May 17, 2006
Lunch With Marilyn
In New York, on Broadway, I acted in Norman Rosten's play, Mr. Johnson. One Sunday, director Robert Lewis took me along to visit Arthur Miller in Brooklyn; part of the happy event was to meet Miller's new wife . . . who else? . . . but the movie star Marilyn Monroe.
Yes, we arrived at the Miller home and Arthur himself greeted us at the door.
"Where is Marilyn?" Bobby Lewis immediately asked.
"In the kitchen, fixing lunch," said Miller, pointing the way. Bobby went to the kitchen to meet her. Imagine, here stood this movie beauty in her short black dress with chin shoulder straps, one of them down, of course, and her ash blond mop of hair, high heeled backless pumps, and the radiant glowing skin. She looked up at us briefly as she stayed focused on stirring soup.
"Hi," she whispered in the girlish trademark voice of hers. When we sat down to eat, Arthur sat next to Marilyn but conversation took place between the three men, about the theater. Marilyn listened attentively but when anyone addressed her, she just smiled that famous Monroe smile and flashed her radiant white teeth.
In spite of her verbal reticence, her marriage to Miller looked comfortable, although somewhat distanced. He beamed as he looked at her physical beauty but any verbal rapport seemed to be lacking, at least in the present company.
I remember that Marilyn sashayed back and forth from kitchen to dining room, serving us our lunch. Although she tried to fit the role of a regular housewife, one could not help noticing the swing of the hips, those beautiful legs and her glamorous outfit.
This was in no way Doris Roberts in Raymond.
As we left Brooklyn, Rosten asked me my take on Marilyn. "It's hard to pin down," I said. "Her American intellectual husband could be paying a price for marrying this sexy movie star because she doesn't seem to be quite reachable, even to him, her new husband."
"That's why he married her," laughed Bobby.
As I'm writing this down, I can still see her red rosebud mouth laughing, and those gleaming teeth and hear the seductive, "Hi" . . . But then, who wouldn't remember lunch with Marilyn Monroe?