MARILYN MONROE HER LAST DAYS Ella was doing a gig at the Cloisters nightclub in Hollywood, and I stopped back stage to visit after the show. We were chatting, mostly about nothing, when who should walk in but Marilyn Monroe! I guess my jaw dropped. I mean, is there a man on earth who wouldn't have been in shock at the sight of Marilyn Monroe in person? She had been in the audience with well-known French actor, Yves Montand, and they came back to congratulate Ella on her performance.
Marilyn being Marilyn, just her presence was intimidating and she monopolized the conversation, babbling on in that throaty, breathless way she had. "Oh, I just had to tell you how wonderful your show was," she gushed to Ella. "I've been one of your biggest fans for years and years!" I was a little surprised at Ella's reaction, which was just a notch or two short of friendly, not exactly rude, but fairly cool.
I broke out the champagne and Marilyn joined me on a loveseat as the four of us sipped our drinks and made small talk. Up close, I could see that she looked terrible.
Her face was pasty white and her figure seemed to have lost its ripe, round appearance. Instead of voluptuous, she simply looked overweight and bloated.
Ella was saying nothing and Montand was also silent, so I nervously asked Marilyn what she had been up to lately, hoping the atmosphere would defrost a little.
At this point, I'm not even sure what she said. I do remember clearly that she slurred her words, gestured wildly, and had trouble keeping her balance, even while she was sitting down.
It was obvious she was already flying on booze or pills before she ever walked in the room...