Ana de Armas in Blonde

Who Was Marilyn Monroe’s Father?

The identity of the real Marilyn Monroe’s father was an enigma for decades. Although her mother Gladys was married twice, neither man fathered the future film sex symbol. Monroe later searched for her father and allegedly found him, then as a dairy farmer named Charles Stanely Gifford, although he reportedly did not wish to see her.

In any case, DNA matching proved in early 2022 that her father really was Gifford, a co-worker of Gladys with whom she had a brief affair while working as a film cutter at Consolidated Film Industries.

What Sends Marilyn Over the Edge at the End of Blonde?

As Blonde heads toward its final scenes, a heartbreaking miscarriage, a humiliating rendezvous with President John F. Kennedy, and a growing addiction to pills and alcohol wreak havoc on Marilyn physically and mentally, helping to destroy her marriage to The Playwright (based on Arthur Miller and played by Adrien Brody) and her crumbling film career.

Alone in her home, she gets a phone call from Eddy Robinson Jr. (Evan Williams), son of famous actor Edward G. Robinson and one-third of a three-way relationship that Marilyn had with him and Charles “Cass” Chaplin Jr. (Xavier Samuel), son of the legendary Charles Chaplin. Eddy calls to inform Marilyn that Cass has died, but that before his death, he prepared a package for her that Marilyn needs to see. Eddy mails Marilyn the package, and what’s inside precipitates her final plunge toward death: It’s evidence that Cass has been impersonating her father all this time.

How True is the Whole Cass and Eddy Thing?

While it’s true that Edward G. Robinson and Charles Chaplin both had sons who were actors and who died at the ages of 40 and 42, respectively, the rest of their relationship in Blonde, in which Marilyn is seen happily frolicking with both men, socially and sexually, at the same time, is an invention of Joyce Carol Oates.

It is said to be true that Eddy Robinson was a friend and occasional lover of Marilyn’s, and (according to The Hollywood Reporter) she was also rumored to have had an affair with Chaplin Jr.—a tryst that ended when the latter allegedly caught Monroe in bed with his brother. Chaplin Jr. reportedly addressed his relationship with Monroe in his book, My Father, Charlie Chaplin.

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