(FOX 11) - As we continue our KTTV, FOX 11 commemoration of the most memorable stories we've covered over the past 70 years.
One of them has to be the death of Marilyn Monroe. Our Hal Eisner digs into our film vault, for a look back at one of the biggest celebrity funerals ever on television.
It's 1 O'clock - August 8th - 1962. A hearse slowly pulls into the Westwood Memorial. Inside Marilyn Monroe dead at the age of 36.
Marilyn Monroe was laid to rest over a half a century ago. Back then in 1962 people came from all over to say their final goodbyes to an actress they had come to love. Some people actually got up on top of buildings. You can see that in some of our old KTTV footage.
Golden Globe winning and Oscar nominated actress Sally Kirkland says, "It was a tragedy. It didn't have to happen." She was 21 when she heard the bulletins and, all the while, thinking "it didn't have to happen."
The coroner at the time said, "On the basis of all of the information obtained it is our opinion that the case is a probably suicide."
Kirkland has many connections to Marilyn. For instance, her mom worked with her on photo covers for Vogue magazine. They both went to the same acting classes ... just different nights. And, while she never met her face to face... in 1998, Sally Kirkland played Marilyn Monroe - her real name Norma Jean Baker - in a movie that imagined what a 50-year old Marilyn - might have been like.
Ever since her earliest days she wanted to be just like Marilyn Monroe...
As an artist, she painted her. And, now in this retrospective story about the blond bombshell Kirkland discusses how she and Marilyn's lives intertwined.