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Beautiful, damaged, the ultimate sex symbol, publicly celebrated, privately unhappy - Marilyn Monroe's tumultuous life and untimely death continue to fascinate us. When Marilyn Monroe became famous in the 1950s, the world was told that her mother was either dead or simply not a part of her life. However, that was not true. In fact, her mentally ill mother was very much present in Marilyn's world and the complex family dynamic that unfolded behind the scenes is a story that has never been told - until now. In this groundbreaking book Taraborrelli draws complex and sympathetic portraits of the women so influential in the actress life, including her mother, her foster mother and her legal guardian. He also reveals, for the first time, the shocking scope of Marilyn's own mental illness, the identity of Marilyn's father and the half-brother she never knew, and new information about her relationship with the Kennedys - Bobby, Jack and Pat Lawford Kennedy. Explosive, revelatory and surprisingly moving, this is the final word on the life of one of the most fascinating and elusive icons of the twentieth century.
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About the Author

J Randy Taraborrelli is the author of 12 books, including the major bestsellers Madonna: An Intimate Biography, Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness, and Once Upon a Time: The Story of Princess Grace, Prince Rainier and their Family.

Reviews

No. 1 New York Times best-selling author Taraborrelli, who has previously written biographies of Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, and Michael Jackson, here takes on the legends, myths, and innuendos surrounding the life and death of Marilyn Monroe. Drawing on files released in 2006 under the Freedom of Information Act and interviews with key insiders, he speaks to how the actress's familial history of mental problems impacted the decisions she made throughout her life, reveals the identity of her biological father, details the extent of her relationship with the Kennedys, and more. Actor/narrator Robert Petkoff's (The Link) magnetic reading draws listeners in from the outset. Monroe devotees and celebrity bio fans will enjoy.-Pam Kingsbury, Univ. of North Alabama, Florence Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

After half a century of Marilyn Monroe books, beginning with Maurice Zolotow's interviews of her for his 1960 biography, it's hard to imagine any revelations about the actress, but Taraborrelli--who's written bios of Grace Kelly, Diana Ross, Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra--tackles that problem with what he refers to as "fresh research." For instance, thanks to files released in 2006 under the Freedom of Information Act, Taraborrelli details the "truly extraordinary" three-page document in which an unnamed FBI agent described the "romance and sex affair" between Monroe and RFK. Rather than the usual bibliographic listings, Taraborrelli cites only a few key books. Instead, he itemizes 30 pages of interviews explaining how he contacted sources close to the subject (e.g., approaching Dean Martin in a restaurant; talking with the historians he calls "the true experts"). In addition to interviews with everyone from Janet Leigh to Secret Service agents, Taraborrelli read the unpublished notes and interviews of reporters from the 1950s. As Taraborrelli brushes away cobwebs of myth and rumor, his remarkable research and fluid writing captures Marilyn's élan, sensitivity, desperation and despair with a haunting intimacy. (Aug. 25) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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