When Marilyn Monroe Was 18, She Saw Her Long-Lost Sister for the First Time. It Was She Who Became the Closest Friend of the Star

People
6 months ago

We all know that Marilyn Monroe never truly found happiness in her personal life. Yet, she had a special person by her side, someone who stood by her through life’s turbulent times. That person was her sister, Bernice Baker Miracle, whom Monroe met in 1944 when both women were already adults.

Berniece didn’t know she had a sister.

© Nick Rodz / INA / YouTube, Image supplied by Capital Pictures/EAST NEWS

Berniece Baker Miracle, born on July 30, 1919, had a tumultuous childhood. Her parents, Gladys Pearl Monroe and Jasper Newton “Jap” Baker, divorced when she was just a child. Berniece and her brother Robert were taken by their father to Kentucky, far from their mother. Tragically, Robert passed away when he was just 15, leaving Berniece with unanswered questions about her family.

The truth was relieved.

In 1938, when Berniece was 19, her world changed with a letter from her estranged mother, Gladys. The letter revealed a life-altering secret: Berniece had a 12-year-old sister, Norma Jeane, who would one day become the iconic Marilyn Monroe. This revelation ignited a desire in both sisters to meet, to know each other.

In 1944, the momentous meeting finally happened. Norma Jeane, not yet known as Marilyn Monroe, traveled to Detroit to meet Berniece and her husband, Paris. They were initially nervous about recognizing each other, but as soon as they met, there was no mistaking the connection. Both sisters were struck by their physical resemblance and the immediate bond that formed.

“There was no chance of missing her. None of the passengers looked anything like [her]: tall, so pretty and fresh, and wearing what she had described, a cobalt wool suit and a hat with a heart shape dip in the brim.”

A letter from Norma Jeane to Berniece Baker Miracle.

Their connection was nothing short of magical. Miracle couldn’t help but marvel at their striking physical resemblance — both adorned with dark blonde hair and identical mouths, although Monroe boasted enchanting blue eyes while Miracle’s were a warm shade of brown. Their bond was instant, and it felt as if they had known each other for a lifetime.

We sat there like two people who had just fallen in love, I guess,” Miracle said. “We were overwhelmed at finally getting to see each other.”

The bond between the two sisters was unbreakable.

Despite Marilyn’s rise to stardom as she adopted her stage name in 1946, the sisters remained close. They confided in each other during challenging times, with Berniece even visiting Marilyn in New York during her surgery. Their sisterly bond was unbreakable.

Even when Marilyn Monroe’s marriage with Arthur Miller faced difficulties, she reached out to her half-sister for a heart-to-heart conversation.

Berniece loses her sister.

Tragically, Marilyn Monroe passed away on August 4, 1962, at the age of 36. Berniece played a crucial role in arranging her sister’s funeral. While Marilyn’s death was officially ruled as suicide, Berniece believed it could have been an accident, as she had recently spoken to her and knew of her future plans. Monroe left Miracle $10,000 in her final will.

Berniece and her daughter, Mona Rae, decided to tell Marilyn’s story themselves, resulting in the touching 1994 memoir, “My Sister Marilyn: A Memoir of Marilyn Monroe.” Despite many others seeking to tell Marilyn’s story, Berniece wanted to ensure her sister’s legacy was depicted truthfully and with love.

Throughout her extraordinary life, Miracle shied away from the glitz and glam of the media spotlight, preferring to immerse herself in the everyday joys of being a manufacturing inspector, bookkeeper, and costume designer. Her remarkable journey came to a peaceful close in the serene town of Asheville, North Carolina, on May 25, 2014, at the incredible age of 94, 52 years after her half-sister.

Looking at Bernice in her older years, we can’t help but imagine how Marilyn might have looked if she hadn’t left us at such a young age. And it’s fascinating to imagine how icons from the past might appear if they lived in our modern era.

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I have mega pictures of Marlyn . My late brother-in- law went to school with her and got me a autograft picture of her . I also have throw pillows with her picture on them .

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