Marilyn Monroe’s 55th Annual Memorial and Celebrity Soiree

All Photos by Billy Bennight for The Los Angeles Beat

It was a wonderful 55th Marilyn Monroe Memorial that took place on Saturday hosted by “Marilyn Remembered” President Greg Schreiner in Westwood. This is an annual event and this year marked the 55th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s passing. Devoted fans of Marilyn Monroe’s flew in from around the world to hear Marilyn Monroe’s friends and colleagues share fond memories of the beloved super star.

Westside Story Oscar Winner George Chakiris spoke, as well as Renee Taylor, Terry Moore, Kathleen Hughes, Daniel Selznick, Kelly Rooney, Susan Bernard, Juliet M. Hyde-White, Gabriel Reis, Enid Steckler, Leslie Kasperowicz and Harrison Held. Harrison read touching remarks from Barbara Eden and Chris Lemmon as he eulogized their memories of Marilyn. Daniel Selznick, Terry Moore and Renee Taylor‘s stories resonated with their moving and intimate experiences with Marilyn. Kelly Rooney, Kathleen Hughes and Susan Bernard shared tales and rare glimpses of stories they heard from those they loved who were close to Marilyn. Every story pointed to what a beautiful, passionate and gentle soul Marilyn had, portraying her amazing gifts and earnest humanity. These were the most salient and moving remembrances of this legendary mid-century sex symbol and Hollywood super star.

Others attending the service were Claudia Moriarty, the niece of Marilyn Monroe’s longtime stand-in and friend Evelyn Moriarty. Greg Schreiner, Scott Fortner, Elisa Jordan, Jackie Craig and their team put on an amazing event honoring Marilyn. “Marilyn Remembered” had a full house with overflow outside intensely listening to every revelation and nuanced detail the speakers offered.

Photo Gallery After The Jump

Once the service had finished, the celebration of Marilyn Monroe’s life continued in a small and special VIP soiree hosted by Kimberly Schmidt and Harrison Held at Mae West’s glamorous Ravenswood Apartment in Hancock Park. Those attending were Dimitri MeritGreg Schreiner, Kelly CarreyRoger and Lynn Neal, Kat Kramer, Kelly Rooney, Kathleen Hughes, Susan Bernard, Daniel Selznick, Terry Moore and Renee Taylor.

For almost everyone attending, it was an adventure to explore Mae West’s apartment in a way few have ever done. It was a way for everyone there to embrace two of the silver screen’s most captivating sex symbols that proved both irresistible and enchanting! Kimberly toured small groups throughout various parts of the small and homey apartment, sharing her knowledge of Mae West’s history. Kat and I had a moment in the bedroom for a mini photo shoot where she exclaimed she thought the place was haunted, but in a good way, with Mae West’s presence.

There was a slide show, during which Kimberly would share and explain tasty tidbits of Mae’s years living inside this comfy flat. The light was perfect inside the apartment, and a breeze drifted through the open windows while everyone gathered around the dining table to snack,or on the sofas and chairs in the living room to share their experiences with Marilyn in the golden glow of the late afternoon – it was a wonderful day to remember!

Billy Bennight

About Billy Bennight

Billy Bennight is a writer, photographer and wardrobe stylist with expertise and years of experience in these disciplines. His musical youth started as a Punk Rocker and has expanded into exploring many genres of music, with an keen interest in art, fashion, photography and writing. He shoots celebrity events and red carpets for PR Photos, Photoshot and The Photo Access/Corbis. His images have been published in Vanity Fair, People Magazine and The Los Angeles Times. He's very engaged in life. You can follow him on his Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/billybennightartist
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