Actress Marilyn Monroe vacationed in Mexico and “associated closely” with suspected communists, much to the chagrin of her personal staff, according to newly-released FBI records.
The Associated Press reported that the redacted files, brought to light after a Freedom of Information Act request, show an investigation into Monroe’s suspected ties with members of the American Communist Group in Mexico.
Records describe the group as “a loose association of a predominantly social nature of present and/or past members of the Communist Party, USA, and their friends or associates who share a common sympathy for Communism and the Soviet Union.”
Among the events recorded in Monroe’s file is a Mexican vacation in 1962 with an unidentified friend of her ex-husband, playwright Arthur Miller. According to one report, filed on March 6 of that year, though Miller had divorced Monroe (identified as “the subject”) and remarried by the time of her trip, his suspected political views stayed with the actress, which worried her interior decorator, Eunice Churchill.
“According to Churchill, the subject was much disturbed by Arthur Miller’s marriage on 2/20/62 and feels like a ‘negated sex symbol,'” the report said, adding that Monroe and the friend had developed a mutual attraction. “Churchill said that subject ‘has a lot of leftist rubbed off from Miller.'”
The AP identified Miller’s friend as Frederick Vanderbilt Field, who was living in Mexico at the time with her wife after being disowned from his wealthy family for his political ideology. In his autobiography, From Right To Left, Field said Monroe talked to him and his wife “about her strong feelings for civil rights, for black equality, as well as her admiration for what was being done in China.”
Field also wrote that Monroe was angry about the anti-Communist witch hunt organized by Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-WI) and said she hated then-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.
Among the developments also chronicled in Monroe’s dossier are an Aug. 1955 visa request by her manager for the purposes of her visiting the Soviet Union; a 1956 tour of Brooklyn, New York led by an unnamed Life Magazine photographer described as “a [Communist] party member”; and a 1962 luncheon she attended with President John F. Kennedy in which “Monroe’s views were described as positively and concisely leftist.”
The files on Monroe can be read below.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]