Marilyn Monroe was born as Norma Jeane Baker on June 1, 1926 at the Los Angeles General Hospital. At the age of 7, Norma Jeane’s mother developed psychiatric problems and was eventually institutionalized. She was placed in an orphanage and was passed around from home to home for the next seven years. At the age of 16, she married her boyfriend Jim Dougherty.
After being married for two years, Dougherty was called to military service and sent to the South Pacific. Norma Jean started working at Radio Plane Munitions Factory, where she was discovered by photographer David Conover. David photographed her and began sending modeling jobs her way. Within two years, Norma Jeane had became a highly known model and posed for many magazine covers.
When Dougherty returned, Norma Jeane decided to follow her dreams of being a star and divorced Dougherty. She landed her first studio contract with Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation in 1946. With this movie contract came a new image and name. Norma Jeane dyed her hair blonde and changed her name to Marilyn Monroe, Marilyn after the actress Marilyn Miller and Monroe was her mother’s maiden name. The next year, Marilyn’s contract was not renewed and she was dropped from Fox.
Her acting career did not take off until the 1950s. At the age of 24, Marilyn signed a contract with MGM for a role in “The Asphalt Jungle.” This role gained her enough attention to land a small part in “All About Eve.” She would soon become known as one of Hollywood’s most famous actresses.
In 1951, she signed a 6-month contract with Fox that was later converted to a seven-year deal. During this time she landed her first cover on Life magazine and was now being featured in multiple magazines, television shows, and even live radio debuts. She was also involved in the making of many films: “Niagara,” “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” “How to Marry a Millionaire,”
In 1953, Marilyn failed to appear for the first day of shooting on the “Girl with the Pink Tights” and was suspended from Fox. She married Joe DiMaggio the next year and started working on “The Seven Year Itch.” She was often late and unproductive on the set of “The Seven Year Itch” and was also having problems with her marriage. Later that year, Marilyn and Joe separated and she moved to New York to enroll at Lee Strasberg’s Actors’ Studio.
While in New York “The Seven Year Itch” was released and became the biggest movie of the summer. She began a relationship with Arthur Miller and married him the next year. They moved to England and Marilyn began working on Marilyn Monroe Production’s first independent movie, “The Prince and the Showgirl.”
Marilyn returned to Hollywood to work on the films “Bus Stop” and the biggest hit of 1959, “Some Like it Hot.” Her next appearance was a role in “The Misfits,” which turned out to be a major disappointment. Along with the disappointment from the movie, Marilyn was also going through the separation from Miller. Marilyn was eventually hospitalized because of her depression in February 1961.
After being released Marilyn bought a house in Brentwood, Los Angeles. A year later she won the Golden Globe Award, World’s Film Favorite. Marilyn made another remarkable performance by singing “Happy Birthday” to President Kennedy at Madison Square Garden. She landed a role in “Something’s Got to Give” but was fired from Fox in June for not showing up for the filming. Marilyn spent the next few weeks posing for magazines and doing interviews until Fox rewrote Marilyn’s contract for double the salary to restart the production of “Something’s Got to Give.”
The night of August 5, 1962 Marilyn passed away under controversial circumstances. Marilyn’s legacy will continue to live on and she will always be remembered for her beauty and sparkle.
Marilyn Monroe™; Rights of Publicity and Persona Rights: The Estate of Marilyn Monroe, LLC marilynmonroe.com Photographed by Milton H Greene © 2012 Joshua Greene © Renaissance Road, Inc. Bernard of Hollywood is the trademark for Renaissance Road, Inc. Los Angeles, CA USA
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