Although the world calls her Marilyn Monroe she was born as Norma Jeane Mortenson (later changed to Norma Jeane Baker) on June, 1, 1926. She still remains the major sex symbol of the XXth century cinema.
Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962)
Her early life was not as fabulous as it was later. Her father is unknown and her mother, Gladys, suffered from mental illness throughout her life, which forced Norma to move in with various foster parents, who sometimes even abused her.
She met her neighbour’s son, James Dougherty, in high school and they quickly got married in 1942. Although, Norma did want to dive into her married life it wasn’t her destiny. One photographer took pictures of her and recommended her to apply to a modelling agency. Norma took her chance and began working as a model. Her idols jean Harlow and Lana Turner had influenced her decision to bleach her hair because that was popular at that time. Later she also changed her name to Marilyn Monroe.
In 1952 Marilyn was confronted with a scandal because some of her nude photos appeared in a calendar. Later the aspiring actress managed to reduce this negative attitude by saying that there was not much choice for a young actress as to take part in such photo sessions at the beginning of her career. We know Marilyn Monroe from her several highly successful movies that made her an icon: “Gentlemen prefer blondes” (1953) (photo on the left), “The seven year itch” (1955), “Niagara” (1953), “How to marry a millionaire” (1953), “Some like it hot” (1959). She also starred in other films but these were the most famous. In each of them she played a role that created a certain image of a dumb blonde, which she always regretted. Her contemporaries said that Marilyn was much more intelligent than she seemed.
Her personal life was also full of ups and downs. After her unsuccessful marriage to James Dougherty she married a famous baseball player, Joe DiMaggio in 1954. Due to his jealousy they got divorced by the end of the same year. Her later marriage to the writer Arthur Miller was longer but also ended in divorce. Marilyn always dreamed of having children, but, unfortunately, had several miscarriages and her health was very fragile. In her final years Marilyn had many problems in her professional and personal life due to her bipolar disorder. Periodic ups and downs in her mood lead to substance abuse and even suicide attempts. Marilyn was never self-confident. Many people who knew her well believed that it was largely because she was abused as a child and could never rely on her mother. Her low self-esteem resulted in desperate attempts to get people to love her, which turned out to be her personal tragedy. She also had intimate relationships with both Kennedy brothers which led to a controversy around her sudden death.
Marilyn was found dead in her bedroom on August, 6, 1962. The official cause of death is the suicide through overdose of barbiturate. But some people still believe that her death had something to do with the Kennedy family. Marilyn was threatening to reveal her affair publicly which might also become the reason to kill her. Her last movie “Something’s got to give” remained unfinished after her death. The attempts to find another actress to replace her failed. Marilyn remains the irreplaceable icon of the XXth century Hollywood reflecting its glamour, beauty and tragedy…