Gilles Goetghebuer, the sports columnist for 6-8, was interested in the relationship between Marilyn Monroe and sports: avant-garde jogger but uninterested in many popular American sports, she still lives a romance with the baseball superstar of her time.
James Dean should have celebrated its 90th anniversary on February 8, 2021. Tragically died in a car accident in 1955, he is one of the leading actors in Hollywood after World War II, and embodies the rebellious youth that is also transformed into the beginning of rock’n’roll. He was also a big fan of motorsports.
The second star in American cinema in the 1950s is none other than Marilyn Monroe, a real Hollywood icon with movies like Men prefer blondes, Seven years of reflection or Some like it hot. She is also known as a model and singer, but the actress has also had fantastic connections with sports.
A jogger before his time
She posed especially in front of the star photographer’s lens Philippe Halsman doing Fitness. Come home for the photo shoot, the photographer notices that she has manuals. “Every morning I fight against gravity” she would have black quoted Gilles Goetghebuer.
This cliché and this anecdote have the merit of demonstrating another facet of the Hollywood superstar to the columnist: usually presented as a sex symbol or star in full decline at the end of life, yet she was also a sporty person. “She was going to run at a time when jogging did not yet exist” he emphasizes. The concept and trend of jogging in itself did not exist in sports jargon, they only appear in the 1970s. Marilyn Monroe felt she did jogging trot on the beach in Santa Monica, to the point that the surprising passers-by think she was on the run for someone, Gilles tells us again.
Marilyn Monroe has also been photographed playing other sports such as golf or tennis or in a bathing suit, “always in this slightly naive attitude of the very naive girl”, gives a biased picture of the personality “much richer than she could have” appreciated Gilles Goetghebuer. But the actor was not at all interested in these sports.
She also poses and plays baseball. This image then catches the attention of Joe DiMaggio. “The biggest star in baseball” and this year’s most popular athlete, specially selected as the three times best player in the American championship, falls under the magic of the actors in 1952. He wants to get a date with her through a mutual friend David marches. The latter tries to convince Marilyn of this by telling her that the star player of the New York Yankees will invite him. “Joe who?” she would have responded to David Mars’ astonishment, amazed that an American woman does not know “the greatest player in baseball history since Babe Ruth”, a name not known to the Hollywood superstar, proof of his lack of interest in sports.
Relationship with baseball star Joe DiMaggio
However, the meeting took place and the flame took hold and they married in January 1954 … before they divorced in November of the same year.
The short duration of the relationship is explained by the fact that Marilyn was little present for her husband. “as she very quickly seemed cumbersome”, he who had already retired from sports three years earlier. They kept on good terms to the point that the former baseball star would lay flowers on her ex-wife’s grave three times a week until her own death in 1999 … even though she did not understand anything about her sporting passion.
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