Marilyn Monroe


Actor
Marilyn Monroe

About

Also Known As
Norma Jean Baker, Norma Jeane Mortenson
Birth Place
Los Angeles, California, USA
Born
June 01, 1926
Died
August 05, 1962
Cause of Death
Barbituates Overdose

Biography

On the morning of Aug. 5, 1962, Monroe was discovered lifeless by her housekeeper. Her death was subsequently declared a suicide by barbiturate overdose. A devastated DiMaggio claimed the body and arranged for a private funeral, which was attended by just 25 mourners, including Lee Strasberg, who delivered her eulogy. In fact anyone who DiMaggio felt contributed to Monroe's downward spir...

Photos & Videos

There's No Business Like Show Business - Marilyn Monroe Publicity Stills
How to Marry a Millionaire - Publicity Stills
Monkey Business - Lobby Card

Family & Companions

Jim Dougherty
Husband
Factory worker. Married on June 19, 1942; divorced in September 1946; worked at Lockheed with Robert Mitchum.
Joe DiMaggio
Husband
Pro baseball player. Introduced in 1950; married in January 1954; divorced October in 1954; died at age 84 on March 8, 1999.
Arthur Miller
Husband
Playwright. Married on June 29, 1956; divorced on January 21, 1961.

Bibliography

"Blonde Heat"
Richard Buskin, Watson-Guptill Publications (2001)
"Blonde"
Joyce Carol Oates, Ecco (2000)
"The Marilyn Diaries"
Charles Casillo (1999)
"Marilyn Monroe"
Barbara Leaming, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (1998)

Notes

"Her on-screen persona was basically sexless. In her most famous films, she was a cartoon, a parody of femininity. Paired with sexless leading men like David Wayne, Tommy Noonan, Tom Ewell, or as in 'Some Like It Hot,' men who were in drag and/or pretending to be impotent, Monroe was all display and no action. Her on-screen relations with the opposite sex were infantile and tentative . . . The legend of Monroe's screen sexuality is more accurately a myth. She was the perfect, pliable non-threatening female figure for the frightened '50s: no anger, no inner life, no control of her own sensuality." --Denis Ferrara writing in Talk magazine's special issue "An Oscar Odyssey, March 2001.

Biography

On the morning of Aug. 5, 1962, Monroe was discovered lifeless by her housekeeper. Her death was subsequently declared a suicide by barbiturate overdose. A devastated DiMaggio claimed the body and arranged for a private funeral, which was attended by just 25 mourners, including Lee Strasberg, who delivered her eulogy. In fact anyone who DiMaggio felt contributed to Monroe's downward spiral - including members of the Rat Pack, etc. - were banned from attending. She was interred in a crypt at Westwood Memorial Cemetery, which received a dozen red roses from DiMaggio three times a week for over 20 years. Hollywood and the public at large grieved over her early passing, but in the decades following her death, the respectful attitude towards Monroe's demise gradually transformed into an obsessive hunt for clues and theories that would explain her death as homicide. Monroe had allegedly carried on affairs with President Kennedy and his brother Robert, and rumors swirled that she had been eliminated by political powers in order to keep the dalliances secret, or even to prevent her from leaking important secrets In fact, DiMaggio was among the more vocal supporters of this theory and refused anything to do with a Kennedy ever after. Others suggested that the Mafia was the culprit, or that she had been killed to cover up mistakes made by her psychiatrist. Lack of evidence - as well as a missing diary - prevented the incident from being reported as more than just "probable suicide," but such facts were unable to stem a virtual tide of tell-all biographies and publications that focused on the sordid details of her life and what may or may not have done in the doomed beauty. Equally distasteful were searches to uncover pornographic films allegedly shot by Monroe during her lean years. For decades, a short titled "Apple Knockers and Coke" was described as proof positive that she had made a stag film, but subsequent research revealed that the actress in the film was in fact one-time Playmate Arline Hunter, whose resemblance to Monroe had been her chief selling point. In 2008, Monroe collector Keya Morgan purportedly purchased a pornographic film with Monroe from a former FBI informant, but the validity of the item was quickly dismissed. While conspiracy theorists spun their webs around Monroe's demise, the brighter aspects of her short life - her films and her iconic image - continued to serve as inspiration for generations of fans and admirers. Monroe's open and honest sexuality served as a touchstone for countless actresses who followed in her footsteps, many of whom took deliberate pages from her life and career to draw attention to their own. As late as 2008, actress Lindsay Lohan was featured semi-nude in a layout shot by Bert Stern that copied his session for Monroe in exacting detail. Images of Monroe also became among the most popular and best-selling Hollywood memorabilia, which resulted in Monroe being named the only female on a list of "top-earning" dead celebrities by Forbes magazine. The brisk trade in Monroe-related items eventually led to serious court battles between corporate entities who held rights to Monroe's likeness and image, the photographers who captured her on film during her career, and the Strasberg family, who were the recipients of 75 percent of her estate after her death. Monroe's life also served as source material for several films, including the 1980 TV-movie "Marilyn: The Untold Story," with Catherine Hickland as Monroe; "Norma Jean and Marilyn" (HBO, 1996), with Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino essaying her pre- and post-fame life; and "Blonde" (2001), with Poppy Montgomery in an adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates' novel about her life. Monroe was also featured in numerous features and TV productions about the Kennedys and the Rat Pack, and could be counted on to represent the spirit of old Tinseltown glamour in all manner of productions. In fact, of all the Hollywood icons - save Chaplin, Bogart and Elvis - Monroe's appeal - her unique look, her tragic life, her legend - stood the test of time like no other twentieth century entertainers also struggling with depression and seeing her psychiatrist almost daily; she was also consuming a regular diet of prescription pills to contend with physical and mental exhaustion, mixing those with alcohol. Miller attempted to halt the downward slide of their relationship by penning a drama titled "The Misfits" for her, about the relationship between a depressed divorcee (Monroe) and an aging cowhand, played by Clark Gable. But by the time the film had gone into production, the marriage had unraveled beyond repair, and the production itself became plagued by her undeniable mental health problems. Director John Huston shut down the production in August of 1960 to send her to a rehabilitation program, but Monroe's problems continued unabated after her return. Then even more tragedy struck. Only three days after production wrapped, the man who a young Norma Jean had gone to sleep in foster homes dreaming was her real father, Clark Gable, died of a heart attack three days after production concluded in November of 1960. Tabloids made hay from statements by the actor's widow that his death had been brought on by his insistence on doing his own stunts as a means of dealing with Monroe's constant tardiness on the set. For Monroe, this helped send her over the edge. By the time the film premiered in 1961, her emotional problems and addictions had landed her in the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic, from which she was unable to secure a release. In desperation, she reached out to DiMaggio, who still carried a torch for her despite their divorce five years earlier, and he arranged for her discharge. Monroe later joined him in Florida where he was working as a batting coach for the Yankees, and rumors began swirling that the couple was intending to remarry. But the reunion was short-lived, and Monroe began joining such hard-living types as Frank Sinatra on the party circuit. According to sports biographer Maury Allen, DiMaggio asked for Monroe's hand again as a means of rescuing her from her apparent downward spiral, but Monroe was caught up with a new crowd - one that DiMaggio would ultimately blame for her demise. She returned to Hollywood to begin work on a new picture, "Something's Got to Give," a comedy for George Cukor about a woman, believed dead, who reappears in her husband's life on the day he planned to remarry. But by the first day of production in April of 1962, it was clear to all involved, including co-star Dean Martin, that Monroe's participation in the film would be sporadic at best; with various "illnesses" forcing her absence for weeks on end. Surprisingly - the same week she was unable to work on set - she found the fortitude to fly to NYC to perform at a birthday party for President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden in May of that year. Her sultry rendition of "Happy Birthday" for Kennedy would be her last notable public appearance and would later come to mean much, much more, after her tawdry, tragic affair with the president - as well as his brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy - came to light years later. Monroe returned to Hollywood with a novel and daring idea to publicize the film; she would be the first major film actress to appear nude on screen, and the pool frolic was covered extensively by photographers, particularly LIFE magazine which ran the naked pictures on its cover. But less than a month later, Monroe's consistent absence resulted in her being fired from the film - a great public humiliation for the fragile actress. She retreated to her home to give several interviews in which she expressed bitterness over the direction that her career had taken. She also participated in two photo sessions, including one for photographer Bert Stern that featured Monroe in a semi-nude state. It would subsequently be known as "The Last Sitting.""

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

The Misfits (1961)
Roslyn Taber
Let's Make Love (1960)
Amanda Dell
Some Like It Hot (1959)
Sugar Kane Kowalcyzk
The Prince and the Showgirl (1957)
Elsie [Marina]
Bus Stop (1956)
Cherie
The Seven Year Itch (1955)
The girl
River of No Return (1954)
Kay
There's No Business Like Show Business (1954)
Victoria Hoffman, also known as Victoria Parker
How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
Pola Debevoise
Niagara (1953)
Rose Loomis
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
Lorelei Lee
We're Not Married! (1952)
Annabel Norris
Don't Bother to Knock (1952)
Nell Forbes
Monkey Business (1952)
Lois Laurel
Clash by Night (1952)
Peggy
O. Henry's Full House (1952)
Streetwalker
Let's Make It Legal (1951)
Joyce Mannering
Home Town Story (1951)
Iris Martin
As Young As You Feel (1951)
Harriet
Love Nest (1951)
Roberta "Bobbie" Stevens
Right Cross (1950)
Dusky La Dieu
Love Happy (1950)
Grunion's client
The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
Angela Phinlay
All About Eve (1950)
Miss Casswell
The Fireball (1950)
Polly
A Ticket to Tomahawk (1950)
Clara
Ladies of the Chorus (1949)
Peggy Martin
Dangerous Years (1948)
Evie

Music (Feature Film)

The Shape of Water (2017)
Song Performer
Burlesque (2010)
Song Performer
Town & Country (2001)
Song Performer
Calendar Girl (1993)
Song
Heavy Petting (1988)
Song Performer
Marilyn Times Five (1974)
Song Performer ("I'M Through With Love")

Cast (Special)

Marilyn Monroe: The Final Days (2001)

Music (Special)

Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio? (1997)
Song Performer

Life Events

1945

Became model at Blue Book Agency

1946

Screen test at 20th Century-Fox; signed contract that was dropped the following year

1948

Signed contract with Columbia; dropped after one film

1950

Signed seven-year contract with Fox

1962

Fired by 20th Century-Fox

Photo Collections

There's No Business Like Show Business - Marilyn Monroe Publicity Stills
There's No Business Like Show Business - Marilyn Monroe Publicity Stills
How to Marry a Millionaire - Publicity Stills
How to Marry a Millionaire - Publicity Stills
Monkey Business - Lobby Card
Here is a Lobby Card from Howard Hawks' Monkey Business (1952), starring Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Clash by Night - Behind-the-Scenes photos - Marilyn Monroe
Here are a few photos of Marilyn Monroe taken behind-the-scenes during production of Clash by Night (1952), directed by Fritz Lang.
Bus Stop - Publicity Stills
Here are a few publicity stills from Joshua Logan's Bus Stop (1956), starring Marilyn Monroe and Don Murray. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
The Asphalt Jungle - Marilyn Monroe Publicity Stills
Here are a few photos of Marilyn Monroe taken to help publicize MGM's The Asphalt Jungle (1950). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
The Misfits - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are a few photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of John Huston's The Misfits (1961), starring Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, and Montgomery Clift and written by Arthur Miller.

Videos

Movie Clip

Niagara (1953) - Won't You Kiss Me Honeymooners Polly (Jean Peters) and Ray (Casey Adams) and the whole gang at the cookout are wowed when Rose (Marilyn Monroe) appears in the famous pink dress, also singing, her husband skipping, early in Niagara, 1953.
All About Eve (1950) - We Theater Folk At the party hosted by well-lit Margo (Bette Davis), her husband, director Bill (Gary Merrill) and critic Addison (George Sanders) hold court for the plucky Miss Casswell (Marilyn Monroe) and ambitious assistant Eve (Anne Baxter), et al, in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's All About Eve, 1950.
All About Eve (1950) - Fasten Your Seat Belts Friend Karen (Celeste Holm), her playwright husband (Hugh Marlowe) and producer Max (Gregory Ratoff) stand back as actress-hostess Margo (Bette Davis) delivers her famous line in All About Eve, 1950, then joins critic DeWitt (George Sanders), Marilyn Monroe on his arm, and protegè Eve (Anne Baxter).
Monkey Business (1952) - Not Yet, Cary! Perhaps a bit creaky now but a neatly tied-in opening from director Howard Hawks, introducing Cary Grant as scientist Barnaby Fulton, Ginger Rogers as his wife Edwina, in Monkey Business, 1952, co-starring Marilyn Monroe.
Niagara (1953) - As Long As He's A Man Troubled George (Joseph Cotten) from manic to depressive phase, vampy wife Rose (Marilyn Monroe) seeming to like it that way, in Niagara, 1953, original screenplay by Charles Brackett, Walter Reisch and Richard Breen.
Niagara (1953) - How Big They Are Following the credits, brooding George (Joseph Cotten) narrates in the mist from the falls, joining sleeping spouse Rose (Marilyn Monroe), in director Henry Hathaway's color-noir, Niagara, 1953.
Niagara (1953) - Well Run Him Down To The Morgue A body fished from the falls, diabolical Rose (Marilyn Monroe) with detective Starkey (Denis O'Dea), expecting to I-D her husband, then hospitalized, friend Polly (Jean Peters) visiting, in Henry Hathaway's Niagara, 1953.
Let's Make Love (1960) - Title Song Billionaire Clement (Yves Montand) is still incognito, but jealous as he watches Amanda (Marilyn Monroe) perform the movie's title song by Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn, with her theater co-star (Frankie Vaughan), in George Cukor's Let's Make Love, 1960.
Let's Make Love (1960) - I Can Practice On You Jet-set zillionaire Clement (Yves Montand), with aide Coffman (Tony Randall) drops by try-outs for a play in which he, among others, will be mocked, winds up enthralled by performer Amanda (Marilyn Monroe), until the director assumes he's in for an audition, in Let's Make Love, 1960.
Let's Make It Legal (1951) - I'm Am Eligible Bachelor Too Nearly-divorced hotel exec Hugh (MacDonald Carey) with daughter Barbara (Bates) who hopes he’ll reconcile with her mom, visited by Marilyn Monroe (swim-suited in her first scene) then her husband Jerry (Robert Wagner), his employee, shooting on location at the Hotel Miramar, Santa Monica, in Let’s Make It Legal, 1951.
Asphalt Jungle, The (1950) - You'll Have Plenty Of Trips Critical scene as the Commissioner (John McIntire) confronts lawyer Emmerich (Louis Calhern) and girlfriend Angela (Marilyn Monroe) cracks under questioning in John Huston's The Asphalt Jungle, 1950.
Tommy (1975) - Eyesight To The Blind First appearance of The Who's Roger Daltrey in the title role, Ann-Margret his near-desperate mother, at some sort of church where Eric Clapton leads worship of Marilyn Monroe, with a version of the Sonny Boy Williamson song, credited to him though wholly re-written by Pete Townshend, who appears with bandmate John Entwistle in the procession, in Ken Russell's adaption of Tommy, 1975.

Trailer

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes - (Original Trailer) Gentlemen prefer Marilyn Monroe preferring diamonds in her most famous musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) directed by Howard Hawks.
Bus Stop - (Original Trailer) An innocent cowboy kidnaps a small-time singer (Marilyn Monroe) with whom he's infatuated in Joshua Logan's Bus Stop (1956).
How to Marry a Millionaire - (Original Trailer) Three models pool their resources to rent a posh penthouse in hopes of snaring rich husbands in How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) starring Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe & Betty Grable.
O. Henry's Full House - (Original Trailer) Five stories reveal O. Henry's gift for the surprise ending with the help of five directors and a host of stars in O. Henry's Full House (1952).
Prince and the Showgirl, The - (Original Trailer) An American showgirl (Marilyn Monroe) creates an international incident when she falls for a European prince (Laurence Olivier) in The Prince and the Showgirl (1957).
Clash by Night - (Original Trailer) An embittered woman (Barbara Stanwyck) seeks escape in marriage, only to fall for her husband's friend (Robert Ryan) in Clash by Night (1952), directed by Fritz Lang.
Monkey Business (1952) - (Original Trailer) Cary Grant is a scientist whose search for the fountain of youth makes him and his wife regress to childhood in Monkey Business (1952).
River of No Return - (Original Trailer) A frontier farmer takes off with his son and a saloon singer after the man who stole his rifle and his horse in River of No Return (1954).
Let's Make Love - (Original Trailer) A millionaire uses a fake name to infiltrate a musical making fun of him in Let's Make Love (1960).
Seven Year Itch, The - (Textless Trailer) A married man whose wife is on vacation falls for the blonde bombshell (Marilyn Monroe) upstairs in Billy Wilder's The Seven Year Itch (1955).
Asphalt Jungle, The - (Original Trailer) A gang of small-time crooks plots an elaborate jewel heist in The Asphalt Jungle (1950), directed by John Huston.
Misfits, The - (Original Trailer) A sensitive divorcee (Marilyn Monroe) gets mixed up with modern cowboys roping mustangs in the desert in The Misfits (1961) also starring Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift.

Promo

Family

Edward Mortenson
Father
Deserted Gladys Baker before daughter was born.
C Stanley Gifford
Step-Father
Worked for Consolidated Film Industries.
Gladys Baker
Mother
Film cutter. Spent years institutionalized for psychiatric problems.
Bernice Miracle
Half-Sister
Eleanor Goddard
Foster Sister
Born in December 1926; died on February 11, 2000.

Companions

Jim Dougherty
Husband
Factory worker. Married on June 19, 1942; divorced in September 1946; worked at Lockheed with Robert Mitchum.
Joe DiMaggio
Husband
Pro baseball player. Introduced in 1950; married in January 1954; divorced October in 1954; died at age 84 on March 8, 1999.
Arthur Miller
Husband
Playwright. Married on June 29, 1956; divorced on January 21, 1961.

Bibliography

"Blonde Heat"
Richard Buskin, Watson-Guptill Publications (2001)
"Blonde"
Joyce Carol Oates, Ecco (2000)
"The Marilyn Diaries"
Charles Casillo (1999)
"Marilyn Monroe"
Barbara Leaming, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (1998)
"The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe"
Donald H Wolfe, William Morrow (1998)
"Marilyn: The Ultimate Look at the Legend"
James Haspiel, Henry Holt & Co (1991)
"My Story"
Marilyn Monroe (1974)

Notes

"Her on-screen persona was basically sexless. In her most famous films, she was a cartoon, a parody of femininity. Paired with sexless leading men like David Wayne, Tommy Noonan, Tom Ewell, or as in 'Some Like It Hot,' men who were in drag and/or pretending to be impotent, Monroe was all display and no action. Her on-screen relations with the opposite sex were infantile and tentative . . . The legend of Monroe's screen sexuality is more accurately a myth. She was the perfect, pliable non-threatening female figure for the frightened '50s: no anger, no inner life, no control of her own sensuality." --Denis Ferrara writing in Talk magazine's special issue "An Oscar Odyssey, March 2001.