|Height:||166 cm (5' 6'')|
|Birth Day:||June 1, 1926|
|Death Date:||Aug 5, 1962 (age 36)|
|Birth Place:||Los Angeles, United States|
|Height:||166 cm (5' 6'')|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Marilyn Monroe died on Aug 5, 1962 (age 36).
She modeled for Blue Book before changing her name from Norma Jeane Mortenson to Marilyn Monroe.
Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson at the Los Angeles County Hospital in Los Angeles, California, on June 1, 1926. Her mother, Gladys Pearl Baker (née Monroe, 1902–1984), was from a poor Midwestern family who had migrated to California at the turn of the century. At the age of 15, Gladys married John Newton Baker, an abusive man nine years her senior, and had two children by him named Robert (1917–1933) and Berniece (b. 1919). She successfully filed for divorce and sole custody in 1923, but Baker kidnapped the children soon after and moved with them to his native Kentucky. Monroe was not told that she had a sister until she was 12, and met her sister for the first time as an adult. Following the divorce, Gladys worked as a film negative cutter at Consolidated Film Industries. In 1924, Gladys married Martin Edward Mortensen, but they separated only some months later and divorced in 1928. The identity of Monroe's father is unknown, and she most often used Baker as her surname.
Although Gladys was mentally and financially unprepared for a child, Monroe's early childhood was stable and happy. Gladys placed her daughter with evangelical Christian foster parents Albert and Ida Bolender in the rural town of Hawthorne; she also lived there for the first six months, until she was forced to move back to the city due to work. She then began visiting her daughter on weekends. In the summer of 1933, Gladys bought a small house in Hollywood with a loan from the Home Owners' Loan Corporation and moved seven-year-old Monroe in with her. They shared the house with lodgers, actors George and Maude Atkinson and their daughter, Nellie. In January 1934, Gladys had a mental breakdown and was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. After several months in a rest home, she was committed to the Metropolitan State Hospital. She spent the rest of her life in and out of hospitals and was rarely in contact with Monroe. Monroe became a ward of the state, and her mother's friend, Grace Goddard, took responsibility over her and her mother's affairs.
In the next four years, Monroe's living situation changed often. For the first 16 months, she continued living with the Atkinsons, and was sexually abused during this time. Always a shy girl, she now also developed a stutter and became withdrawn. In the summer of 1935, she briefly stayed with Grace and her husband Erwin "Doc" Goddard and two other families, and in September, Grace placed her in the Los Angeles Orphans Home. The orphanage was "a model institution" and was described in positive terms by her peers, but Monroe felt abandoned. Encouraged by the orphanage staff who thought that Monroe would be happier living in a family, Grace became her legal guardian in 1936, but did not take her out of the orphanage until the summer of 1937. Monroe's second stay with the Goddards lasted only a few months because Doc molested her; she then lived brief periods with her relatives and Grace's friends and relatives in Los Angeles and Compton.
Monroe found a more permanent home in September 1938, when she began living with Grace's aunt, Ana Lower, in Sawtelle. She was enrolled in Emerson Junior High School and went to weekly Christian Science services with Lower. Monroe was otherwise a mediocre student, but excelled in writing and contributed to the school newspaper. Due to the elderly Lower's health problems, Monroe returned to live with the Goddards in Van Nuys in around early 1941. The same year, she began attending Van Nuys High School. In 1942, the company that employed Doc Goddard relocated him to West Virginia. California child protection laws prevented the Goddards from taking Monroe out of state, and she faced having to return to the orphanage. As a solution, she married their neighbors' 21-year-old son, factory worker James Dougherty, on June 19, 1942, just after her 16th birthday. Monroe subsequently dropped out of high school and became a housewife. She found herself and Dougherty mismatched and later stated that she was "dying of boredom" during the marriage. In 1943, Dougherty enlisted in the Merchant Marine and was stationed on Santa Catalina Island, where Monroe moved with him.
In April 1944, Dougherty was shipped out to the Pacific, and he would remain there for most of the next two years. Monroe moved in with Dougherty's parents and began a job at the Radioplane Company, a munitions factory in Van Nuys. In late 1944, she met photographer David Conover, who had been sent by the U.S. Army Air Forces' First Motion Picture Unit to the factory to shoot morale-boosting pictures of female workers. Although none of her pictures were used, she quit working at the factory in January 1945 and began modeling for Conover and his friends. Defying her deployed husband, she moved on her own and signed a contract with the Blue Book Model Agency in August 1945.
Through Snively, Monroe signed a contract with an acting agency in June 1946. After an unsuccessful interview at Paramount Pictures, she was given a screen-test by Ben Lyon, a 20th Century-Fox executive. Head executive Darryl F. Zanuck was unenthusiastic about it, but he gave her a standard six-month contract to avoid her being signed by rival studio RKO Pictures. Monroe's contract began in August 1946, and she and Lyon selected the stage name "Marilyn Monroe". The first name was picked by Lyon, who was reminded of Broadway star Marilyn Miller; the last was Monroe's mother's maiden name. In September 1946, she divorced Dougherty, who was against her having a career.
Monroe had no film roles during the first six months and instead dedicated her days to acting, singing and dancing classes. Eager to learn more about the film industry, she also spent time at the studio lot to observe others working and to promote herself. Her contract was renewed in February 1947, and she was given her first film roles, bit parts in Dangerous Years (1947) and Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! (1948). The studio also enrolled her in the Actors' Laboratory Theatre, an acting school teaching the techniques of the Group Theatre; she later stated that it was "my first taste of what real acting in a real drama could be, and I was hooked". Despite her enthusiasm, her teachers thought her too shy and insecure to have a future in acting, and Fox did not renew Monroe's contract in August 1947. She returned to modeling while also doing occasional odd jobs at film studios, such as working as a dancing "pacer" behind the scenes at musical sets.
Monroe was determined to make it as an actress, and continued studying at the Actors' Lab. In October 1947, she appeared as a blonde vamp in the play Glamour Preferred at the Bliss-Hayden Theater, but it ended after only a few performances. To promote herself, she frequented producers' offices, befriended gossip columnist Sidney Skolsky, and entertained influential male guests at studio functions, a practice she had begun at Fox. She also became a friend and occasional sex partner of Fox executive Joseph M. Schenck, who persuaded his friend Harry Cohn, the head executive of Columbia Pictures, to sign her in March 1948.
While at Fox, Monroe was given "girl next door" roles; at Columbia, she was modeled after Rita Hayworth. Her hairline was raised and her hair was bleached platinum blonde. She also began working with the studio's head drama coach, Natasha Lytess, who would remain her mentor until 1955. Her only film at the studio was the low-budget musical Ladies of the Chorus (1948), in which she had her first starring role as a chorus girl who is courted by a wealthy man. She also screen-tested for the lead role in Born Yesterday (1950), but her contract was not renewed in September 1948. Ladies of the Chorus was released the following month but was not a success.
Monroe then became the protégée of Johnny Hyde, the vice president of the William Morris Agency. Their relationship soon became sexual and he proposed marriage, but Monroe refused. He paid for Monroe to have plastic surgery on her jaw and possibly a rhinoplasty, and arranged a bit part in the Marx Brothers film Love Happy (1950), the New York promotional tour of which she also joined in 1949. Meanwhile, Monroe continued modeling. She appeared in advertisements for Pabst beer and posed in artistic nudes for John Baumgarth calendars (using the name 'Mona Monroe'); both sessions were shot by Tom Kelley. Monroe had previously posed semi-nude or clad in a bikini for other artists such as Earl Moran, and felt comfortable with nudity. Baumgarth was initially not happy with the photos, but published one of them in 1950; Monroe was not publicly identified as the model until 1952. Although she then contained the resulting scandal by claiming she had reluctantly posed nude due to an urgent need for cash, biographers Spoto and Banner have stated that she was not pressured (although according to Banner, she was initially hesitant due to her aspirations of movie stardom) and regarded the shoot as simply another work assignment.
Monroe's screen persona focused on her blonde hair and the stereotypes that were associated with it, especially dumbness, naïveté, sexual availability and artificiality. She often used a breathy, childish voice in her films, and in interviews gave the impression that everything she said was "utterly innocent and uncalculated", parodying herself with double entendres that came to be known as "Monroeisms". For example, when she was asked what she had on in the 1949 nude photo shoot, she replied, "I had the radio on".
In 1950, Monroe had bit parts in Love Happy, A Ticket to Tomahawk, Right Cross and The Fireball, but also appeared in minor supporting roles in two critically acclaimed films: Joseph Mankiewicz's drama All About Eve and John Huston's crime film The Asphalt Jungle. Despite her screen time being only a few minutes in the latter, she gained a mention in Photoplay and according to biographer Donald Spoto "moved effectively from movie model to serious actress". In December 1950, Hyde was able to negotiate a seven-year contract for Monroe with 20th Century-Fox. He died of a heart attack only days later, which left her devastated.
Dyer has also argued that Monroe's blonde hair became her defining feature because it made her "racially unambiguous" and exclusively white just as the civil rights movement was beginning, and that she should be seen as emblematic of racism in twentieth-century popular culture. Banner agreed that it may not be a coincidence that Monroe launched a trend of platinum blonde actresses during the civil rights movement, but has also criticized Dyer, pointing out that in her highly publicized private life, Monroe associated with people who were seen as "white ethnics", such as Joe DiMaggio (Italian-American) and Arthur Miller (Jewish). According to Banner, she sometimes challenged prevailing racial norms in her publicity photographs; for example, in an image featured in Look in 1951, she was shown in revealing clothes while practicing with African-American singing coach Phil Moore.
The Fox contract brought Monroe more publicity, and she had supporting roles in four low-budget films in 1951: in the MGM drama Home Town Story, and in three moderately successful comedies for Fox, As Young as You Feel, Love Nest, and Let's Make It Legal. According to Spoto all four films featured her "essentially [as] a sexy ornament", but she received some praise from critics: Bosley Crowther of The New York Times described her as "superb" in As Young As You Feel and Ezra Goodman of the Los Angeles Daily News called her "one of the brightest up-and-coming [actresses]" for Love Nest. Her popularity with audiences was also growing: she received several thousand fan letters a week, and was declared "Miss Cheesecake of 1951" by the army newspaper Stars and Stripes, reflecting the preferences of soldiers in the Korean War. In February 1952, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association named Monroe the "best young box office personality". In her private life, Monroe had a short relationship with director Elia Kazan and also briefly dated several other men, including director Nicholas Ray and actors Yul Brynner and Peter Lawford. In early 1952, she began a highly publicized romance with retired New York Yankees baseball star Joe DiMaggio, one of the most famous sports personalities of the era.
Monroe found herself at the center of a scandal in March 1952, when she revealed that she had posed for nude pictures in 1949, which were now featured in a calendar. The studio had learned about the photos and that she was publicly rumored to be the model some weeks prior, and together with Monroe decided that to avoid damaging her career it was best to admit to them while stressing that she had been broke at the time. The strategy gained her public sympathy and increased interest in her films, for which she was now receiving top-billing. In the wake of the scandal, Monroe was featured on the cover of Life as the "Talk of Hollywood" and gossip columnist Hedda Hopper declared her the "cheesecake queen" turned "box office smash". Fox released three of Monroe's films —Clash by Night, Don't Bother to Knock and We're Not Married!— soon after to capitalize on the public interest.
Monroe's three other films in 1952 continued with her typecasting in comic roles that focused on her sex appeal. In We're Not Married!, her role as a beauty pageant contestant was created solely to "present Marilyn in two bathing suits", according to its writer Nunnally Johnson. In Howard Hawks' Monkey Business, in which she acted opposite Cary Grant, she played a secretary who is a "dumb, childish blonde, innocently unaware of the havoc her sexiness causes around her". In O. Henry's Full House, she had a minor role as a sex worker. Monroe added to her reputation as a new sex symbol with publicity stunts that year: she wore a revealing dress when acting as Grand Marshal at the Miss America Pageant parade, and told gossip columnist Earl Wilson that she usually wore no underwear. By the end of the year, gossip columnist Florabel Muir named Monroe the "it girl" of 1952.
Monroe starred in three movies that were released in 1953 and emerged as a major sex symbol and one of Hollywood's most bankable performers. The first was the Technicolor film noir Niagara, in which she played a femme fatale scheming to murder her husband, played by Joseph Cotten. By then, Monroe and her make-up artist Allan "Whitey" Snyder had developed her "trademark" make-up look: dark arched brows, pale skin, "glistening" red lips and a beauty mark. According to Sarah Churchwell, Niagara was one of the most overtly sexual films of Monroe's career. In some scenes, Monroe's body was covered only by a sheet or a towel, considered shocking by contemporary audiences. Niagara's most famous scene is a 30-second long shot behind Monroe where she is seen walking with her hips swaying, which was used heavily in the film's marketing.
When Niagara was released in January 1953, women's clubs protested it as immoral, but it proved popular with audiences. While Variety deemed it "clichéd" and "morbid", The New York Times commented that "the falls and Miss Monroe are something to see", as although Monroe may not be "the perfect actress at this point ... she can be seductive—even when she walks". Monroe continued to attract attention by wearing revealing outfits, most famously at the Photoplay awards in January 1953, where she won the "Fastest Rising Star" award. She wore a skin-tight gold lamé dress, which prompted veteran star Joan Crawford to publicly call her behavior "unbecoming an actress and a lady".
Monroe was listed in the annual Top Ten Money Making Stars Poll in both 1953 and 1954, and according to Fox historian Aubrey Solomon became the studio's "greatest asset" alongside CinemaScope. Monroe's position as a leading sex symbol was confirmed in December 1953, when Hugh Hefner featured her on the cover and as centerfold in the first issue of Playboy; Monroe did not consent to the publication. The cover image was a photograph taken of her at the Miss America Pageant parade in 1952, and the centerfold featured one of her 1949 nude photographs.
In August, Monroe also began filming MMP's first independent production, The Prince and the Showgirl, at Pinewood Studios in England. Based on a 1953 stage play by Terence Rattigan, it was to be directed and co-produced by, and to co-star, Laurence Olivier. The production was complicated by conflicts between him and Monroe. Olivier, who had also directed and starred in the stage play, angered her with the patronizing statement "All you have to do is be sexy", and with his demand she replicate Vivien Leigh's stage interpretation of the character. He also disliked the constant presence of Paula Strasberg, Monroe's acting coach, on set. In retaliation, Monroe became uncooperative and began to deliberately arrive late, stating later that "if you don't respect your artists, they can't work well."
Monroe had become one of 20th Century-Fox's biggest stars, but her contract had not changed since 1950, meaning that she was paid far less than other stars of her stature and could not choose her projects. Her attempts to appear in films that would not focus on her as a pin-up had been thwarted by the studio head executive, Darryll F. Zanuck, who had a strong personal dislike of her and did not think she would earn the studio as much revenue in other types of roles. Under pressure from the studio's owner, Spyros Skouras, Zanuck had also decided that Fox should focus exclusively on entertainment to maximize profits and canceled the production of any 'serious films'. In January 1954, he suspended Monroe when she refused to begin shooting yet another musical comedy, The Girl in Pink Tights.
In April 1954, Otto Preminger's western River of No Return, the last film that Monroe had filmed prior to the suspension, was released. She called it a "Z-grade cowboy movie in which the acting finished second to the scenery and the CinemaScope process", but it was popular with audiences. The first film she made after the suspension was the musical There's No Business Like Show Business, which she strongly disliked but the studio required her to do for dropping The Girl in Pink Tights. It was unsuccessful upon its release in late 1954, with Monroe's performance considered vulgar by many critics.
In September 1954, Monroe began filming Billy Wilder's comedy The Seven Year Itch, starring opposite Tom Ewell as a woman who becomes the object of her married neighbor's sexual fantasies. Although the film was shot in Hollywood, the studio decided to generate advance publicity by staging the filming of a scene in which Monroe is standing on a subway grate with the air blowing up the skirt of her white dress on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. The shoot lasted for several hours and attracted nearly 2,000 spectators. The "subway grate scene" became one of Monroe's most famous and The Seven Year Itch became one of the biggest commercial successes of the year after its release in June 1955.
The publicity stunt placed Monroe on international front pages, and it also marked the end of her marriage to DiMaggio, who was infuriated by it. The union had been troubled from the start by his jealousy and controlling attitude; he was also physically abusive. After returning from NYC to Hollywood in October 1954, Monroe filed for divorce, after only nine months of marriage.
After filming for The Seven Year Itch wrapped up in November 1954, Monroe left Hollywood for the East Coast, where she and photographer Milton Greene founded their own production company, Marilyn Monroe Productions (MMP)—an action that has later been called "instrumental" in the collapse of the studio system. Monroe stated that she was "tired of the same old sex roles" and asserted that she was no longer under contract to Fox, as it had not fulfilled its duties, such as paying her the promised bonus. This began a year-long legal battle between her and Fox in January 1955. The press largely ridiculed Monroe and she was parodied in the Broadway play Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1955), in which her lookalike Jayne Mansfield played a dumb actress who starts her own production company.
Monroe began 1956 by announcing her win over 20th Century-Fox. The press now wrote favorably about her decision to fight the studio; Time called her a "shrewd businesswoman" and Look predicted that the win would be "an example of the individual against the herd for years to come". In contrast, Monroe's relationship with Miller prompted some negative comments, such as Walter Winchell's statement that "America's best-known blonde moving picture star is now the darling of the left-wing intelligentsia."
Bus Stop was released in August 1956 and became critical and commercial success. The Saturday Review of Literature wrote that Monroe's performance "effectively dispels once and for all the notion that she is merely a glamour personality" and Crowther proclaimed: "Hold on to your chairs, everybody, and get set for a rattling surprise. Marilyn Monroe has finally proved herself an actress." She also received a Golden Globe for Best Actress nomination for her performance.
Monroe also experienced other problems during the production. Her dependence on pharmaceuticals escalated and, according to Spoto, she had a miscarriage. She and Greene also argued over how MMP should be run. Despite the difficulties, filming was completed on schedule by the end of 1956. The Prince and the Showgirl was released to mixed reviews in June 1957 and proved unpopular with American audiences. It was better received in Europe, where she was awarded the Italian David di Donatello and the French Crystal Star awards and was nominated for a BAFTA.
Monroe returned to Hollywood in July 1958 to act opposite Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in Billy Wilder's comedy on gender roles, Some Like It Hot. She considered the role of Sugar Kane another "dumb blonde", but accepted it due to Miller's encouragement and the offer of ten percent of the film's profits on top of her standard pay. The film's difficult production has since become "legendary". Monroe demanded dozens of re-takes, and did not remember her lines or act as directed—Curtis famously stated that kissing her was "like kissing Hitler" due to the number of re-takes. Monroe herself privately likened the production to a sinking ship and commented on her co-stars and director saying "[but] why should I worry, I have no phallic symbol to lose." Many of the problems stemmed from her and Wilder—who also had a reputation for being difficult—disagreeing on how she should play the role. She angered him by asking to alter many of her scenes, which in turn made her stage fright worse, and it is suggested that she deliberately ruined several scenes to act them her way.
In the end, Wilder was happy with Monroe's performance and stated: "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!" Some Like It Hot became a critical and commercial success when it was released in March 1959. Monroe's performance earned her a Golden Globe for Best Actress, and prompted Variety to call her "a comedienne with that combination of sex appeal and timing that just can't be beat". It has been voted one of the best films ever made in polls by the BBC, the American Film Institute, and Sight & Sound.
After Some Like It Hot, Monroe took another hiatus until late 1959, when she starred in the musical comedy Let's Make Love. She chose George Cukor to direct and Miller re-wrote some of the script, which she considered weak; she accepted the part solely because she was behind on her contract with Fox. The film's production was delayed by her frequent absences from the set. During the shoot, Monroe had an extramarital affair with her co-star Yves Montand, which was widely reported by the press and used in the film's publicity campaign. Let's Make Love was unsuccessful upon its release in September 1960; Crowther described Monroe as appearing "rather untidy" and "lacking ... the old Monroe dynamism", and Hedda Hopper called the film "the most vulgar picture [Monroe's] ever done". Truman Capote lobbied for Monroe to play Holly Golightly in a film adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany's, but the role went to Audrey Hepburn as its producers feared that she would complicate the production.
Monroe and Miller separated after filming wrapped, and she obtained a Mexican divorce in January 1961. The Misfits was released the following month, failing at the box office. Its reviews were mixed, with Variety complaining of frequently "choppy" character development, and Bosley Crowther calling Monroe "completely blank and unfathomable" and stating that "unfortunately for the film's structure, everything turns upon her". It has received more favorable reviews in the twenty-first century. Geoff Andrew of the British Film Institute has called it a classic, Huston scholar Tony Tracy has described Monroe's performance the "most mature interpretation of her career", and Geoffrey McNab of The Independent has praised her for being "extraordinary" in portraying the character's "power of empathy".
Monroe was next to star in a television adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham's Rain for NBC, but the project fell through as the network did not want to hire her choice of director, Lee Strasberg. Instead of working, she spent the first six months of 1961 preoccupied by health problems. She underwent a cholecystectomy and surgery for her endometriosis, and spent four weeks hospitalized for depression. She was helped by ex-husband Joe DiMaggio, with whom she rekindled a friendship, and dated his friend, Frank Sinatra, for several months. Monroe also moved permanently back to California in 1961, purchasing a house at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive in Brentwood, Los Angeles in early 1962.
In the following decades, several conspiracy theories, including murder and accidental overdose, have been introduced to contradict suicide as the cause of Monroe's death. The speculation that Monroe had been murdered first gained mainstream attention with the publication of Norman Mailer's Marilyn: A Biography in 1973, and in the following years became widespread enough for the Los Angeles County District Attorney John Van de Kamp to conduct a "threshold investigation" in 1982 to see whether a criminal investigation should be opened. No evidence of foul play was found.
Marilyn married Joe DiMaggio in 1954; the marriage ended in divorce nine months later. Marilyn's first marriage was to James Dougherty from 1942 to 1946. Marilyn's third and final marriage to Arthur Miller spanned from 1956 to 1961.
|#1||Robert Kermitt Baker||Brother||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#2||James Dougherty||Former spouse||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#3||Arthur Miller||Former spouse||$10 Million||N/A||89||Playwright|
|#4||Della Mae Hogan||Grandmother||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#5||Otis Elmer Monroe||Grandparent||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#6||Gladys Pearl Baker||Mother||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#7||Mona Rae Miracle||Niece||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#8||Berniece Baker Miracle||Sister||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Currently, Marilyn Monroe is 96 years, 9 months and 19 days old. Marilyn Monroe will celebrate 97th birthday on a Thursday 1st of June 2023. Below we countdown to Marilyn Monroe upcoming birthday.
Marking Marilyn Monroe at 90
Marilyn Monroe would have been 90 years-old this week and her birthday is being celebrated with a photography exhibition in London.