Lifetime Casts Its Marilyn Monroe

Kelli Garner Marilyn Monroe Split - H 2014
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Kelli Garner Marilyn Monroe Split - H 2014

Lifetime has found its Marilyn Monroe.

Pan Am and The Aviator alum Kelli Garner has been tapped to play the blonde bombshell in the cabler's upcoming miniseries Marilyn, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

In Marilyn, a four-hour miniseries based on J. Randy Taraborrelli's book, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, Garner will topline the drama that explores Monroe's family life and how she succeeded in hiding from an all-too-invasive world.

Garner's Monroe is described as a woman who will walk red carpets in shimmering gowns while fighting a battle against demons she's inherited from her mentally ill mother Gladys (Susan SarandonDead Man Walking), whom she loves, hates and wants desperately to save.

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Here's Lifetime's official description of the mini: "Marilyn is both the personification of sex, whose first marriage ironically collapses because of her frigidity, and a fragile artist who seeks the approval and protection of men.  But after tumultuous marriages with Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller, she realizes she has the strength to stand on her own. She becomes the face and voice of an era, yet wants most of all to be someone's mother and someone's little girl. She's the Marilyn you haven't seen before, the artist who, by masking the truth with an image, gives her greatest performance."

24 and The KennedysStephen Kronish is on board to pen the mini, with Sherrybaby's Laurie Collyer attached to direct the Marilyn Monroe entry.

The mini hails from Asylum Entertainment, the production company behind Lifetime's June Carter Cash biopic Ring of Fire as well as Reelz Channel's ratings hit The Kennedys.

Asylum's Jonathan Koch and Steven Michaels will exec produce alongside Kronish and Keri Selig. Selig is attached to exec produce Reelz's Kennedys follow-up, After Camelotwhich, like Marilyn, was based on a book by Taraborrelli.

Garner's credits include My Generation and features Taking Woodstock, Going the Distance and G-Force, among others. She's repped by Gersh, John Carrabino Management and Hansen Jacobson.

She joins a roster of small-screen actresses to have played Monroe including Megan Hilty, Uma Thurman and Katharine McPhee (NBC's Smash); Charlotte Sullivan in The Kennedys as well as Suzie Kennedy and Constance Forslund.

Marilyn will premiere in 2015 on Lifetime.

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