Lot #908
Marilyn Monroe

"Time is of the essence"—Monroe looks to Marlon Brando for help
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Estimate: $7500+

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"Time is of the essence"—Monroe looks to Marlon Brando for help

ALS in pencil, signed “Marilyn,” two pages, 4.25 x 5.25, Los Angeles Institute for Psychoanalysis letterhead, no date. Letter to Marlon Brando, evidently scribed for a later telegram, in full: "CR 12151 Western Union, Dear Marlon, I need your opinion about a plan for getting Lee out here on more than a temporary basis please phone me as soon as possible Time is of the essence." In fine condition.

The “Lee” referenced in the letter is Lee Strasberg, an Austrian-born actor, director, and theatre practitioner who cofounded the Group Theatre in 1931 and, twenty years later, became the director of the prestigious Actor’s Studio in New York City. While living in Manhattan, Monroe became Strasberg’s most popular student, bringing great attention to the acting studio while esteeming Strasberg as a sort of father figure.

Starting with the divorce of husband Arthur Miller, 1961 was a difficult year for Monroe, who was beset by a host of ailments and canceled her lone acting project when NBC refused to hire Strasberg as the director. Monroe moved back to California in the spring and sought to create a new production company with the aid of Marlon Brando and Strasberg. The extent of Monroe’s adoration for Strasberg is represented in her final will, in which she bequeathed all of her personal belongings and seventy-five percent of her estate to the acting coach.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autographs and Artifacts
  • Dates: November 20 - December 09

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