Marilyn Monroe's passionate letters from baseball giant Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller will be auctioned off at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, California, next month in a rare window into the mysterious starlet's love life and tribulations. The 300-item "Marilyn Monroe's Lost Archives" also includes letters from Monroe's many famous friends, including Clark Gable, Cary Grant and Jane Russell, and is expected to bid for more than $1 million.
"It really gives you the chills when you read some of the stuff and see the intimacy and the personal nature of it," auction curator Martin Nolan said, according to the Associated Press. In one letter penned after Monroe declared she wanted a divorce, DiMaggio addressed his musings to "Mrs. Joe DiMaggio." "I love you and want to be with you," he said. "There is nothing I would like better than to restore your confidence in me." Monroe filed for divorce in October 1954, blaming “mental cruelty.”
A letter from Miller, Monroe's third husband, also begs for a second chance. "Please, if I've ever made you cry or made you even more sadder, ever for a second, please forgive me, my perfect girl. I love you," Miller wrote. In another fit of passion, Miller wrote before they were married in 1956: "I can hate every man you were ever with but I can't hate you."
Monroe also cared deeply for Miller, the letters show. "It's doubly difficult to understand that you, the most different, most beautiful human being, chose me to love," she wrote in one. She died in 1962 at the age of 36 from a drug overdose.
Auction owner Darren Julien said the demand for Monroe memorabilia has soared in the decades since her death. The most expensive item featured in the collection is her overcoat, with a starting bid of up to $120,000, according to CNN. "We anticipate a lot of fans will be here. They'll fly in from all over the world," Julien said.
In honor of the auction, below are some quotes recounting Monroe's stormy and steamy love life:
Shortly before her death, Monroe told a friend, “If it weren’t for Joe, I’d probably have killed myself years ago.”
DiMaggio's last words reportedly were: "I’ll finally get to see Marilyn again.”
In her last interview, Monroe said, "I was never used to being happy, so that wasn't something I ever took for granted."
DiMaggio learned Monroe wanted a divorce from an announcement she made on television. He wrote to her: "My heart split even wider seeing you cry in front of all these people."
Soon after they were married, Miller told journalists of how Monroe would spend her time: "She will be my wife. That's a full-time job."