The all-star cast in this critically acclaimed TV event includes Kelli Garner in the title role; Susan Sarandon as Marilyn’s biggest secret of all, her mother Gladys; Emily Watson; Embeth Davidtz and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Sarandon’s daughter Eva Amurri Martino plays Gladys in her youth.
Based on J. Randy Taraborrelli’s New York Times bestseller of the same name, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe begins with a portrait of a young Norma Jeane Mortenson as she battles a lonely and loveless existence with an absent mother. Despite the odds, Norma Jeane blossoms into a funny, smart and ambitious woman and soon reinvents herself to become the symbol of an era. Although her movie studio told the world that Marilyn’s mother was dead, it is the great secret of Marilyn’s life that Gladys remained a vital and troubling part of her world.
The outside world never truly sees or understands the real Marilyn, a woman so different from her public persona. As her fame grows, all three of her marriages crumble beneath her quite publicly, including those with Joe DiMaggio (Morgan) and Arthur Miller (Stephen Bogaert) while she has an unhealthy obsession with President John F. Kennedy.
Produced by Asylum Entertainment, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe is executive produced by Jonathan Koch and Steve Michaels (The Kennedys), Keri Selig (The Stepford Wives) of Intuition Productions, and Stephen Kronish (24), who wrote the screenplay. The miniseries is directed by Laurie Collyer (Sherrybaby).
The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe airs on Lifetime (DStv channel 131) on Sunday, August 9, at 20h00 with the second instalment on Sunday, August 16, at 20h00.