Monday, November 06, 2006


News flash!! Most young girls across America say Marilyn Monroe is their all-time hero. Elegant Audrey Hepburn comes in a distant second in the Screen Goddess Sweepstakes. We demand a recount. Let's take a closer look at both actresses.

Marilyn Monroe's horrendous beginning PARALYZED her right up to the end of her life. During her childhood, Marilyn endured the tyranny of her mother's mental illness. Unloved. Shuffled to many abusive foster homes. Stripped of her dignity and any shred of safety.

She dreamed of a fame that would bring her the love of millions. She got it, but it was no fairytale.

Gossip columnist Walter Winchell once wrote: "Hollywood is a place where they put you under contract instead of under observation." Well, that wasn't true for Marilyn.

Marilyn freely admitted she did the "Monica Lewinsky" for years with agents, producers, studio moguls and a cast of thousands, before landing a coveted studio contract. Finally, she signed with 20th Century Fox and wearily declared: "That's the last time I'll ever be on my knees!"

She got her studio contract AND was placed under observation many times, in many psychiatric clinics. An alphabet soup of mental maladies plagued her. Depression. Suicidal tendencies. Alcoholism. Drug addiction. Sex addiction. Instead of a handshake, a simple thank you, or a kiss on the cheek, Marilyn had sex with you.

As a fully grown sex symbol, Marilyn Monroe inflicted the tyranny of her mental illness on co-stars and directors. Her insecurities, fueled by sleeping pills and booze, led to hopeless depression and legendary bad behavior. Lateness to the set or a no-show. Flubbed lines. Millions of studio dollars lost.

The movies made her a celluloid idol, but left many battlefield casualties. Cast and crew always suffered from Marilyn fatigue in all its ugly incarnations.

Poor Marilyn. The star didn't even live like a movie queen. Her personal hygiene was woefully lacking. She rarely bathed. She never owned a home until months before her death at age 36. The screen goddess apparently washed down dozens of sleeping pills with a magnum of champagne. Found disheveled and nude in the middle of her bedroom floor on a bare mattress, the room was a squalid mess.

No one who personally knew Marilyn registered surprise at her early demise.

Marilyn Monroe's last words were to an actor friend, Peter Lawford: "Please say goodbye to...", aka a serial cheater, married lover who dumped her months before and passed her on to his brother. The lover happened to be the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. Thus began speculation that she was murdered with Nembutal suppositories to silence any blabbing to the press.

Sadly, it seems Marilyn's magic was only on the screen.

While Marilyn's bleak childhood paralyzed her, Audrey Hepburn's early tragedies GALVANIZED her, and she grew up to become an extraordinary human being.

Audrey sprinkled her magic everywhere, everyday of her life. Everyone always fell in love with her and admired her forever.

Audrey Hepburn came of age during the bloody Nazi occupation of Holland. Stripped of its dignity and any shred of safety, her homeland sank into despair. Though born to a Dutch baroness, Audrey's family suffered the same fate as the commoners.

While a Jewish teenager named Anne Frank hid in an Amsterdam attic writing the dairy that would one day inspire the world, 15-year old Audrey joined the Dutch Resistance.

She carried secret messages in her ballet slippers, knowing that if caught, the Nazis would shoot her. That took a lot of guts, especially since the Gestapo executed her two favorite uncles months before for similar heroics.

Food became a distant memory for Audrey. Forced starvation, not anorexia, made the future fashion original skeletal. The young girl stayed alive by eating tulip bulbs. Her metabolism changed, stomach problems began and her weight remained at 110 pounds for the rest of her life.

Being born into the European aristocracy is not what gave Audrey Hepburn a fairytale life. Her banker father deserted the family. The warm and sensitive Audrey endured a cold and distant mother, who was now forced to take in work as a seamstress. Ironically, Marilyn's mother worked as a studio seamstress.

Even after Audrey's triumphs on the stage and in the movies, her shrewish mother told her: "Considering that you have no talent, it's really extraordinary where you've gotten."

Still, the saintly actress harbored no malice, ever. She took care of both parents until their deaths.

In a twist of fate, Audrey's most cherished role as Holly Golightly in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" was written by the book's author, Truman Capote, with Marilyn Monroe in mind for the film role.

But Audrey's easy charm and inimitable fashion sense, abetted by French designer Givenchy, won the day. The actress ended up with an Oscar nomination and also sang the Oscar-winning song, "Moon River". Today, "Breakfast at Tiffany's" is an icon in the vault of stylish cinema.

Audrey often said: "I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it." She fulfilled these needs with her sons, her circle of friends, and with those suffering all over the globe.

Twenty years before Angelina Jolie signed up with the United Nations, Audrey began her charity work with its UNICEF branch. She just had to pay back for the life-saving help she got from the Red Cross as a teen in war torn Europe.

Audrey Hepburn eased the suffering of countless children throughout Africa, Asia, and South America with her relentless perseverance and tireless UN relief trips.

"I'm glad I've got a name and I'm using it for all its worth. It's a bonus that my career gave me," she said right before leaving for her final trip in 1993 to famine-struck Somalia. She worked long and hard under grueling conditions to help save the African children and their families from certain extinction.

On her return home, doctors made a shocking discovery. Audrey had only three months left.

Her son Sean Ferrer recalled that, "Even on the day she died, her very last thoughts were with the children. She wanted to know if there were any messages about the children in Somalia. Mommy believed in love. She left us with peace."

Yes, we all will make the decision at some point in our lives to be paralyzed or galvanized by the dark shadows of our past. Choose to walk in the sunshine.

Be a hero, like Audrey Hepburn.

(c)2006, Sistarrs International


Blissful Being said...

I definately agree with you. Audrey is my all-time favorite actress. When I was younger I wanted to dress like her and have her elegance...

I still can't help feel sorry for poor Marilyn. She was a victim of her surroundings and upbringing. Her behavior was not uncommon to a person brought up the way she was. However, I simply disliked her movies because personally I just thought she was a bad actress... My humble opinion anyway... ; )

Thanks for this post. It was enlightening. I was not aware of these facts.



Bridgette Marie said...

The lover happened to be the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. Thus began speculation that she was murdered with Nebutal suppositories to silence any blabbing to the press.

I believe this to be the most likely cause of death. No pills were found in her system, which totally throws out the idea of her overdosing. Plus, morticians are well known to be payed off to report what they're told to. Not to mention the fact that her death records are not supposed to be released until the last Kennady who was alive during the time of her death is dead. I completely believe that Marilyn was murdered. I'm not a particular fan of hers, nor do I greatly admire her, so I have nothing to gain by thinking this. I just feel out of all the evidence, that it's most likely that someone she trusted spent an evening with her, and gave her suppositories letting her think they would calm her and help her sleep, when in fact they killed her

Ohhh Drew! said...

Powerful and compelling, ladies!

~Wyzowl~ said...

There's no denying that Hepburn was a truly beautiful soul, who was much more than an actress. She showed her deep caring and love for humanity and the 'under-dog' in very real terms....throughout her life, from beginning to end. Audrey was an exceptional human being who made a difference in this world.

However, to me, Marilyn will always shine like the brilliant luminous star she was. Marilyn was a beautiful Hollywood icon...a great success...but at the same time, she was also the 'under-dog'. She bared her breasts...but she also bared her soul and her frailties and flaws...for the whole world to see. I love her for that...and many people do...and that's why she'll always be our darling beloved Marilyn Monroe.

Love, Wyzowl x

Alexis said...

LOVED THIS BLOG!!! I always saw Audrey Hepburn as a role model.
I adore Marilyn, but also saw her fragility.

When you wrote that we have a choice between being "paralyzed" or "galvanized" by our life's pain,you said something I'll never forget. Thank you, Starr Sisters!!

Jackie M. said...

Didn't know Audrey Hepburn was with the underground during WW II.
Class, beauty, sex appeal & courage...she had it all. We'll never see her likes again!!

Marianne said...

It's so great to know Audrey was as magical offscreen as on. It is probably too true that Marilyn's magic was mostly onscreen. So sad.
Loved that you can be galvanized or paralyzed. The choice is ours. That'll stick with me for sure!!
Thanks for another amazing blog with amazing parallels. You guys rock!!

Zoey said...

Audrey Hepburn is timeless. I love "Moon River" and the way she moved and dressed. Knowing she was a ballerina explains alot. Poor, sad Marilyn. Life is an illusion and we all can't help but love her, too!

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trixie said...

I've tried, but I can't sit through even one of her movies; her acting was kinda wooden and one note IMO; she did alot of pouting and posing; yes, she was pretty, but so are lots of people; I think she was very lucky and very ambitious.