Today we are mourning the passing of American-Canadian esteemed documentary photographer: George S. Zimbel, who died on 9th January 2023 at age 93.
Zimbel had an incredible career and captured some amazing photographs of iconic figures around the world including our girl Marilyn Monroe.
George was in attendance the night of the famous “upskirt” scene from “The Seven Year Itch” which was being filmed on the streets of New York in September 1954. It is claimed thousands of fans turned up to witness Monroe repeatedly walk over a subway grate whilst it blew cool air up her skirt, blowing it way over her head and creating one of the most iconic moments in cinema history.
George was lucky enough to be one of the photographers in attendance and was able to capture some of these iconic shots:
George said of this one specific shot:
“Finally when they started filming, DiMaggio walked right off the set, right in the middle of the film shoot, right in front of the camera, everything stopped… And that’s where I had my favourite photograph of serious Marilyn, she just stopped.. and the light is just coming down, light, light, light, light right on top of her head and it’s all black except for her. It was a heavy moment.”
Remembering Gina Lolobrigida (4th July 1927 – 16th January 2023)
“Italy’s Marilyn Monroe,” as she had been billed, was in New York in 1954, when Marilyn was in town shooting on location for “The Seven Year Itch.” The two met at the Trans Lux Theatre on Lexington Avenue and 5rd Street hours before the filming of the infamous billowing skirt scene.
They also met at a party thrown in honour of “La Lollo” by press agent Rupert Allan.
Lollobrigida’s film career spanned many international productions. Among her best English-language works are “Bread, Love and Dream” and “Beat The Devil.” In the 1980’s, she was a regular on TV Soap “Falcon Crest.”
. At the time of her death, Lollobrigida was among the last living, high-profile international actors from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema.
“My sister was a very hard working person. She was very beautiful.. sweet and wonderful to everybody. She loved people, she loved animals and she was very serious about her work.” ~ Berniece Baker Miracle, speaking about her sister Marilyn.
Marilyn Remembered is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Bernice Baker Miracle, Marilyn’s sister, back in 2014. Although it was believed that Miracle was alive and well, news spread through the Marilyn fan community on January 14th 2022 that she had indeed passed away on May 25th 2014, aged 94. She now rests eternally beside her husband Paris in Pineville Cemetery Kentucky.
Our love and thoughts are with the family and we shall forever more ‘hold a good thought’ for Bernice. Rest in peace.
“The Marilyn Encyclopedia”:
Bernice Inez Gladys Baker was born to Jack and Gladys Baker on July 30th 1919 — seven years before the birth of Norma Jeane Mortenson. Father Jack Baker took Berniece and her brother Jack to Kentucky with him in 1923 after divorcing Marilyn’s mother.
Accounts conflict about how much contact there was between the half sisters over the years. During Norma Jeane’s upbringing, Berniece lived with her father in Kentucky. Marilyn told earlier biographer Maurice Zolotow, “I have never seen my half sister. We have nothing in common. She is married to an airplane engineer. I am not sure where he lives. It’s in Florida, Clearwater or St Petersburg.” Biographer Donald Spoto mentions Norma Jeane briefly visiting her half sister in Tennessee in the summer of 1944. Fred Lawrence Guiles writes that the half sisters met up several times during the fifties and Marilyn had occassion to introduce Mrs Miracle to Joe DiMaggio.
In 1961 Bernice accompanied Marilyn to Arthur Miller’s country home in Roxbury, where Marilyn had lived to pick up the last of her things. They were in touch with some regularity in the last years of Marilyn’s life and Marilyn visited her sister then living in Gainesville, during her 1961 trip to Florida.
Berniece was contacted following Marilyn’s death and with Joe DiMaggio she helped arrange her funeral. Marilyn left $10,000 to her half sister in her final will. In 1967 Bernice took over the care of their mother Gladys Baker, who went to live with her.
Bernice’s 1994 book “My Sister Marilyn” sheds light on Marilyn’s early life and last years. It includes rare family photographs and a number of previously published letters and anecdotes of some of their times spent together such as this:
“One night Marilyn was exhausted and said “Do you want to roll up my hair for me?” She showed me how, but I didn’t get it quite right. The rolls I made were smaller than her own usual ones.
We loved to talk about hair and clothes and makeup. Marilyn got a kick out of making up my face for me and showed me how to play down darker shade to make cheeks look more hollow, or a lighter shade on a thin lip to make it look fuller. She was an artist with colours on her own face. She told me to be sure to make myself some little eyebrows — drawn on a little feather line down each temple where my eyebrows are sparce. She drew those on me, and then did my eyes and my rouge and my lips, and after she finished we went to the mirror and cracked up laughing at the stranger she had turned me into.”
Remembering George Raft on the 40th anniversary of his passing. George Raft was an was an American film actor identified with portrayals of gangsters in crime melodramas of the 1930’s and 1940’s.
With a career spanning almost 6 decades, some of Raft’s biggest on screen hits were: “Scarface,” “Black Widow” and “Ocean’s Eleven.” But he will always be remembered by most as the iconic Spats Colombo, the murderous gangster out to get Joe and Jerry in the comedy classic: “Some Like It Hot.”