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While preparing to perform at President Kennedy’s Birthday Salute in 1962, Marilyn Monroe and Ella Fitzgerald reflect upon their friendship and efforts towards advancing the civil rights movement, hoping to influence the Kennedy brothers’ policies. The episode also highlights the very private party following the gala honoring JFK’s birthday, where Marilyn was famously photographed with the Kennedys. Also featured is one of Marilyn’s many battles with 20th Century Fox Studios over a photograph featuring her, the legendary jazz pianist Hank Jones, and her costume designer for “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, William Travilla. Jones was also Marilyn’s pianist at the 1962 “Happy Birthday” performance.

What I really want to say: That what the world needs is a real feeling of kinship. Everybody: stars, laborers, Negros, Jews, Arabs. We are all brothers.

Marilyn Monroe

(And for the purposes of this episode, Soul Sisters, too.)

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CAST
Marilyn Monroe
Ella Fitzgerald
Hank Jones
Jimmy Haspiel
Stage Manager
Ida Mae
Darryl Zanuck
Isidor Miller
Emcee
Ethel Kennedy
Mathilde Krim
Narrator
Billy Travilla
Sydney Skolsky
Driver
Secretary
Allen K. Wood
Pat Newcomb
Erin Gavin
Monique DeBose
Troy Mangram
Kyle Colton
Kyle Colton
Tiffany Goodman
Ron Hayden
Ron Hayden
Ron Hayden
Naomi Rohatyn
Nika Khitrova
Brad Hyland
Eddie Lobo
Vince Melamed
Oscar Vitacco-Robles
Nina Boski
Randall Libero
Savannah Gilmore

Norma Jeane: Discovering Truths

COMPANION PODCAST

Discerning the truth about Marilyn’s last day, what’s to come in Season 2 of the podcast, the JFK gala in 1962, Marilyn and Ella Fitzgerald, Gary’s forthcoming book on her death.

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Episode 9