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Friday round-up: Marilyn, Molly, Mrs. Seinfield, and an old lady with an iPad

April 30, 2010

Marilyn enjoys a hotdog while Arthur Miller serves as her Coke caddy.

Who knew the 2oth century’s greatest sex object was a writer? At least in private, Marilyn Monroe liked to put down her thoughts on acting, insecurity, husband Arthur Miller and “Italian Renaissance art” (!).  This Fall, FSG will publish a selection of Marilyn’s private writings, plus rare photos.

Titled Fragments, the book will contain reproductions of Monroe’s handwritten and typed letters, reports The New York Times. Also included: diary-style jottings on husband Miller, the prize-winning playwright, plus letters to her teacher, Lee Strasberg, and her psychoanalyst, “written when she was in the locked psychiatric ward of the Payne Whitney Clinic in New York.”

As if the story of Marilyn Monroe as we already know it wasn’t said enough, these writings show her “trying to live the life of an artist and suffering a lot,” said Courtney Hodell, an FSG editor. Monroe left the letters and other writings to Strasberg when she died in 1962 at the age of 36, an apparent accidental overdose.

In other news of writing actresses: The AP gave Molly Ringwald a glowing review this week for her new memoir, Getting the Pretty Back: Friendship, Family, and Finding the Perfect Lipstick. Admittedly the AP has always been the spottiest source of news and reviews, but the title is a winner, and who can’t root for the teen star of all those John Hughes movies from the ’80s, like Sixteen

Molly Ringwald in 'The Secret Life of the American Teenager.'

Candles, Pretty in Pink, and The Breakfast Club?

AP writer Mike Householder quotes Ringwald, now an astonishing 42 yeas of age, writing that she was typecast by the enormous success of her early films, making it impossible to succeed as an adult actress. That’s changed now–she’s gone from playing a teen to playing the mom of a teen in the ABC Family series “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.”

Ringwald may disappoint Brat Pack fans — she has little to say about those times. But she does write “openly and honestly about her failed relationships, sex life and even the time she suffered a late-term miscarriage.” Now in her second marriage, Ringwald has three children — none of whom, she says, will be allowed to act or start any career until they finish their schooling.

Sounds like Molly’s a wise Mom.

Seems like we have showbiz theme today: Jerry Seinfeld’s wife, Jessica Seinfeld, won the second round in her cookbook plagiarism case, according to a Reuters story in the Washington Post. Seinfeld was sued by cookbook author Missy Chase Lapine in 2008.

Lapine charges that Seinfeld’s book, Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets To Get Your Kids Eating Good Food, steals from her own book, The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals. The books were published four months apart in 2007.

Author Jessica Steinfeld and her lovely husband.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for New York’s second circuit upheld an earlier ruling by a lower court. “Stockpiling vegetable purees for covert use in children’s food is an idea that cannot be copyrighted,” the appeals court ruled. A separate lawsuit against HarperCollins, Seinfeld’s publisher, and husband Jerry, who made jokes about the case on the David Letterman show, is pending.

Finally, as loyal readers know, I’m not a fan of e-readers, and I’ve never knowingly helped an Internet video go “viral,” but now I have my rubber gloves on and a bottle of Purell close at hand, because this video is too precious to ignore (I guess that’s what they all say, right?)

The Oregnonian newspaper reports that 99-year-old Virginia Campbell, a lifelong book worm suffering from glaucoma, is now able to read and write again, thanks to the iPad given by her family.

“It’s changed her life,” said Ginny Adelsheim, one of her daughters.

In a YouTube video, Campbell can be seen oohing over the free books already loaded into the reading device, and pecking out a limerick–she’s written 12 already. Here’s one:

To this technology-ninny it’s clear
In my compromised 100th year,
That to read and to write
Are again within sight
Of this Apple iPad pioneer.

Man, Steve Jobs couldn’t buy that kind of publicity with a bajillion dollars.

So what do you think: Can anything new be learned about Marilyn Monroe? Can Molly Ringwald actually be 42 years old? Are kids dumb enough to be fooled by Moms secreting pureed carrots in their cupcakes? Is watching Virginia with her iPad so sweet you want to vomit, or what?

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. Tommy Smart permalink
    April 30, 2010 11:03 am

    The Monroe tragedy continues, long after her death.

    Molly is 42? I did not think she was that much older than me. I remember when she resurfaced after years of no on-screen work in the TV version of Stephen King’s, The Stand. That was a decade ago, so she was 32 then and still playing a teenager. Claire is a mom now, good for her, and she found the elusive perfect lipstick, even better for her.

    Jessica Seinfeld’s lovely husband is anything but. Late 30’s dating a seventeen year old, 46 Porsches, supported our friend George Bush and Laura and suspected Scientologist. Yech! Hidden veggies in my cupcakes, double Yech! Who are these people?

    I saw the story of Virginia Campbell (classic southern granny name, btw) earlier in the week, and thought of forwarding it to you Chauncey. It’s a nice story. I am happy for Virginia and her poetry. I wonder what she is reading right now.

    Here is a link to the video of her showing off her new thing-a-ma-bobber:

    http://www.oregonlive.com/lake-oswego/index.ssf/2010/04/video_of_99-year-old_lake_oswego_woman_with_ipad_goes_viral.html

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      April 30, 2010 11:28 am

      I concur on Marilyn, and Molly. I’m mean good Lord. I felt like I was almost middle-aged before I heard of Molly Ringwald (although I was actually only around 30). To think she’s 42 boggles the mind. Still cute, too, if that publicity photo is to be believed. I never thought Seinfeld (Jerry, anyway), was more than mildly amusing, but he’s a billionaire, so what do I know? Scientology? You’re kidding, right?

      • Tommy Smart permalink
        April 30, 2010 12:06 pm

        No, he has been spotted taking courses at the Co$ Celebrity Center.

  2. rachel permalink
    April 30, 2010 11:17 am

    I think that is actually an interesting bit about Monroe. And I love the photo.

    Why do moms need to sneak veggies in their kids cupcakes? If they just gave them veggies to begin with and didn’t let them get away with not eating them then they wouldn’t even have to bother with all this nonsense. They could just give them carrots and the kids would eat them. Sheesh.

    I’m glad the iPad is helping someone, since it’s destroying life as we know it.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      April 30, 2010 11:30 am

      Yes, that is a great photo of Marilyn, isn’t it? I love pictures that show her behaving like a normal person. You are entirely correct about the veggies. My kids had no trouble eating their carrots, or broccoli or anything else, except for one kid’s inexplicable hatred of tomatoes (though she loves pizza and spaghetti).

      I fell out of my chair laughing at your remark about the granny and the iPad. So so, so true…

      • Tommy Smart permalink
        April 30, 2010 12:15 pm

        Yes, moms should try to get their kids to eat their carrots. But some kids, me in particular, are very crafty. I can remember a dog, a pair of socks, a strategically placed napkin among many of my devices for hiding the fact that I had not eaten my veggies. I also remember an older sister who would relish in ratting me out. Mom tried, I just tried harder. Maybe moms are getting craftier.

        This “The Electronic Grandmother” story has me thinking about “I sing the body Electric”. Also the Borg must be really serious about assimilating us all if they have started with the sweet little old ladies of the world.

  3. April 30, 2010 3:14 pm

    I thought Mary Lin was still alive. Molly looks great. Jerry wife and I will not date. Now what the heck was the question.

  4. May 2, 2010 8:59 am

    The video is very cute. However, I am confused why the ipad is such a her……..? Don’t they make books with extra large font? And why couldn’t she write until she got the ipad? She can’t hold a writing utensil? She can’t dictate her poems to people? I must be missing something here.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      May 2, 2010 6:24 pm

      Interesting questions, Alexis.

  5. Candice Simmons permalink
    May 3, 2010 3:34 pm

    Molly Ringwald is ONLY 42? And you guys are surprised she still looks “decent” or “cute” or whatever you said? Sheesh.

    Marilyn Monroe will always be of interest to me. If for no other reason than that she was still considered beautiful at the ripe old age of 36.

  6. Chauncey Mabe permalink*
    November 29, 2010 6:14 pm

    It’s not that Molly’s still cute — lots of women over 40 looks terrfic — it’s that she’s 42. Where did the time go?

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