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7 Interesting Facts About Marilyn Monroe
#7 Marilyn spent most of her childhood with foster families and in an orphanage
Marilyn Monroe was born as Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1st, 1926 in Los Angeles, California. She was the third child of Gladys Pearl Baker. Norma Jeane had a very happy and stable childhood at first. While her mother was mentally and financially unprepared to take care of her, she was able to place her with foster parents Albert and Ida Bolender. Gladys would still visit Norma Jeane on weekends to take her to the movies and go sight-seeing around Los Angeles.
By the summer of 1933, Gladys finally felt like she was financially ready to have Norma Jeane come live with her. So she bought a house in Hollywood. In 1934, Gladys suffered a mental breakdown and was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. After she was diagnosed, she was committed to a Metropolitan State Hospital. For the rest of her life she was in and out of hospital and barely had contact with her daughter.
For the next four years after her mother was taken to the hospital, Norma Jeane lived with several foster families and would often switch schools. She began staying with the Atkinsons for about sixteen months. After that she stayed with her mother's best friend Grace Goddard and her husband for a short time and two more foster families.
Grace then put in the Los Angeles Orphans Home in 1935. Norma Jeane didn't like the orphanage so Grace ended up becoming her legal guardian by 1936. Her stay with the Goddards only lasted a few months then she went to live with Grace's aunt in 1938. However, when Grace's aunt started having severe health problems, Norma Jeane had to move back in with the Goddards.
#6. She got married when she was only sixteen years old.
By 1942, the company that Grace's husband Doc worked for decided to relocate him to West Virginia. Because of California's state laws, The Goddards couldn't take Monroe out of the state. So she would have face the possibility of going back to the orphanage. To solve this problem, she married James Dougherty. He was their neighbor's son. She was only sixteen at the time and he was twenty-one.
After the wedding, she dropped out of high school and became a housewife. James joined the marines and was stationed in Catalina Island until he was shipped off to the Pacific in 1944. James was stationed there for two years. In that amount of time, Norma Jeane moved in with his parents and got a job at a Radio Planes Munitions Factory in Van Nuys.
#5. Norma Jeane started her modeling career after being discovered at the Radio Planes Munitions Factory.
In 1944, while working at the Radio Planes Munitions Factory, she met a photographer named David Canover. He was at the factory to take pictures of the women workers for a magazine. After he took the pictures of her, she quit working at the factory and started modeling for Canover.
She then moved out of her in-laws home and signed with Blue Book Modeling Agency in 1945. By 1946, Norma Jeane had appeared on thirty-three magazine covers for publications such as Pageant, U.S, and Peek.
#4. Norma Jeane's acting career had a bit of a rough start.
Norma Jeane was given a six-month contract at 20th Century-Fox in August of 1946. Her and 20th Century-Fox executive Ben Lyon, decided that her stage name would be Marilyn Monroe. Ben picked the name Marilyn because it reminded him of an actress by the name of Marilyn Miller. She picked Monroe since it was her mother's maiden name. In September 1946, Marilyn and James decided to get divorced . They divorced because he didn't want her to have a career.
Marilyn's acting contract with 20th Century-Fox was renewed in February of 1947. She was given two films to star in. One was in Dangerous Years (1947) and the other one was Scudda Hoo! Scuda Hay! (1948). However, she only had nine lines in Dangerous Years and only appeared one time in Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay!. After that her contract was not renewed and she went back to modeling and doing odd jobs at the studio.
She was not one to give up. So she continued going to acting school at the studio. It was around this time, that Marilyn began changing her appearance up a little bit. She had died her brunette hair blonde. She was then signed to Columbia Pictures in 1948. Her next film was Ladies of the Chorus (1948). This film was her first starring role and she played a chorus girl who is courted by a rich man.
However, her contract was not renewed and she left Columbia. Luckily, she had met Johnny Hyde, who was a vice president of the William Morris Agency. He helped advance her career by helping her get another acting role. This time it was Love Happy (1950). In 1950, she appeared in six more movies. Following her success in these films, Johnny was able to get her a seven-year contract with 20th Century-Fox in December of 1950.
#3. Marilyn's relationship with 20th Century-Fox started to fizzle after awhile despite her success with the company.
Marilyn had become one of 20th Century-Fox's biggest actresses. However, she realized her contract hadn't changed since 1950. She was being paid less than the other actors and actresses. She wasn't able to pick to her movie rolls or who she would have to work with. Marilyn grew tired of being typecast, and whenever she wanted to work in drama films instead of comedies or musicals, she would get turned down.
They thought she wouldn't make very much money for them if she acted in dramas. The last straw came in January of 1954. She refused to act in a musical comedy called the The Girl in Pink Tights. The studio suspended her.
In March of that year, Marilyn and 20th Century-Fox were finally able to come to an agreement. She was given a new contract and starring role in the film The Seven Year Itch (1955). She also received a $100,000 bonus.
#2. Marilyn suffered from Endometriosis.
One of Marilyn's biggest dreams was to have a child. She had gotten pregnant numerous times by her third husband Arthur Miller but they always ended in miscarriages. The reason why she was unable to have a baby was because she had Endometriosis. Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue that lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. The disorder can cause women to have infertility, painful periods, and excessive bleeding while on their periods.
This deeply hurt Marilyn and put a strain on her marriage to Arthur Miller. Marilyn loved children. She became friends with children she met on movie sets. Knowing she couldn't have children was something that deeply affected her till the day she died.
#1. There's still many conspiracy theories surrounding her death till this day.
Marilyn died on August 5th 1962 at the young age of thirty-six. There are many conspiracy theories of what exactly happened the night Marilyn Monroe died. Some think she committed suicide by overdosing on the bottles of pills that sat on her nightstand. Others seem to think she was actually murdered and the Kennedys had something to do with it. Marilyn had been romantically involved with both President John F. Kennedy and his brother Bobby Kennedy before her mysterious death. Supposedly, Bobby had been in town before she died and had sometime showed up at her house the night she died.
Marilyn had kept a diary detailing her relationships with both John Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy. She was planning on revealing the diary to the media. So of course the Kennedys didn't want that to get out and risk having their reputations ruined. Plus John was married at the time so a secret like that could wreck his marriage. That's the main reason why people think the Kennedys had a hand in her death.
Some even say that her maid Eunice Murray and her therapist Dr. Ralph Greenson had something to do with her death. When Eunice first realized that something was wrong she called Greenson instead of police. They both waited hours to call the police. Plus when they finally did call and the police arrived, Eunice was doing laundry.
At this rate I don't think anyone will ever know the true cause of Marilyn's death. Till this day it still remains a mystery.
© 2018 Taylor Christian