‘Sunset Boulevard’ star Nancy Olson Livingston recalls ‘daring script,’ meeting Marilyn Monroe and Walt Disney’s legacy
“Sunset Boulevard’ (and its sequels), starring Cary Grant, Jane Russell and Shirley Temple, is one of the most famous films of all time. But for many years before its release, not only did its star Marilyn Monroe sing the show’s signature song ‘Happy Days Are Here Again’ but the movie was a big success, earning more than $1.8 billion in worldwide box office.
Nowadays, however, one of the most-hated films in world cinema is remembered for its plot, not its music.
Instead of the plot of “Sunset Boulevard,” I was hoping to read the story of the life of the young boy who, from 1940 through 1947, was married to Marilyn Monroe. The man who wrote the script, and also directed the movie, may have lost both his father and his mother in the early 1940s, so he must have had a difficult childhood himself when he began writing and directing.
My father, an engineer, died in 1972, and my mother was always close to both my children, but their relationship never got close. They were too different for each other. My wife and I were in our early 30s, raised in a close-knit family and the only son of a single man.
My wife was a teacher, and we have two sons, the eldest of whom is 20 years old and the youngest is 5. The entire family is a little different, although we still enjoy each other’s company, and I miss them. At my mother’s funeral, I realized that I was lucky to have experienced life with a close family like that.
Marilyn Monroe, as a young woman, is known for her ability to walk around with her legs in the air, which helped her get to the top of the Hollywood film industry. But her love for life