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7 Famous Love Letters Throughout History — from Marilyn Monroe to Orson Welles!

Jury member Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban attend 'Inside Llewyn Davis' Premiere during the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals in Cannes

Nicole Kidman revealed just how romantic her husband, singer Keith Urban, is. Why? Because he writes her love letters. Swoon. Due to her wildly successful acting career and his busy schedule of touring for his music and filming American Idol, they sometimes have to spend nights apart.

Nicole told the March edition of InStyle magazine that her husband keeps the love alive through heartwarming words. “For every single night he’s away, he leaves me a love letter. Every single night of our relationship.”

Wow — go Keith! Having never received a love letter from my husband of 10 years (bitter, who me?), this revelation made me think of the famous love letters that other stars have written throughout history. In this age of emails and texts and Facebook status updates, there is something terribly wonderful and old-fashioned about putting one’s feelings onto paper. I must confess that I have kept a few love letters from my past, including one from my first love when I was just 17 years old. The pages are curled and yellowing, the ink faded, the sentiment long gone — but I love being reminded that once upon a time I was that girl — loved so innocently back in 1990.

Letters discovered long after famous relationships have ended have fetched a fortune at auctions. For example, a collection of letters Elizabeth Taylor wrote to William Pawley, Jr., her first fiancé at the age of 17, sold for $47,000 in 2011. Meanwhile rocker Mick Jagger’s 1969 love letters to model Marsha Hunt, who allegedly inspired the song “Brown Sugar,” sold at auction for approximately $301,472.

As we approach Valentine’s Day, the holiday where lovers often pen their true feelings to those they love, we decided to take a look at some of the most romantic, endearing, and heartfelt love letters throughout history. Maybe they’ll inspire you to grab a pen and paper and write your own!

  • Marilyn Monroe to Joe DiMaggio 1 of 7
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    Auctioneer David Hunt found a note tucked in one of DiMaggio's wallets. It had been written in 1954, when DiMaggio and Monroe were married for nine months:

    Dear Joe, I know I was wrong! I acted the way I did and said the things I did because I was hurt — not because I meant them — and it was stupid of me to be hurt because actually there wasn't enough reason — in fact no reason at all. Please accept my apology and don't, don't, don't, don't be angry with your baby — she loves you. Lovingly, your wife (for life), Mrs. J.P. DiMaggio.

     

    Photo credit: Twitter

  • Ronald Reagan to Nancy Reagan 2 of 7
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    In 1972, just before Ronald and Nancy Reagan celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary, Reagan — the then Governor of California — wrote a letter to his wife. In it he wrote:

    The important thing is I don't want to be without you for the next 20 years, or 40, or however many there are. I've gotten very used to being happy and I love you very much indeed.

    -Your Husband of 20 something or other.

     

    Photo credit: Amazon

  • Elizabeth Taylor to Richard Burton 3 of 7
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    Liz Taylor sent Burton a letter written on March 15, 1974, their 10th wedding anniversary, just days before their much publicized break up:

    My darling (my still) My husband. I wish I could tell you of my love for you, of my fear, my delight, my pure animal pleasure of you (with you) my jealousy, my pride, my anger at you, at times. Most of all my love for you, and whatever love you can dole out to me I wish I could write about it but I can't. I can only ‘boil and bubble' inside and hope you understand how I really feel. Anyway I lust thee, Your (still) Wife. P.S. O'Love, let us never take each other for granted again! P.P.S. How about that 10 years!!"

     

    Photo credit: Twitter

  • Johnny Cash to June Carter 4 of 7
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    In 1968, twelve years after first meeting while performing as part of the Opry, June Carter married Johnny Cash. Their engagement only lasted a week! They remained together until her death, 35 years later. Shortly after June passed away, Johnny wrote the following note:

    I love June Carter, I do. Yes I do. I love June Carter I do. And she loves me.
    But now she's an angel and I'm not. Now she's an angel and I'm not.

    Four months after June's death, Johnny passed away too. 

     

    Photo credit: Amazon

  • Zelda Fitzgerald to F. Scott Fitzgerald 5 of 7
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    The writings of F. Scott Fitzgerald captured the spirit of the 1920s. His best-known novels, The Great Gatsby, became an instant success and catapulted Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda, to fame. Much of the intense scrutiny of the pair focused on Fitzgerald's battles with alcohol and Zelda's mental breakdown. This letter was written by Zelda to her husband, just before their marriage in 1919, and shows their devotion to each other: 

    Please, please don't be so depressed — We'll be married soon, and then these lonesome nights will be over forever — and until we are, I am loving, loving every tiny minute of the day and night — Maybe you won't understand this, but sometimes when I miss you most, it's hardest to write — and you always know when I make myself — Just the ache of it all — and I can't tell you. If we were together, you'd feel how strong it is — you're so sweet when you're melancholy. I love your sad tenderness — when I've hurt you — That's one of the reasons I could never be sorry for our quarrels — and they bothered you so — Those dear, dear little fusses, when I always tried so hard to make you kiss and forget...

     

    Photo credit: Amazon

  • Orson Welles to Rita Hayworth 6 of 7
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    On September 7, 1943, 28-year-old Orson Welles married Rita Hayworth, 25, at Santa Monica City Hall. Their marriage lasted less than four years. A cache of the love letters and drawings Welles wrote to Hayworth during their marriage were discovered in a secret compartment of Rita's makeup case. They were sold on September 20, 2001 at a Christie's auction in Los Angeles, where they fetched $25,850. They included the below

    Dearest Angel Girl:

    ...I suppose most of us are lonely in this big world, but we must fall tremendously in love to find it out. The cure is the discovery of our need for company — I mean company in the very special sense we've come to understand since we happened to each other — you and I. The pleasures of human experience are emptied away without that companionship — now that I've known it; without it joy is just an unendurable as sorrow. You are my life — my very life. Never imagine your hope approximates what you are to me. Beautiful, precious little baby — hurry up the sun! — make the days shorter till we meet. I love you, that's all there is to it.

    Your boy,

    Orson 

     

    Photo credit: Twitter

  • Frida Kahlo to Diego River 7 of 7
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    In 1927 Frida Kahlo met painter Diego River, and two years later they were married. So began one of the most notoriously tumultuous marriages in the art world that was littered with infidelities and recriminations over the span of 27 years. Frida's letters are collected in The Diary of Frida Kahlo, an intimate self portrait. In one love letter she wrote:

    Nothing compares to your hands, nothing like the green-gold of your eyes. My body is filled with you for days and days. you are the mirror of the night. the violent flash of lightning. the dampness of the earth. The hollow of your armpits is my shelter. my fingers touch your blood. All my joy is to feel life spring from your flower-fountain that mine keeps to fill all the paths of my nerves which are yours.

     

    Photo credit: Wikicommons

Photo credit: Pacific Coast News

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