These color photos show a secretly pregnant Marilyn Monroe were sold at auction in Hollywood last November last year from the estate Marilyn’s friend, Frieda Hull.
But they went under the radar, because Julien’s Auctions decided not to publish the info that Monroe might have been pregnant at the time. They sold for just $2,240 to Hull’s friend and confidant who knew the whole story, Tony Michaels.
Michaels told the Daily Mail, the would-be father was not Monroe’s then husband, playwright Arthur Miller, but Italian-French actor Yves Montand – who she met on the set of film Let’s Make Love. They apparently took the film’s title vey literally.
Michaels 56, was a close friend and next door neighbor of Frieda Hull before she passed away in 2014 at 83.
“Frieda was very proud of those slides and she was very proud to keep them a secret until the day she died. But she told me the story behind them, that Marilyn got pregnant by Yves Montand. It wasn’t a guess or a presumption, it was something she knew for sure, she was very close to Marilyn.As far as she was concerned Marilyn was pregnant in the summer of 1960 and the slides prove it.
I suggested she sell the slides and all her other memorabilia so she could afford a better place to live, but again she refused, she said she would never sell out on her friend of ten years Marilyn.”
At Julien’s three-day auction the Frieda Hull estate had 187 lots , raking in $433,000.
Rare items from the archive included unseen color photos of Monroe as she sang ‘Happy Birthday’ for President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden on May 19, 1962 as well as Frieda’s original ticket and program to the gala event; never-before-seen slides of Monroe on location as she filmed the now famous subway skirt-blowing scene for The Seven Year Itch and a large collection of many unpublished photos of Marilyn at the 1955 premiere of East of Eden.
In total, according to Julien’s, ‘The Frieda Hull Marilyn Monroe Photo Archive’ included over 550 color and black and white candid snapshots and photographs, over 150 color slides, nearly 750 movie stills, publicity photos and lobby cards, and personal home movies.
“It was amazing stuff, Frieda had 14 Marilyn autographs, some went as high as $14,000. Frieda had even gotten permission from Marilyn to get a couple of locks of hair from her hairdresser. I’m not talking much, just small lots of hair, together the two locks of hair went for $72,700.
She also had a red scarf that Marilyn had given her in there. But out of all the lots her prized possession was the six ‘pregnant slides’ as she called them. She talked about these to me all the time, they were very important to her.
I met Frieda over the wall in my back yard around 20 years ago around 1996, she was a neighbor and I introduced myself, she introduced herself and I invited her over for a prize fight.
I had ordered a pay for view fight that night and she had mentioned she was a fan of boxing and she came over with a bottle of Jack Daniels and drank me under the table.
She became my drinking partner and we became pretty good friends, she came to all the kid’s Little League games, if they had events, she went to all of them. She became my kid’s surrogate grandmother because she had no family of her own.’
Frieda was never married and had no children so she ‘adopted’ many of the neighborhood children, including Tony’s two young boys Anthony and Andrew.
My family became very close to her. Frieda didn’t drive so we would take her grocery shopping or to her doctor’s appointments.
She was very generous, we’d go out to eat and she’d never let us pay for it… She was set in her ways and was never going to change her opinion about anything, She was a brutally honest person.”
Frieda is widely known to have been one of the ‘Monroe Six’ – a group of six friends based in New York City who followed the star all over America to take her photo. As an employee of Pan Am Airlines, Frieda was in the able to photograph Monroe on a regular basis.
The group learned of the screen siren’s whereabouts by reading movie magazines and asking her hairdresser and would wait outside her hotel or home. Yes, today we call it stalking.
“Frieda started out as a fan, almost like a stalker, her and five friends. Then after a while Marilyn would recognize the kids and she came over and asked their names and they started a friendship.
When she would come in to town, for lack of a better word, they would kidnap her, put a scarf on her head and put sunglasses on her and they would go out and do things that Marilyn couldn’t do because she was too famous.
They called her ‘Mazzi’. It was a code name they had for her, so no one else would know who they were talking about.
She got to be a kid with the Monroe Six, they would go roller skating in Central Park or bike riding, just hang out.”
Eventually Monroe came to know each member of the group very well, even inviting them to the Connecticut home she shared with husband Arthur Miller.
“To show you how gruff Frieda could be at times, the story went that Marilyn came over and took a potato chip off her plate and Frieda snapped and put her in her place, ‘don’t you ever do that, I don’t care who you are, or who you think you are, that’s rude, don’t do that.’ From then on they were pretty close friends.
Every time we would get together, especially if we were drinking, I’d get to hear all the stories from Frieda.
Marilyn gave her a red scarf at one point and she worked for Pan Am so any time Marilyn came in to town Frieda would run out on to the tarmac and start taking pictures.
I told Frieda, you know you have all this stuff why don’t you sell it, you can get a better place. But she said,
‘No I would never, I couldn’t capitalize on Marilyn’s death she was my friend’.
My kids were in the will as was my ex-wife, I was not. Frieda and I kind of had a falling out. But I was still fond of her and her death was terribly sad.
I helped catalogue Frieda’s Marilyn Monroe collection because over the years she had shown me most of it, I knew what to look for in her mountain of belongings.
…she told me the father of the unborn child was Yves Montand, she told me the story of how Arthur got called away and Yves Montand’s wife got called away and they stayed together in a Beverly Hills Hotel bungalow and they had an affair.”
Monroe and Montand were starring in Let’s Make Love at the time. Miller and Monroe’s unhappy marriage made it easy for her to stray., one imagines.
Years later Montand admitted to the affair.
“I was crazy about my wife, but what can you do?”
Monroe died two years after the film, at age 36.
Tony says that Frieda believed that when Marilyn went to hospital for ten days during the filming of The Misfits, it wasn’t for acute exhaustion as was claimed at the time, it was for a nervous breakdown and possibly a miscarriage.
“She just told me Marilyn was pregnant in those photos and I believed her. I don’t think she’d tell me that on a hunch, she knew.
Frieda believed that it wasn’t exhaustion that landed her in hospital, she said it was a nervous breakdown and she lost her baby.
And all she told me was that Marilyn has lost the baby, it was never made clear whether that was by way of a miscarriage or even an abortion, and I never thought to press her on it.
Now I think that the story needs to be told.”
(Photos, Tony Michaels, Juien’s, screen grabs; via Daily Mail)