Allyship in Hollywood: Marilyn Monroe & Ella Fitzgerald’s Friendship


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To start with, it is undeniable that Marilyn Monroe and Ella Fitzgeralds had a really strong and deep relationship as they remained friends for years. Indeed, the Hollywood starlet and the jazz singer had a bond that defied the odds during a time of racial prejudice. To say it all, Marilyn  Monroe would have apparently answered the following when asked about her favourite singers:  “Well, my very favourite person, and I love her as a person as well as singer, I think she’s the greatest, and that’s Ella Fitzgerald”.  

Both women had, in fact, developed a really close connection as they had both lived life experiences that were pretty traumatic during their childhood, as well as they had ultimately found success as artistic performers. In fact, each of them would share many things in common and thus,  provide support to each other by boosting the other’s professional career. That is to say, Monroe would help bring Fitzgerald’s career to the next level, helping her to play at more famous and prestigious venues than those she would use to play at.  

Most importantly, Monroe would stand for Fitzgerald as an ally to the black community, supporting her friend in battling prejudice. In fact, not many spots were treating Fitzgerald equally due to the colour of her skin, as some expected Fitzgerald to enter through a side door or back entrance rather than the front. Therefore, thanks to Monroe’s support, all of Fitzgerald’s performance spots were treating the singer with respect she deserved, being treated equally at hotels and venues, regardless of race. Indeed, Fitzgerald would face significant adversity as a result of her race, given that, back in time, black musicians, regardless of popularity, were most of the time-limited to small nightclubs, having to enter through the back of the house. The same treatment would also occur at restaurants and hotels.  

 To conclude, Fitzgerald never forgot how Monroe helped her career as the latest one had completely changed Ellas Fitzgerald’s life. This career-defining friendship between Marilyn  Monroe and Fitzgerald was thus a memorable one through which Monroe had become a great example of a defendant of popular African-American artists.

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