Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio … and the doorman

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The story of Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio … and the doorman.

Marilyn Monroe was known for so many aspects of her life (including her involvement with the Kennedys, of course) but a subject of speculation is how her husbands could have been such completely different characters.

Her first husband, who she married when she was just sixteen, was  a US Marine. The marriage ended quite quickly. Her second husband was almost as well-known as the star herself,  the baseball player Joe DiMaggio. Finally, in contrast to the athletic star, she married cerebral playwright Arthur Miller. When they were wed, one headline described the event as ‘Egghead married Hourglass’.

She met and became friendly with Miller whilst she was still married to Joe. This probably goes some way towards explaining why her marriage to the famous New York Yankee sportsman lasted for less than one year.

What isn’t as commonly known though is that when Marilyn was married to Miller she also had an affair with her ex-husband, DiMaggio. (How very complex her love life must have been).

This is a delightful story about one of their assignations.

In early 1958, Joe became aware that Marilyn’s marriage to Arthur Miller was in trouble. It was widely reported in the press. Joe told a friend of his, Paul Baer, that he’d love to meet up with Marilyn but it would have to be done incredibly discreetly – the opportunities for them to meet in a hotel or public place just weren’t there.

There was no option for Joe to visit Marilyn’s marital home and Joe’s home was equally out of bounds. Paul Baer had a solution. He lived on Fifth Avenue but also maintained a small rental apartment elsewhere. (Why need not concern us but we can guess, of course). He offered this apartment to Joe – it was the ideal place for a liaison with Marilyn. Duly, the couple arranged to meet. Because they were both stars, the agreed that they would arrive at the apartment separately, both in disguise and using false names.

Paul was adamant that his friend should have a successful ‘meeting’ so he prepared his tiny apartment with bottles of champagne, perfumed bedding and bouquets of flowers.  He even left a note in the bedroom which read ‘Have fun kids! Paul’. He also went to see the doorman at the apartment building who he described as ‘cross-eyed and not to bright’. However, on receipt of a twenty dollar bill. the doorman agreed  that he would let Mr Morse and Mamie as Paul described them into the apartment building one Wednesday afternoon.

Joe arrived at the building first wearing a false beard and a hat which he pulled over his eyes. Ten minutes later, the doorman also let in Marilyn wearing a wig and sunglasses.

The plan worked perfectly. Joe and Marilyn spent the afternoon in the apartment, drinking champagne and making full use of the perfumed sheets. Everyone was delighted that the deception had worked.

Shortly afterwards, Paul went to the apartment building and gave the doorman an extra ten dollars. ‘Thanks’ said Paul handing over the money ‘for taking care of my friends’.

‘Boss!’ the doorman exclaimed:

“Look, I kept my cool but you won’t believe who went into your apartment. Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe!’ They were wearing stupid disguises but it was easy to spot them. Did you know that they were going to use your apartment? Oh, and by the way, what happened to Mr Morse and Mamie? They never showed.”





Jackie Jackson, also known online as BritFlorida, is a highly experienced designer and writer. British born and now living in the USA, she specialises in lifestyle issues, design and quirky stories. You can see a wide range of articles here, or visit her website Tastes Magazine. See The Writer’s Door for more information.

Author: Jackie Jackson

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1 Comment

  1. Great story! I often forget that Marilyn Monroe was actually older than my parents. Hard to imagine her as she would be if she were alive today, though I’m guessing she’d still be a knockout.

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