Marilyn Monroe’s Personal Script
A script owned by Marilyn Monroe. This screenplay for a Broadway play titled “Maiden Voyage” was written by Paul Osborn, who penned scripts for many great plays including East of Eden and South Pacific. This part was offered to Marilyn in 1956 while she was filming The Prince and the Showgirl in England with Laurence Olivier.
From the book Marilyn Monroe by Barbara Leaming, page 272:
Kermit Bloomgarden hadn’t had a chance to see (Arthur) Miller during his brief stay in New York, but the producer and the playwright had talked on the phone. Upon Miller’s return, Bloomgarden telegraphed inviting Marilyn to appear on Broadway as Athena in Paul Osborn’s Maiden Voyage. Soon, a copy of Maiden Voyage followed. Osborn was the commercially successful author of such plays as The Vinegar Tree and Point of No Return. Bloomgarden was careful to say he didn’t want Marilyn simply for her name but because he was sure she would be terrific in the role.
Miller declined on Marilyn’s behalf. He made a point of reaffirming his belief that Marilyn was going to be a great stage star, but as far as he was concerned, making her theatrical debut in Paul Osborn’s play was simply out of the question. He noted that Marilyn was exhausted and couldn’t possibly work that winter. As soon as she completed The Sleeping Prince, the Millers wanted to go home and settle down.
Although Marilyn ultimately didn’t accept this project, her annotations and markings can be seen throughout the script. She penned her initials on the first page.
She annotated her own part, Hera, by writing the word “me.” She underlined the words “sex” and “sexually” and wrote the word “no.”
Interesting point of note: There appears to be some discrepancy over the part Marilyn was to play. Barbara Leaming’s book indicates Marilyn was offered the part of Athena. However, in her script, Monroe appears to annotate her part as that of Hera by writing “me.”
Christie’s New York: The Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe, October 27-28, 1999. Click here to buy your copy of the Christie’s auction catalog for the sale of Marilyn Monroe’s personal items.