Return.
Tony Curtis was another male celebrity that knew Marilyn Monroe before she became famous. Marilyn and Tony romantically involved during the late 1940s, shortly before Marilyn’s unprecedented rise to superstardom. According to Tony’s recollections later in life, the two sparked up that romance once again a decade later while filming the 1959 movie Some Like It Hot together, though both of them married to other people at the time. While doing press for Some Like It Hot, Tony asked the classic question of what it was like to kiss the beloved Marilyn Monroe. Tony shot back that kissing the actress was akin to kissing Hitler.
Tony being sarcastic, though the remark has often used to prove that the actor had an authentic distaste for Marilyn. Given that Tony spent the later years of his life attempting to convince the public that he and Marilyn involved in an affair during the filming of Some Like It Hot, it would stand to reason that the actor enjoyed kissing Marilyn more than he would have enjoyed kissing Hitler.
At the end of Marilyn Monroe’s life, the actress was attempting to film a feature called Something’s Got to Give alongside actor Dean Martin. By that late period, Marilyn’s mental state had become so bad that 20th Century Fox attempted to fire her from the picture. Dean claimed that he would quit if Marilyn replaced, which prompted 20th Century Fox to allow her to stay. Sadly, Marilyn’s death ended up preventing the picture become completed.
While it seems Marilyn Monroe had grown increasingly difficult to work with later in her life, actor Dean Martin enjoyed her company so much so that he threatened to quit if she was replaced during the filming of her last picture. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that not every actor that kissed Marilyn Monroe enjoyed it, or did you think that every man on the planet had been susceptible to the beloved actress’s charms during her short life? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!