Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe


This picture must date from the early to mid fifties – in fact February 1955




BELOW – is a claim made in a recent publication :

Ella Fitzgerald was not allowed to perform in Hollywood’s most popular nightclub, The Mocambo, because of her race and  body size. Marilyn Monroe, who was a big fan, called the owner and explained that if he booked Ella, she would be there every night, which guaranteed huge press coverage.

He booked Ella and Marilyn was there, front table, every single night as promised. Ella said, “After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman, a little ahead of her time, and she didn’t even know it.”


However the truth is :

Marilyn Monroe did help to persuade the Mocambo night club to book Ella Fitzgerald.

It seems that the other assumptions are not correct :

While race may have been a contributing factor, black entertainers had performed at the Mocambo club prior to Ella Fitzgerald. The owner of the popular night club was reportedly hesitant to book a true jazz singer and thought that Fitzgerald wasn’t glamorous enough to perform at the West Hollywood hot spot.




Above – a Memo from Ella Fitzgerald’s Agent – and this is dated 15 February 1955

When once asked about her favourite singers, Marilyn Monroe answered, “Well, my very favorite person, and I love her as a person as well as a singer, I think she’s the greatest, and that’s Ella Fitzgerald.” Not only was Marilyn Monroe an Ella Fitzgerald fan, but she was also a friend who used her status as a Hollywood star to boost Fitzgerald’s career.

Their friendship would last until Monroe’s untimely death. And even after Marilyn  had died,  Ella remained grateful for the support the star had provided during her lifetime.



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