Marilyns meet for Monroe tributes

2012-08-04 08:19

Los Angeles – When a faux Hugh Hefner, clad in his trademark smoking jacket, finishes his karaoke song, he turns to Marilyn Monroe and asks: “Do you want to marry me?”

The Marilyn lookalike – Canadian Nadine Banville – was part of a recent tribute to the iconic movie star who died 50 years ago on Sunday, held at a hotel just two blocks away from Hollywood Boulevard.

Some 200 Monroe fans from as far away as Italy and Australia met there to honour the real Marilyn Monroe, who was just 36 and at the height of her career when she succumbed to a barbiturate overdose.

“I’ve had people say that these Immortal Marilyn gatherings have been the highlight of their life,” said Mary Sims, the president of the fan club.

“Some of us come from all over the world and Marilyn brought us all together,” she said, her eyes filling with tears. “I get a little emotional,” she apologised.

Over the weekend, fans will honour Monroe’s memory at several events, including a banquet at the 20th Century Fox studios and, tomorrow, a memorial service at a Los Angeles Presbyterian church.

At a pool party, women dressed like extras from the 1960s hit show Mad Men. Several wore bright red lipstick and dangled long cigarettes from their fingers.

Guests included Ernesto Galindez, who claims to have the largest collection of Marilyn memorabilia in his native Venezuela.

Freelance writer Leslee Kasperozoicz said she attributes the enduring interest in Marilyn’s life to the fact that the star was able to blend the beauty and fickle behaviour of a diva with a heavy dose of vulnerability. 

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