The Red Diary

29 May 2017 07:35AM

May 29, 1962

Dear Red,
I had a dream that I was travelling in mountains in a strange countryside with
people I didn’t know. They ask me what’s wrong, why are you crying? I tell them I
have to buy some shoes. I don’t have…

28 May 2017 07:16AM

May 28, 1962

Dear Red,
Wow, the nude swim was fun but exhausting! I was in the water for nine hours. I forced everyone off set— only the cameraman and a few photographers I personally invited. I told Paula to go to her hotel, too. I…

27 May 2017 08:25AM

May 27, 1962

Dear Red,
Aunt Ida took in boarders. One old man used to give me nickels. I bought
candy with these nickels and shared it with the other kids. One day he lured
me into his room, held the door shut with his foot…

26 May 2017 08:44AM

May 26, 1962

Dear Red,
Brando came for dinner. We stayed awake almost until dawn holding each other,
talking. He is getting married in a few weeks so our time together is precious. He
described love as an elephant walking around inside him— something heavy, not to be ignored.…

25 May 2017 11:13AM

May 25, 1962

Dear Red,
In 1954, Jack was hospitalized with a back injury, and I had just completed filming
River of No Return and a break-up with Joe. I did what every girl can do for a guy in
traction: I recited his favorite Keats poem and hung…

24 May 2017 09:51AM

May 24, 1962

Dear Red,
Happy 62nd Birthday, Mother! I hope you like the roses I sent. I’m using the
beautiful place mats you wove in your craft class for my new house. I know you love Norma Jeane, you just don’t have nice things to say…

23 May 2017 08:02AM

May 23, 1962

Dear Red,
I’m Lady Macbeth, the guilty one with red blood on my hands. It’s one of those fucked-up days. Nothing’s right. I’m not bathing or combing my hair, or brushing my teeth, or exercising. I’m protesting MARILYN, staring at this blank page wondering…

22 May 2017 09:09AM

May 22, 1962

Dear Red,
I have a bad cold. I practiced my nude swim on paper, like a diagram of a
mathematical problem—- a splash with my toe here, a backward circular arm movement there, a diagonal twirl across my living room, like a ballerina! Climbing out…

21 May 2017 10:33AM

May 21, 1962

Dear Red,
I nearly missed our flight out of Idlewild. Mary Karger came for brunch— she’s worried about me. Hollywood is rampant with actors dropping dead of overdoses— the studios have to stop their booster shots. Is Freddy in trouble? I asked. He…

20 May 2017 09:58AM

May 20, 1962

Dear Red,
Wow, I woke up this afternoon and Madison Square Garden is already a beautiful
memory. My nerves were busting with lights and applause! I was faint from standing so long, sewn into my dress. Bob Mitchum carried me down the stairs. He whispered:…

19 May 2017 08:54AM

May 19, 1962

Dear Red,
Today is sweetie’s big day. I woke up fresh, past noon. I took care of ME in a
bath with Chanel No. 5. Jack and Bobby will take care of Fox. I’m humming Happy
Birthday in jazz tempos. Relax and concentrate.…

18 May 2017 08:54AM

May 18, 1962

Dear Red,
I dined with Hedda and Norman in Brooklyn Heights. Hedda made brisket, veggies and Baked Alaska. I took a bite of each. The bomb dropped when I got back to my apartment and found telegram from 20th Century Fox: “Due to failure…

17 May 2017 05:01PM

May 17, 1962

Dear Red,
Sh’ma. Peter, Pat and I flew by helicopter from Fox Studio to LA airport to New York. Dad, my date, is flying in from Florida. Twenty thousand people are invited! Gee, that’s a big audience. Darling, Lee says. Remember, you are the…

16 May 2017 08:59AM

May 16, 1962

Dear Red,
Every day the script changes and every night a new draft arrives on my doorstep
for me to memorize—- now the pages are pink, now they are yellow– and now even some new changes are slipped in on the original white paper– like…

15 May 2017 08:13AM

May 15, 1962

Dear Red,
The General said that violence is the result of people not having an opportunity
to express themselves culturally. He said museums are important to education—- take note of what’s missing. He offered to give me a personal tour of the Chinese art collection…

14 May 2017 10:01AM

May 14, 1962

Dear Red,
I’m exhausted. The dog trainer couldn’t get Tippy to bark. Speak! Speak! he yelled
all day. Tippy loves me but he wouldn’t obey for the camera, only in rehearsals. We were all so frustrated, all except Dean who happily swung his golf club…

13 May 2017 10:43AM

May 13, 1962

Dear Red,
Dad called to hear me sing our Sunday night Happy Birthday lullaby one last time. He wanted to know logistics. I told him Jack will be sitting 12 feet from the stage. He is seated a few rows above with Pat and…

12 May 2017 07:13AM

May 12, 1962

Dear Red,
It is raining today, so unusual in Los Angeles this time of year. Pat and I went
on some errands— I had to pick up the jewelry I’m borrowing for the birthday
party, and stop by for a last fitting of my dress. Jean…

11 May 2017 08:43AM

May 11, 1962

Dear Red,
Gee, when I finish this last film with Fox, I’ll have only one last film and
I’ll be free to pursue some serious artistic roles waiting for me, like The
Marilyn Monroe Shakespeare Company. Just wait and see that curtain rise!
It will feature the…

10 May 2017 07:52AM

May 10, 1962

Dear Red,
Fox sent a telegram that I’m required to show up for the shoot tomorrow. I
called Rudin to tell him I am sick, and reminded him that I will be out May 17
& 18 for the President’s Birthday at Madison Square Garden.…

9 May 2017 11:39AM

May 9, 1962

Dear Red,
Breasts are the most sensuous part of a female body. Gravity hasn’t gotten mine
yet— thanks to my routine of 50 pushups a day and 40-minutes of weightlifting.
I read that women are the only mammals to maintain breasts from from puberty
through adult life.…

8 May 2017 10:15AM

May 8, 1962

Dear Red,
Weinstein doesn’t get it. He called me three times today to ask my temperature.
How am I supposed to get any rest? I didn’t eat anything, only black coffee,
fresh squeezed orange juice and one of Mrs. Lindberg’s brewer’s yeast drinks
for lunch. This afternoon…

7 May 2017 05:20AM

May 7, 1962

Dear Red,

Agnes said I passed out under the hair dryer at 6 AM. The new Fox doctor brought
me around with smelling salts and sent me home. Dreamboat called with very
private information—he receives more inheritance on his 45th birthday and will

6 May 2017 02:36PM

Dear Red,

Dad isn’t feeling well. I’m concerned. He’s seventy-seven and lost ten pounds.
It’s his stomach, he can’t eat. He said, maybe it’s a little cancer. I said, but
maybe it’s just a little ulcer. He laughed. I asked what was so funny. He said it’s
your delivery,…

5 May 2017 08:18AM

May 5, 1962

Dear Red,

Pat is out of town today so I skipped my exercise routine. Once in a while I take
a day off, though I may workout later. I attacked the stack of books next to my bed.
I like the book Norman sent…


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