Marilyn Monroe to Saddam Hussein to Brittany Spears: Celebrity Degrees of Separation

Marilyn Monroe to Ronald Reagan to Donald Rumsfeld to Saddam Hussein to

Jacques Chirac to Shimon Perez to Madonna Ciccone to Brittany Spears

In the spring of 1945, during World War II, when actor Ronald Reagan was Commanding Officer of the first Motion Picture Unit being run through Hal Roach Studios, he unwittingly helped set in motion the film career of model and actor Marilyn Monroe. She was then Norma Jean Baker, an assembly-line wartime worker for Radioplane Corporation, manufacturer of radio-controlled miniature planes used by the army for anti-aircraft practice.

Reagan directed a U.S. Army photographer working under him to snap pictures of the attractive woman for Yank and Stars and Stripes, publications written for and widely distributed to U.S. Army serviceman. The layouts led to more magazine photo modeling and eventually an acting career for Norma Jean Baker, who changed her name to Marilyn Monroe.

Eight years later, on July 18, 1953, the two actors met in person at a dinner party following the premier of Gentleman Prefer Blondes, in which Marilyn Monroe starred along with actor Jane Russell. Reagan’s wife, actor Nancy Davis, also joined him at the dinner and met Marilyn Monroe at that time.

Thirty years later, as the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan met in the Oval Office on November 3, 1983 with Special Envoy to the Middle East, former advisor to President Gerald Ford and former U.S. Congressman from Illinois, Donald Rumsfeld.

A month later, during his two day visit to Iraq, from December 10 to December 20, 1983, Rumsfeld met with the notorious dictator of Iraq, Saddam Hussein.

Nine years earlier, almost to the day, Saddam Hussein (then the Iraqi Vice President, but already the cruel dictator and murderer which made him notorious, signed a December 2, 1974 agreement with French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac, who also made an official visit to Baghdad the following year. Hussein had something of an ally in Chirac, approving a deal which gave French oil companies a 23 per cent share of Iraqi oil in exchange for France selling Iraq the Osirak nuclear reactor, intended to test nuclear materials.

On March 2, 2002, French President Jacques Chirac met with then-Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Shimon Peres in Paris. Among the topics of discussion were reports of rising anti-Semitism in France. After the Paris meeting, Peres said he was “certain that France is not anti-Semitic, neither historically nor currently” while Chirac declared, “I am convinced the French leadership is staging a serious and determined battle against anti-Semitism in France.” Both within France and Israel many were angered by what they termed “appeasement” by Peres, while other journalists claimed it was accurate.

On September 15, 2007, performer Madonna met with Shimone Peres in his role as Israeli President on a Saturday at his Jerusalem home, following the end of Jewish New Year at sunset. Madonna was in Israel to attend a Kabbalah conference in Tel Aviv, exploring aspects of the Jewish mystical sect she had embraced. Peres gave the woman known for her sexual provocation a copy of the Old Testament which she had requested he give her.

On July 10, 2008, at Los Angeles’s Dodger Stadium, Madonna donned fishnet stockings and a bra during her performance on her “Sticky and Sweet” tour and was joined by demurely-dressed pop singer Brittnay Spears for a duet. Ciccone and Spears didn’t repeat their famous kiss, a stunt that shocked and delighted crowds when they did so at the 2003 MTV Awards. They just held hands.

Marilyn Monroe to Ronald Reagan to Donald Rumsfeld to Saddam Hussein to Jacques Chirac to Shimone Peres to Madonna Ciccone to Britany Spears


Categories: Celebrity Degrees of Separation, Facebook of the Famous, Ronald Reagan

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