Marilyn and Me: Sisters, Rivals, Friends

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9780446515924: Marilyn and Me: Sisters, Rivals, Friends

The daughter of acting teachers Lee and Paula Strasberg discusses her relationship with Marilyn Monroe when the screen idol came to New York to study with her parents, describing Monroe's personal and professional insecurities, romances, and dreams. 75,000 first printing. BOMC Feat Alt. Tour.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Actress Strasberg's second tour of her friendship with Marilyn Monroe--first told in her confessional 1980 autobiography, Bittersweet, which focused on Strasberg's emotional swamps--is an even stronger, more mature version of her time spent with the legend. This memoir in no way deepens our grasp of what or who MM was, nor does it match Arthur Miller's magnificent portrait in Timebands. Miller, in fact, gets mauled by Strasberg, who shows him at his most tight-lipped and beleaguered, especially after his cuckolding by Yves Montand and during the filming of The Misfits. What makes Strasberg's Marilyn rewarding might be called the ``bodywarmth'' of MM's presence on the page. Marilyn comes through as a luminescent older sister and jealous rival for Strasberg's parents' attention. Lee Strasberg was the nation's high guru of acting, to whom Marilyn fled when she could not get out of her dumb-blond roles. Could Lee make her a serious actress? Indeed, Lee could, and certainly gave something to MM's intellectual growth, confidence, and ability to stretch as an actress. Her private rehearsals with Lee in the Strasberg apartment are always offstage here, with young Susan eavesdropping when her mother Paula doesn't have her ear to the door. Marilyn at 29 became a regular houseguest for years (Susan was then 17, though she'd met MM much earlier on the set of There's No Business Like Show Business), and the monolithic Lee had a soft spot for her that melted his usual granite. Susan and MM rolled around her bedroom like sisters, trying out Kama Sutra positions (clothed), and MM lusted for Susan's clothes while Susan yearned to be MM. Much later, a grief- stricken Lee wrote and delivered MM's eulogy. Can we ever get enough of MM? Maybe not. Strasberg allows us once more chance to cuddle up to a shy goddess. But MM fans also shouldn't miss Sam Toperoff's adventurous, literate novel Queen of Desire (1991). (Sixteen pages of photos--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Marilyn Monroe was 29 when she became acting coach Lee Strasberg's favorite student and protegee in New York City. Over the next eight years the screen goddess was a sisterly friend and household rival of actress Susan Strasberg, just 17 when they met. Susan for a time shared her bedroom with this envied intruder, object of the paternal adulation of her famous father, who was impersonal and critical with his own children, by this account. The author swings between admiration and disillusionment with Monroe, who sketched, wrote poetry and sympathized with underdogs when she wasn't floundering in depressed insomnia or drug-induced paranoia. This wise, intimate, affecting portrait reveals hidden facets of Monroe's quicksilver personality. A convert to Judaism after her marriage to Arthur Miller, she peppered her conversation with Yiddishisms. The book includes two self-portraits drawn by Monroe plus 16 pages of photos. Strasberg candidly recreates a tense household in which everything revolved around her father's neuroses while her mother Paula, a vibrant actress, eavesdropped and threatened suicide. BOMC featured alternate; author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Strasberg, Susan
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