The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (58): Marilyn Monroe’s unceremonious exit

The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (58): Marilyn Monroe’s unceremonious exit


norman lebrecht

May 12, 2020

Doesn’t she sing well?



  • V.Lind says:

    No news there. I’ve had a CD of hers for 20 years — I think I reviewed it. Very agreeable. And it travels the generations — a much younger relative independently bought her own MM album.

    She was a talented woman.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    She’s going to be a perfect little home-maker!!!! 🙂

  • Adam Stern says:

    A couple of other actors with decent sets of pipes:

    …and one who probably should have stuck to acting:

    • Ron Swanson says:

      Not as bad as Shatner

    • Bruce says:

      Thanks for these. Not surprising at all about George Sanders, considering his speaking voice. (“Excuse me a moment… ahem-ahem… BOO” from the Jungle Book)

      Fun to find out that Jack Lemmon was pretty good, but again not surprising. He was so stylish in everything he did that it really isn’t surprising; if he wasn’t good at singing, he simply wouldn’t have made a record.

      • Adam Stern says:

        Jack Lemmon is one of my very favorite actors. For me, his absolutely finest performance was in “Missing”; the use of his voice, eyes, and body language to convey Ed Horman’s growing fear, outrage and eventual realization of the truth was nothing short of incredible.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    I think Marilyn was a better actress and singer than most people think. She wasn’t Meryl Streep, mind you. But she was often times more than just a bimbo. For me, she was not the foremost ’50s/’60s ‘sex symbol’. For that, I would give the nod to Jane Russell and Kim Novak. But getting back to acting, I think she completely flusters and upstages Lawrence Oliver in, “The Prince and the Showgirl”. That was perhaps her best bit of acting. I liked her very much in “The Misfits” as well.

    • Ron Swanson says:

      She had brilliant comic timing as seen in Some Like it Hot.

    • M McAlpine says:

      The film ‘My week with Marilyn’ is a very good documentary-drama’ on the making of ‘The Prince and the Showgirl’

    • V.Lind says:

      Of course she was better than credited for in popular mythology. She studied with Lee Strasberg, was apparently highly intelligent and was well-read. She married Arthur Miller, FCS.

      Her image was crafted by an exploitative Hollywood, and her generation. She was the product of a trailer-trashy sort of start, complete with too-early marriage of escape, and her looks and build helped her get started including the Playboy centrefold. She got typed as a dumb blonde — she was neither — and between 50s sexism and the studio system, she seemed trapped, despite her ability. The drinking and pills and depression that followed the failed marriages to DiMaggio and Miller led to the chronic unreliability that got her fired from films and unconsidered for others that might have changed her image.

      it was a sad life, and a a cautionary tale. But she did leave good work behind. Thanks for the song and the reminder of an almost-forgotten legend.

      • Tony B says:

        Almost forgotten legend? There has been NO Movie star in the histology of film that is still on the cover of leading magazines and Art today than Monroe. Your statement is laughable!

        • V.Lind says:

          You’d be amazed how many young people I know who could not pick her out of a lineup. Not that surprising — the only thing I have ever seen that she was in was All About Eve, where she plays to the bimbo image. I was never interested in her till I read Mailer’s book. After I heard the album, I read a bit more.

          It’s lockdown. I’m currently on a Michael Caine jag, but perhaps when it is time to switch gears I will start rooting through her filmography.

          • Tony b says:

            Ok….I can see why you made the statement then, not seeing but only a few of Monroe’s films. Millennials by the way have a hard time remembering their own name. Monroe was known internationally and to many historians regarded as the last great Movie Star in the old tradition of Hollywood movie studios. Monroe made many movies which are considered classics. As far as the Actors Studio, they did her no favors with the so called method teaching.

          • Adam Stern says:

            Ah — be sure to check out, or revisit, “The Ipcress File”!

  • Dave says:

    It wasn’t that Marilyn couldn’t act or sing. She became unreliable over time.

  • Delphine1962 says:

    Thank you for this, Norman, which has immeasurably brightened my day. We should all be very grateful for the pure magic Ms Monroe gave us in her legacy on film. What a goddamm tragedy she was not able to gain happiness for it for herself. I suppose that is the paradox of performance.

  • Gaffney Feskoe says:

    She was born Norma Jeane Mortenson and was a Mayflower passenger descendant. Additionally, she was related to the 19th century american poet William Cullen Bryant.

  • Dollighfull says:

    She sure does do her thing, cream of the crop

  • Jim M. says:

    I discovered the Marilyn Sings collection years ago; the CD set has more –
    The Berlin tunes fit her perfectly; A couple of other actresses, to add to the list – who could deliver – Doris Day –
    and though I shouldn’t be surprised, but I was – Cybill Shepherd when I heard her –

  • Maryanne Towle says:

    Thank YOU SO MUCH!! I WAS “taken away” once again by this excellent complilation. Loved the move and your narrative equally