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ClearDot.gif (85 bytes) The Roles Marilyn Missed (cont.)
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One of Marilyn's own favorite stars was Jean Harlow. Fox had planned to feature her in a Harlow biopic following "The Prince And The Showgirl." In June, 1956, Variety magazine announced: "Upon his return from Paris, 20th Century Fox producer Buddy Adler took the wraps off the studio's long projected plan to biopic Jean Harlow with Marilyn Monroe playing the late screen star."

Arthur Miller persuaded Marilyn to reject the role and Fox shelved it. Ten years later Paramount was to star Carroll Baker in "Harlow", which received a critical bashing. Ironically, Marilyn sought a role which Baker succeeded in getting, that of the sensuous southerner in "Baby Doll", a film based on the play by Tennessee Williams.

Another film which Fox announced that Marilyn would make immediately after "The Seven Year Itch" was "The Girl On the Red Velvet Swing." Marilyn was about to form her own company, Marilyn Monroe Productions Inc., at the time and refused to do the picture until her old contract was renegotiated. Fox suspended her and cast Joan Collins in the role instead.

• • • • • •
“I don't want to play the brothers,
I want to play Grushenka. She's a girl.”

This was not the first time the company had denied her such a role. Fox also had a starlet under contract named Sheree North who they were grooming to be a rival to Marilyn. Following the success of "How To Marry A Millionaire", Marilyn wanted the role of Nefer-Nefer in the big-budget epic "The Egyptian". Marlon Brando also wanted her to star alongside him in the film (when she didn't get the part he opted out and Edmond Purdom starred). Fox refused to give in to her and demanded she appear in "The Girl In Pink Tights". When she refused they announced that Sheree North would be appearing in the film.

Marilyn married Joe DeMaggio and received such support from the public that Fox backed down and dropped the project.

Scriptwriter Nunnally Johnson, who'd written "How to Marry A Millionaire", wrote "How to Be Very, Very Popular" specifically with Marilyn in mind. She didn't like it and refused to make the film. Fox suspended her again and put Sheree North in her place. The movie flopped.

Another Marilyn project which Fox cooked up was a remake of the Marlene Dietrich classic "The Blue Angel", which they scheduled to follow "The Prince and The Showgirl". By that time Marilyn had full script approval rights and rejected it. The film was eventually made in 1959 with Swedish actress May Britt in the leading role.

"Goodbye Charlie" had been a popular Broadway production starring Lauren Bacall in the story of a gangster who is killed and then reincarnated as a glamorous blonde. Marilyn rejected the film role and it was later made with Debbie Reynolds in the starring role.

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