Bring back some good or bad memories


June 26, 2024

Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell Putting Their Handprints and Footprints in the Cement at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, 1953

“I’ll never forget Marilyn saying, ‘It’s for all time, isn’t it?’ ‘Yes,’ I told her, ‘it’s for all time, or as long as the cement lasts.’ She made me cry, she was so sweet. I believed in her. We made a hell of a team and I wish we had done another picture together.” – Jane Russell

On June 26, 1953, Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell both placed their hands and feet in wet cement and were forever immortalized in the forecourt of the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Hollwood Boulevard in Hollywood. “Filmdom’s first blonde and first brunette” as the newsreels proclaimed, earned their place in the forecourt of the movie theatre as promotion for their up and coming feature film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which was due to hit theaters on July 1, 1953.

“When I was younger, I used to go to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and try to fit my foot in the prints in the cement there,” Marilyn recalled. “And I’d say ‘Oh, oh, my foots too big. I guess that’s out.’ I did have a funny feeling later when I finally put my foot down into that wet cement, I sure knew what it really meant to me, anything’s possible, almost.”

That day the two stars made their appearance in matching white polka-dot dresses. The cement was poured, wet and waiting for their prints, when Marilyn suggested they make a more personal contribution to posterity. Jane Russell could leave and imprint of her bust, and she would do likewise with her posterior. When the suggestion was ignored, Marilyn proposed a diamond to dot the “i” in her name. The rhinestone used for the purpose did not take very long to catch the eye of a souvenir hunter. Across both squares the ladies wrote “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” forever tying them together with such a wonderful movie.

70 years on and Marilyn’s hand and footprints are still by far the most popular and most photographed at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Of course, it wasn’t just Marilyn’s big day, Jane Russell was right by her side. Taken from “Jane Russell: An Autobiography,” Jane shared her thoughts on the day:

“Marilyn and I were invited to add our footprints to those already cemented in at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. We were both wearing summer dresses and high heels as we posed, arms linked together, for the photographers. We were thrilled beyond words. While I was placing my my feet in that square of soggy cement, I thought of all the times when Pat Alexander and I tried to fit our feet in the footprints of various actresses and how we figured that they must have worn the tiniest shoes for the occasion. Our feet never fit in. Now my prints were in that cement and I couldn’t believe it. I’m sure Marilyn felt the same. Always one for personal comfort, I was wearing my usual big shoes, so no aspiring actress will have any trouble whatsoever getting their feet into my footprints!”

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