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Marilyn Monroe

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.

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe

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 1956.

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 know …

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.


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