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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Encore Presentation: Panel Discusses Marilyn Monroe

Aired August 21, 2005 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARILYN MONROE, ACTRESS: Oh, do you feel the breeze from the subway? Isn't it delicious?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, Marilyn Monroe: the men, the drugs, the overdose. Plus, newly discovered photos of Marilyn as you've never seen her before.

Joining us tonight from Auburn, Maryland, Marilyn's first husband, Jimmie Dougherty. He was 21 when he married his neighbor, then 16-year-old Norma Jean Baker, in 1942.

From her home in Santa Maria, California, Jane Russell, another legendary silver screen beauty. She co-starred with Marilyn in the classic "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes."

Here in Los Angeles, actress Mamie Van Doren, a blonde bombshell herself, was friends with the ultimate blonde bomb shell.

And James Bacon, such a close friend of Marilyn's, he was the only reporter who got into her bungalow the night she died. And he cried as the ambulance drove her body away.

In New York City, the glamorous redhead movie goddess of the '50s, Arlene Dahl, who hung out with Marilyn, even interviewed her about her beauty secrets.

And back in L.A., Steve Crist, editor of a spectacular new book "Marilyn, " featuring the work of Marilyn's long-time lover and longtime friend, photographer Andrei de Dienes.

It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

This extraordinary book by Mr. Dienes -- is he deceased?

STEVE CRIST, EDITOR, "MARILYN": That's right. Andrei died in 1985.

KING: It's a limited publish -- you've published only how many of these?

CRIST: Twenty thousand worldwide. KING: Why so -- why not 50,000?

CRIST: It's a special book. It comes in a special box with a lot of special packaging and we thought a limited number would be nice.

KING: And these are photos, as Jim Bacon was saying, looking at them before we went on, you've never seen before, right?

CRIST: Yes, that's right. Most of the photographs in this book have not been published. But another angle of the book that's great is that Andrei's writings and memoirs are fully included.

KING: All right. We'll discuss that a lot later.

Let's start with Jimmie Dougherty in Auburn, Maine. How did you meet Marilyn? She was then Norma Jean, Jimmie.

JIMMIE DOUGHERTY, MARILYN MONROE'S FIRST HUSBAND: She used to come by the house with Beebe Goddard (ph) from high school. They had quite a ways to walk. So I would drive them home. They lived on Odessa (ph), and the high school was there on Cedris (ph), which was about three miles away. And...

KING: And how did you come to get -- fall in love and get married? I mean, she was only 16 and you were, what, 21?

DOUGHERTY: Yes. She was going to have to go back to the orphanage because Doc Goddard and Grace Goddard were moving to Virginia. His company was transferring him. And grace talked to my mother and asked if I would like to marry Norma Jean. I had taken her to a dance before, and I realized she was a big girl for 15 or 16. And she was -- she was a sweetheart.

KING: How long were you married?

DOUGHERTY: We got married in June, and we were divorced in September of '46. June of '42 and September of '46.

KING: What ended it?

DOUGHERTY: She became a movie actress. She couldn't be an actress and still be a movie star. So she wanted to live together and maintain a relationship, and I told her, No, that I wanted a family. And I said good-bye to her on the porch of Aunt Anna's. And that's when she told me that her name was going to be Marilyn Monroe.

KING: What did you think as she rose to fame?

DOUGHERTY: I thought it was wonderful that she was getting something that she wanted. And of course, Marilyn I never knew. It's a shame that she had to give up half her life for that fame.

KING: You liked her, though?

DOUGHERTY: I loved her. I was very much in love with Norma Jean.

James Bacon, were you -- you loved her too, didn't you?

JAMES BACON, MARILYN MONROE'S FRIEND: Yes. KING: What made -- I mean, a lost people look at her and said, I mean, she's very pretty. But there are a lot of pretty people. What separated her?

BACON: Well, she was very sweet and very vulnerable, you know, and very charming, witty. God, she was a great gal.

KING: Great comedienne, right?

BACON: Oh, absolutely. She was sensational, yes.

KING: Did you like being around her?

BACON: Oh, heavens, yes.

KING: But she -- I thought she was averse to the press.

BACON: No. She was never averse to me.

KING: You did interviews with her? She was open with you?

BACON: Oh, I'll say. God, she was very much -- very open, yes.

KING: Jane Russell, did you first meet her by working with her?

JANE RUSSELL, ACTRESS, ACTED WITH MARILYN: Actually, Jim brought her to a dance at Van Nuys High, and as he went -- as they danced by he pointed down to our table and he says, This is my new wife.

So actually, I had met her then. But it was when we started working together that I really got to know her.

KING: And that was of course in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes."

RUSSELL: Right. We were doing...

KING: Was she hard to work with?

RUSSELL: We were doing -- practicing dancing with Jack Cole. And Jack was a fabulous dancer. And he used to beat his dancers.

But he was the patience of Job with Marilyn and me because neither one of us were dancers. We didn't know what we were doing. So he...-

KING: Jane, did you get along with her?

RUSSELL: Yes. Oh, yes.

KING: Because she could be difficult on a movie set, could she not? RUSSELL: She had only been in one movie before, as a star. And she didn't even have a dressing room on the lot at the time.

KING: Mamie Van Doren -- hold it one second, Jane. Mamie, how did you first meet Marilyn? MAMIE VAN DOREN, FRIEND OF MARILYN: Well, it goes back. I was 12 years old when I first met Marilyn, and she was Norma Jean then. It was at the Ambassador Hotel in the swimming pool. She was taking photographs.

And it's very possible she was taking them with this photographer. She was with the...

KING: Really?

VAN DOREN: Yes. She was with the blue book modeling agency.

KING: She wanted to be an actress then?

VAN DOREN: Evidently. But I was 12. And I remember the photographer was telling me to get out of the way, kid. It was really funny. And I thought, Oh, god, this gal she's so cute.

KING: Did you get to be her friend?

VAN DOREN: I got to be her friend afterwards. I went to Natasha Langtez (ph), who was the drama coach, and I was getting ready for a screen test at 20th, and Marilyn was kind of like living with her off and on, and I remember I pulled up and peeked in her car, and she had everything she owned was in this car, I think.

And so I went up, took some lessons from Natasha, and I was a little tight for cash, and I told Marilyn, I says, Do you think she'd give me a little bit of a deal? And she says, Well, why don't you ask? You know, I think she will. And I said, OK.

So then I went to 20th, got my screen test, and I knew Marilyn was on the stage watching because I could hear her giggling in the back. And then after -- after I got through having the test we got together and she says, Mamie -- my name was Joan Olander then.

She says, If you don't make it here you'll make it someplace else because I knew that with Marilyn I looked too much like her. And that's what I found out, I looked too much like...

KING: It hurt your career?

VAN DOREN: It did, until I got under contract to Universal and this gentleman launched my career.

KING: James Bacon launched your career?

VAN DOREN: Yes, he did.

KING: By what, promoting you? VAN DOREN: Promoting me. He was my first interview...

BACON: I named her.

KING: You named her?

BACON: Yes.

VAN DOREN: And he also came out with a whole tap, it says Universal's answer to Marilyn Monroe. And I saw it -- I mean, I couldn't believe it.

KING: Arlene Dahl, how did you first meet Marilyn?

ARLENE DAHL, ACTRESS, INTERVIEWED MARILYN: Well, Larry, I met her at Joe Skank's (ph) house. He took a very big interest in Marilyn. She was under contract to 20th Century Fox. And I remember after dinner they would look over her photographs and decide which angle was best for her and whether she should have her nose made a little thinner here and he took a grease pencil and would pencil on her photographs.

KING: Were you already a star then -- Arlene, were you a well- known actress at the time?

DAHL: I was at Metro, and I was starring, yes, I was starring in some films with Robert Taylor and Van Johnson.

KING: Not bad. All right. Let me get a break. We'll come back with our entire cast here. We'll be taking your calls later. Remembering Marilyn Monroe in connection with the publication of this extraordinary book. Don't go away.

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(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SINGING)

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KING: By the way, the footage we're seeing tonight is available for the holidays on the Diamond collection. That's a DVD box set of Marilyn's best-loved films and the documentary "Marilyn Monroe: The Final Days."

And also out now, on a special DVD is the movie classic "Some Like It Hot."

All right, Jane Russell, you co-starred with her in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." What was special to you about Marilyn Monroe?

RUSSELL: Actually, Larry, I was like a big sister because Marilyn was younger and I had done a lot of movies by then and she hadn't, and she was very shy about going out on the set.

And her makeup man told my makeup man. So I would -- I said, OK, I'll drop by and collect her. So I'd go in and say, Come on, baby, it's almost time, and let's go. And she'd go, Oh, OK, you know, and she'd get up and trot along with me.

And she was dear, and she was smart. She was very shy and she got her feelings hurt.

KING: Easily.

RUSSELL: For instance -- yes. Tommy -- Tommy Noonan was playing daddy, and one of the fellows after a kissing scene that they had came up and said -- no, somebody came up to him and said, Well, you kissed Marilyn Monroe, now, what was it like? And he said, "It was like being swallowed alive."

And Marilyn -- burst into tears and went running into the dressing room and just cried and cried. And I would have said, Honey, you'd be so lucky, you know.

KING: Jimmie Dougherty, what was it like kissing her?

DOUGHERTY: It was wonderful. She had a very sweet, delicate kiss and when we would kiss it was with love, passion, and lots of good stuff went with it.

KING: I'll bet.

Steve Crist, how did you come across these collection of photographs?

CRIST: A few years ago I was tracking down the work of Andrei de Dienes, and I came into contact with Andrei's widow and she thankfully was a big part of this book and helped release the material.

KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) one person was primarily filmed Marilyn and did a book, right? Who was that photographer? What was his name?

VAN DOREN: Milton Greene.

KING: Yes, Greene.

CRIST: Milton Greene. Well, truth be told there were a lot of Marilyn photographers. Andrei's were the first real pictures of Marilyn. He photographed her young, in November 1945 and onward. He photographed her '45 to '53.

KING: Amazing. Arlene, you introduced her to Jack Kennedy?

DAHL: Yes, I did.

KING: What was the occasion?

DAHL: Well, it was Beverly Hills, and Sir Charles (UNINTELLIGIBLE) used to give the most fabulous parties for the stars and all the celebrities who happened to be in Beverly Hills at the time. She was Elsie DeWolf, the legendary famous decorator, and she was famous for being a top hostess, so everyone was dying to go to her parties. And as was her custom, she would invite 14 or 16 of the stars to dine and then after dinner she would invite those stars who were coming up, who hadn't quite made it yet, just so they could get a look at the big stars and the big stars could look at who was coming up.

So, one night, I was sitting at the piano with Cole Porter and he was -- we were singing "You're The Top." And suddenly, the conversation came to a stop in the audience, and the door opened, and in walked this blonde Venus in a white satin white gown that was just fabulous. It hugged all her curves.

And she shimmered over to a group of gentlemen who were standing in the corner talking about Walt Whitman, the poet. And Marilyn, anxious to get into the conversation, she heard Whitman and she said, "Oh, I just love his chocolates."

Well, Jack and I were standing very close by, and the first one...

KING: Did you...

DAHL: Yes?

KING: I'm sorry. Did you date Jack Kennedy?

DAHL: Oh, yes. Yes. We...

KING: Oh, yes. Like it's...

DAHL: We were very serious about each other for a few years. This is before he got famous for loving them and leaving them.

KING: He was a senator then, right?

DAHL: He was a senator, the youngest senator in the United States.

KING: Did he like Marilyn that night? Did you sense anything then?

DAHL: Well, he couldn't take his eyes off her. No man in the room could.

KING: Hold on one second, Arlene? Did she love Jack Kennedy, Mamie?

VAN DOREN: I definitely believe she loved Jack Kennedy.

KING: Did she talk to you about him?

VAN DOREN: Yes. That was the very end, I saw her just a couple months before she passed in New York at the Russian Tea Room. I was working on "Wildcat." It was a musical comedy. I was doing dinner theater.

And I would always eat over there early. And I was about the only one in there except there was a lady in the front booth, and the waiter said Miss Marilyn Monroe is in the other booth. And I said, oh, and I go, Oh, gosh, you know, I hadn't seen her. She'd asked me to pick up her -- an award for her in Termina, Sicily, for her "Prince and the Showgirl" in 1958, and I flew over there to get it and I didn't know if she'd received it.

So I thought, Well, when I leave I'll slip in there and say hi. So I did. And she was -- she was frail. She wasn't well. She had...

KING: I've got to take a break.

VAN DOREN: ...vodka on the rocks.

KING: Drinking a lot?

VAN DOREN: Drinking. And she was giving me her feelings.

KING: James Bacon was there the night she died, and we'll talk about that when we come back. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SINGING)

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(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MONROE: Did you see this fellow I'm with?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I saw him.

MONROE: What's he look like?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very nice for a one-eyed man.

MONROE: Is that all he's got?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you think he's got that patch on for?

MONROE: I didn't know it was a patch. I thought somebody might have belted him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Honestly, Paula, why can't you keep those cheaters on long enough to see who you're with anyway? MONROE: No, no. I'm not going to take a chance like that. You know what they say about girls who wear glasses.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe somebody shot him in the eye.

MONROE: He sounds wonderful. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) naturally curious to know what he looked like?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who is he?

MONROE: I don't know that either. But he hasn't mentioned anything under a million dollars yet.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: James Bacon, what happened the night she died?

BACON: I was working for the AP in those days, and I got a tip that the cops had been called to Marilyn Monroe's house in Brentwood. And I'd been there five days earlier with her so I knew where it was.

And I got there, and I was the first reporter on the scene. There was a cop on the door, and I used an old reporter's cliche. I said, I'm from the coroner's office. He waved me in. I went in, I looked at Marilyn sprawled on the bed.

KING: You saw the body?

BACON: Oh, saw the body, yes.

KING: What was it like?

BACON: Well, she was nude. Yes. Just sprawled there. And I just took a cursory glance and went out. But there was an empty champagne bottle.

KING: Did you think suicide?

BACON: I didn't know what to think at that very moment, to be honest with you because it happened so fast.

I just went in and I left right away, and I dictated the story. And then I was outside when the coroner's -- real coroners came and took her body out, and they covered her with a cheap cotton blanket.

And I'm telling you, you know, reporters are companions of disaster. When I saw her under that cheap cotton blanket, I had to wipe away a tear, you know. This beautiful star going out like that.

KING: What was she like five days before?

BACON: Well, she was drinking fairly heavy. And she had champagne and vodka, drinking vodka straight on the rocks. And then she'd pop pills. And I said, Marilyn, the combination will kill you. She says, It hasn't killed me yet, and took another drink.

KING: Was she in love with Jack Kennedy?

BACON: Very much. yes, she told me she loved him very, very much, yes.

KING: What about Robert?

BACON: She told me the only time Robert Kennedy came to see her is when he tried to talk her out of seeing Jack. Because it had been the scandal of the year.

KING: Did she think Jack was in love with her?

BACON: Well, she didn't know, I don't think.

KING: Arlene Dahl, did she ever confide in you about loving jack Kennedy?

DAHL: No, we never talked about Jack. I had gone on to marry someone else before they actually started seeing each other, I believe.

But Marilyn was very sweet, very misunderstood, very vulnerable, and she believed in people up to a point. When I first knew her, she believed everything people told her, good and bad. She wanted to learn everything. She felt she didn't know enough. She wasn't educated enough. She wanted to read. She wanted to know everything.

And she confided a few very personal things with me, which I'm writing about right now.

KING: You're writing a book about her? Or you're doing...

DAHL: About the years, the five years that I was in -- my first five years in Hollywood with the Mendels and all the stars and all the stories.

KING: Jane Russell, did you know about her love affairs?

RUSSELL: Oh, I think it was -- I think everybody knew at that time.

KING: Did you feel sorry for her?

RUSSELL: I never talked to her at all about anything after she went to New York. The only thing I ever -- we talked one time. I asked her if she would like to be involved with WAIF, which was helping kids get adopted, because she had lived in a foster home, you know. And she said, But who's adopting them? She was -- she was terrified.

KING: Mamie, did she love -- was she going to remarry Joe DiMaggio? Any truth to that?

VAN DOREN: I don't think so. I met Joe afterwards. We got together after Marilyn died, about a year later. He came up to the house, and I fixed dinner for him. KING: Did you date him?

VAN DOREN: Yes.

KING: You did?

VAN DOREN: Mm-hmm.

KING: What did he say about Marilyn?

VAN DOREN: Well, at that moment he'd just lost his best friend. They just flew, came in from Honolulu and he'd had a heart attack. And he says and he died practically in his arms. He says, I just can't believe I lost two of my best friends. And that was the only thing he really mentioned about Marilyn.

KING: Steve, you're publishing a book that costs $200.

CRIST: That's right.

KING: You limit it to 20,000. You expect to sell out?

CRIST: I think so. The book's done really great so far. We're excited about it.

KING: These are real collectors to invest $200 in a book.

CRIST: Yes, it's a special book. It's a couple books in a box, and these photographs have been underground for so long that...

KING: Amazing, yes, because no one's ever seen these.

CRIST: Yes, absolutely. Some of these photographs have been shown before, but a lot of them are getting their first airing. And the other part, of course, is Andrei's memoirs relating to his relationship with Marilyn.

KING: Jimmie Dougherty, did you keep in touch with your ex-wife?

DOUGHERTY: I talked to her a couple of times. She had a tendency to pick up parking tickets on Beverly Hills streets. And they -- the car was still registered in my name. So they were going to pick me up and I talked them out of it. and I said, Put the car in your name. And to be sure I had it put in her name.

And then she run into a priest and totalled his car. Next thing I know I'm being sued for the car being totalled. And...

KING: But you always liked her, right? In addition to loving her.

DOUGHERTY: Oh, yes. She was a sweetheart. I wrote a book with Elsie Van Savage about my time with Norma Jean. And I think that you may have a copy of it there.

KING: I think they do. All right. Let me get a break. We'll come back with more, we'll reintroduce the panel and include your phone calls. Remembering Marilyn Monroe. She died in 1962, huh? Forty years -- over 40 years ago. She died in the summer of '62. I remember that day. August, right?

We'll be right back. Don't go away.

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MONROE: Oh, is that the breeze from the subway? Isn't that delicious?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sort of cools the ankles, doesn't it? Well, what do you think would be fun to do now?

MONROE: I don't know. It's getting pretty late.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not that late.

MONROE: The thing is I have this big day tomorrow. I really have to get to sleep.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the big day tomorrow?

MONROE: Tomorrow I'm on television. You remember, I told you about it. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Oh, here comes another one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Joe DiMaggio was pretty ticked at that scene, by the way, according to James Bacon, and beat her up that night.

Anyway, let's reintroduce our panel. They are in Auburn Maine, Jimmy Dougherty, Marilyn Monroe's first husband. She was still Norma Jean Baker when they married in 1942. He's written two books about her. The latest is "To Norma Jean With Love, Jimmie," published by Beach House Books, there you see it's cover.

In Santa Maria, California, screen star Jane Russell who co- starred with Marilyn in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." Here in Los Angeles, Mamie Van Doren. First met Marilyn when Mamie was 12. One of Hollywood's famed blonde bombshells. She was dubbed universal's answer to Marilyn Monroe and a long-time friend of hers.

James Bacon, the Hollywood columnist for 55 years. James is 88 years young and still working. He covered Marilyn's career from 1949, was with her five days before she died, and first reporter on the scene the night she died. Arlene Dahl is in New York, the long-time friend of Marilyn, knew her during their acting days in Hollywood. Introduced Marilyn to Jack Kennedy. Interviewed Marilyn as a society columnist for "The Chicago Tribune."

And here in Los Angeles, Steve Crist, the editor of a new limited edition book called "Marilyn," a collection of photos, many of them never seen before. The photos why were taken by Andrei de Dienes, one of the first people to photograph Marilyn Monroe, published by Toshin.

We'll include your phone calls now, and we go to Atlanta.

Hello.

CALLER: Hello. KING: Yes, go ahead.

CALLER: Good evening and happy holidays.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: My question is does anybody on your panel know what kind of interviews she was going to have scheduled to have before she died?

KING: Did she have any interviews, to your knowledge, Jim, scheduled?

DOUGHERTY: Not that I know of.

KING: Was she not press-friendly?

DOUGHERTY: No, she was very friendly with the press. Gosh, yes.

KING: She was easily accessible?

DOUGHERTY: Oh, yes. yes.

KING: Old Bridge, New Jersey. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. I'd like to ask the panel members how did she meet her end and do they think it was suicide or murder and what was the motive?

KING: Jim?

DOUGHERTY: Well, Marilyn Monroe died accidentally. She just had one drink and one pill too many. And that was it.

KING: There was no note?

DOUGHERTY: No conspiracy, no.

KING: None? The Kennedys didn't know?

DOUGHERTY: Oh, heavens, no. If Jack Kennedy killed every girl he went out with in Hollywood, you couldn't cast a movie.

KING: Mamie, you think it was accidental?

VAN DOREN: No.

KING: You think she killed herself?

VAN DOREN: No, I don't think she killed herself. I think it was...

KING: You think she was tampered with?

VAN DOREN: Absolutely.

KING: What do you base that on? VAN DOREN: Well, my feelings when I spoke to her and saw her, I think she was ready to blow the lid off of Jack.

KING: Jim doesn't buy that, right?

DOUGHERTY: No.

VAN DOREN: He doesn't buy it. But I think Joseph Kennedy, I think if she had have done this it would have completely wiped out the Kennedys.

KING: On the presidency right?

What's your theory, Jane Russell?

RUSSELL: I think there was dirty pool.

KING: Well said.

Arlene Dahl, what do you think?

DAHL: I think that Marilyn was a girl with ambition but she was looking for love, she wanted to be loved more than anything. And she was very disappointed at that time of her life and very sad. And I'm not sure whether there was dirty pool, as Jane said, or whether it was an accident. We'll never know, will we?

KING: Jimmy Dougherty, what do you think?

DOUGHERTY: She'd accidentally overdosed before, and there was someone there to take care of her. This time she had an accident, she overdosed, and there was no one there to look out for her, so she died.

KING: Steve, you were probably born after she died, right?

CRIST: Yes, after. But I...

KING: Do you have a theory?

CRIST: Well, this mystery is never going to go away. It will never go away. It will never be solved.

KING: Toronto, hello.

CALLER: Hi. I've done suicide prevention very successfully for 40 years, and I had an opportunity to meet Marilyn, and I panicked. I came back to Toronto instead of meeting her. And my question is do you think that if people were label-liberated enough to see her for real, to help her see herself for real and not be hypnotized by all the power plays of superior versus inferior and all the games we play with each other, do you think she'd be alive today?

KING: Who wants it? Jane, what do you think? Do you think we put her on such a pedestal that we didn't, anyone, pay attention that she was troubled? RUSSELL: Well, I think we all knew she was troubled, and everybody was trying to help her that was near her. And I have heard that she had -- she had gotten back on track with the 20th Century and that she had a lot to look forward to and that she was very you know, normally happy. I met Bobby Kennedy shortly after, when a whole bunch of children arrived from the Far East, and he looked at me like I was the enemy, and I have no idea why. I think he just knew that I knew Marilyn.

KING: Pleasanton, California. Hello.

CALLER: Yes. Thank you for taking my call. I think she was so cute and so pretty. My question is for anyone on the panel, was her complexion that flawless? And was it a lot of makeup? And did she wear false eyelashes and did she have any cosmetic surgery done on her face?

KING: Mamie, do you know? Did she have cosmetic...

VAN DOREN: She had her nose fixed. In these pictures is before her nose is fixed.

KING: In the book. Her nose was bigger.

VAN DOREN: And she had a chin implant. But she had beautiful skin and she gorgeous hair, and her body was just perfect.

KING: Arlene, anything you would add?

DAHL: Well, you know, Larry, I interviewed her many times for my beauty column for the "Chicago Tribune" syndicate. And she told me that all she did was get up and wash her face in the morning and brush her hair, and she was just normally beautiful. Then she said, when I asked her why she didn't wear colored nail polish when I interviewed her, she was in a white satin bathing suit, and she said, well, I love to feel naked all over. So she -- of course, it was pretty hard to put that in the "Chicago Tribune," I like to feel nude all over, so they paraphrased it. But I got the quote at the very end of the column.

KING: By the way, Steve, you can see in the pictures that her nose was a little larger.

CRIST: Yes, I think she changed over time. The early pictures were different.

KING: San Bernardino, California. Hello. San Bernardino, go ahead.

CALLER: Hello?

KING: yes, go ahead.

CALLER: My question is actually for the panel. There has been a lot of biographies and like movies about Marilyn Monroe's life. And did they like really depict her the way they did in the films, or are they just like -- like a -- like they procrastinated against her or they blew stuff out of proportion?

KING: James, has she been correctly portrayed? They did a major movie.

BACON: Oh, absolutely.

KING: Correctly?

BACON: Yes. Sure. She was always -- in all her movies she came off as...

KING: No, I mean the movies about her.

BACON: Oh, the movies about her? I've seen a couple phony ones. But one of them was pretty good.

KING: Let me get a break.

Jane Russell, I know you've got to go. Thank you so much for joining us. Continued good health, Jane. Great seeing you.

RUSSELL: Thank you. Thanks.

KING: Jane Russell will leave us. The rest of the panel will remain. This is LARRY KING LIVE. We'll be right back.

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KING: Special footage you're seeing tonight is available for the holidays on "The Diamond Collection." That's the DVD box of Marilyn's best-loved films and the documentary, "Marilyn Monroe, The Final Days." Also out, a special DVD of the classic -- you just saw that seen from it --"Some Like It Hot."

Let's go back to calls. Rome, Georgia. Hello.

CALLER: Yes, good evening panel. How are you all doing tonight?

KING: Fine. Go ahead.

CALLER: I'd like to ask the question, I've heard a lot of stuff, conspiracies ever the years about Marilyn, and I'd like to ask the question, who was the last person according to reports to see Marilyn alive, please?

KING: James, do we know? BACON: I think it's probably her doctor, or the housekeeper.

KING: No big mystery, no Bobby Kennedy, no...

BACON: No, no, no. Bobby Kennedy never showed up, or none of the Kennedys.

KING: Arlene, do you have a thought? Do you know who might have been the last person?

DAHL: I have no idea, but I would think her housekeeper. They were very close. And her publicity woman.

KING: Burlington, Vermont. Hello.

CALLER: Good evening. This is to James Bacon. Why didn't the critics and powers that be realize, as I did when I was going to her movies in the '50s, what a fine comedic actress Marilyn was instead of treating her as a dumb blonde?

KING: Yes, why didn't they give her credit?

BACON: The critics did that. I didn't. I knew She was a great comedienne. And she actually was a serious actress, too. But they Never gave her a chance.

KING: She had great timing sense, right?

BACON: Oh, absolutely.

KING: Now, you were there when "The Misfits," when they finished shooting that.

BACON: I was there the last day of "The Misfits." I was sitting with Clark Gable. And we waited five hours for Marilyn to show up.

And Gable turned to me at one point and he says, What is it with this girl? She's always late on the set. And I told him all about her insecurities and foster homes and everything. So he understood. And they... KING: Arthur Miller wrote that film.

BACON: That's right. Arthur Miller showed up that afternoon, too.

KING: Gable died a few days later, right?

BACON: Gable had a heart attack. This was on a Friday afternoon. Gable had a heart attack Sunday morning, and he was dead 10 days later. He had a second heart attack.

KING: Las Vegas, Nevada. Hello.

CALLER: Yes, sir. This is for Mr. Bacon. As a person who's been intimate with -- sexually intimate with Miss Monroe, do you think she would have gotten the same idolatry if she didn't die at 36?

KING: He said you were sexually intimate. Were you? BACON: Yes.

KING: OK, Jim.

BACON: Yes. Yes.

VAN DOREN: Good for you, James.

KING: Still living, and they can't wipe the smile off your face.

BACON: I had a fling for about three months with her.

VAN DOREN: He never got it off.

KING: You had a three-month fling?

BACON: Yes.

KING: Between what marriage and what marriage?

BACON: Well, it was 1949. She was more Norma Jean Baker than she was Marilyn Monroe in those days, yes.

KING: All right. Do you...

BACON: I'm still smiling, yes.

KING: She got a bad rap?

BACON: Yes. In a way she did, yes. She got a bad rap. She was not a dumb blonde. She was a very smart blonde. She read a lot.

KING: Was the Arthur Miller marriage surprising to you?

BACON: Well, Marilyn also wanted to learn. I think she married Arthur Miller because he's an intellectual. And that was the attraction for Marilyn there. KING: Arlene, why do you think she married Arthur Miller?

DAHL: Well, I was at -- in London when they had the premiere of "The Prince and The Showgirl" that she did with Lawrence Olivier. And she -- we saw each other after the premiere, and she said, Arlene, I'm really reading books. I really know what they mean.

I mean, she was so -- her self-image was so low in spite of being such a beauty and so sweet and so disarming. And when she told me that, I knew right then and there that Arthur was helping her.

KING: Jimmie, did she have a low self-esteem when she was a young girl?

DOUGHERTY: Yes, she did. She was quite shy. And she didn't think that people would like her. She was always looking for a father. And I've -- I made a new documentary that's going to show some of these things. Shawny Krug (ph) is the producer of it. And I think you have a clip there of the new movie. So you'll get an idea of how she felt when she was a young girl.

KING: Did you know she was insecure, Mamie?

VAN DOREN: I thought she was very vulnerable. And she believed a lot of people that she shouldn't have.

KING: People could have snowed her easily?

VAN DOREN: Yes, I think so.

KING: Putting together the...

VAN DOREN: She didn't have street smarts.

KING: Putting together pictures, Steve, as someone born after she died, what was your impressions just looking at her?

CRIST: Well, I was pretty impressed how she developed in front of the camera, and I was especially impressed from the period from '45 through '49. She really came into her own then. And you know, the...

KING: It shows, right?

CRIST: Yes, the '45 pictures are the very first pictures of her with a real photographer working together, and you can just watch how she had it...

KING: You watched the development of maturity?

CRIST: Absolutely. It's great.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments on this LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): In the early months of 1962, Marilyn Monroe was set to go before the cameras for her 30th film.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five oh three. Five oh four.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She'd been absent from the screen for over a year. And the light comedy "Something's Got To Give" would offer something of a comeback.

MONROE: Come on. The water's so refreshing.

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MONROE: I'd like to get married and have a family and all them things.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you've never been in love?

MONROE: I don't know. Maybe I have and I didn't know it. That's what I mean. Maybe I don't know what love is.

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KING: Terrific movie. Spokane, Washington, hello.

CALLER: Hello, panel. Very informative show tonight. My question is to the entire panel, including Jane and Larry King. Did Marilyn Monroe appear in one of the leading adult magazines, and if so how much was she paid and what magazine did she appear in?

KING: Did she ever photograph for...

BACON: She was in the first issue of "Playboy." Her nude calendar was in there.

KING: Was she paid for that?

BACON: I'm sure she was, yes. Yes.

KING: Do you know of any other -- are there any nude pictures in this book, Steve?

CRIST: No nudes at all. But he's right. She was in the first issue of "Playboy."

KING: Jimmie, do you know of any nude pictures she took other than that?

DOUGHERTY: No, there are no other nude pictures. I've been accused of taking them myself by some people. But it never happened.

KING: Arlene Dahl, do you know of any?

DAHL: I don't know, no. KING: Mamie, no?

VAN DOREN: No.

KING: New York City, hello.

CALLER: Hello?

KING: Yes. Go ahead.

CALLER: Yes. My question is to Miss Dahl. You were telling the story of when President Kennedy met Miss Monroe for the first time. What did Jack say to you when she came into the room?

DAHL: Well, he didn't say anything when she came into the room. He was just looking at her, as every man was. And women.

And -- but when she made the faux pas about Walt Whitman and his chocolates he had a great sense of humor, and he absolutely roared with laughter. It wasn't until Fred Astaire broke the silence that -- and said that he liked the chocolates too because he was such a gentleman...

KING: That was some party.

DAHL: ... that Marilyn relaxed because she knew that she had made a faux pas because the conversation stopped.

KING: What's the story of her meeting with Arthur Miller's mother?

BACON: Oh, yes, Arthur Miller took Marilyn over to meet his mother before he married her. And the mother lived in a small apartment, it could have been Brooklyn. And Marilyn -- the bathroom was right off the living room.

And Marilyn had to go to the bathroom. And she didn't want the mother to hear her tinkle. So she turned the water faucet on full force. And later Arthur Miller asked his mother what she thought of Marilyn, and the mother says, "She's a very nice girl, but she pees like a horse."

KING: Orient, Iowa, hello.

CALLER: Hi. My question is for Mamie.

KING: Yes.

CALLER: And my question is, If you would have got to say one more thing to Marilyn, what would you have said?

VAN DOREN: I probably would have -- I've often thought of that question. I would have probably taken my arms and put around her and tried to give her as much love as I could.

She was very lonely. It was so sad. KING: Jimmie Dougherty, there will always be an interest in your ex-wife, won't there?

DOUGHERTY: I think that the interest will continue forever. . Because they feel so bad that she had to die so young. And she was just getting started.

KING: Steve, obvious the interest doesn't go away, right?

CRIST: It hasn't gone away. I can attest, this book -- it's amazing to me how much interest is in it.

BACON: She's bigger today than she was in her prime.

VAN DOREN: She's like an icon. She's a mystery and an icon...

KING: How old would she be now, Arlene?

DAHL: I don't know.

KING: Seventy something?

BACON: About 77. DAHL: What is it?

KING: Seventy-seven.

DAHL: Seventy something. Seventy-seven? Really?

BACON: Yes.

KING: What would she be like? James?

BACON: She would never be in any movies. She told me once she'd never play grandmother roles.

VAN DOREN: No, she told me, she says, I can't wait to be a character actress.

KING: See?

VAN DOREN: But that was when we were doing acting together.

KING: She was a complicated person.

BACON: She really was, yes.

VAN DOREN: She told me, oh, I can't wait to be a character actress. And I go...

KING: And her films hold up, don't they?

BACON: Oh, absolutely. She's great, yes.

KING: The book by Andrei de Dienes -- not by him, these a collection and his words, too, right?

CRIST: In his words, his writings, his memoirs.

KING: And a collection of these photographs.

CRIST: All his photographs.

KING: We want to thank every body associated with the show.

Earlier Jane Russell for joining us.

Jimmie Dougherty, Marilyn Monroe's first husband.

Mamie Van Doren, who first met her when Mamie was only 12.

James Bacon, who gave Mamie Van Doren her name, by the way. Famed Hollywood columnist for 55 years.

Arlene Dahl, the long-time friend of Marilyn, one of the major stars in American film.

And Steve Crist, the editor of the new limited edition book about Marilyn. We'll be back to tell you about tomorrow night right after this.

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KING: Thanks for joining us on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. We'll be back again tomorrow night with a very special show, great guests too, you will not want to miss it.

Stay tuned now for more news around the clock on your most trusted name in news, CNN.

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