My Life Was Kind of Grim, Part One

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn purchases a Spanish hacienda style home in Brentwood, California in early 1962, and reflects upon her childhood. Her memories take us back in time to the 1920s as we learn the story of her mother Gladys in the years shortly before Marilyn was born. The episode introduces Gladys and new found friend Grace McKee’s relationship when they worked together as film cutters at Consolidated Film Industries in the early years of the Hollywood motion picture industry during the Roaring Twenties.

I was brought up a waif. I knew I was different from other children because there were no kisses or promises in my life.

Marilyn Monroe


Marilyn Monroe
Mental health expert
Mr. Burke
Grace McKee
Gladys Baker
Man 1
Man 2
Della Hogan Monroe
Erin Gavin
Brad Hyland
Gary Vitacco-Robles
Rod Mitchell
Hayden Seidensticker
Kaleb Seidensticker
Nina Boski
Kristina Martin
Jack Drinker
Hunter Peterson
Naomi Rohatyn

Norma Jeane: Discovering Truths


Co-Producers Nina, Randall, and Gary analyze Monroe’s remarks about her childhood as “grim” and her efforts to ground and rebuild her life with DiMaggio in a new home in Brentwood as a corrective experience for her unstable childhood. Gary describes the Bolender household as rigid and punitive. Randall reviews the relationship between Monroe’s mother Gladys, and her best friend, Grace McKee and the episode’s re-creation of their peripheral work in the film industry in the 1920s. The co-writers analyze the matriarchy of Monroe’s family during a changing time in American history. Gary provides a timeline of the chaos in the lives of Monroe’s mother and grandmother.

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