The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe
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Meet Maf: The hilariously opinionated, well-read, politically scrappy, and complex canine companion to Marilyn Monroe.
In November 1960, Frank Sinatra gave Marilyn Monroe a dog. His name was Mafia Honey, or Maf for short. Born in the household of Vanessa Bell, brought to the United States by Natalie Wood’s mother, and given as a Christmas present to Marilyn the winter after she separated from Arthur Miller, Maf was with Marilyn for the last two years of her life, first in New York and then in Los Angeles, and he had as much instinct for celebrity and psychoanalysis as he did for Liver Treat with a side order of National Biscuits. Marylin took him to meet President Kennedy and to Hollywood restaurants, to department stores, to interviews, and to Mexico for her divorce. Through Maf's eyes, we see an altogether original and wonderfully clever portrait of the woman behind the icon—and the dog behind the woman.
players would always be something other than themselves while acting, and the dog could hear the change.3 This seemed so germane to my interests that I sat on the metal chair for a long time thinking about it and the group buzzed around the studio doing congratulations and kisses. The well-wishers were packed into Strasberg’s office, the famous ones and the political types, Shelley Winters, Kim Stanley – ‘wonderful, honey, what a knockout’ – and a dozen others, including a studious young plant
thoughts, regrets, and I’m sure she was busy deciding to take me with her less often in future. She sat down on a brass vanity stool and peeled off each of her false eyelashes in turn. Lena the housekeeper was ironing clothes and laying them in two giant suitcases. ‘Lena, would you be a dream and take Maf down to the park?’ said Marilyn. ‘He’s been very bad. I’m sick of him.’ Marilyn bit her lip and picked up a grey notebook she often took with her when she was working with Mr Strasberg. ‘He’s
kinda guy who made people crazy in this country, I swear to God. He ratted out his best friends.’ ‘This is a great country, Frank,’ said the Attorney. ‘No argument.’ ‘A great country. Some people, maybe they would like the communists to run the show, huh? Maybe some people would like these guys who hate the baby Jesus to come and take over our schools, huh? You know something Frank, I love being an American. It makes me cry. I don’t want to be told how to live by some goddamn Russian
none and he got none, he didn’t know why, and the situation drove him backwards into his deepest hollows, where he drank by himself in San Fernando bars and thought of new ways to deploy his growing hatred. If he’d lived in New York and worked in an office, he might have thrived as the typical, over-martini’d, cheating husband, leaving every night on the 7.14 to White Plains, a smudge of lipstick high on his neck and a tide of lies to see him through to the next day. But Nick was with Muddah and
Don’t have the little dog barking. Let him go now. It’s bedtime.’ ‘But Daddy, it’s fun.’ ‘I said enough, Christopher.’ Mr Lawford pulled me free and the elder children booed. The baby chewed her cuff. Lawford frowned like a clown, as if his decision hurt him more than it hurt them, and they ran up the stairs and chuckled over the banister. A lot of depressing shoes at the party. I mean mules. Every where I stepped it was D’antonio gold mesh sandals, or little English mules by Rayne. The men,