WEIRDLAND: Marilyn Monroe & Tony Curtis affair, Fifties Blondes & Jerry Lewis

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Marilyn Monroe & Tony Curtis affair, Fifties Blondes & Jerry Lewis

Stereotype holds that when it comes to intelligence, blondes struggle to keep up with their darker-haired peers. But a new study brands this "dumb blonde" typecast as nonsense, after finding that blondes are no less intelligent. Study author Jay Zagorsky has published his findings in the journal Economics Bulletin. Zagorsky found that blonde-haired white women even had a slightly higher average IQ than darker-haired women; the average IQ for blonde women was 103.2, compared with 102.7 for women with brown hair, 101.2 for those with red hair and 100.5 for black-haired women.  Additionally, compared with darker-haired women, blonde women were slightly more likely to be in the highest IQ category and marginally less likely to be in the lowest IQ category. Zagorsky notes that the difference is not statistically significant: "I don't think you can say with certainty that blondes are smarter than others, but you can definitely say they are not any dumber." Zagorsky says his study is unable to pinpoint a genetic link between hair color and intelligence, but he did come across one factor that could explain why blonde women showed marginally higher intelligence: blonde women grew up in homes with more reading material. Source:

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) will be screened at 1pm, November 19, at the Campus Theatre in Lewisburg, PA, as part of their free Sunday Classics series. Some Like It Hot will be screened at 1:15 pm on Tuesday, November 21, at St Clare’s church hall in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, as part of a ‘Feelgood Films’ series. The role was intended for Fox queen Betty Grable, but her fee was more then ten times Marilyn’s. So Marilyn got her chance and took it! Fox rushed her into another dumb blonde role in How to Marry a Millionaire (1953). Some Like It Hot will be screened at 1:15 pm on Tuesday, November 21, at St Clare’s church hall in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, as part of a ‘Feelgood Films’ series. 

Jerry Lewis turned down the role of Jerry/Daphne in Some Like it Hot, which was ultimately played by Jack Lemmon. Lewis revealed his greatest regret to film director Martin Scorsese and critic while being induced into the Comedy Hall of Fame this week. “I would have had a chance to kiss Marilyn Monroe. Instead, Billy Wilder called me ‘the schmuck who turned down Some Like It Hot for the rest of his life.’’ Marilyn was very fond of Jerry Lewis. She appeared on his radio show with Dean Martin in 1952, and later named Lewis among a list of attractive men in a magazine interview. When Jerry Lewis was being honoured for charitable work in 1955, Marilyn stepped up to the mic to give him a kiss, adding, ‘I love you, Jerry.’ However, Lewis wouldn’t have had an opportunity to kiss her again in Some Like it Hot. While Marilyn and Lemmon chastely shared a bunkbed during the train scene, her love interest in the movie was played by Tony Curtis. Source:

Marjie Millar and Jerry Lewis during rehearsal for Money from Home (1953) directed by George Marshall.

Marjie Millar  had a promising start to her career when she signed a contract at Paramount studios in 1953 and starred in Money from Home the same year with Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. At 11, Millar had entertained the soldiers at Fort Lewis with a song-and-dance routine and while in high school she starred in the theatre play Janie (1948). In 1952 she left Tacoma for Los Angeles and soon afterwards was crowned “Miss Hollywood Star of 1952.” She played Nadine in the drama About Mrs. Leslie (1954). At the 1954 presentation of the Academy Awards, she and starlet Sara Shane modeled the costumes that were nominated for the Oscar. She was titled “a promising newcomer” and did some TV (most notably playing the character of Susan in 28 episodes of the Ray Bolger show, Where’s Raymond?, which aired in 1954) and played a starring role in Republic’s When Gangland Strikes (1956). On April 23, 1955, she had married television producer John Florea. A car accident in 1957 left her partly crippled and Marjie was forced to give up her acting career in 1958.

Pat Sheehan and Jerry Lewis during rehearsal for The Colgate Comedy Hour (Season 6, Episode 7), on November 13, 1955.

Pat Sheehan was a Las Vegas showgirl, made a couple of movies in the fifties: Kismet, Daddy Long Legs, and was a Playboy playmate in October 1958 (together with actress Mara Corday). In 1956 she was called NBC’s answer to Marilyn Monroe, while appearing in The Colgate Comedy Hour. This show really put her name up there, and in a 1956 magazine article she proclaimed, “From now on my parts will be larger. I’m so excited!” What really happened was less exciting; she got no more movie roles (except a cameo in Gigi, 1958) and was seen sporadically on television. She did date many famous men, including Frank Sinatra, Howard Hughes and Bing Crosby; but settled down with the latter’s son, Dennis Crosby (whom she was married to from 1958—1964). Dennis Crosby will marry Arleen Buell in 1965 and commit suicide with a gun in May 1991. On January 14, 2006, Pat Sheehan died from a heart attack in Beverly Hills, California. —"Fifties Blondes" (2016) by Richard Koper

In 1949, I went out to a club in downtonw LA with Betty Thatcher, an actress who was also a knockout. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were working there the weekends, doing their show in the club. That’s when I met Jerry—and that’s when Jerry met Betty. It was obvious right away that he had big eyes for her. I had just met her, and we weren’t emotionally involved, so I stepped out of the way. Jerry Lewis was absolutely hilarious to be around. We’d be walking down the street together and he’d start skipping, just like a little kid. I’m telling you, he was crazy, a helluva lot of fun, and completely impossible. 

I first saw Marilyn at Universal just walking down the street. She was breathtakingly voluptuous in a see-through blouse that revealed her bra. Her beauty was intimidating, but there was something about her smile that made her seem approachable. She gave off an extraordinary aura of warmth and kindness, of generosity and sexuality. I’d never experienced anything like it. We went into the Mocambo, which had one wall lined with canaries in cages. Marilyn was wearing a flowered dress, nothing fancy, but she still looked fabulous. Howard Duff had a house down the beach just outside of Malibu. He said to me, “Use the house whenever you want.” I called Marilyn, and we agreed to go to the beach. I picked her up, and we had a nice dinner at a popular drive-in restaurant that served steaks and hamburgers. I was feeling a bit nervous; we went over to Howard’s place, which was a wonderful little bungalow with a cozy fireplace. We continued seeing each other for a while. I would arrange a place we could go, or she would. We would go to her friend Jeannie Carmen’s place, or Howard’s bungalow. We almost never went out at night in public, though. I was falling in love with her. I loved Marilyn Monroe. I could tell she liked me too. 

By the time we shot the yacht scene in Some Like It Hot, Marilyn was into it. When we kissed, I was on the receiving end of her tongue, and of her grinding. I had a hard-on (but don’t tell anybody) all through that scene, and she knew it, which made her even more aggressive. She knew I wasn’t acting when I expressed my desire for her. She could feel it—in more ways than one—and when Billy Wilder yelled “Cut,” she pushed herself off me and gave me a big, satisfied smile. In the end it turned out that we all had misunderstood Marilyn. We didn’t realize that her way of finding out who she was came from acting. In her early career, her films were flimsy, poorly written affairs, so of course she had trouble getting a handle on the material. But in Some Like It Hot the material was beautifully written, and she absolutely shone. —"American Prince: A Memoir" (2009) by Tony Curtis

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