Maureen Stapleton on Marilyn Monroe: A Sweet, Needy Child

Marilyn Monroe surrounded by reporters in 1956. (Corbis)

Interview with Maureen Stapleton
Conducted by James Grissom
Lenox, Massachusetts

I always felt protective toward her. I liked her. While I had no reason to feel sorry for her--she was beautiful and rich and loved--I did: I just knew that she was a magnet for shit, and I saw a lot of people unload on her. She was a child--a sweet, needy child, and I'm very Irish and very Catholic and basically a decent person, and I think you take care of children and needy people. I think you reach out to the sad people and the sick people, and I always felt that Marilyn was an inch and a half from deep sadness. If I made her comfortable--and she told me I did--it was because I wasn't after her for anything but friendship, and I had a house full of noise and kids and open doors. She could let it hang with me, and I wish--like a lot of other people--that I had kept the doors open more often. She was a good person. She was not treated well.

© 2014 James Grissom


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