Sex goddess. Movie star. Troubled soul.
Guy Rocha, retired Nevada state archivist, will talk about Marilyn Monroe's complexities and her links to Nevada in a Valentine's Day lecture at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Sierra Place senior residence.
Monroe "is an American film icon who is arguably misunderstood by the general population. We know her as a sex goddess. The people who knew her most knew she was more," Rocha said, adding, "Those of us who get to know her see how complex and tortured she was."
Rocha's lecture will shed light on the conflicted and complex actress who still captures our imagination.
"I'll talk about the loves of her life, which are many," Rocha said, "and the dysfunction in her life, the choices she made."
Monroe had a troubled childhood that's believed to have fueled her troubled relationships with men and, ultimately, her abuse of alcohol and prescription drugs.
"She wanted to have a good life, but she wanted to be a sex symbol," Rocha said. "One undermines the other. It's not sustainable."
Monroe's final full-length film, 1961's "The Misfits," was filmed in Reno, Dayton and Pyramid Lake.
Her first known visit to the state was to Las Vegas in 1946, to divorce her first husband. Her last was to the Cal-Neva Club at Crystal Bay, a week before her mysterious death in Los Angeles in 1962 at age 36.
"She fascinates us by the life she lived, the movies she made, the men she loved," Rocha said. "When an icon dies early in life, we wonder 'What if.' They're also frozen in time and we never get to know this person (later in life). It's a tragic loss of a young, vital person."
Marilyn Monroe "is more than she seems, more than many know," he added. "She had an impact on the nation. We feel very sad for her."
What: Valentine's Day with Marilyn Monroe and Guy Rocha
When: 10 a.m. Thursday
Where: Sierra Place, 1111 West College Parkway, Carson City