Julie Child was born on August 15th, 1912 and died August 13th, 2004.
Julia Child is on of my role models. Having read her biography several years ago, I was inspired and impressed with her work during WWII and then with her dogged determination to find a craft that would match her wit and her passion for life. Fortunately, she picked food!
For those of us who have seen her at her best when she was teaching on TV, we realize that she is the precursor to the Food Network. She is actually a pioneer in the area of going public with cooking. Her kitchen is at the Smithsonian and her first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle (1961) is still in print, and if you Google the title you will see it is still in print with many different covers.
According to an August 7th article in USA Today entitled “Hunger for Julia Child Endures,” Child is often credited for “opening the door to the fresh food revolution in America, which is still going strong.”
In the movie Julie & Julia, based on a book of the same name by author Julie Powell, the latter goes to see the exhibit (I think at the Smithsonian) and places a pound of butter under her photo. (In the movie, it is the photo of Meryl Streep, who plays Julia Child.) In the end, Julia Child’s was right in sticking to butter instead of switching to margarine, which has turned out to be a very poor choice, healthwise.
USA Today notes that there is a new book out by Bob Spitz (Knopf publishers, same publisher as Child’s first book & my maiden name) called Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child. Spitz considers her one of the great women of the 20th century. I agree! (I plan to add this book to my Books to Read list.)
Actress Marilyn Monroe was born as Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, California. During her all-too-brief life, Marilyn Monroe overcame a difficult childhood (mentally unstable mother, foster care-es) to become of the world’s biggest and most enduring sex symbols. During her career, Monroe’s films grossed more than $200 million. Monroe died of a drug overdose on August 5, 1962, at only 36 years old. (Source: www.biography.com)
I grew up watching movies featuring Marilyn Monroe. After seeing a biography of her on TV Monday night, using still life photos by several different photographers, I realize she was an unhappy woman (with an unhappy childhood). The photos showed Marilyn in her many emotional poses. I personally think she was a good actress whose talents were overshadowed by her sexuality. (She spent one year at the Actors Studio in NYC.) I watched her sing Happy Birthday to President Kennedy on May 19, 1962, only a few months before her untimely death, considered an accidental suicide from a drug overdose. Too sad for words! (For more about Marilyn, visit the official website, www.marilynmonroe.com.)
Marilyn is only one of many stars whose glamorous life is actually not so glamorous. Most recently we had Whitney Houston’s death, Amy Winehouse (singer who died July 23rd, 2011 at the age of 27), and performer Michael Jackson, (died on June 25th, 2009 at age 50.
P.S. I often wonder if the “glitter and glamorous” life of a movie star like Monroe or mega star like Jackson is at the root of their untimely deaths or are their young lives so filled with pain that their stardom is just their need to gather approval and love from fans?