Even 54 years after her death, any feature about Marilyn Monroe still grabs the lead. She dominates photographer George Barris’ obituary in The New York Times today, the last photo-pro to photograph Monroe, just weeks before her death in 1962.
Biographer Anthony Summers, Goddess: Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe, wrote, “Marilyn had a lifelong interest in the occult, and she often visited astrologers and psychics.” Among them, The Amazing Criswell. Tom Brinkmann highlighted a meeting between Monroe and the psychic in his article “Criswell Predicts: Fate & Spaceway” in TDE4.
It’s no surprise her star power and occult interests landed her cover stories on digests that explore the strange and unknown. The December 1968 issue of Beyond for example. The lead story: “Marilyn Monroe Ignores Indian Death Prophecy.”
Fred Grant builds his excellent article largely from an interview with an unidentified character actress, purportedly one of the few friends who knew Monroe well, and appeared in one of the star’s first movies.
“The Marilyn Monroe I knew was fresh, bright as neon, exciting—never overconfident but certainly anything but the actress with an inferiority complex that afflicted her last years. So much trash was written about her. No one, it seems, ever took the mystical side of Marilyn seriously.”
The friend maintains the star’s personal decline began when Monroe abandoned her faith in her dreams and prophecy and “turned herself over to the psychiatrists.” She granted an audience at her home with the Coloradoan Indian who urgently warned her, “You are risking your life at every moment.” But she rejected the Thunderbird brooch he offered as protection.
Recently fired from the production “Something’s Got to Give,” perhaps a prophecy in itself, Monroe called her psychiatrist the evening of her suicide. She was found at three a.m. that morning with an empty bottle that had contained Nembutal beside her body.