Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Marilyn Monroe

Date of Birth
1 June 1926, Los Angeles, California, USA

Date of Death
5 August 1962, Los Angeles, California, USA (drug overdose)

Birth Name
Norma Jeane Mortenson

The Blonde Bombshell


Her classic shape, according to her dressmaker, is actually measured at

Arthur Miller (29 June 1956 - 20 January 1961) (divorced)
Joe DiMaggio (14 January 1954 - 27 October 1954) (divorced)
James Dougherty (19 June 1942 - 13 September 1946) (divorced)

Trade Mark
Lisp, breathless voice


Was roommates with Shelley Winters when they were both starting out in Hollywood.

She was Playboy's first "Sweetheart of the Month" in December 1953.

When she died in 1962 at age 36, she left an estate valued at $1.6 million. In her will, Monroe bequeathed 75% of that estate to Lee Strasberg, her acting coach, and 25% to Dr. Marianne Kris, her psychoanalyst. A trust fund provided her mother, Gladys Baker Eley, with $5,000 a year. When Dr. Kris died in 1980, she passed her 25% on to the Anna Freud Centre, a children's psychiatric institute in London. Since Strasberg's death in 1982, his 75% has been administered by his widow, Anna, and her lawyer, Irving Seidman.

The licensing of Marilyn's name and likeness, handled world-wide by Curtis Management Group, reportedly nets the Monroe estate about $2 million a year.

Started using the name Marilyn Monroe in 1946, but did not legally change it until 1956.

Appeared on the first cover of Playboy in 1953.

She was discovered dead at her home at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive, Brentwood, California. She had a phone in one of her hands, her body was completely nude and face down, on her bed.

When putting her imprints at Grauman's she joked that Jane Russell was best known for her large front-side and she was known for her wiggly walk, so Jane could lean over, and she could sit in it. It was only a joke, but she dotted the "I" in her name with a rhinestone, which was stolen within days.

Frequently used Nivea moisturizer.

Fearing blemishes and sweat, she washed her face fifteen times a day.

She was suggested as a possible wife for Prince Rainier of Monaco. But he picked actress, Grace Kelly, to be his wife.

Thought the right side of her face was her "best" side.

Born on Tuesday at 9:30 AM, Pacific Standard Time, which is Los Angeles, California's time zone.

Suffered from endometriosis, a condition in which tissues of the uterus lining (endometrium) leave the uterus, attach themselves to other areas of the body, and grow, causing pain, irregular bleeding, and, in severe cases, infertility.

Wore glasses.

On Thursday, February 23rd, 1956, she obtained order from the City Court of the State of New York to legally change her name from Norma Jeane Mortenson to Marilyn Monroe.

The first stamp released in the USPS's Legends of Hollywood series, issued on Friday, June 1st, 1995.

Batman writer/artist Bob Kane used Marilyn's likeness as a reference when he drew Vicki Vale.

When she wasn't acting, she preferred to wear nothing but a bathrobe and occasionally a bikini.

Is one of the many movie stars mentioned in Madonna's song "Vogue".

In 1999, a make-up kit that she personally owned, sold for $266,500.

In 1972, actress Veronica Hamel and her husband became the new owners of Marilyn's Brentwood home. They hired a contractor to replace the roof and remodel the house, and the contractor discovered a sophisticated eavesdropping and telephone tapping system that covered every room in the house. The components were not commercially available in 1962, but were in the words of a retired Justice Department official, "standard FBI issue." This discovery lent further support to claims of conspiracy theorists that Marilyn had been under surveillance by the Kennedys and the Mafia. The new owners spent $100,000 to remove the bugging devices from the house.

Was good friends with Dorothy Dandridge and Ava Gardner when they were all young, struggling actresses in Hollywood.

When budding actresses Shelley Winters and Marilyn were roommates in the late 1940s in Hollywood, Shelley said that one day she had to step out and asked Marilyn to "wash the lettuce" for a salad they were to share for dinner. When Shelley got back to the apartment, (Marilyn was apparently new to the art of cooking) had the leaves of lettuce in a small tub of soapy water and was scrubbing them clean. She had not heard of the phrase before either, or did not know it's true meaning.

Was originally set to play Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), but Audrey Hepburn played the role instead.

She resided at the Hollywood Roosevelt while she was breaking into the acting business.

She left Hollywood to pursue serious acting by studying under Lee Strasberg at his Actors' Studio in New York City.

In 1946, she signed her first studio contract with 20th Century Fox and dyed her hair.

She tried 9 different shades of blonde hair color before settling on platinum blonde.

Her personal library contained over 400 books on topics ranging from art to history, psychology, philosophy, literature, religion, poetry, and gardening. Many of the volumes, auctioned in 1999, bore her pencil notations in the margins.

There are over 600 books written about her.

At 168, Marilyn's IQ was significantly higher than John F. Kennedy's 129. (A score of 100 is considered average and 150 to be highly gifted).

Became pregnant twice (in July 1957 and November 1958) during her marriage to Arthur Miller; on both occasions she suffered miscarriages.

Although she was an avid buyer of books and owned over 400 of them at her death, third husband Arthur Miller said, "Aside from Colette's Cheri and a few short stories, I had never known her to read anything all the way through. She felt she could get the idea of a book, and often did, in just a few pages.".

Read and wrote poetry. Her favorite poets were Walt Whitman and John Keats.

Ranked #3 in Men's Health 100 Hottest Women of all Time (2011).

Was close friends with singer Ella Fitzgerald and helped her rise in her musical career by arranging for her to sing in many upscale nightclubs some of which were segregated during the time of their friendship.

Monroe was a stutterer, a little known fact that was easily covered thanks to studio vocal coaches who provided her with dictation lessons.

Learned to play the guitar for her role in River of No Return (1954) and the ukulele for her role in Some Like It Hot (1959).

Personal Quotes

[on meeting Joe DiMaggio for the first time] I was surprised to be so crazy about Joe. I expected a flashy New York sports type, and instead I met this reserved guy who didn't make a pass at me right away! He treated me like something special. Joe is a very decent man, and he makes other people feel decent, too.

[on why Joe DiMaggio didn't accompany her on one of her USO tours] Joe hates crowds and glamor.

[on why her marriage to Joe DiMaggio didn't work] I didn't want to give up my career, and that's what Joe wanted me to do most of all.

[on her favorite actress] Jean Harlow was my idol.

I've been on a calendar, but never on time.

No one ever told me I was pretty when I was a little girl. All little girls should be told they're pretty, even if they aren't.

In Hollywood a girl's virtue is much less important than her hairdo. You're judged by how you look, not by what you are. Hollywood's a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for kiss, and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty.

Dogs never bite me. Just humans.

I want to grow old without face-lifts... I want to have the courage to be loyal to the face that I have made.

[on Peter Lawford] I have a need to be frightened and nothing really in my personal relationships and dealings lately have been frightening me, except for him. I felt very uneasy at different times with him, the real reason I was afraid of him is because I believe him to be homosexual...Peter wants to be a woman and would like to be me, I think.

[on homosexuality] No sex is wrong if there's love involved.

People always ask me if I believe diamonds are a girl's best friend. Frankly, I don't.

Marilyn was arguably as famed for her radiant Hollywood glow as she was for her flirtatious on-screen presence. However, she used an odd technique to maintain it - hormone cream. The actress would layer Active pHelityl Cream and a powder foundation on top of each other to create a radiant base that shimmered and shined on camera. The downside was that she grew a fine layer of peachy-blonde hair over her face. She was encouraged to shave it off, but refused because of the glow it gave her in photographs.

with James Dean
with Jane Russell, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)