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Monday, 20 June 2016

Marilyn Monroe

EARLY LIFE

Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jean Mortenson in Los Angeles on June 1, 1926. Her mother was emotionally unstable and frequently confined to an asylum, so Norma Jean was reared by a succession of foster parents and in an orphanage.

At the age of 16, Norma Jean married a fellow worker in an aircraft factory, James Doughty but they divorced a few years later.


Norma Jean Mortenson was athletic. In the early 1940s, she studied weightlifting with a former Olympic champion named Howard Corrington.

MODELLING CAREER

Norma Jean Mortenson was discovered while building drone aircraft at Radioplane Company in 1944 and signed a contract with the Blue Book Model Agency in August 1945.

Monroe photographed by David Conover while she was still working at the Radioplane factory in late 1944

Ronald Reagan sent out the army photographer, David Conover, who first discovered Norma Jean Mortenson.

Pictures from Norma Jean's first photoshoot in 1946 sold for $352,000 (£225,000) in 2011. According to the auction catalog, the images "captured a sweet, girlish and natural beauty yet to be transformed into the epitome of female glamour’."

In 1946 Mortenson signed a short-term contract with 20th Century Fox, taking as her screen name Marilyn Monroe. She appeared in two small film roles during the contract and was let go after a year.

Monroe in a studio publicity photo taken when she was a contract player at 20th Century-Fox in 1947. 

She returned to modeling, famously posing naked in May 1949 to raise $50 to pay the rent for her room at the Hollywood Studio Club.

Robert Kennedy was killed in the Ambassador Hotel, the same hotel that housed Marilyn Monroe's first modelling agency.

FILM CAREER

After two short-lived film contracts,  Monroe was signed by 20th Century-Fox in 1951. The next year, the scandalous nude photographs of her taken in 1949 were featured in a popular calendar. One of them was also featured in the inaugural issue of Playboy magazine in 1953.

She became one of the most bankable Hollywood actresses with starring roles in comedies such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), and The Seven Year Itch (1955).

Monroe in 1952

Disappointed in being typecast and underpaid, Monroe formed her own production company in 1955 and successfully fought for a better contract with Fox.

She received critical acclaim for her performances in Bus Stop (1956) and Some Like It Hot (1959), winning a Golden Globe for Best Actress for the latter.

Marilyn Monroe had a strained relationship with Laurence Olivier on The Prince And The Showgirl (1957), which he directed. It’s said she never forgave him for saying to her on set: "Try to be sexy."

Monroe needed 47 takes to get the phrase "It's me, Sugar" right in Some Like it Hot. She kept switching from "Sugar, it's me" to "It's Sugar, me" and the director, Billy Wilder, had to write the line on a blackboard.

Her last completed film was the 1961 drama The Misfits.

Marilyn Monroe, in her final completed film, The Misfits 

Marilyn Monroe, began filming her last movie Something’s Got To Give in April 1962, but she was fired for absenteeism on June 7, 1962 and sued her for breach of contract, with the studio demanding $750,000 in damages.

PERSONAL LIFE 

Monroe's first hiusband, James Dougherty, later became a detective in the LAPD. He forbidden by his second wife from going to see any of the Hollywood star’s films.

Marilyn Monroe married her second husband, baseball star Joe DiMaggio on January 14, 1954. DiMaggio's jealousy meant their relationship was fraught and possibly violent. Just nine months after the wedding, the actress told a court her husband had become "cold and indifferent" and a divorce was granted. Their union had lasted just 274 days

With second husband Joe DiMaggio.

Marilyn Monroe secretly married Jewish playwright Arthur Miller in the court house of a New York suburb on June 29, 1956. Only two witnesses and a photographer attended the civil ceremony. The bride, who wore a sweater and a creased skirt, had said she would not care for a Grace Kelly-style white wedding.

Monroe converted to Judaism before the wedding and had a second, Jewish ceremony on July 1. One newspaper greeted their nuptials with the headline "Egghead Weds Hourglass"

As a result of of Marilyn Monroe's conversion to Judaism, Egypt placed a ban on all the films she appeared in.

Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller were granted a divorce in Mexico on the grounds of ‘incompatibility’, after less than five years of marriage, on January 24, 1961.

With third husband Arthur Miller at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, 1957

Marilyn Monroe had six toes.

Monroe was so paranoid about sweat and spots that she washed her face up to 15 times a day.

Marilyn Monroe was such an animal lover that her first husband recalled her trying to bring a cow into her house to get it out of the rain.

Monroe had a beloved Maltese terrier who was given to her by Frank Sinatra; he'd acquired the pooch from Natalie Wood's mother. In a nod to the singer's supposed mob connections, she mischievously named him Mafia, or Maf for short. The cute English dog became her inseparable companion in her last years.

DEATH 

Troubled by mental health and addiction problems, Monroe was found dead by her housekeeper in her Los Angeles home at age 36 in the early morning hours of August 5, 1962. Empty bottles of pills, prescribed to treat her depression, were littered around the room. After a brief investigation, Los Angeles police concluded that her death was "caused by a self-administered overdose of sedative drugs and that the mode of death is probable suicide."

Front page of the New York Daily Mirror on August 6, 1962
Joe Di Maggio claimed Marilyn Monroe's body after her suicide, and arranged her funeral, paying for her casket and crypt. For twenty years after the death of Marilyn Monroe, Di Maggio had a half-dozen red roses placed at her crypt three times a week.

Hugh Hefner owns the burial vault next to Marilyn at the Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles. He has a rose delivered to Marilyn Monroe's grave every day.

Source Daily Mirror

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