By ANTHONY McCARTNEY
AP Entertainment Writer
FBI files on Marilyn Monroe that could not be located earlier this year have been found and re-issued, revealing the names of some of the movie star’s acquaintances who drew concern from government officials and her own entourage.
The files had previously been heavily redacted, but more details are now public in a version of the file recently obtained by The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act. The updated files reveal that some in Monroe’s inner circle were concerned about her association with Frederick Vanderbilt Field, who was disinherited from his wealthy family over his leftist views.
The FBI’s files on Monroe show the extent the agency was monitoring the actress for ties to communism in the years before her death in August 1962. A trip to Mexico earlier that year to shop for furniture brought her in contact with Field, who was living in the country with his wife in self-imposed exile. Informants reported to the FBI that a “mutual infatuation” had developed between Field and Monroe, which caused concern among some in her inner circle, including her therapist, the files state.
Field’s autobiography devotes an entire chapter to Monroe’s Mexico trip, “An Indian Summer Interlude.” He mentions that he and his wife accompanied Monroe on shopping trips and meals and he only mentions politics once in a passage on their dinnertime conversations.
Under Hoover’s watch, the FBI kept tabs on the political and social lives of many celebrities, including Frank Sinatra, Charlie Chaplin and Monroe’s ex-husband Arthur Miller. The bureau has also been involved in numerous investigations about crimes against celebrities, including threats against Elizabeth Taylor, an extortion case involving Clark Gable and more recently, trying to solve who killed rapper Notorious B.I.G.
The AP had sought the removal of redactions from Monroe’s FBI files earlier this year as part of a series of stories on the 50th anniversary of Monroe’s death. The FBI had reported that it had transferred the files to a National Archives facility in Maryland, but archivists said the documents had not been received. A few months after requesting details on the transfer, the FBI released an updated version of the files that eliminate dozens of redactions.
For years, the files have intrigued investigators, biographers and those who don’t believe Monroe’s death at her Los Angeles area home was a suicide.
A 1982 investigation by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office found no evidence of foul play after reviewing all available investigative records, but noted that the FBI files were “heavily censored.”
That characterization intrigued the man who performed Monroe’s autopsy, Dr. Thomas Noguchi. While the DA investigation concluded he conducted a thorough autopsy, Noguchi has conceded that no one will likely ever know all the details of Monroe’s death. The FBI files and confidential interviews conducted with the actress’ friends that have never been made public might help, he wrote in his 1983 memoir “Coroner.”
Monroe’s file begins in 1955 and mostly focuses on her travels and associations, searching for signs of leftist views and possible ties to communism. One entry, which previously had been almost completely redacted, concerned intelligence that Monroe and other entertainers sought visas to visit Russia that year.
The file continues up until the months before her death, and also includes several news stories and references to Norman Mailer’s biography of the actress, which focused on questions about whether Monroe was killed by the government.
For all the focus on Monroe’s closeness to suspected communists, the bureau never found any proof she was a member of the party.
Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP