Monroe, the misfit, by former husband Miller

Vincent Graff,Culture Editor
Wednesday 11 September 2013 04:51

If we can't get over her, more than 40 years after her death, perhaps it is little surprise that her last husband's thoughts still return to her - even while he is at work.

Arthur Miller has written a new play about Marilyn Monroe. Finishing The Picture is a tale of her battles with drink, drugs and depression, and is based on the making of The Misfits, her last finished film, which was written for Monroe by Miller.

According to those who have seen the new work - "not a complete play, it is really just a draft," according to an audience member - the Monroe character does not set foot on stage. She is, however, constantly talked about. In the play, the Marilyn character is addicted to tranquillizers, drinks heavily and suffers a nervous breakdown.

Given the playwright's reluctance to speak directly about his life with one of the 20th-century's most enduring icons, the only clues are to be found in his fiction. Miller has written before about Monroe, whom he divorced in 1961, a year before she died as a result of an overdose of sleeping pills at the age of 36.

In 1964, he wrote After The Fall, said to be an autobiographical work. It was assumed to be an attempt by Miller to overcome his obsession with Monroe.

The couple met while she was taking acting classes. During their relationship, the actress, whose first marriage was to the baseball legend Joe DiMaggio, suffered two miscarriages.

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