Greeted by Marilyn
On a recent trip to Palm Springs, Red and I were greeted by a 26 foot tall, 34,000 pound statue of Marilyn Monroe. Her appearance triggered an ear-to-ear grin, and we did a double-take as she flashed us her knickers. We drove past the “Forever Marilyn” Statue from it’s new home at the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way, but went back the next morning, to take a closer look.
50th Anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s Death
2012 is the 50th Anniversary of her death, so it’s fitting that this statue was moved from it’s original Chicago location, to the heart of Palm Springs. Steward Johnson (the 80 year old Johnson & Johnson heir) recreated the iconic image from the classic scene from the 1955’s “The Seven Year Itch” .
In the film, Marilyn’s skirt was blown up by the wind from a subway grate. But the scene is just as plausible for the statue’s original home, Chicago “the windy city, and her new temporary home of Palm Springs.
As iconic as Marilyn is to Hollywood Glamour, Wind Turbines are the iconic images for Palm Springs. Hundreds of them line the freeway and highway 111 leading into town.
I can’t think of a better location for the “Forever Marilyn” statue during this anniversary year. Especially given Marilyn’s auspicious connection with Palm Springs.
Marilyn Discovered in Palm Springs
In 1949, Marilyn Monroe was “discovered” by Johnny Hyde, from the William Morris Talent Agency, at the Charlie Farrell Racquet Club in Palm Springs. At the time, she was poolside, having her photos taken by Bruno Bernard.
Even though the swimsuit design hasn’t stood the test of time, the wedge platforms are still on-trend today.
Palm Springs “Hollywood’s Playground”
In the 1920’s, Palm Springs started to become the quick jaunt getaway for Hollywood stars.
In the old Hollywood system, Actors under contract had to be available back on Set “within 2 hours”, for photo and film shoots. As Palm Springs is only 120 miles away from Los Angeles, it hugged the edge of this 2-hour limit and became the playground for the rich and famous. Palm Springs offered an “anything goes” aura of freedom, away from the prying eyes of the Hollywood Studio system, hell bent on projecting squeaky-clean reputations of their stars.
Experience a slice of Marilyn Glamour
If you’re heading to Palm Springs, why not take advantage of some of the activities organized by the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism:
Marilyn’s Star: Palm Canyon Drive
Similar to the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Palm Springs Walk of Stars has nearly 350 Golden Palm Stars embedded in the sidewalks throughout downtown Palm Springs. Marilyn Monroe’s star is located at 101 S. Palm Canyon Drive, adjacent to the “Forever Marilyn” sculpture.
Marilyn’s House: Take a Celebrity Tour
Marilyn Monroe lived in a’50s bungalow-style house in the Las Palmas neighborhood. During a celebrity tour, visitors will hear the stories and secrets of the stars and see Marilyn’s home along with many other celebrity homes including the Elvis Honeymoon House, Elizabeth Taylor’s and Frank Sinatra’s homes.
© 1949 photo of Marilyn by Bernard of Hollywood, all other photo’s Roving Jay