Santa Cruz Good Times

Tuesday
Jul 22nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Legacy of a Legend and Marilyn Unveiled

United Way fundraiser at Chaminade offers a candid view of Marilyn Monroe’s private life
Most Marilyn Monroe historians play up the more sensational aspects of the film star’s life: the glamour, the mystique, the mysterious circumstances surrounding her death, the rumors of her affairs with this or that Kennedy. But beneath all the glitter and intrigue, Monroe was a shy, sensitive soul with a soft spot for humans in need, not to mention a strong belief in equal rights for minorities and the poor. Her compassionate side is evidenced by the fact that she supported several charities, all the way up to her last public appearance on June 1, 1962 (her birthday): a fundraiser to fight muscular dystrophy at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif. 

Being the 50th anniversary of Monroe’s death, 2012 is a fitting year for “An Evening with Marilyn: An Intimate Look at the Legend,” which takes place at Chaminade Resort & Spa on Saturday, March 17. A fundraiser for United Way of Santa Cruz County, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary, the event features cocktails, dinner, a silent auction, a special presentation, and an exhibition of Marilyn memorabilia from the collection of local aficionado Scott Fortner. As Fortner puts it, “Marilyn Monroe, the glamorous movie star, is very well known, yet exhibit and gala attendees will experience the very private and personal life of Marilyn.”

Among the items on display will be the first fur that the film star ever owned, the blouse she was wearing in the last photos ever taken of her before her death, the Kodak Brownie camera she owned as a child, private letters, cosmetics, books from her library, invoices and receipts from her files, and one of her bank checks, dated Aug. 3, 1962—two days before her death. Also exhibited will be photos from throughout Monroe’s career, including early modeling shots from the days when she still went by Norma Jeane.

“I’ve worked closely with Santa Cruz County United Way for over 10 years, and I know their community support is far reaching, just based on the number of agencies they support throughout our county,” Fortner offers. “I’m hoping we can raise a lot of money to help support our community members in need.”

Fortner explains that most of the items in his collection come straight from Monroe’s estate. The screen legend willed the lion’s share of her possessions to her acting coaches, Lee and Paula Strasberg, who kept the memorabilia in a storage locker for decades. Fortner amassed the bulk of his collection at auctions that the Strasbergs held in 1999 and 2005 at the New York fine arts house Christie’s.  

It’s a testament to Monroe’s iconic status that a display of items from her off-screen life can still draw a crowd a full five decades after her death. One has to wonder what it is about the actress that makes her such a perennial subject of fascination. Fortner says he’s presented that question to each of the thousands of Marilyn Monroe fans he’s met over the years. “The one answer I receive time and time again is that people feel a need to protect her,” he notes. “I hear this from people who actually knew Marilyn, and also from casual fans born after Marilyn died.”

The collector adds that people relate to the personal challenges that Monroe faced. “For example, Marilyn had a troubled childhood, never knowing who her father was,” he expounds, also citing the institutionalization of her mother, her challenging relationships with men, her weight problems in the late ’50s, and her addictions to alcohol and medications. “She struggled to be taken seriously and also to be respected. She was painfully shy, afraid and insecure. She was very unsure of herself. These are aspects of Marilyn’s life in which many people around the world feel a connection because they experience one or more of these same issues or feelings.”      
 
Asked what three questions he’d ask Monroe if given the opportunity, Fortner offers, “Since the circumstances surrounding Marilyn’s death are still shrouded in mystery today, I’d ask what actually happened the night she died.” Secondly, he’d ask what her true relationship with the Kennedy brothers was. And lastly? “I’d ask her what her feelings are about her stardom today and how popular she continues to be 50 years after her death.”

“An Evening with Marilyn Monroe: An Intimate Look at the Legend” begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 17 at Chaminade Resort & Spa, 1 Chaminade Lane,
Santa Cruz. Tickets are $125. For tickets, visit
marilyngala-zvents.eventbrite.com.

Marilyn Unveiled - GT readers cast votes for their favorite Marilyn Monroe look-alike
The results for our Marilyn Monroe look-alike contest are in. Local Samantha Ray Moore captured the most votes in our online poll last weekend, proving, perhaps, that Monroe’s legacy isn’t about to fade any time soon. After grabbing one of the top five spots in the initial online contest weeks ago, Moore and four candidates were offered a photo shoot by local photographers Virginia Morgan Scott, Gail Nichols, and Jeffery J. Luhn (Luhn took the shot of Moore, above.) Styling was done by The Last Resort salon in Soquel. All this on the eve of United Way’s big 70th anniversary bash, “An Evening with Marilyn Monroe: An Intimate Look at the Legend,” which unfolds at Chaminade on Saturday, March 17. (See related story opposite page.) In the meantime, congratulations are in order for Moore. Congrats. She truly embodies the look and the vibe of Marilyn Monroe. Thank you to all who participated, especially the other finalists: Sydney Zolezzi, Abigail Reno, Heather Lemson  and  Alison Biles.
Now ... who’s next? James Dean? Bring it on ...

Comments (4)Add Comment
...
written by AStarr, April 11, 2012
This was a wonderful and fun event. Where can I find the pictures that were taken that night?
...
written by Tony S., March 15, 2012
NICE! Marilyn Forever!
...
written by Anne W Cawley, March 15, 2012
Also, the exhibit is open to the public on Friday from 4-8 and Saturday from 10AM-4 at Chaminade. Tickets are only $20 and can be bought at the door.
...
written by Sydney Zolezzi, March 15, 2012
Congratulations!! Have a blast:)

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Art Files: Opposites Attract

Using found objects, Victoria May seeks beauty in dichotomy and tension, the creepy and absurd

 

A Year of Creative Self-Expression

Wednesday, after a year in Cancer’s nourishing waters, Jupiter enters fiery Leo. Next Tuesday, the sun joins Jupiter in Leo. Leo is the sign of the three fires of life, of seeking our individuality, our gifts and talents. Life for the next year will be quite dramatic, expressive, creative and generous. Jupiter, the heart of Aquarius, is the planet of expansion and truth, distributing Ray 2 of Love and Wisdom.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 18

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Posted

Desserts at Seabright’s La Posta, a pop-up breakfast, local ethnic cuisine, and a long-lost varietal 

 

What is the most outrageous thing you did as a kid?

Santa Cruz | Retired

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Loma Prieta’s Pinotage

Although drinking alone is not half as much fun as drinking with others, after a busy day of dashing around, I came home and poured myself a glass or two of Loma Prieta’s Pinotage 2010 (saving a bit for my husband). There’s something about taking that first sip of a worthy wine that gives one an all-over glow.