Marilyn Monroe, one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century, was a multifaceted personality. While the world saw her as the bubbly, glamorous actress on the silver screen, she led a life filled with complexities, seeking solace and escape in various ways. One of these avenues was the glamorous world of casinos, particularly in the twilight years of her life.
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Casinos: A Refuge from Stardom
Monroe’s fame came with an overwhelming amount of attention, scrutiny, and pressure. For someone like Marilyn, casinos became more than just places to gamble. They were an escape—a world where she could momentarily shed the weight of her stardom and immerse herself in games of chance. Casinos provided an environment where she was not just a movie star but a regular player, enjoying the thrills of the game.
The Sands and The Flamingo: Her Favorites on the Strip
Marilyn was often spotted in some of the most elite casinos of her time. The Sands Hotel and Casino, a popular spot for many Hollywood celebrities, was one of her favorites. The establishment oozed sophistication and luxury, making it a preferred choice for Monroe. Another frequent haunt was The Flamingo, one of the oldest casinos on the Strip. Founded by the infamous Bugsy Siegel, The Flamingo was synonymous with glamor, making it a fitting place for Marilyn.
A Passion for Roulette and Slot Machines
Though Monroe dabbled in various games, sources suggest she had a particular fondness for roulette and slot machines. Roulette, with its spinning wheel, mesmerized her as she waited with bated breath to see where the ball would land. The game, reliant heavily on luck, provided Marilyn with moments of suspense and excitement. On the other hand, slot machines offered a more solitary gambling experience. The rhythmic motion of pulling the lever and the anticipation of symbols lining up was a simple pleasure she enjoyed.
An Expression of Autonomy
For Monroe, casinos were also an expression of her autonomy. Throughout her life, she had been steered and influenced by studios, agents, and men who thought they knew what was best for her. At the gambling table, however, she made her own choices. Whether it was placing a bet on a particular number in roulette or choosing a slot machine, these decisions were hers and hers alone.
The Intriguing Link with Frank Sinatra
Marilyn’s association with casinos was also deepened through her close relationship with Frank Sinatra, another colossal figure of that era and a known lover of casino gaming. Rumors often linked them romantically, but their bond seemed to transcend mere romance. Sinatra introduced Monroe to the Cal-Neva Lodge, a casino-resort he partly owned. This establishment, located between California and Nevada, became one of Marilyn’s frequented spots, offering her both the thrill of gaming and the privacy she yearned for.
In the whirlwind life of Marilyn Monroe, casinos provided an oasis—a place where she could blend excitement with relaxation and momentarily distance herself from the challenges of her life. While we’ll never fully grasp the depths of her feelings and experiences, it’s evident that casinos played a significant role in her later years. They were spaces of solace, enjoyment, and autonomy for a star who, despite her luminosity on screen, sought moments of quiet and control in an otherwise chaotic life.