Ralph’s Manuscript - Page 16

Published Manuscript

We are entertaining the idea of publishing a first edition of Ralph's manuscript in book form.  This would be a hard bound limited print first edition with the complete manuscript (around 100 pages) and pictures.  At this time we are trying to gauge interest.  If you think you would be interested in a copy of this book, should we publish it,  Draft pages will be posted here so you can get an idea of what it contains.

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Posted - February 28, 2005

Coca (Imogene) and King (Donovan) called from LA, that they were anxious to drive to Reno for a long weekend, and could I get reservations for them. I assured them I could – Paula had kept her suite at the Mapes, and had suggested I move into it as it was larger, with a small kitchen – and sure enough Paula was delighted for them to stay there as long as they wanted. Coca and Paula had adored each other when they first met, and always enjoyed seeing each other. The suite was also on the ninth floor, and as soon as they settled in, they wanted to walk around the town, and King wanted to do some gambling. I told them I had a few things to do in my room, and for them to call me when they returned. They called about one, and I went into their suite for a Bloody Mary, and to catch up on things. About an hour later, one of the maids on the floor came to the door, and beckoned to me "Mrs. Miller is screaming like something I never heard. Would you go in and see what’s the matter?"

When I got to their door, I could hear long, anguished moans "Arthur." "Arthur." I wen in, Arthur was just leaving the bedroom, and shook his head "She’s in bad shape. Maybe you can help." I didn’t think she was conscious; she sounded in great pain. "Marilyn, it’s Raffe." "Raffe, oh Raffe – I can’t bear it" I spent about half-hour or so with her, she calmed down, and finally went to sleep. I waited a while to be sure, and then returned to Coca and King. They had gotten some coldcuts, so while eating, I told them a little of what was going on with the picture. King had bumped into Alabam and Lou, old friends of his from his Hollywood days, and they were going to meet them later. About four, the maid came to the door again, apologizing "She’s asked me if I knew where you were, she’d called your room." So I left them, and found Marilyn in the living room. I don’t think she remembered I’d been there before. She said Arthur was downstairs in a conference with Huston, that she wanted to eat some chicken from the refrigerator, and then with a massage, she could get a long night’s sleep. I told her I’d had lunch with Imogene and King. "Oh, I didn’t know you knew her too… She and Judy Holliday are my favorite comediennes. They both have a lot in common, I think. They’re wonderfully funny. Truthful. Vulnerable. But above all, fabulously feminine.

"All those years of fantasizing about Arthur, her deep hopes that PRINCE would be the stepping stone to projects over and above those to which she’d be subjected, but more than anything her overwhelming prayer to have a child; these prevented her leaving him and the picture. But at what a cost to her. When she left the picture she apologized by writing "I hope you will all forgive me. It wasn’t my fault. I’ve been very sick all through the picture. Please, please don’t hold it against me." The phone rang, and it was Marilyn wanting to talk with Paula, and then when Paula said I was just leaving, wanted me to come to see her in half an hour.

I dropped in, after a beer in the bar, and it seemed to me that she was in about the worst condition I’d seen since the start of the picture. No talking, which I’d discovered to be a very bad sign. She did fall asleep, and when I got to my room, had half a beer, so did I.

Manuscript property of the estate of Ralph L. Roberts. Do not copy without permission.