Click on the link here for Audio Player – Marilyn Monroe: Fame Is Fickle – NBC Radio Tribute – August 6, 1962 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
Hard to imagine it was fifty-seven years ago today the world lost Marilyn Monroe. Within hours of finding her body, dead from an overdose, every news outlet in the world flashed word that an icon was gone.
And rather than go the way of so many before her, off to obscurity, Marilyn Monroe has achieved a sort of epic-immortal status – her fame and her persona achieving almost mythic stature many decades after her death, and probably for many more decades to come.
But the bottom line; she was the victim of pressures so often put on the iconic or famous. The expectations and the casual dismissal when those icons fall from the pedestal created for them. The blind eye to the fallibilities, the deaf ear to the calls for help.
Things are a bit different now – we give an all-knowing nod when we hear about the latest Name Talent in rehab, or which star-on-the-rise was found dead of an overdose. We mutter something tinged with gallows-humor and get on with it, as if we expect all our heroes to be made of clay anyway.
But she was of a time when icons were larger-than-life. They were different than the rest of us. They were always perfect. They were supposed to be.
And maybe when the 60s came around, those myths became more and more unmasked. The facades became no longer important to maintain.
But when she died, it was shocking. And the world went into mourning, if even for a little while.
So here’s what it sounded like, that day in 1962 as reported by NBC Radio in a tribute called Marilyn Monroe: Fame Is Fickle.
It still is.