From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
She was born as either Juliet Smerth or Juliet Smerdt, the daughter of Wilhelm and Frances Budd Smerth. She emigrated with her family to the United States and arrived in the United States on July 10 1907, aged five.
She attended public school in New York. In Sexus, Henry Miller writes that June claimed she graduated from Wellesley College, but later in the Rosy Crucifixion he writes that she never finished high school. Kenneth Dick, after interviewing June, quotes her as saying "My formal education amounted to about three and a half years of High School. I was working on a scholarship to Hunter College." Somewhere around 1917-1919, she went to work as a taxi dancer at Wilson's Dancing Academy (later, in 1931, renamed the Orpheum Dance Palace) in Times Square.
Life with Henry Miller
In October 1926 () Jean Kronski, an artist and poet, moved in with them. June, who was bisexual, cultivated a very close relationship with Jean, often preferring Jean's affections to Henry's. This phase of her relationship with Jean is the central piece of Henry's autobiographical fictional novel Crazy Cock.
This living arrangement soon fell apart and Jean and June left for Paris together in April 1927. However, two months later they started to quarrel, and June returned to Henry in July. They subsequently left for a tour of Europe, settling in Paris.
In 1931, June met writer Anaïs Nin, who quickly became obsessed with her and, just as Henry Miller did, used her as a biographical archetype in many of her subsequent writings. June and Nin became involved in a lesbian affair, and June later figured prominently into Incest and her diaries, which the movie Henry and June was based upon ().
June and Henry divorced by proxy in Mexico in 1934.
After divorcing Miller she married Stratford Corbett (probably) in 1935, who worked either for the New York Life Insurance Company or as a public relations officer for the U.S. Government, neither has been confirmed. Stratford left her in 1947 for the actress Rita La Roy Corbett. Her life deteriorated at this point and she lived in a series of cheap hotels around New York City, such as the Hotel Continental on 95th Street. She was in touch with Miller during this period through the post, and he sent her money through friends and bookstores such as the Gotham Book Mart.
During the 1950s, June was admitted to psychiatric wards where she received electric shock treatments, during which she broke several bones after falling off the operating table. She never fully recovered. In 1954 she began volunteering as a social worker. In 1961 she met Miller again; he was shocked at her deterioration, and the two never rekindled their relationship.
In the late 1960s, June moved to Arizona with one of her brothers, where she is believed to be buried, but no location has been confirmed.
Although she expressed a desire to write an autobiography, she never wrote anything other than letters. However she had enormous literary influence over the works of her ex-husband Miller and her former lover Nin.
- Kenneth C. Dick, Henry Miller: Colossus of One
- Robert Furguson, Henry Miller, A Life
- Henry Miller, Crazy Cock (formerly titled Lovely Lesbians), (as 'Hildred')
- Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer (as 'Mona')
- Henry Miller, Tropic of Capricorn (as 'Mona')
- Henry Miller, The Rosy Crucifixion
- Henry Miller, Sexus
- Henry Miller, Plexus
- Henry Miller, Nexus
- Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin
- Anaïs Nin, Henry and June
- Anaïs Nin, House of Incest (as 'Sabina')
- Anaïs Nin, Incest: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin, 1931-1932
- Anaïs Nin, A Spy in the House of Love
- Stephen Starck, June Scattered In Fragments