Occupation: Drama coach
Place of Meeting: Columbia Pictures
Year Relationship began: 1948
Type of Relationship: Romance
“She was a great teacher, but she got really jealous about the men I saw. She thought she was my husband!” Marilyn Monroe on Natasha Lytess.
Marilyn met Natasha when she was assigned to a 6-month contract with Columbia pictures in April 1948. She was asked to work with Marilyn on the production of Ladies of the Chorus (1948). The two developed an intense relationship which lasted fully seven years, partly because Natasha was one of the very few people who was prepared to take Marilyn seriously. So important to Marilyn was their friendship that from 1952's movie Clash by Night, Marilyn refused to film a scene unless Natasha was present on the set. Increasingly, Marilyn became dependent upon Natasha.
Hollywood was intrigued when Marilyn moved into Natasha's home in West Hollywood on Harper Avenue to prepare for her role in Don't Bother to Knock (1952). Not only that, Marilyn apparently gave Natasha a car and fur coat and also got her on to the 20th Century Fox payroll.
Inevitably rumours spread in some Hollywood circles that Marilyn was involved in a lesbian affair with Natasha. The alleged affair was later 'verified' by Marilyn's New York maid, Lena Pepitone. Whatever the truth, Natasha did not approve of Marilyn's involvements with men, notably Joe DiMaggio. As Marilyn's love for DiMaggio blossomed, her relationship with Natasha soured. In 1956 Marilyn arranged for lawyers to send Natasha a telegram informing her that her services were no longer required.