Actress. Born Norma Jeane Mortenson (later baptized as Norma Jeane Baker) on June 1, 1926, in Los Angeles, California. She was an American actress, singer and film producer. Marilyn Monroe's career as an actress spanned 16 years. She made 29 films, 24 in the first 8 years of her career. She won a Golden Globe Award, and in 1999 was ranked as the sixth greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute. During her all-too-brief life, Marilyn Monroe overcame a difficult childhood to become of the world’s biggest and most enduring sex symbols.
Early Life: Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926, in the charity ward of the Los Angeles County Hospital to Gladys Pearl Monroe (there are some uncertainties regarding her father, so there are two possible candidates who can claim her paternity; Martin Edward Mortenson and Charles Stanley Gifford; for more information check the Family History section below). According to biographer Fred Lawrence Guiles, as the identity of her father was undetermined, her grandmother, Della Monroe Grainger, baptised her Norma Jeane Baker. Monroe's birth certificate names the father as Edward Mortenson, with his residence stated as "unknown".
Gladys Monroe had married a Martin E. Mortenson in 1924, but they had separated before Gladys' pregnancy. Several of Monroe's biographers suggest that Gladys Monroe used his name to avoid the stigma of illegitimacy. Mortenson filed for divorce from Gladys on March 5, 1927 and the case was finalized on October 15, 1928. Marilyn said that when she was a child, she had been shown a photograph of a man that Gladys Monroe identified as her father. She remembered that he had a thin moustache and somewhat resembled Clark Gable, and that she had amused herself by pretending that Clark Gable was her father, but she would never determine her father's true identity.
Gladys had been a film cutter at RKO studios, but psychological problems prevented her from keeping the job and she was eventually committed to a mental institution. Unable to persuade Della to take Norma Jeane, Gladys placed her with foster parents Albert and Ida Bolender of Hawthorne, California; where she lived until she was seven.
In her autobiography "My Story", Monroe states she thought that the Bolenders were her parents until Ida corrected her. After that Norma Jeane would refer to them as Aunt & Uncle. It was here she lived the first seven years of her life. Marilyn described them as being terribly strict, but that they didn't mean any harm and it was their religion; she said "They brought me up harshly." During one of her weekly visits, Gladys told Norma Jeane that she had bought a house for them, and Norma Jeane was allowed to move in with her mother. However a few months later, Gladys suffered a breakdown.
In her book "My Story", Marilyn recalls her mother "screaming and laughing," as she was forcibly removed to the State Hospital in Norwalk. Monroe was declared a ward of the state, and Gladys's best friend, Grace McKee, became her guardian. "Grace loved and adored her", recalled one of her co-workers. Grace, telling her: "Don't worry, Norma Jeane. You're going to be a beautiful girl when you get big, an important woman, a movie star."
Grace was captivated by Jean Harlow, a film actress and sex symbol of the 1930s, who could be considered as the Marinlyn Monroe of that period and who also like Marilyn died very young. Grace would let Norma Jean wear makeup and take her out to get her hair curled. They would go to the movies together, forming the basis for Norma Jeane's fascination with the cinema and the stars on screen. Marilyn would later say: "and so Jean Harlow was my idol." Grace was to marry in 1935 and due to financial difficulties, Norma Jeane was placed in the Los Angeles Orphans Home, (later renamed Hollygrove), from September 1935 to June 1937. Grace frequently visited her, taking her to the movies, buying clothes and teaching her how to apply makeup at her young age.
Norma Jeane was to later live with several of Grace's relatives. She would later recall: "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."
In 1937 Norma Jeane moved again living with Grace McGee Goddard, her husband Ervin Goddard and one of Goddard's daughters from a previous marriage. When Goddard tried to molest Norma Jeane, Grace sent her to live with Grace's great aunt, Olive Brunings. Norma Jeane was assaulted by one of Olive's sons at the age of 12 and then went on to live with for the next four years with Grace's aunt, Ana Lower.
The years with Lower proved to be some of the most stable times for the young Norma Jeane, and years later Marilyn said that she felt Ana Lower was the only person who ever truly loved her. Nonetheless the elderly Lower developed health problems.
In September 1941, she moved back to live with the Goddards but soon Grace's husband, Ervin, was transferred to the East Coast in 1942, and the couple couldn't afford to take 16-year-old Norma Jeane with them. So she had two options: return to the orphanage or get married. During her short stay with the Goddars she met Jim Dougherty, 5 years her senior and soon began a relationship with him.
Meanwhile another family wanted to adopt her but Grace encouraged the relationship and on learning that she and her husband would be moving to the East Coast, set in motion plans for Norma Jeane to marry Dougherty. She wed her boyfriend Jimmy Dougherty on June 19, 1942. After the wedding the couple had a weekend honeymoon at Sherwood lake and then moved into their first marital home, a little one-roomed bungalow at 4524 Vista Del Monte Street, Sherman Oaks.
In early 1943, while Jims parents were away the young couple moved into their house at 14747 Archwood Stereet in Van Nuys to look after the place while the in-laws were away. Marilyn would later state: "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." Monroe would state also in her autobiography that she did not feel like a wife; she enjoyed playing with the neighborhood children until her husband would call her home. "She was a sweet, generous and religious girl," Jimmy said. "She liked to be cuddled." By all accounts Norma Jeane also loved Jimmy.
Dougherty joined the Merchant Marines in 1943 and he was billeted to Catalina Island. Catalina Island had had the very first movie theatre equipped for projecting sound-films and was something of a playground for Hollywood moguls who would sail the 27 miles from the mainland in their yachts to visit the theatre. The island's main town was Avalon and that's where Norma Jeane and Jim moved to. His job was training the new recruits and the island was almost exclusively inhabited by marine recruits at that time. Norma Jeane would walk their dog Mugsy, wearing tight, white, shorts and blouse and with ribbons in her hair. In 1944 was sent overseas.
While Dougherty was in the Merchant Marine, in the South Pacific, during World War II, Monroe moved in with her mother-in-law, and found employment in the Radioplane Munitions Factory in Burbank, California; here she sprayed airplane parts with fire retardant and inspected parachutes. Later she would state about her days in this factory: "I first had a job instpecting parachutes - not the kind a life depends on, the little parachutes they use to float down the targets after the gunners are through with them." Unfortunately the following day the sensationalist press would write that Marilyn Monroe was so dumb that: "Her first job was packing parachutes but she was fired because she kept making mistakes and two men died." In fact after inspecting the tiny parachutes, Norma Jeane asked for a transfer as she found it too boring. She was transfered to the: "dope room". It was where the fuselage and various parts of the ship which were made of cloth, were painted with a stiffening preparation. About this she would later state: "It wasn't sprayed on; it was worked in with brushes, and it was very tiring and difficult. We used a quick-drying preparation, a lacquer I guess, but heavier - the smell was overpowering."
Several months later, in the spring of 1945, Army photographer David Conover saw her while taking pictures of women contributing to the war effort for an article of "Yank", a weekly magazine published by the United States military during World War II. He couldn't believe his luck. She was a "photographer's dream." As a sideline of his main task he was to get some morale-boosting stills, to show that the lovliest of girls back home were supporting the mens efforts.
Conover noticed Norma Jeane and asked if he could get some colour-shots of her. Norma Jeane kept asked him doubtfully "Am I really photogenic?" She was thrilled and wrote to her guardian Grace: "David Conover told me he would be interested in getting some colour shots of me. He used to have a studio on the strip at Sunset. He said he would make arrangements with the plant supervisor." Norma Jeane wrote that Conover was "awfully nice, and married" and that he had suggested she go into modelling.
Conover showed the pictures to his friend Potter Heuth (another photographer) who took some pictures of his own and showed them to Emeline Snively of the Blue Book Model Agency. Conover then began sending modeling jobs her way. He was later transferred to the Philippines, but before that he encouraged her to apply to "The Blue Book" modeling agency.
On August 2, 1945 Norma Jeane put on a white dress and an orange yoke and signed up with the Blue Book Model Agency and began researching the work of Jean Harlow and Lana Turner. She enrolled in drama and singing classes and had her hair cut, straightened and lightened to golden blonde.
By late 1945, she was quickly becoming known as a "photographers dream" and had appeared on 33 covers of national magazines. She attended modelling classes with Mrs.Gavin Beardsley, make-up and grooming with Maria Smith and posing with Miss Snively. The cost of these combined courses was $100 but it was deferred against her first modelling jobs.
Her first National magazine cover was published on April 2, 1946 for "Family Circle", a women's magazine published 15 times a year since 1932 by The New York Times; when Andre De Diene photographed her holding a newborn lamb.
By the time her husband, Dougherty, returned in 1946, Monroe had already developed a successful career as a model, and she focused more on the latter than in her marriage. So in June 1946 Norma Jeane divorced Jimmy. She would later say: "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."
By this time various shots made their way into the eye of RKO Pictures head Howard Hughes. He offered Marilyn a screen test; she came also to the attention of Ben Lyon, a 20th Century Fox executive, who arranged a screen test for her in which she dazzled him while doing nothing more than lighting a cigarette and crossing a room. Lyon was impressed and commented, "It's Jean Harlow all over again". 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 finally signed her first studio contract with Twentieth Century Fox on August 26, 1946. It was a six-month contract with a starting salary of $125 per week and that was increased by $25 per week at the end of that time when her contract was lengthened. It was agreed that she would change her name. She considered reversing her names and adding an 'N' to her first name, after Jean Norman, (she loved the name Jean, it was also the name of her idol Jean Harlow) and for a while Carol Lind seemed the name that she would take. Lyon told her that she reminded him of the actress Marilyn Miller, one of the most popular Broadway musical stars of the 1920s and early 1930s, and she took her mother's surname of Monroe as her surname. She began using the stage name Marilyn Monroe in 1946 but she would later obtain an order from the City Court of the State of New York and would legally chang her name to Marilyn Monroe on February 23, 1956. Nevertheless, years later she would state: "I often wish I had held out for 'Jean Monroe', I've never liked the name Marilyn."
Her first film was in 1947 with a bit part in "The Shocking Miss Pilgrim" (1947), in which she was uncredited. Later that same year she was given a somewhat better role as Evie in Dangerous Years (1947). Her next production was not much better, a bit in the eminently forgettable Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! (1948), her first credited role. Two of the three brief scenes she appeared wound up on the cutting room floor. Her only words were, "Hi Rad!" However, Fox declined to renew her contract, so she went back to modeling and acting school.
She also attempted to find opportunties for film work, and while unemployed she posed for nude photographs. In 1948 Monroe signed a six month contract with Columbia Pictures, and was introduced to the studio's head drama coach, Natasha Lytess, who became her acting coach for several years.
She next played 'Peggy Martin' in the 1949 low-budget musical film "Ladies Of The Chorus" but it was not a success, and her contract was not renewed. Then she appeared in a small role in the Marx Brothers film "Love Happy". The role called for her to walk, in the words of Groucho Marx, "in such a manner as to arouse my elderly libido and cause smoke to issue from my ears." When Marilyn did as directed, she got the job. "And don't do any walking in unpoliced areas," Harpo advised.
Love Happy and the publicity tour that followed greatly increased her popularity and image as a screen siren. "Love Happy" brought her to the attention of agent Johnny Hyde of the William Morris Agency, and who was one of the most respected in Hollywood in those times. He agreed to represent her. He immediately became her mentor and lover in 1949. He arranged for her to audition for John Huston, a film director and actor known for directing several classic films including "The Maltese Falcon" (1941). He cast her in the drama "The Asphalt Jungle", as the young mistress of an aging criminal. Her performance brought strong reviews, and was seen by the writer and director, Herman Mankiewicz. He accepted Hyde's suggestion of Monroe for a small comedic role in "All About Eve" (starring Bette Davis), as Miss Caswell, an aspiring actress, described by another character as a student of "The Copacabana School of Dramatic Art".
Mankiewicz later commented that he had seen an innocence in her that he found appealing, and that this had confirmed his belief in her suitability for the role. It was through Johnny that Marilyn was introduced to the major Hollywood studios.
Johnny Hyde took Marilyn under his wing, he wined, dined, dressed Marilyn. He introduced her to the best and most influential people in Hollywood. Johnny was hopelessly in love with her. He divorced his wife and begged Marilyn to marry him, swearing to leave her millions when he died, which, he dryly promised, would be soon, as he had a serious heart condition. Marilyn loved Johnny but despite his promising to make her rich when he died, she couldn't bring herself to marry for money, for Marilyn it was all about love and although she loved Johnny deeply, she wasn't 'in love' with him and felt it would hurt him more than if she didn't marry him.
For his part, Johnny made his family promise to take care of Marilyn when he died but they went back on their word and wouldn't even let her see him on his death-bed when he died a year later on the 18th December 1950.
Following Monroe's success in the aforementioned roles, Hyde negotiated a seven year contract for her with 20th Century Fox, shortly before his death. Monroe enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles studying literature and art appreciation, and appeared in several minor films playing opposite such long established performers as Mickey Rooney, Constance Bennett, June Allyson, Dick Powell and Claudette Colbert. In March, 1951 she appeared as a presenter at the 23rd Academy Awards ceremony.
In March 1952, Monroe faced a possible scandal when one of her nude photographs from 1949 was featured in a calendar. The press speculated about the identity of the anonymous model and commented that she closely resembled Monroe.
As the studio discussed how to deal with the problem, Monroe suggested that she should simply admit that she had posed for the photograph but that she should emphasize that she had done so only because she had no money to pay her rent. She gave an interview in which she discussed the circumstances that led to her posing for the photographs, and the resulting publicity elicited a degree of sympathy for her plight as a struggling actress. She made her first appearance on the cover of Time in April 1952, where she was described as "The Talk of Hollywood.
Stories of her childhood and upbringing portrayed her in a sympathetic light; a cover story for the May 1952 edition of True Experiences magazine showed a smiling and wholesome Monroe beside a caption that read, "Do I look happy? I should — for I was a child nobody wanted. A lonely girl with a dream — who awakened to find that dream come true. I am Marilyn Monroe. Read my Cinderella story".
"Clash By Night" in June 1952 earned her several favorable notices; a Barbara Stanwyck drama, directed by Fritz Lang. The film was popular with audiences, with much of its success credited to curiosity about Monroe, who received generally favorable reviews from critics. Alton Cook of the New York World-Telegram and Sun wrote: "A forceful actress, a gifted new star, worthy of all that fantastic press agentry. Her role here is not very big, but she makes it dominant."
In July 1952 came the comedy "We're Not Married" which featured Monroe as a beauty pageant contestant, and while Variety described the film as "lightweight", its reviewer commented that Monroe was featured to full advantage in a bathing suit, but that some of her scenes suggested a degree of exploitation.
Monroe's first leading part in a serious feature was to be in "Don't Bother to Knock", also filmed in 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 that same year in "Monkey Business" (1952), where she was seen for the first time as a platinum blonde, a look that became her trademark.
"Monkey Business", a Howard Hawks directed comedy, costarring Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers, was released in September, and achieved good ticket sales despite weak reviews. Marilyn met Joe DiMaggio in early 1952, she was 25 and he was 37. DiMaggio, recently retired from baseball, had expressed a desire to meet this famous star. Marilyn had done some publicity photos with Gus Zernial, a power-hitting outfielder for the Philadelphia Athletics.
A few days later, Joe DiMaggio played in an exhibition game against Zernial. Joe had seen the photograph and teased him, saying, "How come I never get to pose with beautiful girls like that?" He begged him to set up a blind date with the beautiful girl in the picture. They went on their blind date.
By February 1952 the romance was in full bloom. She said: "I was surprized 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!". A photograph of Di Maggio visiting Monroe at the 20th Century Fox studio, was printed in newspapers throughout the United States, and reports of a developing romance between them generated further interest in Monroe.
Darryl F. Zanuck, an Academy Award-winning producer, writer, actor, director, and studio executive who played a major part in the Hollywood studio system as one of its longest survivors (the length of his career being rivalled only by that of Adolph Zukor); considered that Monroe's film potential was worth developing, and cast her in "Niagara", as Rose Loomis, a femme fatale scheming to murder her older, jealous husband, played by Joseph Cotten.
During filming, Monroe's make-up artist, Whitey Snyder noticed the stage fright that was to mark her behavior on film sets throughout her career, and was assigned by the director to spend hours gently coaxing and comforting Monroe as she prepared to film her scenes It was released in 1953 and her performance in this film delivered her to stardom.
Much of the critical comment following the release of the film was in relation to Monroe's overtly sexual performance, and a scene which shows Monroe from the back, making a long walk towards Niagara Falls was frequently referred to in reviews. After seeing the film, Constance Bennett reportedly quipped, "There's a broad with her future behind her".
Whitey Snyder also commented that it was during preparation for this film, after much experimentation, that Monroe achieved "the look, and we used that look for several pictures in a row, the look was established".
Marilyn's success in Niagara was followed with lead roles in the wildly popular "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (co-starring Jane Russell) and "How to Marry a Millionaire" (co-starring Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable).
In "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", directed by Howard Hawks, she played Lorelei Lee, a gold-digging showgirl, she was required to sing and dance. The two stars became friends, with Russell describing Monroe as "very shy and very sweet and far more intelligent than people gave her credit for". She later recalled that Monroe showed her dedication by rehearsing her dance routines each evening after most of the crew had left, but was habitually late on set for filming.
Realizing that Monroe remained in her dressing room due to stage fright, and that Hawks was growing impatient with her tardiness, Russell started escorting her to the set. At the Los Angeles premiere of the film, Monroe and Russell pressed their hand- and foot prints in the cement in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the same place she had visited with Gladys and Grace years earlier as a child. She stated: "I want to be a big star more than anything. It's something precious". Monroe received positive reviews and the film grossed more than double its production costs. Her rendition of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" the song introduced by Carol Channing in the original Broadway production of "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (1949) became associated with her after the release of the film version. "How to Marry a Millionaire", a comedy about three models scheming to attract a wealthy husband, teamed Monroe with Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall, directed by Jean Negulesco.
The producer and scriptwriter, Nunnally Johnson, said that it was the first film in which audiences "liked Marilyn for herself and that she diagnosed the reason very shrewdly. She said that it was the only picture she'd been in, in which she had a measure of modesty about her own attractiveness." Her appearance at the Photoplay awards dinner in a skin-tight gold lamé dress was criticized. Joan Crawford was quoted in Louella Parsons' newspaper column, discussing Monroe's "vulgarity" and describing her behavior as "unbecoming an actress and a lady".
She had previously received criticism for wearing a dress with a neckline cut almost to her navel, when she acted as Grand Marshall at the Miss America Parade, a long-standing competition which awards scholarships to young women from the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, in September 1952.
A photograph from this event was used on the cover of the first edition of Playboy Magazine in December 1953, with a nude photograph of Monroe, taken in 1949, inside the magazine.
Photoplay magazine voted Marilyn the Best New Actress of 1953, and at 27 years old she was undeniably the best-loved blonde bombshell in Hollywood. Monroe's films of this period established her "dumb blonde" persona and contributed to her popularity.
In 1953 and 1954, she was listed in the annual "Quigley Poll of the Top Ten Money Making Stars", which was compiled from the votes of movie exhibitors throughout the United States for the stars that had generated the most revenue in their theaters over the previous year. During this time, Monroe discussed her acting ambitions, telling the New York Times, "I want to grow and develop and play serious dramatic parts. My dramatic coach, Natasha Lytess, tells everybody that I have a great soul, but so far nobody's interested in it." She saw a possibility in 20th Century Fox's upcoming film, "The Egyptian", but was rebuffed by Darryl F. Zanuck who refused to screentest her. Instead, she was assigned to the western "River of No Return", opposite Robert Mitchum. It was directed by Otto Preminger who resented Monroe's reliance on Natasha Lytess, who coached her and gave her verdict at the end of each scene. Eventually Monroe refused to speak to Preminger, and Mitchum was required to mediate. On the finished product, she commented, "I think I deserve a better deal than a grade Z cowboy movie in which the acting finished second to the scenery and the CinemaScope process".
In late 1953, Monroe was scheduled to begin filming "The Girl in the Pink Tights" with Frank Sinatra, and when she failed to appear for work, she was suspended by 20th Century Fox. The studio had refused to let her look at the script prior to accepting the part. She felt that due to her star status, she should have the right to script approval.
On January 14, 1954 Joe and Marilyn were married at the City Hall of San Francisco by presiding judge Charles Peery. Marilyn carried 3 white orchids for her wedding bouquet, and when they began to wither in the heat, she aked Joe if she died before him, would he be as devoted as to place flowers on her grave every week just as William Powell had done for her own movie-idol, Jean Harlow.
The wedding captured headlines worldwide with the respected and beloved Joe DiMaggio and the screen Goddess. The fact that Joe had retired and wanted to avoid public attention yet Marilyn was at the beginning of her rise to stardom didn't help their relationship but Joe was devoted to her and for 20 years he did as she asked, sending roses to her grave every week (some say 2 or 3 times). Eventually in 1980 he changed this to a weekly donation to a childrens charity for her.
At this point Robert Slatzer eagerly announced that he would be taking up the mantle but the florist was forced to cancel the order after just a couple of months for non-payment. She and Joe went to Japan for their honeymoon, and Marilyn was asked to go on a USO tour of Korea to entertain the troops.
Despite the freezing weather, Marilyn entertained the 60,000 soldiers (she later stated that the experience had helped her overcome a fear of performing in front of large crowds).She was a huge success. Joe did not accompany her on this trip, instead he stayed in Japan and awaited her return. After Marilyn had appeared before the troops in Korea she later exclaimed to Joe: “You never heard such cheering!” and Joe replied, “Yes, I have.” DiMaggio found out from Zernial that the press agent Dave Marsh had set up the photo shoot. DiMaggio contacted Marsh and the two stars were set up on a blind date. Marilyn showed up 2 hours late. Marilyn drove Joe home that night. In his book, "Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?" writer Maury Allen reports that Marilyn said to Joe, "I’m sorry I don’t know anything about baseball." DiMaggio replied, "That’s all right. I don’t know much about movies."
On the day of the wedding, someone asked, "How many kids do you want?" "I’d like to have six," Marilyn said. "At least one," DiMaggio added. "I’m going to continue my career," Marilyn explained. "But I’m looking forward to being a housewife too."
Returning to Hollywood in March 1954, Monroe settled her disagreement with 20th Century Fox and appeared in "There's No Business Like Show Business", a musical which failed to recover its production costs. The film was received poorly; Ed Sullivan described Monroe's performance of the song "Heat Wave" as "one of the most flagrant violations of good taste" he had witnessed, Time compared her unfavourably to co-star Ethel Merman, while Bosley Crowther for The New York Times said that Mitzi Gaynor had surpassed Monroe's "embarrassing to behold" performance.
The reviews echoed Monroe's opinion of the film, which she had made reluctantly, with the assurance that she would be given the starring role in the film adaption of the Broadway hit "The Seven Year Itch". In September, 1954, Monroe filmed one of the key scenes for "The Seven Year Itch", in New York City. In it, she stands with her co-star, Tom Ewell, while the air from a subway grating blows her skirt over her head, it is considered as one of the most memorable moments in cinema history. A large crowd watched as director Billy Wilder ordered the scene to be refilmed numerous times, it is said that several hundred, along with 2000 spectators gathered outside the Trans-Lux Theater in New York City in the early morning hours of September 15th to see and record her as she posed for over two hours for her adoring fans. Among the crowd was Joe Di Maggio, who was reported to have been infuriated by the spectacle. After a quarrel, witnessed by journalist Walter Winchell, the couple returned to California where they avoided the press for two weeks.
On October 6, the separation of the couple was a fact and Jerry Giesler made a press announcement and stated "As her attorney, I am speaking for her and can only say that the conflict of careers has brought about this regrettable necessity." Unfortunately, Marilyn's fame and sexual image became a theme that haunted their marriage, finally on October 27, 1954, Marilyn and Joe divorced. They attributed the split to a "conflict of careers," and remained close friends. With the press hounding her, Marilyn answered in a choked voice, "I can't say anything today. I'm sorry. I'm sorry." She would later state: "When I married him (Joe), I wasn't sure of why I married him, I have too many fantasies to be a housewife."
"The Seven Year Itch" was completed in early 1955, and after refusing what Monroe considered to be inferior parts in "The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing" and "How to Be Very, Very Popular", she decided to leave Hollywood, at the advice of Milton Greene, a fashion and celebrity photographer.
Greene had first met Monroe in 1953 when he was assigned to photograph her for Look magazine. While many photographers tried to emphasize her sexy image, Greene presented her in more modest poses, and she was pleased with his work. As a friendship developed between them, she confided in him her frustration with her 20th Century Fox contract, and the roles she was offered. Her salary for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes amounted to $18,000, while freelancer Jane Russell was paid more than $100,000. Greene agreed that she could earn more by breaking away from 20th Century Fox. He gave up his job in 1954, mortgaged his home to finance Monroe, and allowed her to live with his family as they determined the future course of her career. Then Marilyn Monroe was introduced to Constance Collier, a British-born American film actress and acting coach, from whom she took acting lessons. She believed that Marilyn was not suited to stage acting, but possessed a "lovely talent" that was "so fragile and subtle, it can only be caught by the camera". Unfortunately after a few weeks of lessons, Collier died.
In March 1955, Monroe met with Cheryl Crawford, an theatre producer and director and one of the founders of the Actors Studio, and convinced her to introduce her to Lee Strasberg, who interviewed her the following day, and agreed to accept her as a student.
In early 1955 Marilyn again returned to New York and joined the Actors Studio, in pursuit of becoming a serious actress. Mr. Strasberg and his family would play an important role in her life. Throughout 1955, Monroe studied with the Actor's Studio, and found that one of her biggest obstacles was her severe stage fright.
She was befriended by the actors, Kevin McCarthy and Eli Wallach who each recalled her as studious and sincere in her approach to her studies, and noted that she tried to avoid attention by sitting quietly in the back of the class. When Strasberg felt Monroe was ready to give a performance in front of her peers, Monroe and Maureen Stapleton, the Academy Award-winning actress in film, theater and television, chose the opening scene from Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie, a 1921 play in four acts which tells the story of a former prostitute who falls in love, but runs into difficulty in turning her life around. Although she had faltered during each rehearsal, she was able to complete the performance without forgetting her lines. Kim Stanley later recalled that students were discouraged from applauding, but that Monroe's performance had resulted in spontaneous applause from the audience.
While Monroe was a student, Lee Strasberg commented, "I have worked with hundreds and hundreds of actors and actresses, and there are only two that stand out way above the rest. Number one is Marlon Brando, and the second is Marilyn Monroe." The Seven Year Itch was released and became a success, earning an estimated $8 million.
Monroe received positive reviews for her performance, and was in a strong position to negotiate with 20th Century Fox.
On New Year's Eve 1955, they signed a new contract which required Monroe to make four films over a seven year period. In 1956, Marilyn started her own motion picture company, Marilyn Monroe Productions. The company produced the 1956 "Bus Stop" and 1957 "The Prince and the Showgirl" (co-starring Sir Laurence Olivier). These two films would allow her to demonstrate her talent and versatility as an actress. Marilyn Monroe Productions would be paid $100,000 plus a share of profits for each film.
In addition to being able to work for other studios, Monroe had the right to reject any script, director or cinematographer if she didn't consider them as appropriate. "Bus Stop" was directed by Joshua Logan and depicts an innocent rodeo cowboy named Bo who falls for Cherie, a saloon singer played by Marilyn Monroe. The cowboy decides he wants to marry her without bothering to ask and forces her to return home with him. Her costumes, make-up and hair reflected a character who lacked sophistication, and Monroe provided deliberately mediocre singing and dancing.
Bosley Crowther of The New York Times proclaimed: "Hold on to your chairs, everybody, and get set for a rattling surprise. Marilyn Monroe has finally proved herself an actress." In his autobiography, Movie Stars, Real People and Me, director Logan wrote: "I found Marilyn to be one of the great talents of all time. She struck me as being a much brighter person than I had ever imagined, and I think that was the first time I learned that intelligence and, yes brilliance have nothing to do with education." Logan championed Monroe for an Academy Award nomination and complimented her professionalism until the end of his life.
Though not nominated for an Academy Award, she received a Golden Globe nomination. "Bus Stop" opened in London in October 1956. A Times review said: "Miss Monroe is a talented comedienne, and her sense of timing never forsake her. She gives a complete portrait, sensitively and sometimes even brilliantly conceived. There is about her a waif-life quality, an underlying note of pathos which can be strangely moving." She would later state: "It's not that I object to doing musicals and comedies, in fact, I rather enjoy them but I'd like to do dramatic parts too."
"The Prince and the Showgirl", directed and starred in by Laurence Olivier, is a thoughtful comedy about American showgirl Elsie Marino, played by Marilyn. She is romanced by Prince Regent of Carpathia (played by Olivier) during the 1911 coronation of George V. Prior to filming, Olivier praised Monroe as "a brilliant comedienne, which to me means she is also an extremely skilled actress."
During filming he resented Monroe's dependence on her drama coach, Paula Strasberg, regarding Strasberg as a fraud whose only talent was the ability to "butter Marilyn up". He recalled his attempts at explaining a scene to Monroe, only to hear Strasberg interject, "Honey - just think of Coca-Cola and Frank Sinatra". It proved less than impressive critically and financially. It made money, but many critics panned it for being slow-moving. However in Europe, Monroe's performance was hailed by critics, where she won the David di Donatello, the Italian equivalent of the Academy Award, as well as the French Crystal Star Award. She was also nominated for a BAFTA, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, a charity that hosts annual awards shows for film, television, television craft, video games and forms of animation.
In May, 1955 Monroe started dating the playwright, Arthur Miller; they had met in Hollywood in 1950 and when Miller discovered she was in New York, he arranged for a mutual friend to reintroduce them. Then the relationship between Monroe and Miller had developed, and although the couple were able to maintain their privacy for almost a year, the press began to write about them officially as a couple, often referred to as "The Egghead and The Hourglass".
The reports of their romance were soon overtaken by news that Miller had been called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee to explain his supposed Communist affiliations. Called upon to identify Communists he was acquainted with, Miller refused and was charged with contempt of Congress. He was acquitted on appeal.
During the investigation, Monroe was urged by film executives to abandon Miller, rather than risk her career but she refused, later branding them as "born cowards". The press began to discuss an impending marriage, but Monroe and Miller refused to confirm the rumor. To Marilyn, Miller represented the serious theater and an intellect that she found attractive.
Miller, years later would say: "It was wonderful to be around her, she was simply overwhelming. She had so much promise. It seemed to me that she could really be a great kind of phenomenon, a terrific artist. She was endlessly fascinating, full of original observations, there wasn't a conventional bone in her body."
In June, 1956 a reporter was following them by car, and as they attempted to elude him, the reporter's car crashed, killing a female passenger. Monroe became hysterical upon hearing the news, and their engagement was announced, partly in the expectation that it would reduce the excessive media interest they were being subjected to.
In 1956, he divorced his first wife and married Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn and Arthur were married on June 29, 1956.
On July 1st, 1956 they had another, Jewish, wedding ceremony. Marilyn and Arthur spent the weeks following their marriage in England where she began work on "The Prince and the Showgirl". Marilyn Monroe did not return to Hollywood until 1958 to make "Some Like It Hot" with Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis and directed by Billy Wilder. This film is a legendary comedy about two musicians who witness the St. Valentine's Day massacre. In order to elude the mob, the men join an all-girl band heading for Miami. To blend in, the men are forced to dress up as women.
Marilyn gave a memorable performance as Sugar Kane and sang "I Wanna Be Loved By You." Some Like it Hot was named as the American Film Institute's #1 funniest film of the century in 2000. However her health started to deteriorate due to increased dependency on drugs and involvement in an unhappy marriage. She often came to the set late and was unable to remember her lines. Director, Billy Wilder later would say: "Anyone can remember lines, but it takes a real artist to come on the set and not know her lines and yet give the performance she did." With "I Wanna Be Loved By You" she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy.
During the filming she developed a rapport with Lemmon, but she disliked Curtis, who said that kissing her was "like kissing Hitler". During filming, Monroe discovered that she was pregnant, but suffered a miscarriage as filming was completed.
By this time, Monroe had only completed one film, "Bus Stop", under her four pictures contract with 20th Century Fox. So, she agreed to appear in Let's Make Love, which was to be directed by George Cukor, but she was not satisfied with the script, and Arthur Miller rewrote it. Gregory Peck was originally cast in the male lead role, but he refused the role after Miller's rewrite; Cary Grant, Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner and Rock Hudson also refused the role before it was offered to Yves Montand. Monroe and Miller befriended Montand, and his wife, the actress, Simone Signoret and filming progressed well until Miller was required to travel to Europe on business. Monroe began to leave the film set early and on several occasions failed to attend, but her attitude improved after Montand confronted her. She later stated: "I am invariably late for appointments, sometimes, as much as two hours. I've tried to change my ways but the things that make me late are too strong, and too pleasing."
Signoret returned to Europe to make a film, and Monroe and Montand began a brief affair that ended when Montand refused to leave Signoret. The film was not a critical or commercial success but much of the publicity was regarded to her brief affair with Yves Montand. In June 1960 she began to see her psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Greenson on a daily basis.
Dr Greenson later recalled that during this time she frequently complained of insomnia, and told Greenson that she visited several medical doctors to obtain what Greenson considered an excessive variety of drugs. He concluded that she was progressing to the point of addiction, but also noted that she could give up the drugs for extended periods, without suffering any withdrawal symptoms.
According to Greenson, the marriage between Miller and Monroe was strained; he said that Miller appeared to genuinely care for Monroe and was willing to help her, but that Monroe rebuffed while also expressing resentment towards him for not doing more to help her. Greenson stated that his main objective at the time was to enforce a drastic reduction in Monroe's drug intake.
As mentioned before in 1960, Marilyn was consulting with Dr. Ralph Greenson, a prominent psychoanalyst to Hollywood stars. As common during this period, he relied heavily on drug therapy, routinely prescribing barbiturates and tranquilizers in addition to his psychotherapy.
By 1960 Arthur Miller had developed a screenplay, and envisioned it as a suitable role for Monroe. It became her last completed film, "The Misfits", directed by John Huston and costarred by Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift and Thelma Ritter. Filming commenced in July 1960, with most of it taking place in the hot Northern Nevada Black Rock Desert. However Monre's addiction to the consumption of sleeping pills and alcohol had worsened by this time. As a result sometimes she was unable to perform. While on location the Millers lived in separate quarters and were barely speaking.
Meanwhile, pills for Marilyn were regularly flown in from her Los Angeles doctors, including Dr. Greenson. Allan Snyder recalled. "It took so long to get her going in the morning that usually I had to make her up while she lay in her bed." But once again, she managed to give an exceptional performance.
During this time she commented: "Everybody is always tugging at you. They'd all like a sort of chunk out of you. I don't think they realize it, but it's like "grrrr do this, grrrr do that." But you do want to stay intact, intact and on two feet."
Marilyn was found by Paula Strassberg, unconscious on the floor of her hotel room on August 26, 1960. Marilyn was increasingly depressed and anxious while filming the Misfits. A combination of marital problems, increased prescription drugs and alcohol combination, a recent miscarriage and the hard work of filming had pushed her to the brink of a nervous breakdown. Temperatures hovered at one 100 F degrees (36 C degrees), and Marilyn kept the entire cast waiting for hours while she attempted to compose herself and overcome her anxiety attacks. Her director thought that she was taking as many as twenty sleeping pills a day. The following day she was taken to the Westside hospital in Los Angeles.
Three months later on November 11, 1960 it was announced that she and Arthur Miller were to divorce. He had been (reportedly) having an affair with Inge Morath, a photographer whom he later married. Louella Parsons, a gossip columnist of the time, wrote in her newspaper column that Monroe was "a very sick girl, much sicker than at first believed", and disclosed that she was being treated by a psychiatrist. Monroe returned to Nevada and completed the film, but she became hostile towards Arthur Miller, and public arguments were reported by the press.
Making the film had proved to be an arduous experience for the actors; in addition to Monroe's distress, Montgomery Clift had frequently been unable to perform due to illness, and by the final day of shooting, Thelma Ritter was in hospital suffering from exhaustion. Gable, commenting that he felt unwell, left the set without attending the party that marked the end of filming. Monroe and Miller returned to New York on separately on different flights.
On November 5, 1960 the day after "The Misfits" was completed, co-star Clark Gable suffered a serious heart attack and died on November 16, 1960. Marilyn felt a great deal of guilt, commenting: "I kept him waiting, kept him waiting for hours and hours on that picture." Gable's widow, Kay, commented to Louella Parsons that it had been the "eternal waiting" on the set of "The Misfits" that had contributed to his death, though she did not name Monroe. When reporters asked Monroe if she felt guilty about Gable's death, she refused to answer, but the journalist, Sidney Skolsky, recalled that privately she expressed regret for her poor treatment of Gable during filming and described her as being in "a dark pit of despair".
Monroe later attended the christening of the Gables' son, at the invitation of Kay Gable. Evelyn Moriarty remembered: "Marilyn was being blamed for everything. All of her problems were exaggerated to cover up for Director Huston's gambling and the terrible waste of money on that production. It was easy for her to be made the scapegoat." The film was popular with critics and the public alike, but it was not a commercial success, though some praised the performances of Monroe and Gable.
Huston later commented that Monroe's performance was not acting in the true sense, and that she had drawn from her own experiences to show herself, rather than a character. "She had no techniques. It was all the truth. It was only Marilyn". Marilyn divorced Arthur Miller on January 20, 1961, the same month that "The Misfits" was released. Another unhappy marriage was terminated.
On February 7, 1961, she checked herself into the Payne Whitney Institute, suffering with depression and nervous exhaustion. She was advised to do this by her Doctor, Dr.Marianne Kris. It was a terrible shock for Marilyn as she was not allowed to use the 'phone, she was locked in her room and generally treated as though she was severely disturbed.
On February 9 she managed to get in touch with Joe Di Maggio and begged him to help her. He came running. Joe stormed into the building demanding to see 'my wife' and insisted that he would 'take the hospital apart brick by brick' if they didn't release her immediately. She was transferred to Columbia Presbyterian hospital in New York instead where she was far happier. Marilyn was eternally grateful to Joe for rescuing her. Illness prevented her from working for the remainder of the year; she underwent surgery to correct a blockage in her Fallopian tubes in May, and the following month underwent gall bladder surgery.
In 1961 Marilyn purchased a house in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles. At the urging of her psychoanalyst, Dr Greenson, she hired Eunice Murray as housekeeper. Murray, calling herself a nurse, had neither the training or credentials. It is suspected that she was a "spy" for Dr. Greenson who continued to have more and more control over Marilyn's life, seeing her almost daily when she was in Los Angeles. Marilyn was a lot happier than she had been in ages when in 1962, she was just one film away from being free from her Fox contract.
She began shooting "Something's Got to Give," in April 1962, although it was never completed. It was to be directed by George Cukor, and co-starred Dean Martin and Cyd Charisse. She was ill with a virus as filming commenced, and suffered from high temperatures and recurrent sinusitis. On one occasion she refused to perform with Martin as he had a cold, and the producer Henry Weinstein recalled seeing her on several occasions being physically ill as she prepared to film her scenes, and attributed it to her dread of performing. He commented, "Very few people experience terror. We all experience anxiety, unhappiness, heartbreaks, but that was sheer primal terror."
A reported affair with John F. Kennedy began in late 1961. At the President's gala birthday celebration in Madison Square Garden on May 19, 1962, Marilyn sang her now famous "Happy Birthday" tribute to JFK along with a specially written verse based on Bob Hope's "Thanks for the Memory". Kennedy responded to her performance with the remark, "Thank you. I can now retire from politics after having had "Happy Birthday" sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way".
The Attorney General, Bobby Kennedy was also reported to have had an affair with Marilyn shortly before her death. After returning from singing to the President, Marilyn said that she was ill again but Fox had enough and released Marilyn from her contract. They tried to finish production on the film, but Dean Martin backed Marilyn up and refused to go on without her, he said that it was written in his contract that he would work with Marilyn and so he had the right to work with her or not at all, he wouldn't accept a replacement actress. The Studio was deeply in debt over their production of "Cleopatra" starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. The filming was way behind schedule and costing millions over budget. It is theorized, if Fox scrapped the Marilyn Monroe film with far fewer expensive sets and actors, they possibly could be reimburse by the insurance company for losses due to a star's illness, and recoup monies spent.
Fox fired Marilyn and filed suit against Marilyn Monroe Productions on June 7, but the suit was later dropped. Following her dismissal, Monroe engaged in several high-profile publicity ventures. She gave an interview to Cosmopolitan and was photographed at Peter Lawford's beach house sipping champagne and walking on the beach. She next posed for Bert Stern for Vogue in a series of photographs that included several nudes. Published after her death, they became known as "The Last Sitting".
Richard Meryman interviewed her for Life, in which Monroe reflected upon her relationship with her fans and her uncertainties in identifying herself as a "star" and a "sex symbol". She referred to the events surrounding Arthur Miller's appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1956, and her studio's warning that she would be "finished" if she showed public support for him, and commented, "You have to start all over again. But I believe you're always as good as your potential. I now live in my work and in a few relationships with the few people I can really count on. Fame will go by, and, so long, I've had you fame. If it goes by, I've always known it was fickle. So at least it's something I experienced, but that's not where I live."
In the final weeks of her life, Monroe engaged in discussions about future film projects, and firm arrangements were made to continue negotiations. Among the projects was a biography of Jean Harlow.
Starring roles in Billy Wilder's "Irma La Douce" and "What a Way to Go!" were also discussed; Shirley MacLaine eventually played her role in both films. Kim Novak replaced her in Kiss Me, Stupid, a comedy in which she was to star opposite Dean Martin. A film version of the Broadway musical, "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn", and an unnamed World War I themed musical co-starring Gene Kelly were also discussed, but the projects did not eventuate After renegotiations with Fox, she was rehired (at double the salary) to finish the film.
Marilyn had been seeing Joe DiMaggio frequently during this time and had finally agreed to remarry him. The wedding date was set for August 8, 1962.
At the 1962 Golden Globes, Marilyn was named female World Film Favorite, once again demonstrating her widespread appeal.
Finally Marilyn was found dead in the bedroom of her Brentwood, California home by her live-in housekeeper Eunice Murray on August 5, 1962. She was 36 years old at the time of her death. Her death was ruled to be "acute barbiturate poisoning" by Dr. Thomas Noguchi of the Los Angeles County Coroners office and listed as "probable suicide," but because of a lack of evidence, her death was not classified as "suicide."
Many individuals, including Jack Clemmons, the first Los Angeles Police Department officer to arrive at the death scene, believe that she was murdered. A saddened Joe DiMaggio made arrangements for the funeral, inviting no one from the Hollywood scene or press...but only close friends and relatives. As he said..."they had only hurt Marilyn." For over 20 years flowers were delivered weekly to her crypt from Joe, just as he had promised Marilyn when she told him of William Powell's pledge to the dying Jean Harlow The service was the second one held at the newly built chapel at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in West Los Angeles, and only 25 people were given permission to attend. Monroe's acting coach, Lee Strasberg, delivered her eulogy. An organist played Judy Garland's song "Over the Rainbow" at the end of the service. Monroe was interred in a pink marble crypt at Corridor of Memories, #24.
In 1973, Norman Mailer, a novelist, journalist, essayist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, and film director received publicity for having written the first bestselling book to suggest that Monroe's death was a murder staged to look like a drug overdose. The book has no footnotes and does not cite any interviews with witnesses, police officials or coroner Thomas Noguchi, who performed the autopsy, although there are many references to the Kennedy brothers.
In a notorious 60 Minutes interview in August of that year, Mailer told Mike Wallace that he could not have interviewed Monroe's housemate Eunice Murray because Murray was dead before he started work on the book. Wallace said on the air that Murray was alive and listed in the West Los Angeles telephone directory.
In a 1974 book on Monroe's death that was not publicized on television, author Robert Slatzer made controversial claims about not only a conspiracy, but also his alleged brief marriage to Monroe in Tijuana, Mexico in 1952. (During that year her romance with Joe DiMaggio was reported by gossip columnists, although they did not marry until 1954.) Unlike Norman Mailer, Slatzer interviewed an authority whose name, which was unknown to the public at the time, appears in official documents from 1962.
Slatzer's source was Jack Clemmons, a sergeant with the LAPD who was the first officer to report to the death scene. According to Clemmons' statements in Slatzer's book, Eunice Murray behaved suspiciously, doing laundry at 4:30 a.m. and answering his questions evasively. When Slatzer approached Murray with questions, she denied any wrongdoing by herself or by Monroe's psychiatrist Ralph Greenson, who had hired Murray to watch the actress for signs of drug abuse or suicidal tendency. Greenson himself refused to talk to Slatzer, having reacted to Norman Mailer's highly publicized book by telling the New York Post that Monroe "had no significant involvement" with John or Robert Kennedy Other documentaries about her death and a possible conspiracy have ben produced during the next decades, including a 1985 BBC investigation and a 2001 Rachael Bell of Court TV investigation,John Miner's 'tapes' assertion.
On August 5, 2005, the Los Angeles Times published an account of Monroe's death by former Los Angeles County district attorney John Miner, who was present at the autopsy. Miner claimed that she was not suicidal, offering as proof his notes on audio tapes she had supposedly recorded for Greenson and that Greenson had played for him. Miner had refused to discuss them during Anthony Summers' 1980s investigation.
In 2005, Miner did not explain why he was now willing to break the confidentiality agreement he had made with Greenson in 1962. Finally The CBS 48 Hours investigation of April 2006, presented an updated report by Anthony Summers on Monroe's death.
Through Summers, 48 Hours gained access to audio tapes of interviews conducted by the Los Angeles District Attorney's office in 1982.
During her career, Marilyn made 30 films and left one, Something's Got to Give, unfinished. She was more than just a movie star or glamour queen. A global sensation in her lifetime, Marilyn's popularity has extended beyond star status to icon. Today, the name "Marilyn Monroe" is synonymous with beauty, sensuality and effervescence. She remains an inspiration to all who strive to overcome personal obstacles for the goal of achieving greatness.
Marilyn's paternal ancestry is difficult to be traced back as there are two possible persons that can claim her paternity. Nonetheless her maternal family history is well known. Norma Jeane Monroe Bakers' (Marilyn Monroe) mother was born May 27 1902 in Mexico. She was called Gladys Pearl Monroe. She was 24 at the time of Norma Jeanes birth. Norma Jeane was Gladys' 3rd child. She had had two from her first marriage, having been married in 1917 at the age of just 14 to 26 year old, Jasper Newton "Jack/Jap" Baker.
Her mother (Della Mae Hogan) had lied about Gladys' age and said that she was 16 but that they didn't have any proof of it as they had only recently moved to the neighbourhood. Seven months after the wedding, Gladys gave birth to a son, Robert Kermit Baker, known as Jackie. Jackie Baker never met his half-sister Norma Jeane. Their second child Berniece Inez Gladys Baker was born on July 3, 1919. Their marriage was a stormy one, her husband was very physically abusive.
In 1921, the couple went on a visit to some of Jap's relatives in Kentucky. On the way there they began to argue and during the argument 3 year old Jackie fell out of the car. It seems that young Jackie was injured more than once during his parents many fights. His sister Berniece tells of another occasion when young Jackie almost lost an eye early in his life when, during an argument a glass was broken. The young child picked up a piece and almost poked his eye out with it. After Jackie had fallen from the car Jap was furious and blamed Gladys for the accident, saying that she should have been paying attention. When they reached his parents house Gladys went for a hike in the woods with Japs younger brother. By the time she returned Jap had worked himself up into a jealous and resentful fury and he beat her with a bridle until she was covered in blood and his younger brother had to pull him off her.
The couple returned to Los Angeles where Gladys immediately filed for divorce. Gladys' divorce from her abusive husband was finalised in May of 1922. Gladys was given custody but her ex-husband had visiting rights. However on one of the occasions he took the children out on a trip and abducted them. Gladys managed to track him down and got as far as his front door but she was told that her son was in hospital and the daughter was hidden from her.
Gladys did move to Louisville, Kentucky for a while but when she realised that she couldn't get her children back she returned to Los Angeles without them, she was as you would expect, completely devastated. Her daughter Berniece married Paris Miracle on October 7 1938 and gave birth to a daughter whom she named Mona Rae the following year.
Although she was not close to her half-sister Norma Jeane, the two did meet up on several occasions and it was she who Joe Dimaggio called to help organise Marilyns funeral. Both she and Mona Rae flew out to California to help with the arrangements and the three of them picked out a dress for Marilyn to be buried in.
Marilyn's half-brother, Jackie was sadly far less fortunate. Due to the accident when he fell from the car he had a permanent limp and one leg was shorter than the other due to the cast he had been wearing since the accident.
At around the same time that the cast was removed he was diagnosed with Tuberculosis of the bone. He was sent to a Louisville hospital. At the time it was known as the Children’s Free Hospital, which pioneered orthopedic surgery and it eventually was renamed Kosair’s Crippled Children’s Hospital. Later while playing with a firecracker the child placed it into a glass bottle with then exploded and he lost his right eye. He was again taken to hospital and by now the infection in his bone was so severe that his kidneys had started to fail. Against the wishes of the doctors Jap removed his son from the hospital and took him home. When it became apparent that the boys kidneys were failing altogether, Jap attempted to catheterise him himself. Whether this was the cause of his death or merely added to it, Jackie died of kidney failure a short time later. He was just thirteen or fourteen years old. The emotional cost to Gladys can scarcely be imagined and when she gave birth to Norma Jeane in 1926 she listed her first two children as dead.
Gladys' second marriage was to Martin Edward Mortenson. They were married in the autumn of 1924, it took place at the home of a Presbyterian minister in North Hollywood. It lasted seven months. Although Edward Mortenson was listed on Norma Jeanes Birth Certificate it seems unlikely that he could have been the father as Gladys hadn't seen him in over a year. Shelley Winters, the Academy-Award winning actress, who was at one time Marilyn's roommate relates this story: "Marilyn told us how she had recently gotten a man's name from that orphan asylum. Her mother had listed a Mortensen as her biological father.
The night she had finished The Asphalt Jungle, after the wrap party...she called information in some place like Whittier, got the man's phone number and called it. She was convinced that this man was her biological father, and she explained to the man who she was. A drunked male voice responded, 'Listen you tramp, I have my own family, and I don't want anything to do with Hollywood bums. Don't you ever call me again. And he hung up."
Charles Stanley Gifford whom Gladys worked with at RKO Studio is the man that most people now believe to be her father. Gifford was certainly the man that Marilyn believed was her father. He was married when he began his affair with Gladys and his wife divorced him citing reasons of 'Mental Cruelty' and that he 'associated with women of loose morals'. He was listed on the birth certificate as 'Residence Unknown'. It appears that he left Gladys on New Years Eve 1925 when she told him that she was pregnant. It must have seemed to Gladys that Edward Mortenson was the ideal person to put on the as he had been her husband so it lent a little 'legitimacy' to Norma Jeane.
Martin Edward Mortenson was born on February 1897 in Vallejo, Solano County, California, USA; the son of Martin Mortenson a Norwegian immigrant and his wife Stella Catherine "Katie" Higgins.
By 1917, Martin was a gas fitter working for LA Gas and Electric Company. He married Gladys Pearl Monroe on October 11, 1924, she left him six months later, but they were not officially divorced until June 1, 1927.
Mona Miracle reports in her website that on the marriage certificate Martin lists his occupation as "meterman" and his status as "divorced", so Gladys must have been his second wife. When Gladys became pregnant, she had supposedly been dating various men and so there is some uncertainty about exactly who Marilyn's father was. On her birth certificate, Gladys named "Martin Mortensen" as the father. It's possible she did this only so it wouldn't appear that she was sleeping around.
Some biographers claim that a Stanley Gifford was Marilyn's father. But it's also possible that Gladys really did continue to have sex with Martin and that he really is Marilyn's father.
Martin Mortenson died 10 Feb 1981 in Riverside County, California. One news report of this appears in the New York Times.
Gladys was evidently in and out of various sanitariums for part or most of her life. Mona Miracle reprints a note from her mother Berniece which says: "Next I wrote mother's Aunt Dora in Oregon. Eventually Aunt Dora got Mother released from Agnews State Hospital in San Jose". Dora was apparently Della's sister, here she appears to call her "Aunt Dora Graham". Gladys was released in 1945, on the condition that she live a year with her aunt Dora Graham in Oregon.
She studied Christian Science and became very interested in trying to heal people without medicine. She dressed in white, like a nurse and started taking housekeeping jobs while living in Oregon. Her Social Security Number was issued by Oregon sometime before 1951. But in 1946, before her year was up, Gladys decided to fly down to Los Angeles and started living with Aunt Ana Lower (not her real aunt, but rather the Aunt of Grace McKee).
At some point before 1953, Gladys married a Mr Eley, perhaps while she was living in Oregon. Toward the latter part of her life, she moved, or was moved to Florida where as "Gladys Eley" she died in March 1984 in Gainesville, Florida.
Della Mae Hogan was Norma Jeanes maternal grandmother. Della Mae Hogan (1876-1927) was born in Brunswick County, Missouri on July 1, 1876. Her parents were Tilford and Jennie Nance Hogan. When Della was thirteen her parents divorced. Because divorce was rarity during the late Victorian Era, the Hogan's provided fodder for the town's gossipmongers. The normal emotions of a child living with her parents' divorce added to the embarrassment of the whole scandal and being shuffled between her two parents made Della's teenage years very unhappy.
In 1899 she got married to a man named Otis Elmer Monroe. The same year he managed to get a job with the Mexican Railway but it meant that the couple had to move to Mexico. While there Della gave birth to her first child, a girl and named her Gladys Pearl.
In 1903 Otis found a better job in Los Angeles still working for a Railway and they moved back to the United States. Otis drank very heavily and had always been a touch eccentric. In 1905 Della gave birth to a son who she named Marion Otis Elmer and in 1907 they moved to 2440 Boulder in Los Angeles.
It is generally believed that Otis Elmer Monroe (Marilyn's maternal grandfather) was insane. In fact Marilyn herself wondered if mental instability ran in the family, citing that her paternal grandfather, and her mother and grandmother had died in mental asylums. Otis, her grandfather was diagnosed with a condition known as General Paresis which is a manifestation of late and untreated Syphylis.
In those days they didn't have antibiotics and so Syphilis was diffictult to treat. Otis Elmer Monroe was born in 1874/5 in Indiana. He married Della Mae Hogan and they had two children: Gladys Pearl Monroe on May 27, 1902 in Porfirio Diaz, Mexico (now known as Piedras Negras) and Otis Marion Elmer Monroe in 1905 in Los Angeles, California.
Otis died on July 22, 1909 in Southern California State Hospital, at least one biographer claiming that he was suffering from syphillis which had invaded his brain.
Martin Mortensen (the possible paternal grandfather of Marilyn) was born about 1860/1 in Norway. He immigrated to the United States in 1880, possibly to Missouri. By 1900 he is married to Stella Catherine "Katie" Higgins" and they are living in Alameda County, California with two sons: Earl aged 4, and Martin aged 3.
Stella Catherine Higgins (the possible paternal grandmother of Marilyn) was born 1871/2 in Missouri. She married by 1900 to Martin Mortensen, a Norweigian immigrant. They lived in Alameda, California. She married by 1930 to a Mr. Frank. She was widowed by 1930 and living with her divorced son in Los Angeles County, California.
Voted 'Sexiest Woman of the Century' by People Magazine. 
Was 1947's Miss California Artichoke Queen On May 19, 1962, Monroe made her last significant public appearance, singing "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" at a televised birthday party for President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden.
The dress that she wore to the Kennedy's birthday event, specially designed and made for her by Jean Louis, sold at an auction in 1999 for USD $1.26 million, establishing a new world record for the most expensive piece of clothing ever sold at an auction.
In her will, Monroe left Lee Strasberg 75 percent of the residuary estate. She expressed her desire that Strasberg, or, if he predeceased her, her executor, "distribute her personal effects among my friends, colleagues and those to whom I am devoted." Strasberg willed his portion to his widow, Anna. She declared she would never sell Monroe's personal items after successfully suing Odyssey Auctions in 1994 to prevent the sale of items, which were withheld by Monroe's former business manager, Inez Melson. However, in October 1999, Christie's auctioned the bulk of the items Monroe willed to Strasberg, netting US $13,405,785.
In a poll by Virgin Mobile, Marilyn ranked second for the icons British people would like to bring back from the dead, being beaten only by Diana, Princess Of Wales.
A set of five types of yearly, limited edition wines (such as Marilyn Merlot, which is released each year on June 1st, Marilyn's birthday), which have been licensed by Marilyn's estate, have been sold since 1985 under the name of "Marilyn Wines." The wines sell for up to $3,800 on the company's website.
In the late 1950's/early 1960's Marilyn was part of a group known as "The Three M's," which included two other voluptuous blondes: Jayne Mansfield and Mamie Van Doren.
The character of Jessica Rabbit from the movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" had a torso and butt that were based on Marilyn's curvy figure.
Marilyn believed that the right side of her face was her "best side." Marilyn washed her face 15 times a day, due to a fear of blemishes.
When Marilyn was a child, she had a pet dog named Tippy. In her final movie, "Something's Got To Give," the dog in the movie was also named Tippy.
Marilyn had one half-sister, Berniece Miracle.
Marilyn was not credited in three movies she appeared in: 1947's "The Shocking Miss Pilgrim," 1948's "Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay!," and 1950's "Right Cross." Marilyn was named the Playboy "Sweetheart Of The Month" in December 1953.
The first time Marilyn signed an autograph as Marilyn Monroe, she asked the person she was signing it for how to spell 'Marilyn.' She did not know where to put the 'i.'
Marilyn's first appearance on a national magazine cover was on April 26th, 1946, when she appeared on the cover of Family Circle.
Marilyn was in a total of 29 films. "Something's Got to Give" would have been her 30th.
Marilyn wore a dress size of 14.
Marilyn's first modeling job only paid five dollars. Marilyn said that her idol was Jean Harlow, who was the original platinum blonde.
Darryl Zanuck, the president of 20th Century Fox during Marilyn's time, said that nobody discovered Marilyn; she earned her own way to stardom.
Marilyn was roommates with actress Shelley Winters. In fact, it was Shelley who gave her the open mouth smile, which Shelley said Monroe perfected.
These are said to be Marilyn's last words: "Say good-bye to Pat, say good-bye to the President and say good-bye to yourself, because you're a nice guy."
Marilyn's favorite perfume was Chanel No. 5 and her favorite store was Bloomingdale's.
Her favorite beverage was Dom Perignon 1953. She also adored the restaurant Romanoff's in Hollywood.
Marilyn's favorite female singer was Ella Fitzgerald and her favorite male singer was Frank Sinatra. Marilyn was also very fond of Louie Armstrong, Beethoven, and Mozart.
The movie "The Misfits" (1961) was both Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable's last completed film.
Marilyn is pictured on a 32¢ U.S. commemorative postage stamp which was issued on June 1st, 1995. According to the United States Postal Service, this stamp is the 6th most popular commemorative stamp of all time.
It was rumored that the famous Disney character Tinkerbell was modeled after Marilyn, but in reality Tinkerbell was modeled after the actress Margaret Kerry, who performed her live-action reference.
Marilyn won three Golden Globes: "Female World Film Favorite" in 1954, "Best Actress in a Comedy" for “Some Like It Hot” in 1960, and “Female World Film Favorite" in 1962. She was also nominated for "Best Actress in a Comedy" for "Bus Stop" in 1957, but she did not win.
Marilyn's natural hair color is brown, but she is known to most as a blonde. She first dyed her hair blonde in 1946, around the time she changed her name from Norma Jeane.
Marilyn's studio claims her measurements were 37-23-36, while her dressmaker claims they were 35-22-35.
Marilyn is buried at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California. Her plot is: Corridor of Memories, Crypt #24.
Marilyn of course has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which is located at 6774 Hollywood Boulevard. She received her star in 1960, the same year the Walk of Fame was opened.
The song "Candle in the Wind," by Elton John, was recorded as a tribute to Marilyn.
Doctors were puzzled by the lack of sleeping pill residue in Marilyn's stomach after she died. They claimed there was not enough present to have killed her.
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.
Given a dog she named Tippy by foster father Albert Bolender. Her final, unfinished film, Something's Got to Give (1962), the dog was also named Tippy.
Childhood photos show she was born blonde, but her hair turned "mousy" as she grew older.
Died with the phone in her hand.
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.
The character of Ginger from TV's "Gilligan's Island" (1964) was loosely based on her persona.
Frequently used Nivea moisturizer.
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).
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.
She was suggested as a possible wife for Prince Rainier of Monaco. He later married actress Grace Kelly.
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.
Obtained order from the City Court of the State of New York to legally change her name from Norma Jeane Mortenson to Marilyn Monroe on February 23, 1956 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 woman Gladys knew while she lived in Kentucky with Bernice's father.
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 told she was not the star in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) Marilyn was quoted "Well whatever I am, I'm still the blonde."
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 listed her name as "Norma Jean DiMaggio".
Was referenced in the dialogue of Dolce vita, La (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.
Named 2nd Greatest Movie Star of all time by Premier Magazine, behind #1 Cary Grant and after #3 Tom Cruise.
The punk band 'The Misfits' got their name from her last movie, 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 8 November 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.
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 portrayed by Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd in Norma Jean & Marilyn (1996) (TV) Is one of the many movie stars mentioned in Madonna's song "Vogue"
The dress Marilyn wore to serenade John F. Kennedy at his birthday celebration was so tight she had to be sewn into it.
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 she got back to the apartment, Marilyn (aparently new to the art of cooking) had the leaves of lettuce in a small tub of soapy water and was scrubbing them clean.
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).
Portrayed by 'Misty Rowe (I)' in Goodbye, Norma Jean (1976).
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 Rossevelt while she was breaking into the acting business.
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 next door to Jean Harlow's last home.
Tried 9 different shades of blond hair color before settling on platinum.
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 July 17 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.
Her salary was: for Something's Got to Give (1962) $100,000; for The Misfits (1961) $250,000; for Some Like It Hot (1959) $200,000 + 10% gross over $4 million; for The Seven Year Itch (1955) $1,500/wk; for There's No Business Like Show Business (1954) $1,000/wk Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) $1,250/wk; for We're Not Married! (1952) $750/wk; for All About Eve (1950) $500/wk, 1-wk guarantee; for The Asphalt Jungle (1950) $1,050; for Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! (1948) $75/week.
I'm very definitely a woman and I enjoy it.
I don't know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot.
I don't mind living in a man's world as long as I can be a woman in it.
I don't want to make money. I just want to be wonderful.
I'm trying to find myself as a person, sometimes that's not easy to do. Millions of people live their entire lives without finding themselves. But it is something I must do. The best way for me to find myself as a person is to prove to myself that I am an actress.
I am trying to prove to myself that I am a person. Then may be I'll convince myself that I'm an actress.
People respect you because they feel you've survived hard times and endured, and although you've become famous, you haven't become phony.
Creativity has got to start with humanity and when you're a human being, you feel, you suffer.
I love to do the things the censors won't pass.
What good is it being Marilyn Monroe? Why can't I just be an ordinary woman? A woman who can have a family ... I'd settle for just one baby. My own baby.
I have too many fantasies to be a housewife.... I guess I am a fantasy.
A career is wonderful thing, but you can't snuggle up to it on a cold night.
It's better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone.
It's better for the whole world to know you, even as a sex star, than never to be known at all.
My work is the only ground I've ever had to stand on. I seem to have a whole superstructure with no foundation -- but I'm working on the foundation.
Acting isn't something you do. Instead of doing it, it occurs. If you're going to start with logic, you might as well give up. You can have conscious preparation, but you have unconscious results.
A career is born in public -- talent in privacy.
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!
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'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.
Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.
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.
An actress is not a machine, but they treat you like a machine. A money machine.
It's not true I had nothing on, I had the radio on.
The body is meant to be seen, not all covered up.
Sex is part of nature. I go along with nature.
Being a sex symbol is a heavy load to carry, especially when one is tired, hurt and bewildered.
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?
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.
To a reporter: Please don't make me a joke.
That's the trouble, a sex symbol becomes 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.
Everyone's just laughing at me. I hate it. Big breasts, big ass, big deal, Can't I be anything else ? Gee, how long can you be sexy?
Before marriage, a girl has to make love to a man to hold him. After marriage, she has to hold him to make love to him.
Husbands are chiefly good as lovers when they are betraying their wives.
It's woman's spirit and mood a man has to stimulate in order to make sex interesting. The real lover is the man who can thrill you by touching your head or smiling into your eyes or just staring into space.
Men who think that a woman's past love affairs lessen her love for them are usually stupid and weak. A woman can bring a new love to each man she loves, providing there are not too many.
Of the nude pictures: Sure I posed. I needed the money.
I've been on a calendar, but never on time.
I am invariably late for appointments ... sometimes, as much as two hours. I've tried to change my ways but the things that make me late are too strong, and too pleasing.
I've often stood silent at a party for hours listening to my movie idols turn into dull and little people.
I restore myself when I'm alone.
1956 interview about her childhood: Looking back, I guess I used to play-act all the time. For one thing, it meant I could live in a more interesting world than the one around me.
- Something's Got to Give (1962) played as: Ellen Wagstaff Arden
- The Misfits (1961) played as: Roslyn Taber
- Let's Make Love (1960) played as: Amanda Dell
- Some Like It Hot (1959) played as: Sugar Kane Kowalczyk
- The Prince and the Showgirl (1957) played as: Elsie Marina
- Bus Stop (1956) played as: Cherie
- The Seven Year Itch (1955) played as: The Girl
- There's No Business Like Show Business (1954) played as: Vicky Hoffman/Vicky Parker
- River of No Return (1954) played as: Kay Weston
- How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) played as: Pola Debevoise
- Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) played as: Lorelei Lee
- Niagara (1953) played as: Rose Loomis
- O. Henry's Full House (1952) played as: Streetwalker (The Cop and the Anthem)
- Monkey Business (1952) played as: Miss Lois Laurel
- Don't Bother to Knock (1952) played as: Nell Forbes
- We're Not Married! (1952) played as: Annabel Jones Norris
- Clash by Night (1952) played as: Peggy
- Let's Make It Legal (1951) played as: Joyce Mannering
- Love Nest (1951) played as: Roberta 'Bobbie' Stevens
- As Young as You Feel (1951) played as: Harriet
- Home Town Story (1951) played as: Iris Martin
- Right Cross (1950) (uncredited) played as: Dusky Ledoux
- All About Eve (1950) played as: Miss Casswell
- The Fireball (1950) played as: Polly
- The Asphalt Jungle (1950) played as: Angela Phinlay
- A Ticket to Tomahawk (1950) (uncredited) played as: Clara
- Love Happy (1949) played as: Grunion's Client
- Ladies of the Chorus (1948) played as: Peggy Martin
- Green Grass of Wyoming (1948) (uncredited) played as: Extra at Square Dance
- Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! (1948) (uncredited) played as: Girl in Canoe (lake scenes)/Girl Exiting Church
- You Were Meant for Me (1948) (unconfirmed)
- Dangerous Years (1947) played as: Evie - Waitress at the Gopher Hole
- The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947) (uncredited) played as: Telephone Operator
- The Prince and the Showgirl (1957) (executive producer) (uncredited)
- Union Oil Royal Triton (1950).
Magazine cover photo
- BAFTA Films Awards: Nominated in 1956 as Best Foreign Actress for "The Seven Year Itch (1955)"
- BAFTA Films Awards: Nominated in 1958 as Best Foreign Actress for "The Prince and the Showgirl (1957)"
- David di Donatello Awards: Won in 1958 the Golden Plate for acting in "The Prince and the Showgirl (1957)"
- Golden Globes: Won in 1954 the Henrietta Award for World Film Favorite - Female
- Golden Globes: Nominated in 1957 as Best Motion Picture Actress - Comedy/Musical for "Bus Stop (1956)"
- Golden Globes: Won in 1960 the Best Motion Picture Actress - Musical/Comedy award for "Some Like It Hot (1959)"
- Golden Globes: Won in 1962 the Henrietta Award for World Film Favorite - Female
- Golden Laurel Awards: Nominated in 1958 as Top Female Star and took the 14th place.
- Golden Laurel Awards: Nominated in 1958 as Top Female Comedy Performance for "The Prince and the Showgirl (1957)" and took the 4th place.
- Golden Laurel Awards: Nominated in 1959 as Top Female Star and took the 6th place.
- Golden Laurel Awards: Nominated in 1960 as Top Female Star and took the 6th place.
- Golden Laurel Awards: Won the 2nd place in 1960 as Top Female Comedy Performance for "Some Like It Hot (1959)"
- Golden Laurel Awards: Nominated in 1961 as Top Female Star and took the 10th place.
- Golden Laurel Awards: Nominated in 1962 as Top Female Star and took the 10th place.
- Photoplay Awards: In 1952 won a Special Award
- Photoplay Awards: In 1953 won a Most Popular Female Star award
- Star on the Walk of Fame at 6778 Hollywood Blvd.
Platinum blonde hair, voluptuous figure