Marilyn Monroe met baseball legend Joe DiMaggio at the Villa Nova restaurant in Los Angeles on March 8, 1952. The subsequent romance between a true American hero and the Hollywood Princess helped increase Marilyn’s popularity. Like Marilyn, Joe also came from humble beginnings and had worked his way to the top. Marilyn liked Joe’s large family, and got along especially well with his 10 year old son, Joe DiMaggio, Jr., that he had from his first marriage. However, Joe had recently retired and expected Marilyn to do the same. She was on the verge of superstardom, and had no intention of becoming a full-time housewife at this point. The darkest cloud over their fairy tail romance was Joe’s jealousy, though. He didn’t like Marilyn’s sexy image and he didn’t like most of her friends.
Still, they were deeply in love and eventually got married in a civil ceremony in San Francisco on January 14, 1954. The honeymoon went to Japan, where Joe had planned a business trip already. Marilyn made a short side-trip to Korea to entertain the American troops stationed there, much to Joe’s displeasure. On the early morning of September 15, the same year, Marilyn shot the iconic subway-grate scene for The Seven Year Itch. The sight of his wife exposing her panties to the cheering crowd, again and again, thanks to director Billy Wilder, was too much for Joe, and he left the scene in a rage. Afterwards he had a huge fight with Marilyn, which several sources claim turned violent. It was evident that their marrige was over, and Marilyn was granted a divorce on October 27.
Joe later became one of the key figures in Marilyn’s life when her third marriage ended at the end of 1960. He supported her through a few personal crisis, and proved to be one of her most loyal and devoted friends. The rumors of their reconciliation have circulated ever since, and some biographers have even claimed that they where planning to get remarried at the time of Marilyn’s death. Joe helped organize her funeral, and had roses delivered to her grave every week for the next 20 years. Unlike Marilyn’s two other ex-husbands, Joe never remarried and refused to speak about her in public.