Marilyn Monroe. Who hasn’t heard of her? More than 50 years after her death, Marilyn is still a Hollywood legend. Marilyn’s lasting influence stems from both her iconic beauty and her premature death at the age of 36 by drug overdose. She began her life as Norma Jeane Mortensen, the “love child” of Gladys Mortenson, a single mother who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.
At only 16 years old Marilyn married 20-year-old Jim Dougherty and Marilyn took a job inspecting parachutes at a local factory. While there she was photographed for Yank! magazine, and within weeks Marilyn began working for the Blue Book Modeling Agency. In 1946 she filed for divorce. video: rare 1964 interview with Norma Jean’s foster parents video: rare interview with Jim Dougerty
view: rare 1964 Interview with Marilyn’s First Agents
video: Coca Cola Commercial Marilyn
video: The Legend of Marilyn Monroe Part 1
The starring role in the 1953 film noire Niagara made Marilyn Monroe a household name. Personally I think it was the best semi-acting of her career. If she’d stuck to that genre she might actually have achieved acting accolades. A succession of highly successful commercial films that gave Marilyn top billing followed, including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, The Seven Year Itch, Some Like It Hot and her final, unfinished film Something’s Got to Give.
To see Marilyn Monroe – Niagara – Part I click here.
That’s where it gets tawdry.
Diagnosed with manic-depression (bipolar disorder) Marilyn was occasionally hospitalized in mental institutions. She often arrived hours late for filming and was chronically absent from work. Marilyn was addicted to various painkillers and sleeping pills, including Nembutal, the drug that killed her. She was romantically entangled with a number of men in relationships that ended in bitter disappointment including Joe DiMaggio, Frank Sinatra, Arthur Miller and President John F. Kennedy.
To see Marilyn’s Costume Test for Something’s Got to Give click here.
To see The Seven Year Itch Trailer click here.
video: Marilyn Monroe Death and Funeral Service
video: Marilyn Monroe the Last Interview
Marilyn lacked acting talent. She studied at the Actors Studio in New York with the Strasbergs but her acting ability didn’t improve. Marilyn’s last public performance was at the birthday celebration for President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden where she sang Happy Birthday Mr. President in a sheer, nearly nude dress. Upon her return to 20th Century Fox Marilyn was fired from Something’s Got to Give.
To watch Marilyn Monroe sing Happy Birthday Mr President click here.
video: news of Marilyn’s death
Less than three months after singing for the President, Marilyn Monroe was dead. By the way, yes I am allowed to categorize dead people as washed up: if that isn’t the ultimate washed up I am certain I don’t know what is.
Marilyn’s Facebook Page click here.