Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1st 1926 - August 5th 1962) Marilyn Monroe is one of the most iconic Hollywood actresses to have ever lived and is best known for starring in 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' and 'Some Like It Hot' among others, as well as for being one of the most beautiful women in the world.
Net worth: Marilyn Monroe's net worth was around $370,000 at the time of her death ($2.17 million in today's money) (Forbes).
Childhood: Marilyn Monroe was born in LA. Her parents were Gladys Baker and, according to Marilyn's birth certificate, her ex husband Martin Mortensen - though Marilyn had always denied he was her biological father, instead believing that it was Charles Gifford.
Marilyn was in and out of foster care all her childhood due to her mother's mental health problems, being cared for first by Albert and Ida Bolender before returning to her mother who was quickly sectioned. She later lived with her mother's friend Grace McKee, who introduced her to the world of cinema, but she left to live with her great-aunt Olive Brunings due to Grace's husband attempts to sexually abuse Marilyn. However, she was once again attacked by family members. She had a positive life living with her Aunt Ana, but she then went back to Grace.
During that time she met her first boyfriend Jim Dougherty who she was forced to marry due to her unstable living arrangements. She attended Van Nuys High School, before working at the Radioplane Munitions Factory while husband Jim served in the Merchant Marine during World War II.
She then joined the Blue Book Modeling Agency, dying her brunette hair blonde. Her modelling success attracted the attention of film executive Ben Lyon, who encouraged Marilyn's name change. She chose 'Monroe', her mother's maiden name, while Lyon decided on 'Marilyn' because she reminded him of Marilyn Miller. During her early acting career, she enrolled at the University of California studying literature and art appreciation.
Film career: Marilyn Monroe's first credited movie role was in 1947's 'Dangerous Years'. In 1948, she signed a contract with Columbia Pictures and subsequently appeared in the musical 'Ladies of the Chorus'. She went back to modelling after her film career then began to wane, and posed nude for photographer Tom Kelly. Things started to look up in 1949 when she appeared in the Marx Brothers' 'Love Happy' and, after a few more brief screen roles, she landed her breakthrough role in 'The Asphalt Jungle' opposite Louis Calhern and later appeared in the comedy 'All About Eve'.
In 1952, a nude photograph of Marilyn leaked, but there was much speculation over whether or not it was her. She admitted to posing for the pictures to pay her rent, prompting much sympathy from the media and the public, and the photo later featured in Playboy. There was much interest in Marilyn and her unhappy background thence forth making her 1952 film 'Clash by Night' rather popular. In 1953, she appeared in 'Niagara', where it started to become clear that she was not the easiest person to work with due to her erratic behaviour caused by her stage fright. Though her performance was well reviewed, many commented negatively on what they viewed as 'vulgarity' during promotional events. Later that year, she starred alongside Jane Russell in 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' in which she sang the famous song 'Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend'. Despite her dedication to the role, she was increasingly late to the set annoying director Howard Hawks.
'How to Marry a Millionaire' came next, also starring Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall. She had further director struggles during the filming of 'River Of No Return' with Otto Preminger becoming annoyed by Marilyn's acting coach Natasha Lytess' constant presence, and thus the actress refused to speak to him. In 1954, she appeared in the poorly reviewed 'There's No Business Like Show Business'.
The following year, she landed a role in 'The Seven Year Itch' which featured the famous scene depicting Marilyn in a white dress with her skirt blown up. She subsequently had a close friendship with photographer Milton Greene, who advised her to break away from her financially crippling contract with 20th Century Fox and even mortgaged his home to help fund her career as well as offering her accomodation.
After briefly being mentored in acting by Constance Collier before his death, she went on to study under Lee Strasberg who became extremely impressed with her progress. She appeared in 'Bus Stop' in 1956 opposite Don Murray and, while impressing critics with her much improved acting performance, subsequently landed a Golden Globe nomination.
She co-starred with Laurence Olivier in the following year's 'The Prince and the Showgirl' which landed her a BAFTA nomination. Olivier later admitted that he, like 'River Of No Return' director Preminger, found the presence of her acting coach (now Paula Strasberg) irksome. She was in 1959's 'Some Like It Hot' which also starred Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. While it was expected that she would be suffering stage fright and would often be late, director Billy Wilder did not expect her behaviour to be so aggressive as it turned out to be. However, despite her unpredictability, she won a Golden Globe for her role.
Her penultimate film was 'Let's Make Love' in which she starred alongside Yves Montand. Her tardiness became a problem during the filming once again, but Montand was able to improve her attitude. Her last completed film was 1960's 'The Misfits' starring Clark Gable, during which she was frequently ill. She was later hospitalised for undisclosed reasons, while some of the other actors also took ill from exhaustion.
Before her death, she began filming 'Something's Got to Give' with Dean Martin, though she was still getting sick a lot. 20th Century Fox attempted to sue her due to her lack of attendance in filming, as she often appeared in the media and magazines looking perfectly well. She famously sang 'Happy Birthday' to President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden in 1962.
Personal life: Marilyn Monroe had surgery to 'soften' her appearance at the suggestion of her early associates. She had a bump removed from her nose and her slight overbite corrected. In the early fifties, she dated baseball player Joe DiMaggio whom she married in 1954. They divorced that same year.
She soon re-married to director Arthur Miller but their marriage also ended in 1961. She suffered two miscarriages during their marriage. She also had an affair with actor Yves Montand, which ended when he refused to leave his wife.
There are claims that she was also very briefly married to Bob Slatzer, as well as that she had an affair with both John and Robert Kennedy. In her final years, she began seeing a psychiatrist while suffering from insomnia. She began taking prescription medication from several doctors, while refusing any help from her husband. She also developed a dependence on alcohol. Following her second divorce, she attended the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic before transferring to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center.
She took a break from acting as she recovered in hospital, during which time she had surgery on her fallopian tubes and gallbladder. Marilyn died on August 5th 1962 from 'acute barbiturate poisoning' in what was thought to be suicide. There has, however, been much speculation surrounding her death, particularly with her last phone call being to President John F. Kennedy.
The iconic dress was bought by museum chain Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!.
The dress worn by Marilyn Monroe when she serenaded President John F. Kennedy on his 45th birthday has sold at auction for a record $4.8 million.
The auction was held by Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles and the sheer, flesh-coloured dress was purchased by museum chain Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!, with the price tag making it the most expensive dress ever sold at auction.
Marilyn Monroe's best movie?
Happy 90th birthday to Hollywood's biggest icon Marilyn Monroe, who may not be with us in flesh, but remains a huge part of the entertainment industry in spirit. In fact, she starred in one of the greatest comedy movies of all time, not to mention a number of other hugely influential pictures.
Marilyn Monroe starred alongside Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in 'Some Like It Hot'
The lead actress... Already famous for the likes of 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes', 'How to Marry a Millionaire' and 'The Seven Year Itch' among others, 'Some Like It Hot' was one of Monroe's last films released three years before she died from a drug overdose. It was another movie that arguably exploited her sex appeal and portrayed her as another 'dumb-blonde', and she found it extremely difficult to learn her lines. But none the less, it was a remarkable performance from the movie star.
Continue reading: Movie Of The Day: 'Some Like It Hot' Starring Marilyn Monroe
Frank Sinatra allegedly asked Marilyn Monroe to marry him to ‘save her from herself’, a new biography claims.
A new Frank Sinatra biography has revealed some interesting details about the crooner’s obsession with Marilyn Monroe and their long, turbulent relationship. New details have come to light suggesting Sinatra was besotted with Monroe and even proposed to her.
Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe photographed together in 1962 at Sinatra's house in Nevada.
The Cowardly Lion costume worn by Bert Lahr in 'The Wizard of Oz' is going up for auction on Monday (24th November).
Dollars and dollars and dollars! Oh my! There's a huge range of Hollywood memorabilia going up for auction on Monday (24th November). So if you have a few thousand dollars burning a hole in your pocket why not treat yourself to costumes from The Wizard of Oz or Sam's piano from Casablanca?
A similar version of Judy Garland's dress pictured above is up for auction next week.
Marilyn Monroe's medical records go up for auction and reveal the model may have received cosmetic surgery.
Marilyn Monroe's medical records will go up for auction next month in Los Angeles, California.
The medical records consist of 6 X-rays and a file of doctors notes from 1950-1962 which imply Monroe may have had plastic surgery.
According to Reuters, via Julien's Auctions, the medical history of the "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" actress are expected to sell for an estimated price of $15,000 to $30,000 at an auction held on November 9th-10th.
Andy Warhol's grave and baptism church feature today (6th August) on a 24 hour webcam broadcast to celebrate the late artist's 85th birthday.
Andy Warhol, the leader of the Pop Art movement, may have died in 1987, but that hasn't stopped him from making headlines today with the as his grave features in an internet event to celebrate his 85th birthday.
The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh in collaboration with Earthcam and St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church will feature a 24 hour event in honour of the late artist.
Continue reading: Andy Warhol's Grave The Focus Of His 85th Birthday Webcam Event
Kerry Katona has landed a role to potentially ease her recent financial troubles.
Just like when the world's natural resources eventually run out, or when an asteroid hits the earth, nobody has really accounted for Kerry Katona playing Marilyn Monroe. Nobody knows what's going to happen. I guess we all just go down to the cellar and close our eyes, hugging each other. Telling each other it's all going to be alright.
Continue reading: Like It Or Not, Kerry Katona's Playing Marilyn Monroe. That's Happening.
A desperate letter, written by Marilyn Monroe in her final days, is going on auction, alongside documents from John Lennon and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Before her death, Marilyn Monroe reached out to her acting mentor Lee Strasber, in a letter. She talked about her despair and feeling like she didn’t belong to “the human race”. Now, that letter, written on stationary from the Bell Air hotel, is going up for auction. A collector is selling the piece of history, alongside a whole host of other documents, including missives from Dwight D. Eisenhoweand r to his wife Mamie, written during WWII and letters from John Lennon to Paul McCartney, the Daily Mail reports.
Monroe’s letter is expected to fetch up to 33 000 GBP. In it, she talked in great detail about her struggle to stay sane: 'My will is weak but I can't stand anything. I sound crazy but I think I'm going crazy. 'It's just that I get before a camera and my concentration and everything I'm trying to learn leaves me. Then I feel like I'm not existing in the human race at all.'
The other items up for auction – the 58 letters from Eisenhower, also shed a lot of light into a complicated historical period. In them, the Allied commander shares news from the war and expresses his devotion to his wife. The sale is the second of several planned online auctions of the anonymous collector's artifacts. The entire collection contains 3,000 items.
63 years after the Technicolour family favourite "The Wizard of Oz" was released in cinemas, Judy Garland's iconic blue gingham Dorothy dress is going to be up for sale in an auction, to be held in November.
Darren Julien, the prime auctioneer of celebrity items with his company Julien's Auctions, expects the dress to make half a million dollars (£300,000). Julien's Auctions has sold items from Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley, to name but a few, and sells some fairly normal items from Bill Clinton's saxophone, to the truly bizarre, namely William Shatner's kidney stone, which sold for $25,000 (£14k) in 2006.
The 'Dorothy' dress will join 800 other items of from films over the ages, including props, photographs and wardrobe items, in the "Icons and Idols 2012: Hollywood" auction. To mark 50 years since Marilyn Monroe's death, a number of her items will also be included in the sale.
Continue reading: Wizard Of Oz's Iconic Judy Garland Dress Up For Sale
Marilyn Monroe Saturday 2nd June 2007 Marilyn Monroe look-a-like at Tony Curtis celebrates his 82nd birthday at the Luxor Hotel and Casino Las Vegas, Nevada
Sure enough, Monroe proves she can act, and pretty seriously. While she appears to be her usual ditzy blonde at first, the film slowly proves itself to be something else entirely.
Continue reading: Don't Bother To Knock Review
Date of birth
1st June, 1926
Date of death
5th August, 1962