Marilyn Monroe Hollywood Sex Goddess
The Most Famous Woman in the World
The teenage Norma Jeane
Marilyn in 1946
Marilyn was born as Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles General Hospital. Her mother, Gladys, listed the father's address as unknown. Marilyn would never know the true identity of her father.
Due to her mother's mental instability and unmarried state at the time, Norma Jeane spent most of her childhood in foster homes and orphanages until 1937, when she moved in with family friend Grace McKee Goddard. Unfortunately, when Grace's husband was transferred to the East Coast in 1942, the couple couldn't afford to take 16-year-old Norma Jeane with them.
Norma Jeane had already met Jim Dougherty, 5 years her senior. Grace encouraged the relationship and set in motion plans for Norma Jeane to marry Dougherty which she did on June 19, 1942, just two weeks after she turned 16, basically so that Norma Jeane would not have to return to an orphanage or foster care.
It was not the ideal recipe for a long term relationship, and so it proved. Jim was soon sent overseas with the Merchant Marines and Norma Jeane started working in a parachute factory. She was soon discovered by photographer David Conover while taking pictures of women contributing to the war effort for Yank magazine. He couldn't believe his luck. She was a "photographer's dream." By spring of 1945, she had appeared on 33 covers of national magazines. In 1946, she came to the attention of talent scout Ben Lyon. He arranged a screen test for her with 20th Century Fox and she was offered a standard six-month contract. She divorced Jimmy in June of that year.
Soon after, Norma Jeane dyed her hair blonde and changed her name to Marilyn Monroe (borrowing her grandmother's last name). A star was very definitely born.
After several minor roles in low budget movies Marilyn's first serious acting job came in 1950 when she had a small but crucial role in "The Asphalt Jungle" and received favorable reviews. Later that year, Marilyn's performance as Claudia Caswell in All About Eve (starring Bette Davis) earned her further praise. From then on Marilyn worked steadily in movies such as: Let's Make It Legal, As Young As You Feel, Monkey Business and Don't Bother to Knock. It was her performance in 1953's Niagara, however, that delivered her to stardom.
Around this time, nude photos of Monroe began to surface, taken by photographer Tom Kelley when she had been struggling for work. Prints were bought by Hugh Hefner and, in December 1953, appeared in the first edition of Playboy. To the dismay of Fox, Monroe decided to publicly admit it was indeed her in the pictures. When a journalist asked her what she wore in bed she replied, "Chanel no.5". When asked what she had on during the photo shoot, she replied, "The radio". None of the publicity surrounding the Playboy photos did her blossoming career any harm.
Read about Marilyn in Your One-Stop Classic Hollywood Site
Great Marilyn Monroe Resource
- Marilyn Monroe on Hollywood's Golden Age
All about Marilyn Monroe, the voluptuous 50's sex goddess who had affairs with the Kennedy brothers and who became the most famous woman of the mid twentieth century.
How to marry a Millionaire
Superstardom and a Famous Husband
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). The lavish Technicolor comedy films established Monroe's "dumb blonde" on-screen persona. Photoplay magazine voted Marilyn the Best New Actress of 1953, and at 27 years old she was undeniably the best-loved and best known actress in Hollywood.
Marilyn sings I Want to be Loved By You
Top Ten Marilyn Quotes
Dogs never bite me. Just humans.
Dreaming about being an actress, is more exciting then being one.
Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.
Husbands are chiefly good as lovers when they are betraying their wives.
I am not interested in money. I just want to be wonderful.
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.
A career is wonderful, but you can't curl up with it on a cold night.
I've been on a calendar, but I've never been on time.
No one ever told me I was pretty when I was a little girl. All little girls should be told they're pretty, even if they aren't.
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. By February the romance was in full bloom and in January 1954 Joe and Marilyn were married. The wedding captured the headlines worldwide but the marriage was in trouble from the beginning, haunted as it was by Marilyn's fame and sexual image and Joe's jealousy. Nine months later on October 27, 1954, Marilyn and Joe divorced. They attributed the split to a "conflict of careers," and remained close friends.
In 1956, Marilyn started her own motion picture company, Marilyn Monroe Productions. The company produced Bus Stop and The Prince and the Showgirl (co-starring Sir Laurence Olivier). These two films allowed her to demonstrate her talent and versatility as an actress. She received further recognition in 1959 when she scored the biggest hit of her career starring alongside Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in Billy Wilder's comedy Some Like It Hot. After shooting finished, Wilder publicly blasted Monroe for her difficult on-set behavior. Soon, however, Wilder's attitude softened, and he hailed her as a great comedienne. Some Like It Hot is consistently rated as one of the best films ever made. Monroe's performance earned her a Golden Globe for best actress in musical or comedy.
Happy Birthday Mr President
On June 29, 1956, Marilyn wed playwright Arthur Miller. The couple met through Lee Strasberg, and friends reported she made him "giddy."
Nominally raised as a Christian, she converted to Judaism before marrying Miller. After she finished shooting The Prince and the Showgirl with Laurence Olivier, the couple returned to the United States from England and discovered she was pregnant. However, she suffered from endometriosis and the pregnancy was found to be ectopic. A subsequent pregnancy ended in miscarriage.
While they were married, Arthur wrote the part of Roslyn Taber in 1961's The Misfits especially for Marilyn. She frequently clashed with director John Huston and co-stars Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift, often failed to appear on-set, and was hospitalized several times for depression.
The Misfits was to be Marilyn and Gable's last completed film By the time filming started in 1960 her marriage to Miller was beyond repair. A Mexican divorce was granted on January 24, 1961. On February 17, 1962, Miller married Inge Morath, one of the Magnum photographers recording the making of The Misfits.
In light of her erratic behavior on the set of the follow-up, the ironically titled Something's Got to Give, she was fired 32 days into production and slapped with a lawsuit.
In May 1962, she made her last significant public appearance, and one of her most famous, singing Happy Birthday, Mr. President at a televised birthday party for President John F. Kennedy.
Just three months later, on August 5, 1962, she was found dead by her housekeeper. She was discovered lying nude on her bed, face down, with a telephone in one hand. Empty bottles of pills, prescribed to treat her depression, were littered around the room.
One of Marilyn's favourite songs "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" was played at her funeral. She was laid to rest in a lime green Pucci dress in a bronze casket.
The official cause was an overdose of barbiturates, although the truth will likely never be revealed and there is strong suspicion of suicide. Her alleged affairs with President John F. Kennedy and his brother, Robert, have been the focus of much speculation regarding the events leading to her demise, but many decades later fact and fantasy are virtually impossible to separate. In death, as in life, the legend of Marilyn Monroe continues to grow.
Check out these other great Hollywood sites!
Marilyn's last photo, 1962.
- HubPages New User Signup
Sign up -- Absolutely free and takes just seconds --Then Create a Hub (your own Web article) quickly and easily--Then Make money when visitors to your Hubs click on ads.
More by this Author
Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh were the Golden Couple of Hollywood in the 1940's, feted wherever they went. But their love was destined to turn sour and their golden life had to end.
Clark Gable was what is now referred to as a toyboy. He used his attractiveness to women as a means of furthering his career. All his life he was a a womaniser, a serial seducer and philanderer.
On the surface Spencer Tracy's marriage appeared idyllic. He met Louise Treadwell, also an actress, at the start of his career and they had two children, one of whom was born deaf. Spencer Tracy had a dark side. He was...