The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe

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The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe
Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe Poster.jpg
Genre Drama
Based on The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe book by J. Randy Taraborrelli
Screenplay by Stephen Kronish (teleplay)
Directed by Laurie Collyer
Starring Kelli Garner
Susan Sarandon
Emily Watson
Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Composer(s) David Carbonara
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 2
Executive producer(s) Stephen Kronish
Damien Ganczewski
Keri Selig
Jonathan Koch
Steven Michaels
Producer(s) Joseph Boccia
Don Carmody
David Cormican
Production location(s) Ontario, Canada
Cinematography Christopher Manley
Editor(s) Ron Wisman
Ron Wisman Jr.
Running time 84 minutes
Production company(s) Intuition Productions
Asylum Entertainment
Original network Lifetime
Original release May 30 – May 31, 2015 (2015-05-31)
External links

The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe is a 2015 American made-for-TV drama film on Marilyn Monroe. It stars Kelli Garner, Susan Sarandon, Emily Watson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Eva Amurri Martino and was first aired on Lifetime on May 30 and May 31, 2015. The (two-hour forty-seven minute) miniseries is based on The New York Times bestseller of the same name by J. Randy Taraborrelli. It has been nominated for 3 Creative Arts Emmy Awards [1]


A chronicle of Marilyn Monroe's family life, her relationship with her mother, Gladys Baker, and how she succeeded in hiding her most intimate secrets from the press and an invasive world.


Main characters[edit]

Supporting characters[edit]

  • Eva Amurri Martino as Young Gladys Monroe Mortenson
  • Gloria Gruber as Ida Bolender, Marilyn's caretaker as a child, also called "aunt"
  • Angela Vint as Pat Newcomb, Marilyn's publicist
  • Vickie Papavs as Mrs. Murray, Marilyn's housekeeper
  • Morgan Kelly as Tom Kelly, photographer
  • Michael Rash as Billy Wilder, Marilyn's director
  • Norm Owen as Richard Sherman
  • Neil Crone as Don Lyon
  • Jeff Kassel as Dr. Ennis, Gladys' doctor
  • Sarah Booth as Mrs. Kelly
  • Carolina Bartczak as Phyllis
  • Lindsay G Merrithew as the Beverly Hill Physician
  • Ella Allan as young Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jeane)
  • Mia Allan as young Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jeane)


Critical Reception[edit]

The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe garnered mixed reviews. Keith Ulrich of The Hollywood Reporter writes, "There's little that's surprising or inspired in Lifetime's two-part miniseries about iconic Hollywood celebrity Marilyn Monroe."[2] While, Brian Lowry of Variety writes, "What sets this latest rehash of the star's existence apart, marginally, is a knockout performance by Kelli Garner and, to a lesser degree, Susan Sarandon's turn as her mentally disturbed mother."[3] A positive review by Jordan Appugliesi of US Weekly states, "Surprise! It's Actually Good."[4] On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval of 55% based on 11 reviews with an average rating of 6/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Offering few revelations, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe treads the same well-worn path as many other Monroe biopics, despite an admirable performance by Kelli Garner".[5] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 55 out of 100 based on 12 critics, indicating "mixed or average".[6]


Association Category Recipient Result Ref
Canadian Cinema Editor's Awards Best Editing in Television Movie or Miniseries Ron Wisman
Ron Wisman, Jr.
Nominated [7]
Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited Series or Movie Chris Manley Nominated [8]
Outstanding Hairstyling for a Limited Series or a Movie Cliona Furey
Cathy Shibley
Jacqueline Robertson Cull
Vincent Sullivan
Outstanding Makeup for a Limited Series or a Movie (Non-Prosthetic) Jordan Samuel
Patricia Keighran
Susan Reilly LeHane
Directors Guild of America Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Miniseries Laurie Collyer Nominated [9]
Directors Guild of Canada Picture Editing – Television Movie/Miniseries Ron Wisman
Ron Wisman, Jr.
Won [10]
Production Design – Television Movie/Miniseries Rocco Matteo Nominated
Sound Editing – Television Movie/Miniseries Sue Conley
Joe Mancuso
David McCallum
Steve Medeiros
Krystin Hunter
Jane Tattersall
Claire Dobson
Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hairstylist Guild Awards Best Period and/or Character Makeup – Television Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Jordan Samuel
Patricia Keighran
Nominated [11]
Best Period and/or Character Hair Styling – Television Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television Cliona Furey
Cathy Shibley
Online Film & Television Association Awards Best Actress in a Motion Picture or Miniseries Kelli Garner Nominated [12]
Prism Awards Best Actress in a Motion Picture or Miniseries Kelli Garner Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries Susan Sarandon Nominated [13]
Women's Image Network Awards MFT Movie/Miniseries Nominated [14]
Outstanding Film Directed by Woman Laurie Collyer Nominated


  1. ^ "The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe" July 18, 2015
  2. ^ Uhlich, Keith (May 29, 2015). "'The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe': TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 25, 2015. 
  3. ^ Lowry, Brian (May 28, 2015). "TV Review: 'The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe'". Variety. Retrieved June 25, 2015. 
  4. ^ Appugliesi, Jordan (May 31, 2015). "Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe Lifetime Movie Part 1 Recap: Surprise! It's Actually Good". Us Weekly. Retrieved June 25, 2015. 
  5. ^ Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, retrieved 2018-09-16 
  6. ^ The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, retrieved 2018-09-16 
  7. ^ "Canadian Cinema Editors Awards (2016)". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-09-16. 
  8. ^ "67th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards", Wikipedia, 2018-08-22, retrieved 2018-09-16 
  9. ^ "68th Directors Guild of America Awards", Wikipedia, 2018-09-15, retrieved 2018-09-16 
  10. ^ "Directors Guild of Canada (2016)". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-09-16. 
  11. ^ "Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Awards (2016)". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-09-16. 
  12. ^ "19th Annual TV Awards (2014-15) - Online Film & Television Association". Retrieved 2018-09-16. 
  13. ^ "24th Screen Actors Guild Awards", Wikipedia, 2018-07-27, retrieved 2018-09-16 
  14. ^ "Women's Image Network Awards (2015)". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-09-16. 

External links[edit]