WEIRDLAND: Marilyn Monroe, Jerry Lewis, Peter Pan Syndrome

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Marilyn Monroe, Jerry Lewis, Peter Pan Syndrome

Marilyn Monroe's gold-plated earrings, designed by Eugene Joseff of Joseff of Hollywood, have sold at auction for $112,500—well over the original estimate of $60K-$80K. The famous costume baubles, which were styled with a gold lamé pleated gown by Travilla, were worn in an image to promote the 1953 musical comedy Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953). Separately, Monroe's pearl earrings, also by Joseff, went for $81,250. Other items sold during Julien's Auctions' "Property From Joseff of Hollywood: Treasures From the Vault" auction included Shirley Temple's crown from The Little Princess (1939) for $37,500; Rita Hayworth's gold-plated bracelet from Gilda (1946) for $31,250; and Elizabeth Taylor's snake cuff bracelet from Cleopatra (1963) for $21,875. Source:

There is some controversy regarding the issue of whether Marilyn was a model for the Tinkerbell character in Peter Pan. Since Peter Pan was released in 1953, just as another curvaceous blonde, Marilyn Monroe, was becoming America’s most popular screen actress and sex symbol, it’s easy to make the assumption that Tinker Bell was intended to be a Monroesque minx. However, at the time Peter Pan went into production, Marilyn Monroe was not the world famous epitome of the sexy, glamorous 1950s star she is now. Although far from unknown, back then Marilyn was still working her way up the Hollywood ladder of stardom in a series supporting roles and bit parts — she had not yet been featured in a starring role, planted her handprints in front of Graumann’s Chinese Theatre with Jane Russell, or appeared as the centerfold in Playboy’s premiere issue. Source:

JM Barrie might be most famous for his classic story of a flying boy who never grows up, but the author was also far ahead of his time when it came to cognitive psychology, according to a Cambridge academic who argues the Peter Pan author’s whimsical stories deliberately explore the nature of cognition. Neuroscientist Rosalind Ridley, of Newnham College in Cambridge, claims in Peter Pan and the Mind of JM Barrie that the author’s work identifies key stages of child development. One scene she spotlights in Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, published in 1906, sees a girl giving a tearful Peter her handkerchief, which he is confused by. “So she showed him, that is to say she wiped her eyes, and then gave it back to him, saying: ‘Now you do it,’ but instead of wiping his own eyes he wiped hers, and she thought it would be best to pretend that this is what she had meant,” writes Barrie. The narrative of Peter Pan is a coming-of-age story, a fantasy for children and adults, and the myth of a golden age, but was also invented by the author “essentially for himself in order to explore and perhaps make some sense of his own emotional difficulties, to investigate the interplay of the world of facts and the world of the imagination and to rediscover the heightened experiences of infancy”. “In the process,” she writes, “he created a work of genius.” Source:

“I still maintain the loveliness of our world is children and unfortunately that loveliness turns into darkness because they have to grow up. Look in the mirror and see value. ‘Cause there’s a lot of people out there who aren’t sensitive enough, aren’t caring enough, and that’s negative, but it’s fact. Optimism will get them out of your way. If it sounds like a pipe dream, try me. What have you got to lose? But, everything to gain.” —Jerry Lewis, Inside The Actor’s Studio, 1999

"Jerry has the propensity to will himself in so many constructive as well as destructive ways.”  —Patti Lewis

Born Sarah Joan Todd on June 7, 1935 in Boone, Missouri, Sally Todd entered The Miss Tucson Beauty Contest in 1952 and won first prize, which was an all-expense paid trip to Hollywood. Once on the west coast, Sally began modeling for the ladies swim wear company Cole of California, and in 1953, she made her film debut in a Jane Russell film for RKO called The French Line. In 1956, Sally was offered a screen test with 20th Century Fox. As perhaps a possible threat to a discontented (and increasingly temperamental) Marilyn Monroe, the studio quickly signed the newly platinum blonde Sally to a contract with the intentions of grooming her for the type of sex symbol parts Monroe had begun refusing. Fox promoted their new starlet in the L.A. Times as “a young Lana Turner and much prettier than Marilyn Monroe”, and placed her in background roles in The Revolt of Mamie Stover (again with Jane Russell) and The Best Things in Life Are Free.

Sally Todd: In the summer of 1955 I signed a contract with NBC to do six weeks work on the Colgate Comedy Hour. I was thrilled to learn that I would be working that summer with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Even though they were feuding with each other by then, I still was very excited because they were still enormously popular as a comedy team. Jerry and Dean were so much fun to be around. The Colgate Comedy Hour was broadcast live each week which meant that I had to join the AFTRA union, of which I had not been a member previously. Well, Jerry evidently took a romantic shine to me as soon as he met me and he offered to pay for my union card, which I thought was kind of unusual, but I took him up on it as I really wanted the job. The shows I did with Dean and Jerry were great. We would do different comedy skits each week and I would play a sexy nurse one week and maybe a secretary the next week and a girl in a bathing suit the following week. As time went on, I noticed during rehearsals that Jerry was becoming more and more attentive towards me.

But, I didn’t mind it too much as I was learning how to flirt with a man and then how to run away as quickly as possible afterwards. I didn’t want to lose my job over something stupid like a false rumor going around that I was having an affair with Jerry Lewis. I knew I could be replaced at any time if people started believing that. So, I always managed to outrun him and still have fun on the show and then on the last week of work one of the other girls came up to me and said, ‘Jerry is looking everywhere for you.’ At almost the same time, the assistant director came over to me and said, ‘Sally, we were all looking for you. Jerry wants to talk to you about your AFTRA card.’ (laughs) So, that’s the story of my almost-romance with Jerry Lewis, God love him. Source:

“It was a real Jekyll-Hyde situation at home as well as on the set. When I played the scientist everything was O.K. but when I played the other character things would get chillier at home. And this kind of shook me up and I said, 'You’re telling me I did a very good job.' And my wife Patti said, 'You did a marvelous job playing the worst human being I’ve ever seen in my life'.” —Jerry Lewis

No comments :