One of the pivotal moments in the upcoming Netflix film “Blonde,” a dramatized account of Monroe’s life, is her relationship with DiMaggio, with whom she had a turbulent, short marriage and later a friendship.
In 1952, Monroe was still becoming more famous, and DiMaggio, who had quit baseball the year before, asked a friend to introduce them.
According to her memoirs, “My Story,” which was ghostwritten by Ben Hecht, the actress was reluctant to meet with the New York Yankees icon because she thought he would be the archetypal haughty athlete.
After that, the pair started dating long distance, with Monroe living on the West Coast and DiMaggio remaining in the East. Despite their best efforts, the press finally grew quite interested in their relationship.
The couple wed at San Francisco City Hall in January 1954, reportedly amid a photographer and a fan crush.
Monroe opted not to wear a traditional wedding gown because it was an elopement. DiMaggio donned a straightforward suit while she chose a dark brown suit with a white fur collar and black pumps as they posed for photos in front of Saints Peter and Paul Church.
Following their nuptials on January 14, 1954, in the chambers of Municipal Judge Charles Peery at San Francisco City Hall, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio push past a group of newsmen. BOOKMAN DATABASE
Because they had both previously been married and divorced, the couple was unable to have a church wedding at the time. Both of their second marriages began with their partnership.
Despite the actress’ endometriosis, the couple, according to her autobiography, had a lot in common, including a desire to start a family.
However close they were, DiMaggio’s jealousy and domineering nature, as well as Monroe’s hectic filming schedule, seem to have doomed their marriage from the outset.
When Monroe and her husband were on their honeymoon in Japan, she was asked to go to South Korea to sing for the American troops stationed there during the Korean War. She accepted the invitation, which infuriated her husband.
Her concern with her prevailing “bombshell” reputation caused a further strain in their relationship.
Most notably, fans and paparazzi were reportedly present and applauding the actress while she was filming “The Seven Year Itch,” which features her now-famous “flying skirt” sequence. This is alleged because of director Billy Wilder, who allegedly arranged for it. DiMaggio, who happened to be on set, was reportedly enraged, which led to the two fighting in front of onlookers.
Monroe filed for divorce from DiMaggio in October 1954, alleging “mental abuse” as the basis for her decision. This was after she had finished filming in New York City and had returned to Los Angeles. Only nine months were spent as a married couple.
Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio during the 1955 premiere of “The Seven Year Itch.” BETTMANN ARCHIVE
Monroe moved on and married renowned playwright Arthur Miller in 1956. But this relationship too came to an end; the pair divorced in 1961.
In the first half of 1961, Monroe underwent a variety of operations, including one for her endometriosis. She also spent four weeks in a New York psychiatric facility being treated for depression.
During this time, she and DiMaggio got back in touch. He helped her get her parole and drove her to Florida, where he was working at the time as the Yankees’ batting coach.
Despite rumors of remarriage, the two continued to have a close friendship.
At her Los Angeles home on August 5, 1962, Monroe passed away from a barbiturate overdose. Officials at the time determined that her death was likely a suicide. She was 36.
Berniece Baker Miracle, Monroe’s half-sister, and Monroe’s business manager, Inez Melson, assisted a grieving DiMaggio in organising the memorial service at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery on August 8.
He made sure to deliver six crimson flowers to her tomb three times a week for twenty years.
DiMaggio declined to mention Monroe publicly after her passing, and he never remarried.