Marilyn Monroe

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Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe (born June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, California as Norma Jeane Mortenson; died August 5, 1962 in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California) was a 20th century American actress, sex symbol and pop icon.

Early life

Marilyn Monroe was born at 9.30am on June 1, 1926 in the charity ward of the Los Angeles County Hospital. Her registered name was Norma Jeane Mortenson, but her grandmother, Della Monroe Grainger, later had her baptized as Norma Jeane Baker. For a while most biographers believed her biological father was most likely Charles Stanley Gifford, a salesman for the studio where Monroe's mother, the late Gladys Pearl Monroe Baker Eley, worked as a film-cutter, but more now accept that he was in fact the man listed on her birth certificate, Norwegian-born Martin Edward Mortenson.

Gladys was unable to persuade her mother Della to look after the baby Marilyn, so Marilyn was placed with foster parents Albert and Ida Bolender of Hawthorne, California, southwest of Los Angeles, where she lived until she was seven years old. In her autobiography My Story, Monroe states she thought Albert and Ida were her biological parents until one day Ida corrected her, rather rudely; Monroe's book, however, has not been considered a reliable source as it was ghostwritten by Ben Hecht and used as a publicity vehicle. After Monroe's death, Ida claimed that she and Albert had considered adopting her, for which they would have needed her mother Gladys' consent.

Again according to My Story, Gladys visited Norma Jeane every Saturday, but never smiled, hugged or kissed her. At some point, Gladys announced that she had bought a house for herself and her daughter, but a few months after they moved in, she suffered a mental breakdown. Marilyn recalled Gladys "screaming and laughing" as she was forcibly removed to the State Mental Hospital in Norwalk, California, the same hospital where her mother Della had died in August 1927. Gladys' father, Otis, had also died in a mental hospital (near San Bernardino, California), as a result of syphilis.

Consequently Norma Jeane was declared a ward of the state and Gladys' best friend, Grace McKee (later Goddard) became her guardian. After Grace married in 1935, Norma Jeane was sent to the Los Angeles orphanage and then to a long succession of foster homes, where allegedly she was subjected to abuse and neglect. There is little evidence, however, that she lived in as many foster homes as has sometimes been claimed and Monroe herself is known to have given exaggerated information about her childhood during interviews.

In September 1941, Marilyn was reunited with her mother. The Goddard family, however, were moving to the East Coast and felt it would be best if the fifteen-year old Norma Jeane were to marry, as otherwise she would have to return to the orphanage. She had been introduced to a neighbor's son, James Dougherty, who would become her first husband.


Cover of the first issue of Playboy

While her husband was away fighting in the Second World War, the young Norma Jeane began work in a factory, where she was spotted by photographer David Conover. He immediately saw her potential as a model and she was soon signed by The Blue Book modelling agency. She became one of their most successful models, appearing on hundreds of magazine covers. In 1946 she came to the attention of talent scout Ben Lyon who arranged a screen test for her with 20th Century Fox. She passed and was offered a standard six-month contract with a starting salary of $75 per week. She was given the name Marilyn after the actress Marilyn Miller and suggested her mother's maiden name Monroe as her surname. Thus the twenty-year old Norma Jeane Baker became "Marilyn Monroe".

During her first six months at 20th Century Fox, Monroe was given no acting work but instead learned about hair, make-up, costumes, acting and lighting. After six months Fox decided to renew her contract and in the following six months she was given minor roles in two movies, Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! and Dangerous Years, both released in 1947. Both films failed at the box office and Fox decided not to renew her contract again. Monroe returned to modelling work and began to network and make contacts in Hollywood. In 1948 a six-month stint at Columbia Pictures saw her star in one movie, Ladies of the Chorus, but it was not a success and she was dropped. She then met one of Hollywood's top agents, Johnny Hyde, who had Fox resign her after MGM had turned her down. Although Fox vice-president Darryl F. Zanuck was not convinced of Monroe's star potential, she began to make her mark with performances in films such as All About Eve and The Asphalt Jungle.

Monroe played her first role as a leading lady in Don't Bother To Knock, portraying a deranged babysitter who, in a rage, attacks the little girl in her care. Although it received mixed reviews, Monroe later claimed it to be one of her favorite performances. Her performance in Niagara (1953), however, left little doubt about her on-screen sex appeal. It was around this time that nude photos of Monroe began to surface, taken by Tom Kelley when she had been struggling for work. Prints were bought by Hugh Hefner and in December 1953 appeared in the first edition of his new magazine, Playboy. To a journalist asking what she wore during the photoshoot, she famously replied: "Chanel No. 5!".

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire, both released in 1953, catapulted Marilyn into A-list status and she quickly became the world's biggest movie star. It didn't matter that her next two films, River of No Return and There's No Business Like Show Business under-performed, the public was already hooked. However, Monroe began to tire of the "dumb blonde" roles which Zanuck had assigned her, and, after completing work on The Seven Year Itch in 1954, she broke her contract and fled Hollywood to study acting at The Actor's Studio in New York. Fox would not budge on Monroe's new contract demands and insisted she return to the studio to start work on productions she considered inappropriate (Heller In Pink Tights and How To Be Very, Very Popular being two of them). When The Seven Year Itch raced to the top of the box office in the Summer of 1955, and with other Fox starlets Jayne Mansfield and Sheree North failing to click with audiences, Zanuck finally admitted defeat and a triumphant Monroe returned to Hollywood where a new contract was immediately drawn up.

The first film under the new contract to be made was Bus Stop directed by Joshua Logan who had compared Monroe to Greta Garbo. Critics immediately noted the change in Marilyn since attending The Actor's Studio working hard at her craft and giving a subtle and effective performance as "Cherie", the saloon singer who is whisked off her feet by an amorous cowboy. Despite her achievements, Monroe was devestated to find that many of the scenes she had been most proud of had been cut from the final movie by Fox who felt it was too long. Marilyn believed this decision by her studio cost her the chance of an Academy Award nomination and perhaps wider critical acclaim as a serious actress.

By this time she had formed her own production company (Marilyn Monroe Productions) with photographer Milton H. Greene, in which the first film released by the company was The Prince and the Showgirl which she produced. Marilyn starred opposite acclaimed British actor Laurence Olivier who was also Director. The pair had a difficult relationship, which translated to a total lack of chemistry on screen. Marilyn found it difficult to work well under Olivier's often impatient and even unkind direction, and her legendary difficult behavior continued during the film's production. All in all, it was a miracle the film finished on time and under budget. However, her career was back on track once again in 1959 when she starred in Some Like It Hot. Consistently listed as one of the greatest comedy films of all time, the Billy Wilder written and directed film showcases Monroe at her most accomplished as a comedy actress - a genre that she had a natural talent for at the start of her career but a talent which is perfected in this, probably her most famous movie. Two years later, the movie written for her by third husband Arthur Miller - The Misfits - was released to audiences and received mixed reviews. She turned in a moving performance opposite screen stalwart Clark Gable and it is noted as one of her finest dramatic performances, but it would sadly also be her last. On the morning of August 5th 1962, Monroe was found dead in her Los Angeles home. Her death (Which was officially found to be Suicide by Drug Overdose) has been subject to many conspiracy theories, but such theories have done little to dent the iconic status of Marilyn Monroe as the archetypal Hollywood Movie Star.


She married James Dougherty on June 19, 1942 at the age of 16 due to pressure from her mother Grace, who was then moving home with her husband and wanted her daughter to marry in order to avoid her getting put into an orphanage. In the books The Secret Happiness of Marilyn Monroe and To Norma Jeane With Love, Jimmie, James Dougherty claimed that he and Marilyn were in love and would have lived happily ever after had dreams of stardom not lured her away; however Marilyn always maintained that theirs was a marriage of convenience fostered upon them by her mother Grace Goddard, who paid Dougherty to take her charge out on dates. In the 2004 documentary, Marilyn's Man, Dougherty claimed to have invented the "Marilyn Monroe" persona, that she was forced to divorce him by Fox, and had always yearned to return to him. No biographer ever came across any evidence to support this, and there is no evidence the pair even stayed in contact. Monroe was reportedly furious when Dougherty gave an interview to the fan magazine Photoplay in 1953 in which he claimed she threatened to jump off the Santa Monica Pier if he ever left her. He later appeared as a contestant on the gameshow To Tell the Truth as "Marilyn Monroe's real first husband."

Dougherty's own actions did not support his claims of being Monroe's Svengali or her only true love. He remarried months after Monroe divorced him on September 13, 1946. The August 6, 1962, New York Times reported that, when informed of her death, he stated "I'm sorry" and continued his LAPD patrol; he did not attend her funeral. In an interview for the Biography Channel, Dougherty admitted that Grace Goddard approached his mother who then asked him if he'd be willing to marry Norma Jeane so she wouldn't have to go to an orphanage. He was married to his third wife until her death in 2003, and lived in Maine until his own death on August 15, 2005, from complications of leukemia.

Monroe and Joe DiMaggio on their wedding day

In 1951, Joe DiMaggio saw a picture of Marilyn with two Chicago White Sox players, but waited until after he retired from baseball to ask the PR man who arranged the stunt to set them up on a date. But she did not want to meet him, fearing him the stereotypical jock. Their January 14, 1954 elopement at City Hall in San Francisco was the culmination of a two-year courtship that had captivated the nation. During this marriage, Marilyn was stepmother to DiMaggio's son Joe Jr, the child of his first marriage to Dorothy Arnold.

The union was complex, marred by his jealousy and her casual infidelity. DiMaggio wanted to settle down. Marilyn the same, but also craved fame and would do almost anything for it. DiMaggio was also said to have been disgusted by Marilyn's sloppiness and poor hygiene. DiMaggio's biographer Richard Ben Cramer asserts that violence was the result of this. One incident allegedly happened after the skirt blowing scene in The Seven Year Itch was filmed on New York's Lexington Avenue before hundreds of fans; director Billy Wilder recalled "the look of death" on DiMaggio's face as he watched. When she announced she would seek a divorce - just 274 days after the wedding - (on grounds of mental cruelty), she was quoted as telling 20th Century Fox "our careers just seemed to get in the way of each other." Oscar Levant quipped it proved no man could be a success in two pastimes. She eventually divorced him on October 27, 1954.

She then married the playwright Arthur Miller, whom she met in 1951, in a civil ceremony on June 29, 1956, then in a Jewish ceremony two days later (she had converted to Judaism prior to the wedding). When they returned from England after she finished The Prince and the Showgirl, they learned that she was pregnant. Sadly, she suffered from endometriosis; the pregnancy was ectopic and had to be aborted to save her life. A second pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. The children's names were, Jane and Robert Miller.

Monroe and Arthur Miller on the set of The Misfits

By 1958, Monroe was the main breadwinner. Not only did she pay alimony to Miller's first wife, he reportedly bought a Jaguar while they were in England, shipped it to the States, and charged it to her production company. His script The Misfits was meant to be a Valentine to her. Instead, by the time filming started, the marriage was broken beyond repair. A Mexican divorce was granted on January 24, 1961.

DiMaggio re-entered her life as her marriage to Miller was ending. On February 4, 1961, she was admitted by her then-psychiatrist into Manhattan's Payne-Whitney Clinic, reportedly placed in the ward for the most seriously disturbed. He got her out six days later, and took her to the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic at New York Presbyterian Hospital. After her release on March 5, she joined him in Florida where he was a batting coach for his old team, the New York Yankees. Their "just friends" claims did not stop remarriage rumours from flying. Bob Hope even "dedicated" Best Song nominee "The Second Time Around" to them at the 1960 Academy Awards telecast. According to DiMaggio biographer Maury Allen, Joe quit his job with a military post-exchange supplier on August 1, 1962 to return to California and ask Marilyn to remarry him.

On February 17, 1962, Miller married the German-born Inge Morath, one of the Magnum photographers recording the making of The Misfits. In January 1964, his After the Fall opened, featuring a beautiful, child-like, yet devouring shrew named Maggie. It upset all of Monroe's friends, including legendary stage actress Helen Hayes, who, if not a personal friend of Marilyn, was nonetheless furious and appalled at Miller's brazen use of Marilyn's almost mythic fame. Miller's last Broadway-bound work (before his death), Finishing the Picture, is based on the making of The Misfits, Marilyn's last movie.

In May of 1962 she sang Happy Birthday, Mr. President at a televised birthday party for President John F. Kennedy. The French chiffon dress she wore that night was sold at auction by Christie's for a world-record $1.3 million dollars. 20th Century Fox fired her soon after the infamous event while she was working on her soon-to-be unfinished film Something's Got to Give, co-starring Dean Martin and Cyd Charisse, and directed by George Cukor. Due to a clause in Martin's contract giving him approval over the leading lady, Marilyn was re-hired to finish the film as Martin refused to work with any other actress. It is believed that Monroe had several affairs during her life, including but in no way limited to: President John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Yves Montand. She also allegedly had a one-night stand with Joan Crawford.

Death and aftermath

File:Marilyn and Dean.jpg
Marilyn Monroe on the set of her last unfinished film

Marilyn Monroe was found dead August 5 1962 in the bedroom of her Brentwood, California, home at age 36 from an overdose of barbiturates. As with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, several theories have sprung up around the circumstances of her death. The theorists have tried to make their "case" for murder due to her involvement with the Kennedy family.

Marilyn's body was discovered by live-in housekeeper, Mrs. Eunice Murray, assigned to Marilyn's care by her psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Greenson. Conspiracy theorists have also tried to make their "case" on the relationship between Murray and Greenson, and Monroe's personal publicist, Pat Newcomb. Several days after Monroe's death, Murray attempted to cash a $200.00 check made out to her by Monroe. The un-cancelled check is today on display in the Monroe exhibit at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum. In the Fall of 1962, Murray left the country for an extended European cruise on the Queen Mary; Newcomb joined the Kennedy administration in the ensuing months. Murray told her own version of that fateful night in "Marilyn, The Last Months." The book was written by a ghostwriter in the early 1970s while Murray was living in Santa Monica; Pat Newcomb was a frequent visitor. In her later years, Murray moved back East, possibly to Martha's Vineyard, remarried for a short time, and survived the passing of her second husband. Murray has since passed away.

A formal investigation in 1982 by the Los Angeles County District Attorney came up with no evidence of foul play, but the stories persist. Los Angeles County coroner Dr. Thomas Noguchi, who'd performed the autopsy (and the autopsies of Robert F. Kennedy, Natalie Wood and William Holden, among other celebrities), wrote in his book Coroner that Marilyn's death had been highly likely a suicide. Yet he conceded that he could find no trace in the stomach or intestines of any of the overdose of barbiturates that had reportedly been the cause of death; some conspiracy theorists claim this proves the drug overdose had been forcibly administered to Monroe (after she'd been rendered unconscious with chloral hydrate) perhaps by intravenous injection or, more likely, by rectal suppository, leaving no marks. Chicago mobster Sam Giancana reportedly claimed to have ordered Monroe's killing with the help of the CIA and the Kennedys. Most of these theories are seen to be without much evidence.


On August 5, 2005, the Los Angeles Times published[2] an account of Monroe's death by former Los Angeles County prosecutor John W. Miner, who was present at the autopsy [3] as well as Miner's notes purportedly made from tapes Monroe had made for her psychiatrist, Ralph Greenson[4], which he claims show she was not suicidal. Yet, as the Times itself noted, Miner's claims must be taken with a grain of salt: Greenson's widow told the Times her husband never mentioned a tape made by Monroe, and Miner did not mention to the District Attorney in 1982 of either a tape or that he had made notes from it. It is speculated that the man seems to have made these tapes up to put forward his theory and make it stick.

A devastated DiMaggio claimed her body and arranged her funeral. According to her half-sister, Berniece Baker Miracle, he just took over and she allowed him to do so. For 20 years, he had a dozen red roses delivered three times a week to her crypt. Unlike the other men who knew her intimately (or had claimed to), the highly private DiMaggio never publicly spoke about her nor wrote a book about his life with her.

Marilyn is interred in a crypt at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery just off of Wilshire Boulevard. She had Grace Goddard interred there because Grace's aunt – who cared for Norma Jeane briefly – is there. Just as her career took off, she asked her make-up man, Whitey Snyder, to promise he would make her up when she died. Snyder joked he would if her body was brought to him while it was warm. A few days later, he received a money clip: "Whitey Dear, While I am still warm, Marilyn." He fulfilled that promise with the help of a bottle of whiskey.

When Gladys was between mental hospitals, she married her last husband, John Stewart Eley, who died in 1952. Diagnosed as a schizophrenic, she walked out of a sanitarium in the early 1970s and flew to Florida, where Berniece picked her up at the airport. She died of congestive heart failure on March 11, 1984 at a nursing home. Obsessed by Christian Science, she would refuse to discuss either Norma Jeane or Marilyn Monroe, unable or unwilling to relive the past.

But if Marilyn's death signalled the end of a human being, it was only the beginning of an icon. Despite (or because of) the endless conspiracy theories, Marilyn still captivates the world and her image can be seen nearly everywhere. The actress who worried nobody would take her seriously has become one of the most famous and most adored women in history. There have been many imitators and wannabes but few have equalled Monroe's beauty, charisma and lasting appeal. She remains a beloved star in Hollywood history.


  • The town of Haugesund, Norway, has a lifesize statue of Marily Monroe. Haugesund being the birthplace of her father Martin Edward Mortenson and is fittingly also the home of the Norwegian International Film Festival
  • Marilyn decorated her last house in Fifth Helena Drive with Mexican furniture from her trip to Mexico. That was also the only home she had by herself, after so many years living in hotels or others' homes. It was shown to her by her pyschiatrist, Dr. Greenson, because it was close to his own in both appearance and location (she frequently attended sessions at his private residence.)
  • Childhood pictures show that Marilyn was born a blonde, but her hair turned "mousy" brown as she grew up. She dyed her hair several different shades of blonde as an adult.
  • The song Candle in the Wind (1973), which was written by Bernie Taupin and performed by Elton John, was about Monroe. In 1997, Elton John rewrote the song for Diana, Princess of Wales and performed it at her funeral.
  • James Cunningham outlined her life in his song Norma Jean wants to be a movie star in 1974.
  • Unlikely fans included Albert Einstein, Ayn Rand, Jean-Paul Sartre, Edith Sitwell, and Vladimir Nabokov.
  • A piercing on the upper lip, in the same place as Marilyn's beauty mark, is called a "Monroe" piercing.
  • Actor Colin Farrell has admitted that, as a child, he would put sweets under his pillow for Monroe when she came down to visit from heaven.
  • When Prince Rainier III of Monaco was looking for a famous wife to marry, Marilyn was suggested, but as he was a devout Catholic, the oft-married, non-Catholic, somewhat scandalous Monroe could not have ever been a serious contender. He married Grace Kelly, instead, whose Catholicism and prim beauty (despite her own tawdry affairs in Hollywood) gave Monaco an additional aspect of the right kind of fame it sought.
  • Marilyn's features are copyrighted to her estate, and are not allowed to be copied exactly.
  • Marilyn is rumored to have had as many as 8 abortions during her short lifetime.
  • Marilyn had a mild stutter, which was most severe during her teens. She commented in an interview, "I stuttered... Later on, in my teens, when I was at Van [Nuys] High School, they elected me secretary of the English class, and every time I had to read the minutes I’d say, ‘Minutes of the last m-m-m-meeting.’ It was terrible." [5]
  • Her first screen test was shot by legendary cinematographer Leon Shamroy.
  • The $200.00 check that Eunice Murray attempted to cash after Monroe's death is on display at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum at the old Max Factor Building in Hollywood.
  • Hugh Hefner bought a crypt next to Marilyn for $85,000 and the other crypt next to her was sold for $125,000. There are no empty spots available near Marilyn.
  • A myth that Marilyn was born with six toes resulted from the publication of photos taken by Joseph Jasgur in March 1946. The pictures were published in The Birth of Marilyn: The Lost Photographs of Norma Jean by Jasgur and Jeannie Sakol. Two pictures can be interpreted as showing six toes, although they can be explained as tricks of light. Since there is no corroborating evidence from other photographs or written records, the story is commonly dismissed as an urban legend. [6]
  • Marilyn was named Miss Artichoke in 1948.
  • Marilyn had to wear two pairs of white underwear under her famous white dress for the "subway grate" scene in The Seven Year Itch, as bystanders could see a little bit too much. The scene was refilmed back at the Fox studios, for crowds in New York City were distracting.
  • Director Billy Wilder (who made two movies with Marilyn: The Seven Year Itch and Some Like It Hot) said that Marilyn had breasts like granite and a brain like Swiss cheese. Wilder has also said Marilyn was a genius, so one could say it was an on/off relationship.
  • Was once a roommate of actress Shelley Winters.
  • People rarely looked past the image Marilyn portrayed, but she was said to be quite intelligent - it was hidden behind her image as a dumb blonde with beautiful features. She herself always regretted not being able to continue with high school and wrote poems and was very much involved in literature.
  • Celebrity photographer George Barris claims he took the last pictures of Marilyn. However, it was confirmed Allan Grant took the last pictures of Marilyn during her interview with Life magazine on July 7, 1962.
  • Among the men Marilyn allegedly had affairs with: John F. Kennedy, Henry Fonda, Robert F. Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Yves Montand and Elia Kazan.
  • Frank Sinatra gave Marilyn a Maltese [7] puppy that she named "Maf Honey". The Maf was supposedly short for "Mafia".
  • She had a beauty mark above her lip, which some people falsely believe to be fake. [8]
  • In 1953, Marilyn Monroe appeared as the first Playboy centrefold.
  • Marilyn attended Van Nuys High School, in Los Angeles.
  • Author Truman Capote wanted Marilyn to play the part of Holly Golightly for the film adaptation of his book Breakfast At Tiffany's. The role would eventually go to Audrey Hepburn.
  • Voted "Sexiest Woman of the Century" by People Magazine in 1999.
  • Appears on the sleeve of The Beatles LP Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band


Further reading

  • Victor, Adam (1999). The Complete Marilyn Monroe, Thames and Hudson Ltd. ISBN 0500019789. — An exhaustive and thorough A–Z look at the icon's life.
  • Wolfe, Donald H. (1988). The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe, William Morrow & Company. ISBN 0688162886. — Argues for Kennedy connection to Monroe's death.
  • Smith, Matthew (2004). Marilyn's Last Words: Her Secret Tapes and Mysterious Death, Carroll & Graf Publishers. ISBN 0786713801. — Contains transcripts of Marilyn's therapy sessions.
  • Giancana, Sam, and Giancana, Chuck (1993). Double Cross: The Explosive, Inside Story of the Mobster Who Controlled America, Warner Books. ISBN 0446364126. — Mobster Sam Giancana's nephew and brother claim that Giancana had Marilyn killed (pp. 434–438).



  • "My illusions didn't have anything to do with being a fine actress. I knew how third rate I was. I could actually feel my lack of talent, as if it were cheap clothes I was wearing inside. But, my God, how I wanted to learn, to change, to improve!"
  • "I'm not interested in money. I just want to be wonderful."
  • "Sometimes I think it would be easier to avoid old age, to die young, but then you'd never complete your life, would you? You'd never wholly know yourself."
  • "A career is wonderful, but you can't curl up with it on a cold night."
  • "I've been on a calendar, but never on time."
  • "No one ever told me I was pretty when I was a little girl. All little girls should be told they're pretty, even if they aren't."
  • "Please don't make me a joke. End the interview with what I believe. I don't mind making jokes, but I don't want to look like one. I want to be an artist, an actress with integrity."
  • "In Hollywood a girl's virtue is much less important than her hairdo. You're judged by how you look, not by what you are. Hollywood's a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for kiss, and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty."
  • "People had a habit of looking at me as if I were some kind of mirror instead of a person. They didn't see me, they saw their own lewd thoughts, then they white-masked themselves by calling me the lewd one."
  • "A sex-symbol becomes a thing, I just hate being a thing. But if I'm going to be a symbol of something I'd rather have it sex than some other things we've got symbols of."
  • "The truth is I've never fooled anyone. I've let people fool themselves. They didn't bother to find out who and what I was. Instead they would invent a character for me. I wouldn't argue with them. They were obviously loving somebody I wasn't. When they found this out, they would blame me for disillusioning them and fooling them."
  • "If I had observed all the rules, I'd never have gotten anywhere."
  • "It stirs up envy, fame does. People you run into feel that, well, who does she think she is, Marilyn Monroe? They feel fame gives them some kind of privilege to walk up to you and say anything to you, of any kind of nature - and it won't hurt your feelings - like it's happening to your clothes not you."
  • "Some people have been unkind. If I say I want to grow as an actress, they look at my figure. If I say I want to develop, to learn my craft, they laugh. Somehow they don't expect me to be serious about my work."
  • "I've never dropped anyone I believed in."
  • "I want to be an artist not an erotic freak. I don't want to be sold to the public as a celluloid aphrodisiac."
  • "I used to think as I looked at the Hollywood night, 'There must be thousands of girls sitting alone like me, dreaming of becoming a movie star. But I'm not going to worry about them. I'm dreaming the hardest.'"
  • "I knew I belonged to the public and to the world. Not because I was talented or even beautiful, but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else."


Awards and nominations

  • 1952 Photoplay Award, Special Award
  • 1953 Photoplay Award, Most Popular Female Star
  • 1954 Golden Globe, World Film Favorite - Female
  • 1956 Golden Globe nomination, Best Motion Picture Actress in Comedy or Musical (for Bus Stop)
  • 1958 David di Donatello Award (Italian Award), Golden Plate (for Prince and the Showgirl)
  • 1959 Crystal Star Award (French Award), Best Foreign Actress, (for Prince and the Showgirl)
  • 1960 Golden Globe, Best Motion Picture Actress in Comedy or Musical (for Some Like It Hot)
  • 1962 Golden Globe, World Film Favorite - Female

Marilyn Monroe in popular culture

Marilyn Monroe is also referenced in popular culture.

Depictions in media



External links


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