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Publisher's Summary

From New York Times best-selling author J. Randy Taraborrelli comes the definitive biography of the most enduring icon in popular American culture.When Marilyn Monroe became famous in the 1950s, the world was told that her mother was either dead or simply not a part of her life. However, that was not true. In fact, her mentally ill mother was very much present in Marilyn's world, and the complex family dynamic that unfolded behind the scenes is a story that has never before been told...until now. In this groundbreaking book, Taraborrelli draws complex and sympathetic portraits of the women so influential in the actress' life, including her mother, her foster mother, and her legal guardian. He also reveals, for the first time, the shocking scope of Marilyn's own mental illness, the identity of Marilyn's father and the half-brother she never knew, and new information about her relationship with the Kennedy's - Bobby, Jack, and Pat Kennedy Lawford.Explosive, revelatory, and surprisingly moving, this is the final word on the life of one of the most fascinating and elusive icons of the 20th century.
©2009 J. Randy Taraborrelli; (P)2009 Hachette
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Critic Reviews

"As Taraborrelli brushes away cobwebs of myth and rumor, his remarkable research and fluid writing captures Marilyn's élan, sensitivity, desperation and despair with a haunting intimacy." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By JayefromJersey on 08-01-14

Truly was a secret

Would you listen to The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe again? Why?

No , once was enough

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe?

How she lived with her husbands, she truly was abused.

What does Robert Petkoff bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He did a good job with his narration, but I think it would have been better if it was a female narrator.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Marilyn, she really was not a dumb blonde

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By Linda on 05-21-12

Interesting but not earthshaking.

A well-performed, well-written biography of an icon. There is nothing startling in the book but it is a good all round account of the life of a Hollywood personality. Marilyn Monroe appears to be yet another personality used and abused by the system prevalent in Hollywood.

I cannot recall having heard the word "however" used more frequently by a writer. It became something of a distraction.

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Petra on 03-10-10

The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe

Very good! Obviously a bit sad as the subject is Marilyn, but it was fluently written, well reasearched and interesting. I do like Taraborelli bios although he's not for everyone. I've read quite a few books about her and think this is one of the better ones. I think it was well read and, yes, the narrator does make a funny "marilyn" voice, but after a while you just go with the flow and get used to it. Overall I thought it was very well read.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Nadia on 08-31-09

secret life

The book came across as well researched, it was engaging and well presented.
The only two points i didn't enjoy were how the narrator spoke when speaking in Marilyn's voice mainly because he was a man. At times i felt the author had less empathy than necessary for Monroe's difficulties.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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