The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe by J. Randy Taraborrelli

Many biographies have been written about Marilyn Monroe. She was born under the name of Norma Jeane Mortenson in the charity ward of the Los Angeles County Hospital, Los Angeles, California, USA on June 1, 1926. marilyn picShe was a Golden Globe Award­ winning American actress, singer, model and pop icon. She became known for her comedic skills and screen presence, going on to become one of the most popular movie stars of the 1950s. Later in her career, she worked towards serious roles with a measure of success. However, long­standing  problems were exacerbated by disappointments in both her career and personal life during her later years. Her death on August 5, 1962 has been subject to speculation and conspiracy theories.

I found this biography by J. Randy Taraborrelli in my local library and I decided to read it to try to separate the fact from the fiction. He is an American journalist and biographer. j-randy-taraborrelliTaraborrelli was born February 29, 1956 in Califonia, USA and is an author known for his biographies of contemporary entertainers and political figures. In The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe the author draws complex and sympathetic portraits of the women so influential in the actress’ life, including her mother, foster mother, and legal guardian. He also reveals, for the first time, the shocking scope of Marilyn’s own mental illness, the identity of Marilyn’s father and the half-brother she never knew. He has also uncovered new information about her relationships Robert Kennedy, John F Kennedy, and Pat Kennedy Lawford. monroe-marilyn

When Marilyn Monroe became famous in the 1950s, the world was told that her mother was either dead or simply not a part of her life. However, that was not true. In fact, her mentally ill mother was very much present in Marilyn’s world and the complex family dynamic that unfolded behind the scenes is a story that has never previously been told. In this marilyn bookgroundbreaking book Taraborrelli draws complex and sympathetic portraits of the women so influential in the actress’ life, including her mother, her foster mother and her legal guardian.

Marilyn was beautiful but damaged. She was the ultimate sex symbol, publicly celebrated, privately unhappy; that is why Marilyn Monroe’s tumultuous life and untimely death continue to fascinate us. The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe by J. Randy Taraborrelli is explosive, revelatory and surprisingly moving. It is the final word on the life of one of the most fascinating and elusive icons of the twentieth century.

Valerie Penny



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