During four months in 1960, Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller lived in a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel while the bungalow next door was occupied by their French friends, famed film couple Yves Montand and Simone Signoret. Miller had met Montand and Signoret in Paris in 1956, when the two starred in the play Les Sorcières de Salem, a French adaptation of Miller's own 1953 play The Crucible. (They would later also star in the 1957 French film version.) Miller became friends with the couple, sharing the same leftist political views. Several years later, in the fall of 1959, Montand and Signoret came to New York where Montand would enjoy great successes on Broadway with his one-man show An Evening with Yves Montand. It was then that the Montands also met Marilyn and eventually befriended her too.
While the two couples were living side by side at the Beverly Hills Hotel in bungalows No. 20 and 21, Marilyn and Montand were filming Let's Make Love (1961) and Miller was one of the writers working on the film's screenplay. Production of the film was plagued with difficulties, including the usual problems with Marilyn (her lateness and inability to remember her lines) and the fact that Montand didn't speak English, having to learn his lines phonetically. It is said that the issues Montand and Marilyn were each having during filming eventually caused them to bond. When their respective spouses left for other commitments, the two grew closer and started a much-publicised affair.
She never knew how thoroughly I had understood the story that was no one's business but ours, the four of us. Too many people were concerned with it during troubled times when many more important things were happening.
She's gone without ever knowing that I never stopped wearing the champagne‐colored silk scarf she'd lent me one day when I was being photographed. It went well with what I was wearing; so well that she made me a present of it. It's a bit frayed now, but if I fold it carefully, that doesn't show.
|Marilyn was wracked with guilt after betraying the trust of her friend. After Marilyn died, Simone famously said: "She will never know how much I didn't hate her." Photos above and below by Bruce Davidson, Beverly Hills Hotel, 1960.|
|Source: Julien's Auctions|
|Source: Julien's Auctions |
|Source: Cursum Perficio|