Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Blind Items Revealed #40 - Old Hollywood

June 26, 2017

This deceased permanent A+ list actress and screen legend is an icon. And so much has been written and portrayed about her life that most people think they know everything about her that there is to know. Maybe that’s true, but I got an interesting email from a CDAN reader recently that may shed some new light on all that. Our A+ list actress (who I’ll call Ms. D) had a very public image that was quite different than who she really was in private. And even the private side of her that has been out there for public consumption doesn’t really do her justice in some ways. This reader told me an interesting story about this actress that pretty much proves that.

Ms. D., at one point in her career, withdrew from the entertainment business to try to focus on her personal life. In doing so, she relocated to a smaller community where she attempted to live quietly among the locals. Even though the residents there knew who she was (you’d had to be from Mars not to), they tried to respect her privacy and treat her like a regular person as much as they could. Small town people were like that back then – they really just tried to mind their own business. These folks were also mostly poor, from working class immigrant families, so they had bigger problems to worry about than whether a celebrity was living nearby.

My reader’s father and his family were also living in this community during that time and got to know Ms. D quite well. Her dad was a teenager then and had an after-school job working in a small business where our actress was a regular customer. My reader’s Dad remembers Ms. D as a kind, funny and very generous person, and also describes her as being much more beautiful in person than she was on screen. Ms. D was really nice to all the small business owners in the town and at this particular business, would give very generous tips to the young kids working there, including my reader’s father. Again, a lot of these kids came from poor immigrant backgrounds and the extra money from those tips helped put food on a lot of those family’s tables. After living in this community for some time, Ms. D was on a first name basis with all these kids and of course, as you would expect, they were all a little in love with her too.

After she’d been living there for about a year, Ms. D made one of her regular visits to this particular business and noticed that my reader’s Dad was not there that day. (I’ll call him Johnny.) Our actress asked the owner of the business where Johnny was, and he sadly explained that Johnny’s mother had died suddenly and unexpectedly the prior day. (Since Johnny’s family was also one of those large immigrant families who were poor, this made the loss even worse.) Upon being told this news, Ms. D insisted that the business owner give her the contact information for the funeral parlor handling the arrangements for the family so she could send flowers, which he did.

Not only did she arrange for flowers to be sent to the funeral parlor, but Ms. D also went there in person and paid the ENTIRE funeral bill for the family. Our actress made the funeral parlor owner promise not to tell the family who paid the bill and also asked for the address of the family’s church where the funeral mass was being held. As you can imagine, the owner of the funeral parlor was gobsmacked about this whole situation, and immediately called the parish Priest and told him what had gone down and that our actress might be coming to the church too. The following day, Ms. D went to the church to see the Priest. The Priest was apparently so impressed with the visit from our actress that he documented the visit in church records.

Anyway, because Ms. D had paid for the funeral, the donation monies that were traditionally collected by the parish to help pay for the funeral were instead given to the family directly. This small amount of money enabled the surviving family to move to a new area to get a fresh start which they desperately needed after this tragic loss. This also had the long term effect of placing Johnny and his siblings in a better living situation, which made their futures as adults more stable as well. The family was told that all the funds came from the church, so they had no clue at the time that Ms. D had paid for the funeral. They just assumed that the church and community had helped, which was not uncommon in those days.

The craziest part about this story is that the family only became aware of our actress’s generosity very recently. They had all heard the stories from Johnny about getting to know Ms. D. back in the day, but none of them had any idea about this huge kindness from her. My reader only uncovered this story while she was doing family geneaology research. She traveled from out of State to visit the area where the family had lived and discovered that the church they attended had been closed down in the 1970s. That parish had been merged into another one, but she was able to visit the new parish to look at the old archived records from the church, which were remarkably detailed and intact. It was there that she uncovered the journaled entry from the Priest about Ms. D making the payment towards the funeral. There was also another surprise: according to these same church archives, Ms. D also made a ‘sizable” donation to the church’s school at around the same time. Back then, this school had served the same community of poor immigrant families, so that money likely helped a lot of those kids continue get a decent education too. Pretty amazing.

As luck would have it, the elderly Parish secretary who worked at the new church was also the daughter of the now-deceased secretary of the old church. She and my reader had a lot of fun uncovering all this stuff in their research. And come to find out, Ms. D and her kindness wasn’t such a big secret after all. Apparently a lot of the old timers from the old church and neighborhood had heard rumors about Ms. D and her generosity floating around for years. And of course, my reader’s father and the family had no idea about any of it, since they’d moved away after their mother’s death. When they were finally told this incredible story, they all cried. They were amazed and sad at the same time, not only because they had no idea about any of this for decades, but also because of the way Ms. D’s life turned out later.

Marilyn Monroe

24 comments:

MysticChic said...

This is really good. Lovely story!

sandybrook said...

This was a really good way to end Reveal Day OG Enty!

ChrissyBuns said...

Definitely my favorite reveal today.

Ivee said...

This one made me cry. Best Reveal of the day! And you've had a lot of good ones today.

Chandelierxo said...

What a wonderful reveal! Thanks Enty!!

grateful said...

Hi Everyone, I am the one that sent Enty this story. It's true and took place in Connecticut in late 1950s. Happy 4th of July

tootermuffin said...

I don't think one of your reveals has ever moved me the way this one did.

Same Houston said...

Great story! Poor Marilyn...

Jennerationb said...

Wow "greatful", what an amazing story to uncover!! Thank you so much for sharing it! There is a reason the world is still mezmerized by Marilyn. Yes, she was beautiful, but there have always been beautiful women in Hollywood. There was just "something" about the way the camera was always able to capture her true essence and personality. Despite her "sex symbol" persona, when you look at her, what actually comes across is a mix of innocence, kindness, and playfulness along with a hint of sorrow. So many have tried to imitate it over the years, but none have come close!! "Your candle burned out long before your legend ever did". May she Rest In Peace.

Whitney said...

Whereabouts in CT, grateful (if you're comfortable saying)? I grew up in New Britain, and now live in New Haven county. I'd love to know where she lived! Thanks for sharing the amazing story!

Shalene said...

I'd believe it. Usually those that have been hurt the most have more compassion

sheepie said...

Best kindness blind Ive ever read! Love the way she did it. She was quite a lady.

willyloman said...

The Miller farm was outside of Roxbury, CT

jessny said...

She was so beautiful! Look at these photos of her in CT:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51BCLkfi1Yk

Scandi Sanskrit said...

♥♥♥♥

Raven said...

class all the way. actresses, especially this new crop, could take a lesson or two from beautiful Norma Jean. <3

Raven said...

she was stunning .......

Mz Kitty said...

Beautiful soul. Thank you for sharing, Grateful!

JabroniMaloney said...

Wow, thank you! This is such a beautiful story <3 I almost feel like crying

Bikey said...

One of the most memorable blinds I´ve ever read, THANK YOU so much!:)

Renée said...

X a million. I love the detailed, long blinds better anyway; but this one was really beautiful and touching.

Renée said...

Amazing story! Thank you for sharing 💗💗💗

Renée said...

My favourite in a LONG time.

grateful said...

Whitney, Marilyn lived in two places in CT. She first lived with the Greene family on and off in their home near Weston and then when she was married to Miller she lived outside of Roxbury. My family members first met her when she was staying with the Greenes near Weston.