|On June 5th, 1952 photojournalist Jock Carroll was sent to the set of the film “Niagara”, to photograph 26 year old actress |
Marilyn Monroe. On this day he would have lunch with Marilyn at the Rainbow Room in the Brock Hotel overlooking the falls,
and over the course of many days Jock would follow Marilyn around photographing her. Jock was on assignment to do a
photo spread of Marilyn, taking nearly 400 pictures for an article to be published in Canada’s Weekend Magazine.
On this day when they were to meet and have lunch, Marilyn arrived an hour late wearing checkered pants and a sweater.
Jocks first thoughts to himself were “Full red lips, white teeth, those wide set innocent blue eyes. When she looked directly at
you, it made you feel as though the two of you were sharing some naughty secret.” Jock was definitely awe struck by Marilyn,
and also could not believe how young and beautiful she was. He called this period in her life “the prime of her life.” The two got
along from the beginning, Marilyn fascinated by the fact that Jock was a war correspondent in Korea, where she would soon be
going to sing for the troops. Jock was also taken to the fact that Marilyn, who was attending night classes at UCLA, new so
much about reading, which he also enjoyed.
Towards the end of their lunch they were interrupted by some people who wanted Marilyn’s autograph. She signed them with a
smile but did tell Jock “I look forward to the day when I’ll be free of all this, and perhaps free of depression.”
For the next few days Jock had been accepted by the cast & crew of Niagara, and by Marilyn... following her everywhere. One
of the first places he went with her was on a publicity tour. They stopped at a factory where Marilyn loosened the straps of her
blouse, and leaned over machinery for Jock. The camera, he felt like so many others, loved her. The publicity man, Frank
Neill, who was helping Jock to him that Marilyn liked Jock because of the fact he was taking time to get to know her.
On a day she wasn’t shooting, she had decided to go with Jock and take some color photographs. She had her make up man,
and close friend, Whitey fix her up. Jock waited in the room while Whitey worked away with Marilyn, then a phone call from
her boyfriend, Joe DiMaggio, interrupted things. At first Marilyn was extremely excited, as it seemed that Joe had asked her to
spend the weekend together in New York. Then realizing the studio would need her to work she had to call him back and
decline, this is when she became distraught. It seemed Joe didn’t understand and had hung up on her, Marilyn who’s mascara
had run, needed her eyes done over again. They eventually went on their drive later that afternoon taking some beautiful
Jock was having luck with candid photographs of Marilyn, but unlucky in an actual session. He set up a day to do an actual
photo session for 10am that morning, however Marilyn wasn’t feeling well and pushed it back to 12. At 12 Jock came to her
room where she was getting ready and invited him in. He observed her room seeing a folding clock by the bed, some clothes,
lots of books and a photo of Joe. They chatted away with one another about make up tricks, books, relaxation… where
Marilyn jogged around the room showing Jock how to relax & go limp by jogging. Jock loved watching this, so in awe he didn’t
think to photograph her running around the room. They talked about Freud & childhood, where Marilyn spoke of happy
After Marilyn was ready she suggested he photograph her learning to smoke, something in which she had to do in her film. She
showed him her French inhale, rolling the cigarette in her mouth, many of the pictures were funny. Jock used a whole role of
film, and for the last picture she sat up, leaned directly towards the camera & winked.
Neill interrupted them with some good news. Hy Gardner wanted to use Marilyn on his show tonight, to do an interview.
Marilyn agreed to do it if she new the questions beforehand, and if nothing was said about Joe. However, Hy insisted that she
speak about Joe and Marilyn declined due to the fact it was her personal life. Neill was a little upset by it but Jock agreed with
Marilyn that it was an invasion of her privacy.
Two days later the three of them (Marilyn, Jock & Neill) were together again. Marilyn was done with filming early and they
had some time to walk around and do some sightseeing. They came upon some pay binoculars that Marilyn wanted to look
through. Neill suggested that she be photographed doing this but Marilyn’s response was “I’d like to take a look through them,
but no photos. That’s corny. Like in New York they say, Look up at the skyscrapers, do they think you have never seen a
skyscraper before? I like pictures that have some warmth, quality to them.”
They pasted by the Maid of the Mist were Marilyn decided she wanted to go on a boat ride. Her arrival created quite of a stir
and the captain offered her white oilskins to wear which they use for royalty. Marilyn wanted to use the black ones like
everyone else. A photographer appeared on board photographing Marilyn with her fans, he signed up 10 photographs for a
$1.00 a piece telling Marilyn they didn’t care if it was the back of their head in the picture – as long as Marilyn was there.
Marilyn asked the captain if it were true that people threw themselves over the falls. He told Marilyn about a guy from Detroit
who was eating at the Rainbow Room with his family a few days earlier and disappeared. They think he went over the falls.
This startled Marilyn thinking how she had just eaten there and this man may have been someone she saw. As Jock & Marilyn
left she couldn’t stop talking about this man. Her last word on the subject was “Sleeping pills are much better.”
When Jock first met Marilyn he thought she would be a typical Starlet – just a blonde trying to make it in films. However, he
didn’t meet a typical starlet and later in life looked back on the day he met her as walking in on the beginning of the legend