The likeness was startling when actress Melody Anderson walked...

By VERNON SCOTT UPI Hollywood Reporter

HOLLYWOOD -- The likeness was startling when actress Melody Anderson walked on the set of 'Marilyn & Bobby: Her Final Affair.'

Thanks to makeup, a platinum wig and body language, Anderson was astonishingly convincing. She was a ringer for Marilyn Monroe, a role she sought with single-minded purpose.


Anderson could hardly be more different from the most adored glamour girl Hollywood ever produced. Moreover, without camouflage she doesn't begin to resemble the sex symbol who died tragically of a drug overdose in 1962 at age 36.

A Canadian native whose career for the most part has been limited to TV series ('Manimal,' 'Battlestar Galactica'), TV films and a handful of second-rate movies, Anderson was starring in a New York soap opera when she campaigned for the Monroe part.

'Last February when this job came up I decided to take things into my own hands,' she said. 'At that time I was working in 'All My Children.' I sprayed my hair white and found the right people to do my hair and makeup. Then I located a perfect dress in wardrobe. When I was ready I did my version of Marilyn for $45 at a public midtown Manhattan studio.


'I sent the tape to the producers (Jeff Auerbach and Jerry White) and said, 'Now what do you think?'

'They had been considering Linda Kozlowski, Virginia Madsen and Beverly D'Angelo for the part.

'They called right away and wanted to see me. I asked for a two-week delay. I needed the time to wait for cheap plane fare from New York. I came out and read for them with several different actors.'

Anderson prepared for the part by reading eight Monroe biographies and watching her movies.

'Her voice quality changed on film and she behaved very differently than when she was being herself. She could turn 'Marilyn Monroe' off and on.'

The two-hour 'Marilyn and Bobby' film will be broadcast Aug. 4 (the 31st anniversary of Monroe's death) on the USA Network.

'I got more valuable stuff from documentaries than I did from her pictures,' Anderson said. 'Our story covers the last six months of her life and focuses on her alleged relationship with Robert Kennedy. It includes her firing by 20th Century Fox and the events leading up to her death.

'She charmed men because she knew what all men wanted from her. She flirted with them. Her greatest gift and greatest tragedy was being able to give the public what it wanted. But who was Marilyn when the door shut?


'I consider Marilyn a success story and I understand her insecurities. She came from nothing, groomed herself, pulled herself up and educated herelf. She created a glamorous persona. She became a world-famous movie star. She really embodied a lot of what this country's about.

'I discovered her power when I went out there as Marilyn in makeup and with false breasts. I was treated very differently. There was a lot of butt-patting and, 'Hey, babe,' and an attitude, 'go along you cute little blonde.' When I'm myself there is no such thing.

'How could she fight to be taken seriously when she made the personal presention that she did? Like Frankenstein, she created a monster, the typical generic blond bimbo: big boobs, platinum hair, provocative walk and high, whispery voice.'

The idea that Monroe and Robert Kennedy had a love affair often has been disputed. To many, the story seems based more on rumor and tabloid exploitation than on hard evidence.

'My research tells me Bobby and Marilyn became close,' she said. 'Could any man think of being around Marilyn is social situations, and not want to take her to bed?

'Bobby knew she was a loose cannon and mentally unstable, which is very sad. She had a history of manic depression in addition to addiction to alcohol and drugs. She was doomed.


'In the last eight months of her life she was out of a relationship with Jack Kennedy, allegedly had an abortion, lost her job in 'Something's Got to Give,' left (husband) Arthur Miller, bought a house and fought lawsuits -- enough problems to warrant a nervous breakdown.'

Anderson gives the impression she would never herself suffer the insecurites or psychological problems with which Monroe dealt.

She completed the TV film with a sense of relief.

Anderson said, 'When I was on camera, I played a woman involved in a love affair, a woman who uses her body and sex to attain her goals. They say great beauties are no different from other women, but I couldn't play her as the sexiest woman in the world because I would be creating a cardboard figure.'

Does Anderson think the actress and Kennedy were lovers?

'I don't know,' she said. 'I don't think anybody knows what really happened. Maybe we never will.'NEWLN:

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