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I had no idea. Well done, Norma Jean.
DID YOU KNOW? How Marilyn Monroe changed Ella Fitzgerald’s life

During the ’50s, one of the most popular venues was Mocambo in Hollywood. Frank Sinatra made his Los Angeles debut at Mocambo in 1943, and it was frequented by the likes of Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall and Lana Turner.

Ella Fitzgerald was not allowed to play at Mocambo because of her race. Then, one of Ella’s biggest fans made a telephone call that quite possibly changed the path of her career for good. Here, Ella tells the story of how Marilyn Monroe changed her life:

“I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt … she personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night. She told him – and it was true, due to Marilyn’s superstar status – that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman – a little ahead of her times. And she didn’t know it.”

Ronald Gainey's profile photoJay Gischer's profile photo
I recently learned this as well, though I don't recall where, exactly. She is truly an interesting figure, and kind of bucks the trend, in my experience of learning more about celebrities and their actual lives. That is, she is someone who actually seems to have more depth of character and interesting facets to her, as I have encountered such stories over the years. And this is the opposite of my experience with most celebrities, who very often seem increasingly shallow and disappointing, when I learn more about them.
I don't trust anything I hear in the media about current celebrities. I think they are "onstage" constantly. Neil Patrick Harris said that he thought an artist had a responsibility to keep their private life out of the public eye because it made it easier for the audience to latch on to whatever part they were playing.
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