Marilyn’s Death Stuns Hollywood

It’s not a GOOD MORNING in Hollywood reeling from the tragic death of Marilyn Monroe.

Last week she seemed happy with the thought of working in “Something’s Got To Give” — in December when Dean Martin would be free of “Toys In The Attic.” Martin, vacationing at Alisal ranch while “Give” plans revived, called home yesterday ayem to check phone messages — received the news of MM’s death from Mack
Gray.

“I don’t believe it — I don’t believe it,” Martin muttered, drove home last night.

The news was phoned to Frisco and Joe DiMaggio who seemingly had been spending a lotta time In L.A. since Marilyn’s problems with “Something.” But they had not been seeing each other — except when they crossed paths at La Scala — as they did a week ago. The accidental meeting unnerved MM, who often dined alone, late, at the BevHills spot . . . And the town’s number one glamor gal also spent many evenings lately dining at home — alone, with dinner sent over from La Scala.

A coupla weekends ago she had a ball up at the Cal-Neva Lodge when the Peter Lawfords flew her up to Sinatra’s Lake Tahoe club. The Lawfords, perhaps more than anyone in Hollywood, realized MM’s problems, took pains to befriend her — houseguested her at their beach place. Pete L. realized how seriously ill Marilyn had become result of the bombardment she received from her delays of “Something.” Lawford, you recall, called this department on her behalf, asked us to quote him to the industry: “I think it’s time to stop attacking her.” Marilyn had been in good spirits, he confirmed, having last spoken to her a coupla days ago. He found it difficult to believe her attitude could have changed so radically . . . Ditto her press agent Pat Newcomb who last saw her 8 p.m. Saturday when she visited MM’s house, then departed on a date while Miss Monroe prepared to dine at home.

She planned to meet with J. Lee Thompson this week to talk a pic together, and also a confab with Gene Kelly with whom she had begun chatting on a musical idea last week . . . She seemed to be coming out of the doldrums in which she sank following the collapse of the 20th film and the ensuing publicity.

Marilyn had always been a pal of the press — when you could finally reach her. She enjoyed giving out with those obvious quotable quotes. Her generosity
was obvious when she refused to take one cent from fotogs who’ve made a small fortune selling her semi-nudes from “Something.”

Her confession in Life mag last week which read like a transcript from a psychiatrist’s couch revealed, perhaps, the key to her basic problems when she said, “The whole world was always closed to me” until she was 11 years old.

M.M. was late for everything — but much too early for death.

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