The funeral director who prepared Marilyn Monroe’s body for burial has broken his silence for the first time, giving unpleasant details about the state of the the world’s most beautiful woman after she was found dead aged 36 in 1962.
Allan Abbott and Ron Hast ran one of the most popular funeral services in the 1960s for celebrities from Monroe to Natalie Wood, called Abbott & Hast.
Now Abbott has written a tell-all book about his work for the stars, and in it, claims Marilyn was almost unrecognisable when he saw her body shortly after she had died.
Abbott claimed Marilyn described “purple blotches” covering her face due to the position she died in, while saying her roots and nails needed doing. He wrote…
“When we removed the sheet covering her, it was almost impossible to believe this was the body of Marilyn Monroe.She looked like a very average, aging woman who had not been taking very good care of herself. Obviously, the circumstances surrounding her death had greatly exacerbated her poor appearance and she was unrecognizable.
“When someone dies, gravity causes the blood to settle to the lowest point of the body. This condition is called lividity, and considering that many people die lying on their backs, the discoloration that occurs is seldom visible.
“In Marilyn’s case, she died face down, so there were purple blotches on her face, and her neck was very swollen. They had bathed her at the coroner’s office, and her hair was frizzy and fairly short.”
“You could tell she had not bleached it for some time, because the roots were darker and had grown out about half an inch.
“Her natural hair color was a light brown, not blonde. Her legs hadn’t been shaved for at least a week, and her lips were badly chapped. She was also in need of a manicure and pedicure.”
They were forced to perform surgery on Marilyn’s neck to reduce swelling, and later received clothes to dress her in – noting she “never wore panties”.
They also claim to have found false breasts in her belongings, but chose not to use them. Instead the wife of the cemetery’s manager stuffed her bra with cotton to make her look more like herself.
The star’s make-up artists Sydney Guilaroff and Allan ‘Whitey’ Snyder later explained the star had begun to use the enhancements as her breasts began to sag in her thirties.
They arrived and made up her face, as well as adding her wig.
Marilyn’s ex and close friend Joe DiMaggio kept a vigil at the mortuary, before walking outside and crying, according to Abbott.
The pair remained close after marrying in January 1954, before Marilyn filed for divorce 274 days later.