Marilyn Monroe turned her natural beauty and ambition into
becoming the world's biggest sex symbol. She endured a terrible
childhood to achieve fame and success. Born in 1926, in Los
Angeles, Monroe's mother suffered from mental illness. Her
mother's terrible breakdowns would serve to traumatize Monroe
throughout her early life and force her to bounce in and out
of foster homes.
During one of her placements with a family friend, Monroe
found a way to escape the horrid reality of her life and became
fascinated with cinema and the famous women of her time. She
longed to live a glamorous lifestyle and to act in movies.
To escape foster care, Monroe married her merchant marine
boyfriend when she was sixteen. When he was sent to the South
Pacific, Monroe worked in a munitions factory painting aircraft
parts. Monroe was discovered by a photographer who convinced
her to get into modeling.
Monroe became very successful as a model and turned her attention
to fulfilling her dreams of acting in movies. In the 1950's
she landed several parts in movies, and was well received
by audiences. In 1953, she emerged as a sex symbol in Niagra.
Her new status landed her a co-starring role with Jane Russell
in the hit Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Films such as How to
Marry a Millionaire, There's no Business like Show Business,
and The Seven Year Itch would follow establishing Monroe as
the ultimate blonde, bombshell. Her deep breathy voice and
hourglass figure fit these sorts of roles perfectly.
Although an international success, Monroe began to feel the
disappointment of typecasting and grew tired of always playing
the bimbo. She moved to New York to seriously study acting
at the Actor's Studio. Her focus on serious acting led to
Bus Stop, a dramatic comedy that drew praise for her performance
In Some Like It Hot with Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, Monroe
was reunited with her blonde bombshell roots and won the Golden
Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy.
In her lifetime, Monroe married three times and all three
marriages ended in divorce. Her second marriage to baseball
great Joe DiMaggio lasted only nine months. The fighting and
bitterness between DiMaggio and Monroe was a source of public
and private suffering for Monroe.
In 1961, Monroe completed what would be her last film, The
Misfits, opposite Clark Gable. In 1962, during the filming
of Something's Got to Give, Monroe began to miss several days
of filming due to illness. It is now widely accepted that
Monroe was involved in drugs and that her addiction led to
her being fired from this film.
Monroe was also romantically linked with President John F.
Kennedy. In 1962, she appeared publicly and sang Happy Birthday
to JFK in her trademark breathy voice while performing in
a very tight dress.
Later that year, Monroe was found dead in her Los Angeles
home with a bottle of sleeping pills near her body. She was
36-years-old when she died. Plagued by a terrible childhood,
many would say Monroe never stood a chance at living a normal
life. Instead of accepting her difficult situation, Monroe
created her own success and achieved many of her dreams. Marilyn
Monroe is still recognized as one of the most famous women
in movie history.
There is a secret you don't
Besides the factual Marilyn Monroe biography presented above
there is a little known secret that involves the Kennedys.
The secret is that Marilyn Monroe actually sang her breathy
birthday song again to the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin.
The song, "Happy Birthday Mr. Cosmonaut" was not
well received by any of the Kennedys.