Biography of Marilyn Monroe | A Great American Actress

On August 5, 1962, American actress Marilyn Monroe, the great erotic myth of the 1950s, was found dead in her Hollywood house. Although the coroner ruled that the actress had committed suicide with an overdose of sleeping pills, the causes of her death remain unclear; Some contradictions were seen in the medical report of its tragic end.

Biography of Marilyn Monroe

  • Born:- 1 June 1926, Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Died:- 5 August 1962, Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Resting Place:-  Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery
  • Spouse:-  Arthur Miller (m. 1956–1961), Joe DiMaggio (m. 1954–1955), James Dougherty (m. 1942–1946)
  • Awards:-  Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy,

His professional difficulties and his agitated sentimental life seemed to be at the origin of his death. In any case, the joviality and the unbridled and unconcerned living that he had often represented in the cinema and outside of it correspond very little to the true profile of his life, marked by the contradictions and complexes of an unhappy childhood and youth, Followed after an overwhelming success that he could not cope with, even when he believed he found , along with personalities like Arthur Miller, the stability and security he pursued throughout his life.

Marilyn Monroe, of real name Norma Jean Baker (or Norma Jean Mortenson, last name of its stepdad), was born the 1 of June of 1926 in Los Angeles, in the American state of California. Daughter of Gladys Baker, who never communicated to him the identity of his father, his early childhood was very hard. His mother left it in the hands of a friendly marriage until he turned seven; Then he took her to live with him.

But a year later Gladys was admitted to a psychiatric sanatorium where she was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, a condition Marilyn later believed she had inherited, especially when she was hospitalized for frequent depressions. Her childhood and adolescence passed between an orphanage (where she entered at the age of nine and worked as a kitchen assistant), the house of her grandparents and those of several families who adopted her. In one of these shelters he allegedly suffered sexual abuse by the head of the family when he was eight years old.

There was nothing to suggest that Norma Jean had a future career as an actress, not even the fact that her mother, an extraordinarily attractive woman, had worked for some time as a negative filmmaker at Consolidated Film Industries. Marked by emotional instability and poverty, at the age of sixteen, after leaving school, she was employed in an aircraft building plant. In the same factory he met a 21-year-old mechanic, James Dougherty, with whom he married on June 19, 1942 and who would divorce four years later.

From model to actress

That same year of 1946 a fashion photographer discovered it and convinced her to become a model. Thus, the still called Norma Jean began its race like model under the tutelage of the agent Emmeline Snively that suggested to him to change the color of its hair that was brown of birth by the characteristic blonde platinum. During this time, Norma Jean made an endless number of advertising campaigns, being very remembered the ones that made to announce bathing suits. At the same time, her restless and eager nature always acquiring new knowledge led her to take drama classes at Hollywood’s Actor’s Lab and attend literature courses at the University of Los Angeles (UCLA).

The face of the model was becoming well known. Its innumerable publicity works made that in 1947 the magnate Howard Hughes , owner of the film company RKO, offered to him to make screen tests in order to know if it could give game before a cinematographic camera; But Norma Jean preferred to accept an offer from 20th Century Fox to work a few months as a supporting actress. It intervened in three forgettable films in which it was not properly credited, and already it was verified the change of name: Norma Jean happened to be called Marilyn Monroe. One of his first roles was of a figure among a crowd; It was the Frederick Hugh movie Herbert Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! , With June Harver. At one point in the film, Marilyn was leaving the group to greet the lead actress. This scene, however, was later cut into the montage, and Marilyn recalled a few years later: “A part of my back is visible in a plane, but no one knew it apart from me and some close friends.”

A year later the Fox refused to renew the contract, reason why it accepted a new one of similar characteristics in Columbia. For this company acted in the musical comedy Ladies of the chorus (1948), of Phil Karlson. Marilyn was a modest stripper named Peggy Martin and sang two songs. To prepare this role he received lessons from Columbia’s musical director, Fred Karger, who is believed to have had intimate relationships. The following year he participated in what would be the penultimate film of the Marx Brothers more or less complete (Groucho, Harpo and Chico), Love Happy (Love Happy), David Miller. In the film, Marilyn wiggled her hips with such mastery that Groucho Marx.

Then she got, and for Metro Goldwyn Mayer, a brief role but very important for your future as an actress in the excellent thriller of John Huston ‘s The Asphalt Jungle (The Asphalt Jungle, 1950), she played quite fluently Angela , The lover of a gangster whom he eventually betrays. The ever-watchful Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who had begun his career as a filmmaker four years earlier, noticed young Marilyn and offered him another small but succulent role in his melodrama Eva All Night (1950). In this film she interpreted a superficial aspiring actress in what we could qualify as one of the first papers that responded to the stereotype that later would be created of her.

Shortly before, in 1949, Marilyn, who for a time combined the professions of actress and model, gave its first blow to the celebrity to pose for a photo shoot whose result is still today one of the most genuine images of a pin- up girl . These are the images that show in nude shots to Marilyn naked on a red bedspread. Some of the photos would appear that same year in a calendar, and soon after, in 1953, one of them would be the cover of the first number of the famous erotic magazine Playboy. This, without a doubt, was a true media event, perhaps of the first that can be compared to those that are given today.

Meanwhile, the actress did not abandon her career in film. After realizing some secondary papers not too remarkable, in 1952 appeared in some titles of some importance, either by its directors, or by the work that carried out in them: Encounters at night (Clash by night), of Fritz Lang ; We are not married, by Edmund Goulding; The episode that Henry Koster made for the collective film Four Hours of a Life (O’Henry’s Full House); And Roy Ward Baker’s intriguing film Niebla in the Soul (Don’t bother to knock), in which he very convincingly played the character of Nell Forbes.

Marilyn was truly splendid in her role as Nell, a troubled nanny who had attempted suicide in the past and who, desperate and half mad after having lost her great love, now disguises herself with the jewels of his mistress to seduce an attractive pilot . The girl to be cared for that night, Benny, frustrates his plans, so the hallucinatory girl first threatens to disembowe her as easily as a doll, and then gags her and ties her to the bed. In this sadistic and insane relationship with the little girl, Marilyn showed convincing cruelty that, while revealing her excellent dramatic skills, perhaps brought to mind the horrors she had suffered during her own childhood. It was undoubtedly one of the best roles of his career.

Comedy star

But the really important film of the year was the sitcom I feel rejuvenated (Monkey Business), of Howard Hawks , the director John Huston with Billy Wilder and maybe able to extract the best of Marilyn Monroe. In this comedy, true classic of the genre written by Ben Hecht, Charles Lederer and IAL Diamond, it played the role of a blonde and silly secretary next to two true monsters of the sort, Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers . The mastery of the staging and the splendid dramatic-comic carpentry of the film was what Marilyn’s career needed, which could finally prove its worth beyond how stupid the character she had played. In addition, and as will be seen below,

In 1953 were filmed the first three films in which his contribution was important. First, Niagara , a Hitchcock thriller directed by the ever-efficient Henry Hathaway, but that was not the kind of production fit for the actress. Much more relevant, because maybe it’s the title that marks the beginning of Marilyn Monroe as a star and as a sexual myth, it is Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), a new comedy, this time musical, Howard Hawks.

The gentlemen prefer blondes , based on an ingenious novel by Anita Loos, told the story of the confrontation of two chorus girls, a brunette, the turgid Jane Russell , and another blonde, Marilyn, who try to hunt one of the most wanted bachelors and Rich of America. In this film, plagued with excellent gags and provocative musical numbers, Marilyn proved that she was, besides a good actress of comedy, a notable singer and dancer, with a personal and very suggestive style. In fact, the sought-after male character, which played Charles Coburn, finally opted to stay with Lorelei Lee, the blonde.

The third job she did that year was a similarly arguably similar film, How to Marry a Millionaire , by Jean Negulesco, in which Marilyn and two other actresses, this time Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall, proposed Conquer a millionaire at all costs. Not as flamboyant as the previous one, it was a film that exploited in comedy key the disparity of physicists and characters of the three female interpreters and, therefore, was a work very adapted to the abilities of Marilyn Monroe. As a result of these sensational works, in 1954 would be awarded the prestigious Golden Globe to the best actress.

Converted in less than a year into one of the most glittering stars in the Hollywood film industry, on January 14, 1954, she married the legendary baseball player Joe DiMaggio , one of the first American athletes whose popularity was comparable to that of a star Of cinema. The wedding was one of the most celebrated social events of that year, but only a few months later, on October 27, DiMaggio and Marilyn divorced. Despite this, and according to the testimony of friends of the actress, Joe DiMaggio was, of the three husbands he had, the only one he really wanted.

Cinematographically speaking, 1954 was not a great year compared to the preceding or the following. He participated in two titles; the first was a peculiar cross between melodrama and western who led Otto Preminger, River of No Return (River of no return), good co – starred with Robert Mitchum film in which Marilyn did not shine particularly. The second, the musical comedy Like Show Business (There’s no business like show business), by Walter Lang, resulted from a much lower level which had carried out the previous year.

At the summit

In spite of the professional successes he had obtained in a short time, his personal life was not satisfactory. In addition to the recent sentimental failure with DiMaggio, he did not stop fighting to prove that it was more than a pretty face and figure. The more he became a sex-symbol , the more he tried not to succumb to the conformist image he projected. The harassment to which it was submitted by the managers of the producers was constant. If in her films she attracted the man with her body and her innocent charm, in life she boasted that she had never agreed to go to bed with the producers and heads of the studios, something that would surely have made things easier for better roles , Especially at the beginning of his career.

On the other hand, its ingrained complex of intellectual nullity, probably caused by having left early studies, led to new activities. In 1955, for example, he attended the prestigious New York Actors Studio to take classes with Lee Strasberg . Induced by Strasberg, she studied psychoanalysis in order to know herself more and to bring out her interpretative potential. Strasberg, a generous man, treated her like a father and offered to intervene in the center theatrical sessions, starring in works such as A Streetcar Named Desire , by Tennessee Williams , and Anna Christie , of Eugene O’Neill .

The two films in which he then intervened, although excellent, presented the character that was to interpret as someone with more of a parallelism with that other Marilyn of the real life. Both in The Seven Year Itch (The Seven Year Itch, 1955), Billy Wilder, and Bus Stop (1956) Joshua Logan, Marilyn offered two faultless performances. But the general public, instead of changing their idea of ​​the actress by focusing on their interpretive capacity, still pigeonholed her more, because they were roles similar to the image that had been taken from her studies.

The usual pressure on her to submit to a big star, the contempt she felt for some industry professionals, and the discontent with herself did not take long to impress Marilyn. His behavior in filming was increasingly problematic, with frequent impuntualities, excuses for untimely absences and poor relations with actors and technicians. By this time began to take periods of rest in clinics due to the depressions in which more and more frequently it was seen.

Nevertheless, it remained in the eye of the hurricane, being the preferred object of the press; But also frustrating. He agreed to grant an interview while waiting for a journalist to be interested in his intellectual concerns, what he read or the kind of films he would like to play, but the only thing he found consistently was clumsy toilet matters. Some of his answers then became famous, as when he said that he did not wear underwear or that to sleep only put Chanel nº 5. So, unconsciously or not, Marilyn herself ended up contributing to consolidate the perception that of her Had people.

New directions

1956 was a crucial year in his life, since on June 29 he married the playwright Arthur Miller , for which he had to convert before Judaism. This link was more surprising if it fits for the public and the press that the one of DiMaggio. Miller, a serious writer and playwright, from the Jewish intellectual elite, of openly leftist ideological positions, married a woman who was supposedly the antithesis: superficial, frivolous, with no ideas of her own, and usually appeared on the front pages of the yellow press. And those who predicted the worst, they were right, since this third and last marriage was a new personal failure. Marilyn Monroe’s light-hearted and naive did not match the exclusive circle of New York intellectuals in which Miller developed.

In the meantime, Marilyn had set in motion a new project that was causing the mistrust of the heads of studies: her own producer. Tired of abuse and contempt, in 1957 traveled to Britain to star and produce The Prince and the Showgirl (The Prince and the Showgirl), new more dramatic variation on the theme of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire . As director and partenaire his Marilyn chose the Shakespearean and very British Laurence Olivier . The filming was, as usual, somewhat turbulent, with clashes with Olivier, delays, pills and alcohol. Curiously, the specialized critic, who had already highlighted her good acting as a dramatic actress in Bus Stop ,

Back in the United States, Marilyn’s problems, insecurities, and fears were once again arising: a marriage that no longer worked; Studies increasingly refractory to hiring it, strange that this might seem given its immense popularity; New depressions; New stays in sanatoriums or rest clinics, and two new or at least more pronounced factors: alcohol and pill use, especially barbiturates.

In his next film, Some Like It Hot (Some like it hot, 1959), great and scathing comedy about love and the transsexualism that returned to direct Billy Wilder , the shooting became a real pain. In his memoirs, Wilder would remember him as the most traumatic experience of his career due to the unpredictable behavior of the actress, who never came on time or who simply had to repeat up to 65 times a plane in which only had a phrase . Nevertheless, and thanks in a certain way to the good chemistry he had with the other two main actors, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon , the final result was satisfactory; The work of Marilyn would be awarded in 1960 with a new Golden Globe,

In 1960 he co-starred with the French actor Yves Montand the film of George Cukor The billionaire (Let’s make love). Although with a habitual approach in the filmography of Monroe (humble girl but with desire of improvement that finds the love in a rich man), Cukor printed to the argument a greater dramatic accent. It was a sumptuous production, correctly performed, and with a good work of the main couple, but still there was something in the set that did not work. During the filming, Monroe and Montand had a romance that did not pass to majors. Marilyn fell in love with the actor, but for Montand it was no more than an adventure. Again, the most desirable woman in the world did not find nor had difficulty keeping a love.

A sad ending

His last film appearance, if we discount the incomplete and unreleased film of Cukor Something’s got to give , was for many critics and fans the best work of how many made Marilyn Monroe. Led by John Huston and scripted still husband Marilyn, Arthur Miller, The Misfits (The Misfits, 1961) was an elegiac film, played with the rare quality of the unrepeatable, uniting on screen three major actors Clark Gable , Montgomery Clift and Marilyn Monroe, three stars that were also going through different personal moments especially delicate moments.

A story of losers, so much to Huston’s taste, That in a last twilight you will find at least one place where you can rest and share your experiences with someone. Intense and emotional, perhaps this role was the best gift she could make to Marilyn Arthur Miller, who would divorce soon after, on January 21, 1961, just a week before the premiere of Rebel Lives . Her sentimental interpretation of the divorced Roslyn Taber, who finds a new love in the personage that embodies Gable, returned to be highlighted in 1962 with a new Globe of Gold.

The last months of Marilyn’s life present a series of obscure areas that are unlikely to become clearer, such as her relationship with then-President John F. Kennedy , which seems proven to be intimate in nature, or later to His brother, Senator Robert Kennedy , in which some evidence may suggest that it was only friendship. However, the names of both appeared then and continue appearing today in the matter of the suicide death of the actress, who died on August 5, 1962 because of an overdose of barbiturates in her home in Brentwood, California.

At three in the morning Mrs. Murray, her housekeeper, found her lying in bed in a strange pose, with the phone tightly clutched in one of her hands and the lights on. An empty bottle of Nembutal on the table testified to the massive ingestion of pills by the star. The coroner certified his death and expressed his conviction that it was a suicide. In later years, a veritable scandal industry, including the yellow press, the far right, and a ruined and desperately need Norman Mailer , speculated tirelessly about the relationship between his death and the Kennedy brothers.

It was not the first time he had ingested an overdose of barbiturates combined with alcohol: exactly the same had happened in the spring of the previous year, shortly after the separation of Miller and the premiere of Vidas rebels . The police strangely did not reveal the name of the substance Marilyn had taken, and seized and refused to make public the tapes of the telephone company on which the calls she had made the night of her death were recorded. This only confirmed the suspicion that Marilyn called someone for help, someone whose high public position did not allow him to face the scandal that would have involved being involved in such an affair.

In spite of the infinity of biographies and books that have been written about her (including her autobiography, appeared posthumously in 1974), in which it was possible to perceive that other Marilyn that does not fit the topic, still today appears in the first place, Or in a very prominent place, in all sorts of more or less frivolous rankings: in 1995 was voted by the readers of the English magazine Empire like the sexiest actress of all time; The same magazine, in 1997, ranked it as the eighth biggest movie star (male and female) of all time; And in 1999, the American People Magazine considered her the sexiest woman of the century.

In short, despite Marilyn Monroe’s bold attempts to be considered in a different way from what was seen, she will hardly ever disappear from the collective imagination as one of the erotic icons of the twentieth century. The image of The Temptation lives upstairs , with a pleated white blouse and skirt that rise and flutter as it passes over a New York subway vent, has been inextricably linked to its name. Her disappearance in her youth, and at the height of her fame as an actress and as a living erotic myth, did nothing more than increase the legend.