Facts about Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe died at 36 years old
Born: June 1, 1926
Best known as: Hollywood's most famous blonde sex symbol

     

     

Marilyn Monroe Biography

Name at birth: Norma Jeane Mortenson

Marilyn Monroe’s sex appeal, talent and untimely death combined to make her one of Hollywood’s most recognizable icons and, for a time, the world’s most famous blonde.

Marilyn Monroe was born as Norma Jean Mortenson in Los Angeles in 1926. Her home life was unstable; she lived in foster homes, with relatives, and in the Los Angeles Orphans Home until she married Jim Dougherty at age 16. She was discovered by a photographer while working at an airplane factory during World War II, and began a modeling career which quickly led to some small film roles.

Early in her film career she played the cheerful but not-too-smart object of desire in movies like How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) and The Seven Year Itch (1955). Her va-va-voom curves soon made her a global celebrity, and she went on to win acclaim as a talented actress in the films Bus Stop (1956) and Some Like It Hot (1959, with Jack Lemmon).

Monroe’s married life was also unstable. She and Jim Dougherty were divorced in 1946, and then she married and divorced baseball star Joe DiMaggio (married in 1954, divorced in 1955) and playwright Arthur Miller (1956-1961).

Marilyn Monroe’s last film was Miller’s drama The Misfits (1961, co-starring Clark Gable). She was found dead in 1962 of an overdose of sleeping pills, and her death was officially ruled a probable suicide.

Extra credit

Elton John’s memorial tribute to Princess Diana, “Candle in the Wind,” was originally written for Marilyn Monroe… Her birth name is often given as Norma Jeane Baker. But according to the official site of her estate, the name on her birth certificate was Norma Jean Mortenson, but she was later baptized as Norma Jeane Baker… She is sometimes compared to Jayne Mansfield, another big blonde of the era who was promoted as “the next Monroe”… There is no truth to the rumor that Marilyn Monroe had six toes on her left foot. The rumor is the result of a 1946 beach photograph by Joseph Jasgur where a clump of sand on her left foot made it look to some as if she had an extra toe.


     

Related Biographies

Something in Common with Marilyn Monroe