From the Stars and Stripes archives

Marilyn Monroe ends Korea swing

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 23, 1954

TAEGU, Korea, Feb. 20 (Pac. S&S) — Amid a storm of flashbulbs and cheering troops, America's favorite sweetheart, Marilyn Monroe, left Korea last night. She bade a tender farewell to more than 9,000 howling servicemen at the Taegu Air Force Open Air Theater.

Miss Monroe completed her 4-day whirlwind tour of this now peaceful peninsula with a swan-song performance of "Anything Goes" just before she took off for Itami where husband Joe DiMaggio is waiting.

Marilyn tapered off her morale-boosting swing through Korea with a show which electrified the large audience. She faced it in a form-fitting black, gold-flecked dress, cut like a California hot rod. Singing her standard hit, "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend", the blonde from Hollywood captivated her last audience in the same manner she enthralled her first — by just being Marilyn.

The fans included many who had staked out an early claim on the choice first few rows of seats seven hours before the performance began. There were those who huddled in blankets while Mrs. DiMaggio braved a 30-degree cold in a summer dress.

After the show, Marilyn returned to the stage to pose for the more than 100 eager camera fans who crowded to the stage, restrained by a cordron of MPs.

Members of the cast which accompanied her throughout the trip across Korea exclaimed, "She's great, she's gorgeous, but she's even nicer than she's gorgeous."

Although Miss Monroe was too pressed for time to grant a personal interview, a spokesman for the troupe indicated that being under contract to 20th Century Fox she could neither confirm nor deny reports that she intended to give up her movie career for a "family life" with husband Joe DiMaggio.


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