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MOVIE legend Marilyn Monroe held an amazing secret close to her chest, according to a new book.

Hollywood author Joan Kron claims the star had breast implants to boost her career.

The revelation, in the aptly entitled Lift, will shock fans of Monroe, famed for the "natural" assets director Billy Wilder once compared with "granite".

Kron claims the sex symbol had breast surgery to enhance her bust in the 1950s, before her career took off.

She believes the star's breasts were made of a sponge foam, called Ivalon, Cellophane-encased padding and possibly silicone injection.

She says plastic surgeon Dr John Pangman, famous for his celebrity clientele, carried out the procedure after Marilyn approached him in 1949.

Kron claims her brunette hair had been replaced by the famous blonde bombshell look.

But despite a part in the film Love Happy and posing nude for a calendar, she was far from content with her image.

She went to Pangman after overhearing someone at a party describe her as a "chinless wonder".

Rosemary Eckersley, widow of prominent Hollywood plastic surgeon Franklin Ashley, also claims Monroe had plastic surgery on her breasts.

She says the star's chest became infected shortly before her death and that "Marilyn wanted Frank to do something about them, but he wouldn't".

It's claimed the breast surgery wasn't the star's first time under the knife.

She's said to have had a cartilage graft to give her face more structure and a bump in her nose removed.

Yesterday, top cosmetic surgeon Edward Latimer-Sayer said: "If you look at pictures of Marilyn when she was a relative unknown, you can clearly see the difference."

But he did not believe Monroe had surgery to enhance her breasts. He said: "The procedure was pretty primitive then.

"Surgeons had to implant fat and skin from the patient's buttocks.

"The results weren't very adequate. It certainly wouldn't have been good enough for a film star of Marilyn Monroe's calibre."

Silicone implants didn't come into their own until the late 1950s.

But celebrity writer Robin Katz said: "It's feasible Monroe had plastic surgery on her breasts.

"In the 50s, they were doing all kinds of treatment in Hollywood before the public knew about it.

"If a star like Marilyn had plastic surgery, it would have been kept top secret."
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Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Weale, Natasha
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 16, 1998
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