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Marilyn Monroe is Back Living Her Most Famous Summer in New York

1954 was an intense year and a tough summer for the newly married Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe. They were living in a suite at the Lexington Hotel in New York, not far from where her famous skirt-blowing scene was filmed in front of the Trans-Lux 52nd Street Theater, for the movie The Seven Year Itch, directed by Billy Wilder, a three-times Golden Globe winner.
Then 20th Century Fox’s East Coast correspondent Bill Kobrin told the Palm Springs Desert Sun that it was director Wilder’s idea to turn the shoot into a media circus. “Hundreds of gawkers, almost all men… catcalled and yelled things like, ‘Higher! Higher!’ as Ms. Monroe’s dress blew up over her head,” according to The New York Times.
DiMaggio got furious and the couple had a fight at the set, immediately after that subway grate scene. The quarrel must have continued at the hotel, because on returning from New York City to Hollywood three weeks later, Monroe filed for divorce from DiMaggio after only nine months of marriage.
The couple eventually reconciled and remained friends until her mysterious death on August 4th, 1962. Exactly sixty years after, and with almost nothing left to be told about her much-written life, there is one news: the legendary couple is now back at The Lexington Hotel, where their legacy lives on.

This month, figures of the pair from Madame Tussauds in New York, have returned to the scene of their final argument. Between now and August 17, visitors and guests can freely interact with Monroe and DiMaggio 24 hours a day in the lobby of the modern Art Deco-inspired space, built on 1929.
The wax figures are on display without ropes or barriers to hold guests back from meeting them. Created at Madame Tussauds’ London studio, each figure was brought to life by a team of sculptors, colorists, hairdressers and stylists. To achieve an exact likeness of Monroe and DiMaggio, the team of artists researched hundreds of archival photographs to meticulously capture their most striking nuances, with each figure taking six months to complete.
“Madame Tussauds has always been known for creating immersive encounters with the most beloved celebrities, and there’s really no more iconic face in pop culture history than Marilyn Monroe”, said Joerg Hanel, general manager at Madame Tussauds New York.
Besides taking free pictures in the lobby, guests can also book Suite 1806 – now the “Norma Jean”, a 600 square-foot Hollywood glam space with private balcony, “outfitted with luxe velvet and silk furnishings, monogrammed Dorothy Draper cocktail glasses and a stunning vanity. The separate bedroom has a king bed, just as it did back in 1954”.
“When [Marilyn and I] got together in the bedroom, it was like the gods were fighting; there were thunderclouds and lightning above us”, wrote the baseball player in Dinner With DiMaggio: Memories of an American Hero (2017).
Anthony Summers, author of “Goddess, the Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe (1985)”, adapted this year for Netflix’s feature-length documentary film The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes directed by Emma Cooper – offered an interesting summary of her, during a recent press conference with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
“She was an extraordinary actress, and she had an aura about her, she had something when she walked into a room, there was something about her that whatever was happening in the room, you couldn’t fail to look at her, notice her and listen to her. This is partly cultivated by her during her early years. But partly just because she was an extraordinary person. And this extraordinary person was also extremely sensitive”, said Summers.
“This was an intelligent, thoughtful woman who had ideas about politics back in the day when women really weren’t supposed to have too many sophisticated thoughts about politics, and they weren’t going to go into prominent situations themselves, but she had ideas about politics, ideas about philosophy, art, read heavily into Russian literature, ideas about the body, I mean she didn’t just become a beautiful film star by chance, she had ideas about fitness. She was self-educated and really bright and yet had this tragic largely depressive side to her.” 
In September, another movie about her is set to be premiere at Venice Film Festival: Blonde, written and directed by Andrew Dominik, based on Joyce Carol Oates’ novel. The cast is led by Ana de Armas (Monroe) and Adrien Brody (Arthur Miller, her third and last husband), both Golden Globe nominees; while Bobby Cannavale plays DiMaggio.
In 2012, Michelle Williams won the Golden Globe as Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, for playing Monroe in the movie My Week with Marilyn.
The dress from The Seven Year Itch. The shoes from Some Like It Hot. The chair from Bus Stop. A new pop-up museum at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood showcases these and many more artifacts on the anniversary of the icon’s death 60 years ago. Our reporter Raffi Boghosian takes us through the exhibit below: