Monday, 30 April 2012

Whatever happened to Maf?

Whatever happened to Maf the dog?

Maf was Marilyn Monroe's dog and companion during her final years. I always found the photos of Maf's toys in the back garden of Marilyn's home on the day of her death to be some of the most poignant, and wondered about what exactly happened to Maf. So I did a bit of research.

Marilyn Monroe & Maf

More under the cut!



Maf was not Marilyn's first dog, she had several throughout her life. Here are some photos of Marilyn with her chihuahua, reportedly called ChooChoo, and a spaniel called Ruffles. She met Lassie in 1952!

Marilyn Monroe & dogs

Marilyn with Arthur Miller and Hugo the Basset Hound. Marilyn and Arthur would sometimes spoon-feed Hugo whisky to cheer him up.

Marilyn Monroe & dogs
Marilyn Monroe & dogs

Maf was a gift from Frank Sinatra. Maf's origins have been in confusion because Joe DiMaggio, who was increasingly close to Marilyn again after her divorce from Arthur Miller, was very jealous of Marilyn's friendship with Sinatra. To dodge any ill feeling, it seems that Marilyn would tell some people that Maf was a gift from her publicist, Pat Newcomb.

Marilyn Monroe with Frank Sinatra & with Peter Leonardi
Marilyn with Frank Sinatra in 1962, and Marilyn, Maf and James Haspiel (thanks mmonroemaniac for correcting the information), a Marilyn superfan.

The truth points to Maf being a gift from Sinatra and that the name "Mafia" was a funny reference to Sinatra's mafia links. Maf was a white Maltese terrier, although Marilyn sometimes referred to him as a poodle, and he is described as such on his first license (see below).

It is believed that Sinatra bought Maf from Natalie Woods' mother, Maria, a dog breeder who apparently would make regular trips to the UK and bring dogs back to America. Andrew O'Hagan, the author of The Life And Opinions Of Maf The Dog And Of His Friend Marilyn Monroe interviewed Betsy Blair, the ex-wife of Gene Kelly, who told O'Hagan that Maria bought Maf in Sussex in 1960 and that Maf originally came from a breeder near Aviemore in Scotland. Frank Sinatra gave Maf to Marilyn in 1961 while in New York. Marilyn would let Maf sleep on a white fur coat given to her by Arthur Miller. Maf was sent to Marilyn to live with her in Hollywood once she bought a house in Brentwood and intended to make it her permanent home.

Some people subscribe to the Pat Newcomb story, but Marilyn said herself to George Barris:

"I live here all alone with my snowball, my little white poodle - he was given to me by my dear old friend Frank Sinatra. I call him Maf."

Marilyn Monroe's photos of her dog, Maf, 1961
Photos of Maf as a puppy, taken by Marilyn

Because of Marilyn's chronic insomnia, Maf was kept in the guest house on the property at night so Marilyn could attempt to sleep in complete silence. Also, Maf was apparently not very well house trained, which may account from this letter from Pat Newcomb which was sold at auction a few years ago.

Dear "Maf"- 
Merry X-mas! Take good care of M.M.!
Love,
          Pat
P.S. Don't let the little package hurt your feelings but take the hint!

License for Maf, Marilyn's dog

License for Maf, Marilyn's dog
Maf's licenses

When Marilyn died in August 1962, these photos were taken of the back of her home, showing Maf's toys on the lawn.

Marilyn Monroe's home on the day of her death


After Marilyn's death, Maf was adopted by Sinatra's secretary, Glora Lovell. I was sad to find out that Maf was run over by a car and did not outlive Marilyn for long. A tragic sad end for a sweet little dog and his owner.

Marilyn Monroe's dog, Maf
Maf being taken from Marilyn's home after her death

21 comments:

The White List said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Absolutely brilliant blog!!! Glad I found it! You're pretty amazing! Looking forward to seeing more from you! Have a great weekend!

the-white-list.blogspot.com

Laura said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@The White List Aw, thank you! Looking at your blog I have to say the same about you! xxx

Luna said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Oh thats so sad :(
but I love the post!

... I dont know why - it may sound silly - but marilyns death makes me blue whenever I read about it :(

mmonroemaniac said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

James Haspiel with MM as the super fan not Peter Leonardi

Laura said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@mmonroemaniacThanks, I'll fix that information. Serves me right for going from memorty. I always get those two mixed up for some reason!

Matthias Talmeier- Art Journaling said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Luna


"... I dont know why - it may sound silly - but marilyns death makes me blue whenever I read about it :("

So do I! :(

adriana said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love this post! I'm a dog lover and I love Marilyn, so this was a great look into Maf and her other doggies. New follower! :)

Stormcloak Girl said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

The photos of Maf being led away after her death are so utterly sad...

Katie Kane said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Stormcloak Girl Stormcloak Girl, I agree, they made me so sad... he looked like he did NOT want to be leaving without knowing where his mom was. Made me so sad.

jacqueline said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Stormcloak Girl
absolutely agree, I feel very sad and tearful reading about lovely Marilyn - she tried to exude so much happiness yet her life was full of so much sorrow. this latest account about Marilyn's dogs just adds to my sense that she was so loving and affectionate with people and animals alike

sarah lee said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. See the link below for more info.


#happened
www.ufgop.org

April VeVea said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Just a little tidbit. . . Maf got hit the day Nixon resigned so he lived another 12 years. :)

Melinda Neal said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I know Marilyn loved her little dog & Frank Sinatra was very sweet to give her an adorable pet like "Maf" Sad picture of her dog being led away!

Alexis Preisser said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I believe Maf was actualky a Bolognese, a rare Italian breed. Sinatra would not have bought a mixed breed especially from a breeder. He is not a Poodle nor a Maltese. I breed Bolognese and Maf was one.

Alexis Preisser said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@April VeVea

Sasha said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I agree...such a sad end to both mistress and pet. At least they're reunited in Heaven.

Silvia Jacinto said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

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Jim Key said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

God Bless Marilyn and Maf too. Perhaps they are, at this moment, togther asleep and dreaming the Dream! Love them both!

Jim Key said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Love the story of Maf. I was surprised she had so many animals in her life. Interestingly, those contacts were transitory. A mirror of her fractious early yeard. Makes one think, Love you Marilym; you too Maf!

sarah lee said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I really enjoyed reading your article. I found this as an informative and interesting post, so i think it is very useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the effort you have made in writing this article.


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Tia Mia said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I always wondered what happened to sweet little Maf. Such a sad story but like to think they're together now. Marilyn had such love in her heart. So sad she rarely got it in return. I grew up in S. Pasadena and remember our neighbor who actually knew her crying and so upset when she died. He got to know her on a movie set and said she was so kind to everyone and made lasagna and brought it to the set. I finally got to pay my respects to her last year when my daughter and I visited her crypt. It was incredibly moving. How can anyone NOT love her? Such a sweet, vulnerable soul.

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