HarperCollins - £6.99 stg
Back in the summer of 1956, Colin Clark's first job was as third assistant director (as he puts it, "the lowest of the low") on a film called 'The Prince and the Showgirl'. Starring Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe, the film was one of Monroe's attempts to escape being typecast as a dumb blond, but her acting style caused clashes almost immediately with Olivier, who was also directing.
Clark (brother of historian, politician and diarist Alan Clark) kept a diary of events behind the scenes which was published forty years later as 'The Prince, the Showgirl and Me'. Now, he follows it up with this account of an episode that did not make an appearance in that book.
Monroe, feeling abandoned by her new husband, Arthur Miller, threatened by Olivier's attitude and stifled by sycophants that surrounded her, turned to Clark for amusement. A very proper English gentleman, he takes her to Windsor Castle to meet his godfather, they drop in to his old school - Eton College, and go for a "scrumptious" afternoon tea.
Clark writes well of Monroe's ability to look like and act a little girl one minute, and turn on the star quality the next as she becomes 'her'. Although an interesting account of an ever-fascinating star, sometimes Clark's Boys-Own style grates, but his tale does bring Monroe to life in a way that is sometimes missed by official biographers.