In this photo, Marilyn Monroe is studying her script on the set of her film Bus Stop in 1956. If you look closely above her head, there’s a photo of James Dean. Emily, who runs jamesdeandaily, once told me that James had wanted to audition for Bus Stop (which I never knew!) I don’t know for sure, but knowing Marilyn’s sweet heart, I think she purposely put that photo of him on set as a tribute to him. RIP James Dean (February 8, 1931-September 30, 1955)
Marilyn Monroe photographed at a Stop Arthritis charity circus event, 1955.
Marilyn + Humanitarian Work
Among friends and colleagues, Marilyn Monroe was renowned for her generosity in helping others wherever she could. Below are just some of the causes Marilyn donated time and/or money to:
- 1953: A benefit for underprivileged children cared for by Jude’s Hospital. Marilyn sang with Jane Russell at the Hollywood Bowl
- She took time out from her honeymoon to Joe DiMaggio to perform for three days for US service members serving in Korea in 1954
- 1955: Marilyn worked with WAIF, an organization that placed abandoned children in homes. Jane Russell enlisted Marilyn’s help.
- 1955: Marilyn’s appearance at a circus sponsored by Mike Todd at Madison Square Garden in New York City benefited the Arthritis and Rheumatism Foundation. She appeared astride a pink elephant.
- 1957: Marilyn gave earnings from the world premier of The Prince and The Showgirl to The Milk Fund for Babies.
- 1958 March of Dimes Fashion Parade that aided children with polio
- Donated $1000 to a children’s welfare organization that gave free breakfasts to under privileged children.
- 1962: Marilyn visited an orphanage during her trip to Mexico. Her initial donation was $1,000.00 while the press was there- and after they left she ripped up the check and replaced it with another for a $10,000.00 donation. That night was one of the few nights in her later life that she recalled sleeping without the aid of sleeping pills.
- SANE- an organization dedicated to eliminating nuclear weapons.
- 1962: Marilyn’s final public appearance was at a muscular dystrophy benefit held at Chavez Ravin Dodger Stadium in Los Angels on June 1, her 36th and final birthday.
- Marilyn’s final charitable donation was her largest: In her will, she left 25% of her estate to former psychiatrist, Dr. Marianne Kris, “to be used for the furtherance of the work of such psychiatric institutions or groups as she shall elect.” Knowing Marilyn’s enormous love for children, Kris chose the Anna Freud Children’s Clinic of London.
She loved very much the children and all the living things.
“Marilyn adored animals; she was drawn to all living things. She would spend hundreds of dollars to try to save a storm-damaged tree and would mourn its death. She welcomed birds, providing tree houses and food for the many species that visited her lawn; she worried about them in bad weather. She worried about dogs and cats. She once had a dog that was by nature contemplative, but she was convinced he was depressed. She did her best to make him play, and that depressed him even more; on the rare occasions when he did an antic pirouette, Marilyn would hug and kiss him, delirious with joy.”
- Norman Rosten, poet