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'I Have Control -- Control of My Life'

Marilyn MonroeFinanceBusinessMarriageCelebritiesClark GableFrank Sinatra

What follows are excerpts from John W. Miner's transcript of tapes that Marilyn Monroe is said to have made for her psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Greenson, in the days before her death in 1962.

Dear Doctor:

You have given me everything. Because of you I can now feel what I never felt before. So now I am a whole woman (pun intended — like Shakespeare). So now I have control — control of myself — control of my life.

What can I give you? Not money. I know that from me that means nothing to you. Not my body — I know your professional ethics and faithfulness to your wonderful wife make that impossible. What I am going to give you is my idea that will revolutionize psychoanalysis.

Isn't it true that the key to analysis is free association? Marilyn Monroe associates. You, my doctor, by understanding and interpretation of what goes on in my mind, get to my unconscious, which makes it possible for you to treat my neuroses and for me to overcome them. But when you tell me to relax and say whatever I am thinking, I blank out and have nothing to say; that's what you and Dr. Freud call resistance. So we talk about other things and I answer your questions as best I can. You are the only person in the world I have never told a lie to and never will.


OK, Dr. Greenson. You are the greatest psychiatrist in the world. You tell me. Has Marilyn Monroe invented an important way to make psychoanalysis work better? After you listen to my tapes and use them to treat me, you could publish a paper in a scientific journal. Wouldn't that be sensational? I don't want any credit. I don't want to be identified in your paper. It's my present to you. I'll never tell anybody about it. You will be the first to let your profession know how to lick resistance. Maybe you could patent the idea and license it to your colleagues…. You are the only person who will ever know the most private, the most secret thoughts of Marilyn Monroe. I have absolute confidence and trust you will never reveal to a living soul what I say to you.


What I told you is true when I first became your patient. I had never had an orgasm. I well remember you said an orgasm happens in the mind….

You said there was an obstacle in my mind that prevented me from having an orgasm; that it was something that happened early in my life about which I felt so guilty that I did not deserve to have the greatest pleasure there is; that it had to do with something sexual that was very wrong, but my getting pleasure from it caused my guilt. That it was buried in my unconscious. Through analysis we would bring it to the conscious mind where we could get to the guilt and free me to be orgasmic. Then you said for the orgasm problem we'll try a different approach. That you would tell me how to stimulate myself, that when I did exactly what you told me to do I would have an orgasm and that after I did it to myself and felt what it was, I would have orgasms with lovers. What a difference a word makes. You said I would, not I could.

Bless you Doctor. What you say is gospel to me. By now I've had lots of orgasms. Not only one, but 2 and 3 with a man who takes his time….

On Clark Gable, her co-star on "The Misfits'' I have a dream for you. I dreamt that I was sitting on Clark Gable's lap with his arms around me. He said: "They want me to do a 'Gone With the Wind' sequel. Maybe I will if you will be my Scarlett." I woke up crying….

He was so nice to me and I didn't deserve it. I was having problems with [husband] Arthur [Miller] and being sick and I held up the shooting a lot. Clark protected me from [director John] Huston, who kept giving me a bad time."

On Frank Sinatra

What a wonderful friend he is to me. I love Frank and he loves me. It is not the marrying kind of love. It is better because marriage can't destroy it. How well I know. Marriage destroyed my relationship with two wonderful men.

On former husband Joe DiMaggio

Joe D. loves Marilyn Monroe and always will. I love him and always will. But Joe couldn't stay married to Marilyn Monroe, the famous movie star. Joe has an image in his stubborn Italian head of a traditional Italian wife. She would have to be faithful, do what he tells her, devote all of herself to him. Doctor, you know that's not me. There is no way I could stop being Marilyn Monroe and become someone else to save our marriage. It didn't take too long before we both realized that and ended our marriage. But we didn't end our love for each other. Anytime I need him, Joe is there. I couldn't have a better friend.

On ex-husband Arthur Miller

It's different with Arthur. Marrying him was my mistake, not his. He couldn't give me the attention, warmth and affection I need. It's not in his nature. Arthur never credited me with much intelligence. He couldn't share his intellectual life with me. As bed partners, we were so-so. He was not that much interested; me faking with exceptional performances to get him more interested. You know I think his little Jewish father had more genuine affection for me than Arthur did.

On her body

I stood naked in front of my full length mirrors for a long time yesterday. I was all made up with my hair done. What did I see? My breasts are beginning to sag a bit…. My waist isn't bad. My ass is what it should be, the best there is. Legs, knees and ankles still shapely. And my feet are not too big. OK, Marilyn, you have it all there. It is decision time.

On 20th Century Fox executives

If I have to do any more pictures for those [expletives deleted] at Fox, I am going to be the highest paid actress in Hollywood, double what they pay [Elizabeth] Taylor, and a piece of the gross. I'll choose the script, director and cast. The pictures will be box office hits. I'll put part of the millions I make in no-risk investments. The rest I'll use to finance my plan.

On her plans to do Shakespeare

I'll take a year of day and night study of Shakespeare with Lee Strasberg. I'll pay him to work only with me. He said I could do Shakespeare. I'll make him prove it. That will give me the basics [actor Laurence] Olivier wanted. Then I'll go to Olivier for the help he promised. And I'll pay whatever he wants. Then I'll produce and act in the Marilyn Monroe Shakespeare Film Festival which will put his major plays on film. I'll need you to keep me together for a year or more. I'll pay you to be your only patient….

I've read all of Shakespeare and practiced a lot of lines. I won't have to worry about the scripts. I'll have the greatest script writer who ever lived working for me and I don't have to pay him. Oh, Monroe will have her hand in.

I am going to do Juliet first. Don't laugh. What with what make-up, costume and camera can do, my acting will create a Juliet who is 14, an innocent virgin, but whose budding womanhood is fantastically sexy. In the marriage night scene, tastefully, Romeo and Juliet will actually [have sexual intercourse] and have real orgasms to give the scene the reality it deserves.

I've some wonderful ideas for Lady Macbeth and Queen Gertrude. I feel certain I'll win an Oscar for one or more of my Shakespearean women.

Yes, Doctor, this is what I am going to do. I owe it to you, Doctor, that I can.

On JFK

Marilyn Monroe is a soldier. Her commander in chief is the greatest and most powerful man in the world. The first duty of a soldier is to obey her commander in chief. He says, "Do this." You do this. He says, "Do that." You do that.

This man is going to change our country. No child will go hungry. No person will sleep in the street and get his meals from garbage cans. People who can't afford it will get good medical care. Industrial products will be the best in the world. No, I'm not talking Utopia — that's an illusion, but he will transform America today like FDR did in the '30s.

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