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Marilyn Monroe's Supporting Roles: 4 Times She Shined Without Being Lead Actress

Image: Marilyn Monroe's Supporting Roles: 4 Times She Shined Without Being Lead Actress
Marilyn Monroe and Louis Calhern in The Asphalt Jungle, 1950. (imdb.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 12 May 2015 04:35 PM

1. Angela Phinley, "The Asphalt Jungle"
Monroe had a small supporting role as Angela Phinley in “The Asphalt Jungle,” where she received favorable reviews as the crooked lawyer’s mistress.

Taste of Cinema says the film "is by no means Marilyn Monroe’s first appearance on the silver screen and even though she had larger roles before the one here, this is the first noteworthy movie the rising starlet appeared in. It is in fact one of the best films she appeared in although that would be skewing things as this is hardly a Marilyn Monroe movie."

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2. Miss Casswell, "All About Eve"
Positive notices helped in "The Asphalt Jungle" helped Monroe get another small role in “All About Eve.” Roger Ebert wrote about her role as Miss Casswell:" It has been observed that no matter how a scene was lighted, Monroe had the quality of drawing all the light to herself. In her brief scenes here, surrounded by actors much more experienced, she is all we can look at. Do we see her through the prism of her legend? Perhaps not; those who saw the movie in 1950, when she was unknown, also singled her out."

3. Peggy, “Clash By Night"
By 1952, Monroe's exposure increased even more, even while she was still playing supporting roles. Directors were giving Monroe more time on screen, and in the case of Fritz Lang’s “Clash By Night,” she got credited before the movie’s title. The film stars Barbara Stanwyck as Mae, who comes back home to live with her brother, who is seeing Peggy (Monroe). According to Taste of Cinema, Monroe's popularity was elevated at the time because old nude pictures of Monroe surfaced during the movie’s production.

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4. Lois Laurel, “Monkey Business”

“Monkey Business” is the film where critics and moviegoers started noticing Monroe, and where her platinum blonde hair became her trademark, Taste of Cinema says. The comedy is headlined by Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers, and while Monroe only plays a secretary, she stands out from the crowd.

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Monroe had a small supporting role as Angela Phinley in “The Asphalt Jungle,” where she received favorable reviews as the crooked lawyer’s mistress.
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2015-35-12
Tuesday, 12 May 2015 04:35 PM
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