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About Marilyn Monroe

Updated on March 9, 2013

Norma Jean Baker

The Secret Life of marilyn Monroe

About Marilyn Monroe's Life

Marilyn's husband Arthur Miller, wrote a play about Marilyn Monroe called After The Fall, and many others have written about Marilyn Monroe since then. She will forever be a woman of interest to those who are fascinated by the golden age of Hollywood.

She was born Norma Jean Baker in Los Angeles 1926. Her troubles started early in life, for her birth was illegitimate, and her childhood was spent in orphanages and foster homes, while her mother spent most of her life in mental hospitals.

Norma Jean was lonely and insecure, leading to her early marriage at age 16. The marriage did not last long, and during world War II Marilyn was working in a factory while picking up side work as a model. She was not very successful, but was merely one of thousands of many disadvantaged girls desperately trying to get ahead.

Norma Jean was noticed in passing by Howard Hughes and that resulted in her landing an agent and screen test, however, Norma Jean was just another face int he crowd and she knew that if she wanted to become hugely popular she would have to have plastic surgery on her face to make it more feminine, like Lana Turner's. Plastic surgery in the 40's was not any where as mainstream as it is today, and most Hollywood stars lived with their imperfections. But Norma Jean wanted the whole 9 yards, and to get it, she needed power, and power would only come from devastating beauty.

She had her nose, chin and jaw remolded, and became Marilyn Monroe. She began getting parts in movies, and had a memorable walk on part in All About Eve playing a dumb blond.

All About Marilyn to the end

She was moving along, and still desperately clinging to the hope of becoming a major star, and in the early 50's it was looking like her ship was going to come in. She made Niagara and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in 1953, and was at her stunning best. After a string of hit movies she took a break to marry Joe DiMaggio. An event that brought the couple valuable publicity.

Marilyn battled insecurities, and depression. She was trying to be accepted as a serious actress, and no matter how much work she did, and how much success she achieved, she was still never satisfied. She divorced Joe DiMaggio and married Arthur Miller bringing her a new respect among the intellectual crowd.

In 1957 she got the opportunity to play opposite one of the most respected actors in the business, Lawrence Olivier. Olivier was professional did not get along with Marilyn, and regularly fought with her on the set. She was growing very unreliable, sometimes not showing up, or arriving on the set late, costing the producers a fortune.

She continued to ride her popularity, but her looks were definitely slipping, and if she did not come up with a new image, and level of respect from the public, she would be just another has been.

Being adored by people and men in particular, was so important to Marilyn that having another persona was a difficult concept to grasp. Suddenly, In the early 60's she became interested in landing John F. Kennedy. They had an affair, and Marilyn had visions of becoming the first lady. In her desperate frame of mind winning a married man in an important position would have both placed her in a role that could have given her a level of respect, and going from top to sex symbol to the level of sophisticated first lady, would not be a bad way to round out a career, and it would have greatly boosted her shaky ego. She had been getting what she wanted since the early 50's and now the doors were beginning to close on her. Kennedy would cheat with the greatest of ease, but like Big Daddy Joe, he maintained his facade of "married family man."

In 1962 she overdosed on barbituates at 36. Her final years were spent drinking heavily, and checking herself into psychiatric hospitals.

There have been many books written about Marilyn Monroe. Many sensationalizing her death by stating she was murdered, but the film footage from her later years combined with what those close to her have said, conclude that she committed suicide.


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    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Skarlet -- Marilyn appeared to me to be a beautiful, tragic figure that never got the kind of recognition she deserved. Having read extensively and broadly -- many, many accounts -- of her death, I have a hard time believing she committed suicide. However, with her track record and mental illness prevalent in her family I could well be wrong. Thanks for a kind and benevolent story about a beautiful, sad girl. Excellent! Best/Sis

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Absolutely, Skarlet.....I am so impressed with your bother's choice of dates!!

    • Skarlet profile image

      Skarlet 5 years ago from California

      Thank you all. I actually published this by accident. The second time I have done this.

      Yes, I actually have a lot more to add here, but at least there is a sort of coherent focus of her early years being desperate and her later years mirroring that.

      fherj48- Wow! A big Marilyn fan. I am telling you there are so many things about her, that its hard to pick out what to write. My brother is dating a very well known Marilyn impersonator. (She was the one in Elton John's video.) It is very interesting how her life seems to be a lot like Marilyn's.

      It is sad how even with a top notch brain the insecurities of childhood allow emotions to take over.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Norma Jean......Now you have given me a hub about a femme fatale I know nearly as well as I know myself.

      I am the proud owner of a treasured collection of Marilyn, books, vintage magazines, dolls, & paper dolls, autographs, wall hangings..movies..etc. Under lock and key.

      I have read, more than once, everything ever printed about Marilyn, by anyone from anywhere.

      You did an excellent job in this short hub, of highlighting some excerpts of her life.

      I'm sure you are well aware Marilyn was so much more than this...and even so much more than her public/sex-symbol/dumb blonde-personna.

      The fact is, Norma Jean Baker posessed a genius I.Q.......and had stunning artistic talents as well as a natural ability to write like a professional author.....extraordinary poetry.

      Insecure, she was most assuredly, thus the need to be loved and adored, especially by men (the Daddy-syndrome).....and to the day she took her life, she was overwhelmed by an obsession to have a child.

      Voted Up +++

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      I had no idea about her childhood and upbringing. Interesting stuff!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      She was such a beautiful woman. It was sad to hear of her death at such a young age. People were surprised in hearing she committed suicide and wondered why. I learned much about her background in reading your post. Very interesting and voted up.