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Marilyn Monroe Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (3) | Trade Mark (4) | Trivia (131) | Personal Quotes (113) | Salary (19)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 1 June 1926Los Angeles, California, USA
Date of Death 5 August 1962Los Angeles, California, USA  (drug overdose)
Birth NameNorma Jeane Mortenson
Nicknames The Blonde Bombshell
MM
Height 5' 5½" (1.66 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, California. Her mother was a film-cutter at RKO Studios who, widowed and mentally ill, abandoned her to sequence of foster homes. She was almost smothered to death at two, nearly raped at six. At nine, the LA Orphans' Home paid her a nickel a month for kitchen work while taking back a penny every Sunday for church. At sixteen, she worked in an aircraft plant and married a man she called Daddy; he went into the military, she modeled, they divorced in 1946. She owned 200 books (including Tolstoy, Whitman, Milton), listened to Beethoven records, studied acting at the Actors' lab in Hollywood, and took literature courses at UCLA downtown. 20th Century Fox gave her a contract but let it lapse a year later. In 1948, Columbia gave her a six-month contract, turned her over to coach Natasha Lytess and featured her in the B movie Ladies of the Chorus (1948) in which she sang three numbers : "Every Baby Needs a Da Da Daddy", "Anyone Can Tell I Love You" and "The Ladies of the Chorus" with Adele Jergens (dubbed by Virginia Rees) and others. Joseph L. Mankiewicz saw her in a small part in The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and put her in All About Eve (1950), resulting in 20th Century re-signing her to a seven-year contract. Niagara (1953) and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) launched her as a sex symbol superstar.

When she went to a supper honoring her in the The Seven Year Itch (1955), she arrived in a red chiffon gown borrowed from the studio (she had never owned a gown). That same year, she married and divorced baseball great Joe DiMaggio (their wedding night was spent in Paso Robles, California). After The Seven Year Itch (1955), she wanted serious acting to replace the sexpot image and went to New York's Actors Studio. She worked with director Lee Strasberg and also underwent psychoanalysis to learn more about herself. Critics praised her transformation in Bus Stop (1956) and the press was stunned by her marriage to playwright Arthur Miller. True to form, she had no veil to match her beige wedding dress so she dyed one in coffee; he wore one of the two suits he owned. They went to England that fall where she made The Prince and the Showgirl (1957) with Laurence Olivier, fighting with him and falling further prey to alcohol and pills. Two miscarriages and gynecological surgery followed. So did an affair with Yves Montand. Work on her last picture The Misfits (1961), written for her by departing husband Miller was interrupted by exhaustion. She was dropped from the unfinished Something's Got to Give (1962) due to chronic lateness and drug dependency.

On August 4, 1962, Marilyn Monroe's day began with threatening phone calls. Dr. Ralph Greenson, Marilyn's physician, came over the following day and quoted later in a document "felt it was possible that Marilyn Monroe had felt rejected by some of the people she had been close to". Apart from being upset that her publicist slept too long, she seemed fine. Pat Newcombe, who had stayed the previous night at Marilyn's house, left in the early evening as did Greenson who had a dinner date. Marilyn was upset he couldn't stay, and around 7:30pm she telephoned him while he was to tell him that her second husband's son had called him. Peter Lawford also called Marilyn, inviting her to dinner, but she declined. Lawford later said her speech was slurred. As the dark and depressing evening for Marilyn wore on there were other phone calls, including one from Jose Belanos, who said he thought she sounded fine. According to the funeral directors, Marilyn died sometime between 9:30pm and 11:30pm. Her maid unable to raise her but seeing a light under her locked door, called the police shortly after midnight. She also phoned Ralph Greenson who, on arrival, could not break down the bedroom door. He eventually broke in through French windows and found Marilyn dead in bed. The corner stated she had died from acute barbiturate poisoning, and it was a 'probable suicide'.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Probably the most celebrated of all actresses, Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926, in Los Angeles General Hospital. Prior to her birth, Marilyn's father bought a motorcycle and headed north to San Francisco, abandoning the family in Los Angeles. Marilyn grew up not knowing for sure who her father really was. Her mother, Gladys, had entered into several relationships, further confusing her daughter as to who it was who fathered her. Afterward, Gladys gave Norma Jeane (Marilyn) the name of Baker, a boyfriend she had before Mortenson. Poverty was a constant companion to Gladys and Norma. Gladys, who was extremely attractive and worked for RKO Studios as a filmcutter, suffered from mental illness and was in and out of mental institutions for the rest of her life, and because of that Norma Jeane spent time in foster homes. When she was nine, she was placed in an orphanage where she was to stay for the next two years. Upon being released from the orphanage, she went to yet another foster home. In 1942, at age 16, Norma Jeane married 21-year-old aircraft plant worker James Dougherty. The marriage only lasted four years, and they divorced in 1946. By this time, Marilyn began to model swimsuits and bleached her hair blonde. Various shots made their way into the public eye, where some were eventually seen by RKO Pictures head Howard Hughes. He offered Marilyn a screen test, but an agent suggested that 20th Century-Fox would be the better choice for her, since it was a much bigger and more prestigious studio. She was signed to a contract at $125 per week for a six-month period and that was increased by $25 per week at the end of that time when her contract was lengthened.

Her first film was in 1947 with a bit part in The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947). Her next production was not much better, a bit in the eminently forgettable Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! (1948). Two of the three brief scenes she appeared wound up on the cutting room floor. Later that same year, she was given a somewhat better role as Evie in Dangerous Years (1947). However, Fox declined to renew her contract, so she went back to modeling and acting school.

Columbia Pictures then picked her up to play Peggy Martin in Ladies of the Chorus (1948), where she sang two numbers. Notices from the critics were favorable for her, if not the film, but Columbia dropped her. Once again Marilyn returned to modeling. In 1949, she appeared in United Artists' Love Happy (1949). It was also that same year she posed nude for the now famous calendar shot which was later to appear in Playboy magazine in 1953 and further boost her career. She would be the first centerfold in that magazine's long and illustrious history. The next year proved to be a good year for Marilyn. She appeared in five films, but the good news was that she received very good notices for her roles in two of them, The Asphalt Jungle (1950) from MGM and All About Eve (1950) from Fox. Even though both roles were basically not much more than bit parts, movie fans remembered her ditzy but very sexy blonde performance.

In 1951, Marilyn got a fairly sizable role in Love Nest (1951). The public was now getting to know her and liked what it saw. She had an intoxicating quality of volcanic sexuality wrapped in an aura of almost childlike innocence. In 1952, Marilyn appeared in Don't Bother to Knock (1952), in which she played a somewhat mentally unbalanced babysitter. Critics didn't particularly care for her work in this picture, but she made a much more favorable impression later in the year in Monkey Business (1952), where she was seen for the first time as a platinum blonde, a look that became her trademark. The next year, she appeared in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) as Lorelei Lee. It was also the same year she began dating the baseball great Joe DiMaggio.

Marilyn was now a genuine box-office drawing card. Later, she appeared with Betty Grable, Lauren Bacall and Rory Calhoun in How to Marry a Millionaire (1953). Although her co-stars got the rave reviews, it was the sight of Marilyn that really excited the audience, especially the male members. On Thursday, January 14th, 1954, Marilyn wed DiMaggio, then proceeded to film There's No Business Like Show Business (1954). That was quickly followed by The Seven Year Itch (1955), which showcased her considerable comedic talent and contained what is arguably one of the most memorable moments in cinema history: Marilyn standing above a subway grating and the wind from a passing subway blowing her white dress up.

By October 1954, Marilyn announced her divorce from DiMaggio. The union lasted only eight months. In 1955, she was suspended by Fox for not reporting for work on How to Be Very, Very Popular (1955). It was her second suspension, the first being for not reporting for the production of The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955). Both roles went to others. Her work was slowing down, due to her habit of being continually late to the set, her illnesses (whether real or imagined) and generally being unwilling to cooperate with her producers, directors, and fellow actors.

However in Bus Stop (1956), Marilyn finally showed critics that she could play a straight dramatic role. It was also the same year she married playwright, Arthur Miller (they divorced in 1960). In 1957, Marilyn flew to Britain to film The Prince and the Showgirl (1957) which proved less than impressive critically and financially. It made money, but many critics panned it for being slow-moving. After a year off in 1958, Marilyn returned to the screen the next year for the delightful comedy, Some Like It Hot (1959) with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. The film was an absolute smash hit, with Curtis and Lemmon pretending to be females in an all-girl band, so they can get work. This was to be Marilyn's only film for the year.

In 1960, Marilyn appeared in George Cukor's Let's Make Love (1960), with Tony Randall and Yves Montand. Again, while it made money, it was critically panned as stodgy and slow-moving. The following year, Marilyn made what was to be her final film. The Misfits (1961), which also proved to be the final film for the legendary Clark Gable, who died later that year of a heart attack. The film was popular with critics and the public alike. In 1962, Marilyn was chosen to star in Fox's Something's Got to Give (1962). Again, her absenteeism caused delay after delay in production, resulting in her being fired from the production in June of that year. It looked as though her career was finished. Studios just didn't want to take a chance on her because it would cost them thousands of dollars in delays. She was only 36 years old.

Marilyn made only 30 films in her lifetime, but her legendary status and mysticism will remain with film history forever.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Denny Jackson

Spouse (3)

Arthur Miller (29 June 1956 - 20 January 1961) (divorced)
Joe DiMaggio (14 January 1954 - 31 October 1955) (divorced)
James Dougherty (19 June 1942 - 13 September 1946) (divorced)

Trade Mark (4)

Lisp, breathless voice
Platinum blonde hair
Voluptuous figure
Beauty spot on cheek

Trivia (131)

Voted 'Sexiest Woman of the Century' by People Magazine.
Was 1947's Miss California Artichoke Queen.
In her autobiography, "My Story", she recounted her guardian told her she was a direct descendant of James Monroe. Her mother's maiden name was Monroe, but there is no evidence she was a descendant of the U.S. President.
Was roommates with Shelley Winters when they were both starting out in Hollywood.
Ranked #8 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
Voted Empire's (UK) "sexiest female movie star of all time" in 1995.
She was Playboy's first "Sweetheart of the Month" in December 1953.
When she died in 1962 at age 36, she left an estate valued at $1.6 million. In her will, Monroe bequeathed 75% of that estate to Lee Strasberg, her acting coach, and 25% to Dr. Marianne Kris, her psychoanalyst. A trust fund provided her mother, Gladys Baker Eley, with $5,000 a year. When Dr. Kris died in 1980, she passed her 25% on to the Anna Freud Centre, a children's psychiatric institute in London. Since Strasberg's death in 1982, his 75% has been administered by his widow, Anna, and her lawyer, Irving Seidman.
The licensing of Marilyn's name and likeness, handled world-wide by Curtis Management Group, reportedly nets the Monroe estate about $2 million a year.
Was named the Number One Sex Star of the 20th Century by Playboy magazine in 1999.
Started using the name Marilyn Monroe in 1946, but did not legally change it until 1956.
Appeared on the first cover of Playboy in 1953.
Given a dog she named Tippy by foster father Albert Bolender. In her final, unfinished film Something's Got to Give (1962), the dog was also named Tippy.
Interred at Westwood Memorial Park, Los Angeles, California, USA, in the Corridor of Memories, crypt #24.
Hundreds of items of memorabilia auctioned off in late October 1999 by Christie's, with her infamous 'JFK' birthday-gown fetching over $1 million.
Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#2).
Hugh M. Hefner owns the closest burial vault next to hers.
She was discovered dead at her home at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive, Brentwood, California. She had a phone in one of her hands, her body was completely nude and face down, on her bed.
Ex-husband Joe DiMaggio put fresh roses at her memorial site, for numerous years after her death.
When putting her imprints at Grauman's she joked that Jane Russell was best known for her large front-side and she was known for her wiggly walk, so Jane could lean over, and she could sit in it. It was only a joke, but she dotted the "I" in her name with a rhinestone, which was stolen within days.
Redheaded actress Tina Louise played the character role of Ginger Grant on the television series Gilligan's Island (1964), was loosely based on her personality, but a different hair color.
Her first modeling job paid only five dollars.
Frequently used Nivea moisturizer.
During the filming of Niagara (1953), she was still under contract as a stock actor, thus, she received less salary than her make-up man. This was also the only film in which her character died. The film was reworked to highlight her after Anne Bancroft withdrew.
Often carried around the book, "The Biography of Abraham Lincoln."
Was an outstanding player on the Hollygrove Orphanage softball team.
Because the bathing suit she wore in the movie Love Nest (1951) was so risque (for the time period) and caused such a commotion on the set, director Joseph M. Newman had to make it a closed set when she was filming.
Fearing blemishes and sweat, she washed her face fifteen times a day.
She was suggested as a possible wife for Prince Rainier of Monaco. But he picked actress, Grace Kelly, to be his wife.
Thought the right side of her face was her "best" side.
The first time she signed an autograph as Marilyn Monroe, she had to ask how to spell it. She didn't know where to put the "i" in "Marilyn".
Born on Tuesday at 9:30 AM, Pacific Standard Time, which is Los Angeles, California's time zone.
Suffered from endometriosis, a condition in which tissues of the uterus lining (endometrium) leave the uterus, attach themselves to other areas of the body, and grow, causing pain, irregular bleeding, and, in severe cases, infertility.
Divorced first husband, James Dougherty, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Divorced last husband, Arthur Miller, in Juarez, Mexico.
Wore glasses.
On Thursday, February 23rd, 1956, she obtained order from the City Court of the State of New York to legally change her name from Norma Jeane Mortenson to Marilyn Monroe.
Married Arthur Miller twice: the 1st time in a civil ceremony, then in a Jewish (to which she had converted) ceremony two days later.
Won an interlocutory decree from Joe DiMaggio on Wednesday, October 27th, 1954, but, under California law, the divorce was not finalized until exactly one year later.
Offered to convert to Catholism in order to marry Joe DiMaggio in a Church ceremony, but she was turned down because she was divorced. Subsequently, when the divorced DiMaggio married Marilyn in a civil ceremony at San Francisco City Hall, he was automatically excommunicated by the Church; this edict was struck down by Pope John XXIII's Ecumenical Council (Vatican II) in 1962.
Although it's believed that her mother, Gladys Baker, named her after Norma Talmadge, Gladys reportedly told her daughter, Bernice (Marilyn's half-sister), that she named Marilyn after Norma Jeane Cohen, a child she was Nanny to while living in Louisville, KY. while her son Robert Kermit Baker (Marilyn's half brother) was in Hospital, and estranged from the father Jasper Baker. The boy died, and Gladys returned to California.
The first stamp released in the USPS's Legends of Hollywood series, issued on Friday, June 1st, 1995.
Went to Van Nuys High School (Los Angeles) in the early 1940s but never graduated.
Elton John and Bernie Taupin wrote a tribute to her entitled "Candle in the Wind". In 1997, it was re-recorded with updated lyrics in memory of Princess Diana.
Her behavior on the unfinished Something's Got to Give (1962) dimmed her reputation in the industry, but she was still big box office at the time of her death. What a Way to Go! (1964) and The Stripper (1963) were being developed for her.
When she was told that she was not the star in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) she verbally said "Well whatever I am, I'm still the blonde.".
The famous nude photo of her by Tom Kelley originally appeared as anonymous on a calendar entitled "Miss Golden Dreams." In 1952, a blackmailer threatened to identify the model as Marilyn, but she shrewdly thwarted the scheme by announcing the fact herself. Hugh M. Hefner then bought the rights to use the photo for $500. She became "The Sweetheart of the Month" in the first issue of Hefner's magazine, Playboy. Neither Kelley or Monroe ever saw a dime of the millions the calendar made for its publisher.
Formed her own production company, Marilyn Monroe Productions, with Milton H. Greene, on December 31, 1955.
Appears on sleeve of The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album.
Batman writer/artist Bob Kane used Marilyn's likeness as a reference when he drew Vicki Vale.
She is mentioned in the song "Lady Nina" by rock band Marillion.
Her USO Entertainer Identification Card (#129778) listed her name as "Norma Jeane DiMaggio".
She was "discovered" by press photographers during a World War II photo shoot at the Radioplane plant in California owned by actor Reginald Denny. She was one of the plant's employees. She left her job and signed with Emmeline Snively's modeling agency.
Was referenced in the dialogue of La Dolce Vita (1960), in the context of dieting.
The Emily Ann Faulkner/Rita Shawn character (played by Kim Stanley) in the John Cromwell film The Goddess (1958) was based on her.
The first Playboy magazine cover, featuring her, is pictured on one of six stamps issued in a souvenir sheet, issued by Grenada & the Grenadines on Saturday, December 1st, 2003 to celebrate Playboy's 50th and golden anniversary.
When she wasn't acting, she preferred to wear nothing but a bathrobe and occasionally a bikini.
Def Leppard's 1983 #1 hit single "Photograph" from their "Pyromania" album was written about her.
"Candle in the Wind", Elton John's song, was originally written about her, and was lyrically re-changed to fit Princess Diana upon her death, in 1997. Coincidentally, both legends died at age 36.
Named 2nd Greatest Movie Star of all time by Premier Magazine, behind #1 Cary Grant and before #3 Tom Cruise.
The punk band The Misfits created or picked their name from the last movie title she acted in, The Misfits (1961).
The punk band The Misfits recorded a song called "Who Killed Marilyn?" inspired by lead singer Glenn Danzig's belief that she had been murdered.
Featured on a 1.11 euro postage stamp issued by French Post Office on Saturday, November 8th, 2003.
The very popular version of "Santa Baby" (also found in the film, Party Monster (2003)) thought to be sung by her was instead recorded by Cynthia Basinet for Jack Nicholson as a Christmas gift.
Ten days in advance, on Saturday, May 19th, 1962, she performed for U.S. President John F. Kennedy at his 45th birthday tribute in his honor at Madison Square Garden. She sang "Happy Birthday". (Kennedy's real birthday was May 29th).
After discovering her dress was torn, at the 1950 Academy Awards, she burst into tears.
Was named #6 Actress on The American Film Institute's 50 Greatest Screen Legends.
Is one of the many movie stars mentioned in Madonna's song "Vogue".
The dress Marilyn Monroe wore to serenade John F. Kennedy, on May 19, 1962 at his birthday celebration was so tight, that it had to be sewn onto her. She had to sit still for approximately an hour.
In 1999, a make-up kit that she personally owned, sold for $266,500.
One of the first Los Angeles natives to become a major movie star.
Aside from her birth name of Norma Jeane Mortenson, she was baptized and mainly known throughout her life as Norma Jeane Baker. During her modeling days she was also known as Norma Jeane Dougherty (her first marriage name), and also as Jean Norman. When she signed with 20th Century-Fox, studio casting executive Ben Lyon had first chosen the name Carol Lind as her stage name, although she disliked that. Eventually she chose her mother's maiden name of Monroe. Three names were drawn up as possible stage names. The first was Norma Jeane Monroe, although that sounded awkward; the second was Jean Monroe, and the third was Marilyn Monroe, the latter first name being chosen by Lyon who thought Norma Jeane resembled famed stage actress Marilyn Miller. Norma Jeane liked Jean Monroe, for it preserved some of her name, but Lyon convinced her that Marilyn Monroe sounded more alliterative and so it was chosen.
She took acting lessons from Michael Chekhov.
Sergei Parajanov made collages of Monroe, Charles Chaplin, Mona Lisa, and other famous personages and many were featured in Mikhail Vartanov's Parajanov: The Last Spring (1992).
A 1982 review into the original inquest of Marilyn's death, conducted on its 20-year anniversary, concluded that the actress committed suicide or accidentally overdosed, and was not murdered--rumors that were fueled by the sloppy handling of evidence, the delay in securing the scene and the disappearance of tissue samples.
The ADR stage at Twentieth Century Fox is named after her.
In 1972, actress Veronica Hamel and her husband became the new owners of Marilyn's Brentwood home. They hired a contractor to replace the roof and remodel the house, and the contractor discovered a sophisticated eavesdropping and telephone tapping system that covered every room in the house. The components were not commercially available in 1962, but were in the words of a retired Justice Department official, "standard FBI issue." This discovery lent further support to claims of conspiracy theorists that Marilyn had been under surveillance by the Kennedys and the Mafia. The new owners spent $100,000 to remove the bugging devices from the house.
Was good friends with Dorothy Dandridge and Ava Gardner when they were all young, struggling actresses in Hollywood.
When budding actresses Shelley Winters and Marilyn were roommates in the late 1940s in Hollywood, Shelley said that one day she had to step out and asked Marilyn to "wash the lettuce" for a salad they were to share for dinner. When Shelley got back to the apartment, (Marilyn was apparently new to the art of cooking) had the leaves of lettuce in a small tub of soapy water and was scrubbing them clean. She had not heard of the phrase before either, or did not know it's true meaning.
Her real father was Charles Stanley Gifford. From his side, she was descended from the founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, and religious leader Anne Marbury-Hutchinson, from whom she is related to Lucretia Rudolph (wife of President James A. Garfield), Grover Cleveland, William Howard Taft, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George Bush, and George W. Bush.
In How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), her character Pola is reading a book called "Murder By Strangulation" on the plane. Coincidentally, this is how her character was murdered in Niagara (1953).
Friend of James Haspiel.
Don't Bother to Knock (1952) (her 18th film) was an attempt to prove to critics that she could act successfully. Because some earlier films took numerous takes and much longer time to complete. Especially, The Seven Year Itch (1955) which took numerous extra takes, for her character role, alone.
In Italy, her films were dubbed at the beginning of her career by Miranda Bonansea. As she matured she was dubbed by the marvellous and prolific Rosetta Calavetta with immense success, particularly in Some Like It Hot (1959). Zoe Incrocci lent her voice to Monroe once: in All About Eve (1950).
Her lifelong bouts with depression and self-destruction took their toll during filming The Seven Year Itch (1955). She frequently muffed scenes and forgot her lines, leading to sometimes as many as 40 takes of a scene before a satisfactory result was produced. Her constant tardiness and behavioral problems made the budget of the film swell to $1.8 million, a high price for the time. The film still managed to make a nice profit. The classic shot of her dress blowing up around her legs as she stands over a subway grating in this film was originally shot on Manhattan's Lexington Avenue at 52nd St., On Wednesday, September 15th, 1954, at 1:00 a.m. Five thousand onlookers whistled and cheered through take after take as Marilyn repeatedly missed her lines. This occurred in presence of an increasingly embarrassed and angry Joe DiMaggio (her husband at the time; the nine-month-old marriage officially ended during the shooting of this film). The original footage shot on that night in New York never made it to the screen; the noise of the crowd had made it unusable. Director Billy Wilder re-shot the scene on the 20th Century-Fox lot, on a set replicating Lexington Avenue, and got a more satisfactory result. However, it took another 40 takes for Marilyn to achieve the famous scene. Amazingly, her very narrow spike heels don't get stuck or break in the subway grating, although this was a universal problem at the time for the countless women wearing that very popular style heel in New York City in that era. An important promotional campaign was released for this mainstream motion picture, including a 52-foot-high cutout of Marilyn (from the blowing dress scene) erected in front of Loews State Theater, in New York City's Times Square. The movie premiere was on June 1, 1955, which was also her 29th birthday.
Was originally set to play Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), but Audrey Hepburn played the role instead.
What a Way to Go! (1964) initially intended as a vehicle for her, Shirley MacLaine played Louisa May Foster instead. Producer Arthur P. Jacobs was her publicist and J. Lee Thompson was on her list of approved directors.
She resided at the Hollywood Roosevelt while she was breaking into the acting business.
Her "Happy Birthday Mr. President" dress sold for $1,267,500.00, a world record for the most expensive piece of clothing ever sold, and is in the Guinness Book of World Records.
She left Hollywood to pursue serious acting by studying under Lee Strasberg at his Actors' Studio in New York City.
Her classic shape, according to her dressmaker, is actually measured at 37-23-36.
In 1946, she signed her first studio contract with 20th Century Fox and dyed her hair.
Spent most of her early childhood in foster homes and orphanages because her mother was committed to a mental institution. Later, she lived with her mother's best friend, Grace McKee, and her family. McKee, a big fan of Jean Harlow, allowed her to wear make-up and curl her hair and, when she was 15, it was McKee who pierced her ears for her using a sewing needle. At 16, when McKee could no longer take care of her, she got married to avoid returning to the orphanage.
Producer Keya Morgan owns her Bible.
When she married Joe DiMaggio, the couple moved into a home at 508 N. Palm Drive in Beverly Hills, that was next door to Jean Harlow's last home.
She tried 9 different shades of blonde hair color before settling on platinum blonde.
Her personal library contained over 400 books on topics ranging from art to history, psychology, philosophy, literature, religion, poetry, and gardening. Many of the volumes, auctioned in 1999, bore her pencil notations in the margins.
There are over 600 books written about her.
Nearly 11 years after her death, she appeared on the cover of the Tuesday, July 17th, 1973 edition of "Time Magazine" in a full-color portrait taken by Bert Stern, from the last photographic sitting before her death. The cover-story heralds the publication of "Marilyn," the biography of her by Norman Mailer. On the cover, her image dwarfs a black & white photo of Mailer. Mailer reportedly was displeased that "Time" chose to play up Monroe and diminish him, visually on the cover. The publication of the coffee table biography, which contained many photographs including several by Stern, was a major event of that publishing season. The book retailed for $19.95, which is approximately $100 in 2008 money, when factored for inflation.
"Time Magazine" reported in 1973 that Los Angeles County coroner Thomas Noguchi, the doctor who performed Monroe's autopsy, said that contrary to rumors, Monroe's stomach was never pumped after her death. The level of Nembutal in her bloodstream was 4.5 milligrams per 100, which is the equivalent of 40 or 50 capsules indicating suicide.
At 168, Marilyn's IQ was significantly higher than John F. Kennedy's 129. (A score of 100 is considered average and 150 to be highly gifted).
In 1961, after her divorce from Arthur Miller, she purchased a 2900 square foot hacienda style house in Brentwood, for $77,500.
Featured in "Femme Noir: Bad Girls of Film" by Karen Burroughs Hannsberry (McFarland, 1998).
Her last film Something's Got to Give (1962), was finally released in 2003. In the swimming pool scene, Marilyn reveals much more to the camera than she did in her then controversial calendar photo from the early 1950s.
Was in consideration for the part of Adelaide in Guys and Dolls (1955), but Vivian Blaine was cast instead.
Although she was perhaps the most famous actress of the 1950s decade, she never made more than $100,000 per picture upfront. Actresses such as Elizabeth Taylor and Barbara Stanwyck were earning significantly more.
Former stepmother of Robert A. Miller.
Half-sister of Berniece and Robert Kermitt Baker (but she never knew him, because he died at 14) by her mother's side. Sister-in-law of Paris Miracle, aunt of Mona Rae Miracle.
Became pregnant twice (in July 1957 and November 1958) during her marriage to Arthur Miller; on both occasions she suffered miscarriages.
Although she was an avid buyer of books and owned over 400 of them at her death, third husband Arthur Miller said, "Aside from Colette's Cheri and a few short stories, I had never known her to read anything all the way through. She felt she could get the idea of a book, and often did, in just a few pages.".
Read and wrote poetry. Her favorite poets were Walt Whitman and John Keats.
Ranked #3 in Men's Health 100 Hottest Women of all Time (2011).
Good friends with Milton H. Greene.
Was a lifelong liberal Democrat.
Was close friends with singer Ella Fitzgerald and helped her rise in her musical career by arranging for her to sing in many upscale nightclubs some of which were segregated during the time of their friendship.
Monroe was a stutterer, a little known fact that was easily covered thanks to studio vocal coaches who provided her with dictation lessons.
Learned to play the guitar for her role in River of No Return (1954) and the ukulele for her role in Some Like It Hot (1959).
She had the same birthday (June 1) as her former sister-in-law Joan Copeland, the younger sister of her third husband Arthur Miller.
Film editor Dann Cahn recommended a young woman he was dating for the part of a beautiful young woman in Your Show Time (1949). Producer Stanley Rubin auditioned her and turned her down because she did not have enough experience. The young woman's name was Marilyn Monroe.
She was scheduled for The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing but she was thought too old at 30 when the character was supposed to be 17 so she was replaced with Joan Collins.
According to Adam Curtis' "The Century of Self", Monroe was in the later years subjected to an experimental kind of therapy where she was forced to attend the rituals of an average family and then expected to model her self upon the experience. Arthur Miller commented in the same documentary "I don't think suffering is always a mistake".
Mentioned in the song "Tell me it's not true" from the musical "Blood Brothers".
Ayn Rand wrote a powerful tribute to her, compiled in "The Voice of Reason".
Although Monroe's famous nude calender grossed $750,000, the actress only got $50 and a bad cold out of it.
After working with Monroe in "As Young as You Feel" jealous co-star Constance Bennett wisecracked, "Now there's a broad with a future behind her!".
Among roles that Monroe turned down under her Fox contract: "Pink Tights," "How To Be Very, Very Popular," "The Revolt of Mamie Stover," "The Girl in the Red velvet Swing,' "The Jean Harlow Story," "The Blue Angel," and "Can-Can.".
She campaigned to play the Maria Schell role in "The Brothers Karamazov," but she was never seriously considered.
According to the book "Flesh and Fantasy" Monroe perfected a Vaseline-based lip gloss.
"Goodbye, Charlie" with Debbie Reynolds and "The Stripper" with Joanne Woodward were originally slated by Fox as Monroe projects.
Director Billy Wilder was quoted as saying, "The great success of Monroe... was that she did not infuriate the female.".
Was good friends with Judy Garland.

Personal Quotes (113)

I love a natural look in pictures. I like people with a feeling one way or another - it shows an inner life. I like to see that there's something going on inside them.
My problem is that I drive myself... I'm trying to become an artist, and to be true, and sometimes I feel I'm on the verge of craziness, I'm just trying to get the truest part of myself out, and it's very hard. There are times when I think, 'All I have to be is true'. But sometimes it doesn't come out so easily. I always have this secret feeling that I'm really a fake or something, a phony.
[on living with the Bolenders when she was a little girl] They were terribly strict. They didn't mean any harm . . . it was their religion. They brought me up harshly.
[on meeting Joe DiMaggio for the first time] I was surprised to be so crazy about Joe. I expected a flashy New York sports type, and instead I met this reserved guy who didn't make a pass at me right away! He treated me like something special. Joe is a very decent man, and he makes other people feel decent, too.
[on why Joe DiMaggio didn't accompany her on one of her USO tours] Joe hates crowds and glamor.
[on why she divorced James Dougherty] My marriage didn't make me sad, but it didn't make me happy either. My husband and I hardly spoke to each other. This wasn't because we were angry. We had nothing to say. I was dying of boredom.
[on why her marriage to Joe DiMaggio didn't work] I didn't want to give up my career, and that's what Joe wanted me to do most of all.
I want to be a big star more than anything. It's something precious.
[on her favorite actress] Jean Harlow was my idol.
[on drifting in and out of orphanages when she was little] The world around me then was kind of grim. I had to learn to pretend in order to - I don't know - block the grimness. The whole world seemed sort of closed to me . . . [I felt] on the outside of everything, and all I could do was to dream up any kind of pretend game.
[on her early marriage to James Dougherty] Grace McKee arranged the marriage for me, I never had a choice. There's not much to say about it. They couldn't support me, and they had to work out something. And so I got married.
I'm not interested in money, I just want to be wonderful.
A career is wonderful, but you can't curl up with it on a cold night.
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 dollar for your thoughts...
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.
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.
Dogs never bite me. Just humans.
Sex is a part of nature. I go along with nature.
Fame will go by and, so long, I've had you, Fame. If it goes by, I've always known it was fickle.
I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful, but because I never had belonged to anything or anyone else.
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.
To put it bluntly, I seem to have a whole superstructure with no foundation. But I'm working on the foundation.
If I had observed all the rules, I'd never have gotten anywhere.
I want to grow old without face-lifts... I want to have the courage to be loyal to the face that I have made.
It's often just enough to be with someone. I don't need to touch them. Not even talk. A feeling passes between you both. You're not alone.
I'm a failure as a woman. My men expect so much of me, because of the image they've made of me and that I've made of myself, as a sex symbol. Men expect so much, and I can't live up to it.
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, you know, of any kind of nature - and it won't hurt your feelings.
Fame is fickle, and I know it. It has it's compensations but it also has it's drawbacks, and I've experienced them both.
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!
If I play a stupid girl, and ask a stupid question, I've got to follow it through. What am I supposed to do, look intelligent?
[on her famous nude calendar pose in 1949] My sin has been no more than I have written, posing for the nude because I desperately needed 50 dollars to get my car out of hock.
An actor is supposed to be a sensitive instrument. Isaac Stern takes good care of his violin. What if everyone jumped on his violin?
There was my name up in lights. I said, "God, somebody's made a mistake!" But there it was in lights. And I sat there and said, "Remember, you're not a star". Yet there it was up in lights.
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 was never used to being happy, so that wasn't something I ever took for granted. I did sort of think, you know, marriage did that. You see, I was brought up differently from the average American child because the average child is brought up expecting to be happy - that's it, successful, happy, and on time.
You know, when you grow up you can get kind of sour, I mean, that's the way it can go.
Wouldn't it be nice to be like men and get notches in your belt and sleep with most attractive men and not get emotionally involved?
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."
The trouble with censors is they worry if a girl has cleavage. They ought to worry if she hasn't any.
I used to say to myself, "What the devil have you got to be proud about, Marilyn Monroe?" And I'd answer, "Everything, everything".
[on stardom] It scares me. All those people I don't know, sometimes they're so emotional. I mean, if they love you that much without knowing you, they can also hate you the same way.
[Johann Wolfgang Goethe] said, "Talent is developed in privacy", you know? And it's really true. There is a need for aloneness which I don't think most people realize for an actor. It's almost having certain kinds of secrets for yourself that you'll let the whole world in on only for a moment, when you're acting.
I want to be an artist, an actress with integrity.
I've never dropped anyone I believed in.
[on John F. Kennedy] It would be so nice to have a president who looks so young and good-looking.
I restore myself when I'm alone. A career is born in public -- talent in private.
Talent is developed in privacy... but everybody is always tugging at you. They'd all like sort of a chunk at you. They'd kind of like to take pieces out of you.
I want to be an artist... not an erotic freak. I don't want to be sold to the public as a celluloid aphrodisiacal.
[about Montgomery Clift] He's the only person I know that is in worse shape than I am.
I've never liked the name Marilyn. I've often wished that I had held out that day for Jean Monroe. But I guess it's too late to do anything about it now.
[on Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift] Marlon's kinda hard to tie down, they say. He's never sure what he wants to do. He and Monty Clift have a lot in common, though they're totally different people, but they don't plan their careers too well and they're not ambitious enough for their talents.
Personally, I react to Marlon Brando. He's a favorite of mine.
[on Frank Sinatra] He is a man at the top of his profession and is a fine actor as well. You know, he got an Oscar for From Here to Eternity (1953). He has helped more people anonymously than anybody else. And the miserable press smears him with lies about his being involved with the Mafia and gangsters. And Frank just takes it.
[on Mae West] A nice lady even though she turned down making a picture with me. That just shows how smart she is.
Speaking of Oscars, I would win overwhelmingly if the Academy gave an Oscar for faking orgasms. I have done some of my best acting convincing my partners I was in the throes of ecstasy.
[on Laurence Olivier on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl (1957)] Olivier came into my dressing room to give me hell for screwing up. I soothed him by telling him I thought his Hamlet (1948) was one of the greatest films ever made. You know he won an Oscar for it.
When Clark Gable died, I cried for 2 days straight. I couldn't eat or sleep.
[on Sigmund Freud] I read his "Introductory Lectures," God, what a genius. He makes it so understandable. And he is so right. Didn't he say himself that [William Shakespeare] and [Fyodor Dostoevsky] had a better understanding of psychology than all the scientists put together? Damn it, they do.
[on James Joyce and the character of Molly Bloom in Ulysses] Here is Joyce writing what a woman thinks to herself. Can he, does he really know her innermost thoughts? But after I read the whole book, I could better understand that Joyce is an artist who could penetrate the souls of people, male or female. It really doesn't matter that Joyce doesn't have...or never felt a menstrual cramp. To me Leopold Bloom is a central character. He is the despised Irish Jew, married to an Irish Catholic woman. It is through them Joyce develops much of what he wants to say. Do you agree that the scene where Bloom is looking at the little girl on the swing is the most erotic in the book?
[on John F. Kennedy] When he has finished his achievements, he will take his place with Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and [Franklin D. Roosevelt] as one of our greatest Presidents. I'm glad he has [Robert F. Kennedy]. It's like the Navy. The President is the Captain and Bobby is his Executive Officer. Bobby would do absolutely anything for his brother. And so would I. I'll never embarrass him. As long as I have memory, I have John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
[on Sunday being the loneliest day of the week for her] All the men I know are spending the day with their wives and families, and all the stores in Los Angeles are closed. You can't wander through looking at all the pretty clothes and pretending to buy something.
[on Marlon Brando] He's very sweet and tender, not at all the Stanley Kowalski rapist people think he is.
Arthur Miller wouldn't have married me if I had been nothing but a dumb blonde.
I have always been deeply terrified to really be someone's wife since I know from life one cannot love another, ever, really.
[on Peter Lawford] I have a need to be frightened and nothing really in my personal relationships and dealings lately have been frightening me, except for him. I felt very uneasy at different times with him, the real reason I was afraid of him is because I believe him to be homosexual...Peter wants to be a woman and would like to be me, I think.
Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you $50,000 for a kiss and 50c for your soul.
It's better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone.
It was the creative part that kept me going, trying to be an actress. I enjoy acting when you really hit it right.
I did what they said and all it got me was a lot of abuse. Everyone's just laughing at me. I hate it. Big breasts, big ass, big deal.
[on Arthur Miller's script for 'The Misfits'] Arthur did this to me. He could have written anything and he comes up with this. If that's what he thinks of me, well, then I'm not for him and he's not for me. Arthur says it's his movie. I don't think he even wants me in it.
I won't be satisfied until people want to hear me sing without looking at me.
The body is meant to be seen, not all covered up.
I love to do things that censors won't pass.
I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
I have feelings too. I am still human. All I want is to be loved, for myself and for my talent.
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.
Boys think girls are like books, If the cover doesn't catch their eye they won't bother to read what's inside.
[on shooting the famous scene in The Seven Year Itch (1955) where wind from the subway beneath blows her skirt up] At first it was all innocent and fun, but when Billy Wilder kept shooting the scene over and over the crowd of men kept on applauding and shouting, 'More, more Marilyn - let's see more.' What was supposed to be a fun scene turned into a sex scene.
I've often stood silent at a party for hours listening to my movie idols turn into dull and little people.
When you're young and healthy you can plan on Monday to commit suicide, and by Wednesday you're laughing again.
Suicide is a person's privilege. I don't believe it's a sin or a crime, it's your right if you do. Though it doesn't get you anywhere.
The other girls rode to school in a bus. I had no nickel to pay for the ride. Rain or shine, I walked the two miles from my "aunt's" home to the school. I hated the walk, I hated the school. I had no friends. The pupils seldom talked to me and never wanted me in their games. Nobody ever walked home with me or invited me to visit their homes. This was partly because I came from the poor part of the district where all the Mexicans and Japanese lived. It was also because I couldn't smile at anyone.
How or why I can act - and I'm not sure I can - is the thing for me to understand. The torture, let alone the day to day happenings - the pain one cannot explain to another.
Executives can get colds and stay home and phone in - but the actor? How dare you get a cold or a virus! I wish they had to act a comedy with a temperature and a virus infection! I'm there to give a performance, not to be disciplined by a studio. This isn't supposed to be a military school, after all.
[on homosexuality] No sex is wrong if there's love involved.
As long as I can remember, I've always loved people.
What the world really needs is a real feeling of kinship. Everybody: stars, laborers, Negroes, Jews, Arabs. We are all brothers. Please don't make me a joke. End the interview with what I believe.
People always ask me if I believe diamonds are a girl's best friend. Frankly, I don't.
I have favorite motion-picture stars, like everyone else. You know who mine are? My favorite is Marlon Brando. I mean, really, I believe we'd be an interesting combination. I've said that about Marlon for a long time, but we haven't found the right story. Can you imagine us on the big screen? I hope something happens soon. Greta Garbo, I've never met her. It really bugs me when I miss one of her films on TV. Oh, if you could only get me to meet her! I've also heard wonderful things about Jeanne Eagels and Laurette Taylor. And the one they called the Blond Bombshell: Jean Harlow. Kay Kendall was a great comedian. She was really talented. I would have loved working with Gerard Philipe, the handsome French star- his films I've been told were a huge success in France, as were his stage plays. I was told he wanted to make films with me. Oh, what a shame we never got the opportunity. We would have made an interesting team. What a shame. He was so young to die; he was thirty-six. He had been ill and apparently died of a heart attack.
Nearly everyone I knew talked to me about God. They always warned me not to offend Him.
Drugs pull you down and shut the lid on life. Pot opens everything up. All the anxieties, the creepy crawly blues, it all just drifts away and you can slowly remember what it feels like to be alive. Even more importantly, you can take a step back from the crap that's flying and see what really is important, which of the many things in your life really deserves worrying about. Not much!
[why she converted to Judaism] I believe in everything a little, and if I have kids, I think they should be Jewish. Anyway, I can identify with the Jews. Everybody's out to get them no matter what they do.
It might be kind of a relief to be finished. It's sort of like you don't know what kind of a yard dash you're running, but then you're at the finish line and you sort of sigh - you've made it! But you never have. You have to start all over again.
I think that sexuality is only attractive when it's natural and spontaneous.
I sleep in the nude but I pull the sheets up.
When it comes down to it, I let them think what they want. If they care enough to bother with what I do, then I'm already better than them.
I remember when I got the part in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Jane Russell, she was the brunette in it and I was the blonde. She got $200,000 for it, and I got my $500 a week, but that to me was, you know, considerable. She, by the way, was quite wonderful to me. The only thing was I couldn't get a dressing room. I said, finally, I really got to this kind of level, I said, "Look, after all, I am the blonde, and it is Gentlemen Prefer Blondes!" Because still they always kept saying, "Remember, you're not a star." I said, "Well, whatever I am, I am the blonde!"
Who said nights were for sleep?
We are all born sexual creatures, thank God, but it's a pity so many people despise and crush this natural gift.
I'm for the individual as opposed to the corporation. The way it is the individual is the underdog, and with all the things a corporation has going for them the individual comes out banged on her head. The artist is nothing. It's really tragic.
People had a habit of looking at me like I was 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.
There is nothing positive about being fat. And there is nothing positive about loving yourself. We all need to conform to society's expectations of who we are and if we don't, who will? Life is more enjoyable when you are thin and pretty. I was never fat a day in my life and I never will.
Creativity has got to start with humanity and when you're a human being, you feel, you suffer.
Fame is like caviar. It's good to have caviar, but not every damned day!
Let yourself go, the pleasure of physical movement is so important. If that's a problem, you say to yourself, what is there that I am afraid of, or hiding? Maybe your libido!
I have always felt comfortable in blue jeans. I have found it interesting, however, that people also whistle at blue jeans. I have to admit that I like mine to fit. There's nothing I hate worse than baggy blue jeans.
I want the world to see my body.
Men who think that a woman's past love affairs lessen her love for them are stupid. A woman can bring a new love to each man that she loves, providing that there are not too many.
The public doesn't mind people living together without being married, providing they don't overdo it.

Salary (19)

The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947) $75 /week
Dangerous Years (1947) $75 /week
Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! (1948) $75 /week
Ladies of the Chorus (1948) $125 /week
Love Happy (1949) $100
The Asphalt Jungle (1950) $1,050
All About Eve (1950) $500 /wk, 1-wk guarantee
Clash by Night (1952) $500 / wk
Clash by Night (1952) $500 /week
We're Not Married! (1952) $750 /wk
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) $18,000
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) $1,250 /wk
There's No Business Like Show Business (1954) $1,000 /wk
The Seven Year Itch (1955) $1,500 /wk
Bus Stop (1956) $100,000 + $500/week expenses
Bus Stop (1956) $100,000 +500/week expenses
Some Like It Hot (1959) $300,000 + 10% gross over $4,000,000
The Misfits (1961) $300,000
Something's Got to Give (1962) $100 -500K

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