When people hear the name Marilyn Monroe, mostly everyone has the same image in their mind of who this woman was. Some of the adjectives people would use to describe her are beautiful, glamorous, iconic, or even dumb. What people don’t understand is that all those words could be just an image that the media created for her. Marilyn Monroe was a troubled young woman who had a rough upbringing that haunted her for the rest of her life. All of that aside, she was one of the most influential people of the 20th century and one of the first sex symbols. People even consider her to be a legend.
Marilyn Monroe was born as Norma Jean Mortensen on June 1st 1926. Her mother, Gladys Monroe, was mentally unstable and her father was never in the picture. Right after Norma Jean was born; her mother put her into foster care. When she was 7 years old, her mother reclaimed her and brought her back. Shortly after that, Gladys Monroe was diagnosed with being clinically insane and was put into a psychiatric hospital. For Norma Jean, this meant being brought up in a series of foster homes; 2 of which where she was raped all before she was 12 years old. At 16, she figured out a way to escape her life as a foster child.
She married a 21 year old air-crafter named James Dougherty, whom she didn’t even love. He was sent to war and she was sent to live with her mother-in-law, which most army wives did back then. In 1944, while working at a parachute factory, she was discovered and was asked to be a model. Norma Jean’s face began to appear on the cover of many magazines. Realizing there was more to life than just being a young housewife, Norma Jean divorced her husband in 1946 which is also the year she changed her name to Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn was on her way to becoming an actress.
At first she only appeared in small roles in films including “Love Happy” and “All about Eve”. But in 1953 she rose to stardom with bigger roles in movies such as “Gentleman Prefer Blondes” and “How to Marry a Millionaire”. That same year, she began dating Yankees baseball player Joe Dimaggio. All of America loved them together. The next year they eloped, only to divorce 8 months later which devastated people all over the country. After her lead roles in “The Seven Year Itch” and “There’s no Business like Show Business”, her work began to slow down due to undergoing psychoanalysis.
But in 1956 she was in the film “Bus Stop” which critics praised her performance in. That same year, she married Arthur Miller and divorced him in 1960. Throughout that time in her life she abused alcohol, pills, and suffered from 2 miscarriages. Marilyn was slowly disintegrating. She would show up late on set while filming movies and was even fired from what was supposed to be her last film “Something’s Got to Give”. The movie never was released because of this. Only 17 days after her famous “Happy Birthday” performance for John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe was found dead at her home from an overdose of sleeping pills.
She was only 36 years old. There is a lot of speculation surrounding the events of her death. Some people think it was a suicide, others prefer not to believe that. There were even conspiracy theories that were triggered by alleged affairs with both John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy. Marilyn’s career as an actress spanned over 16 years. She made 29 films and 24 of those were released in her first 8 years as an actress. Everyone in this day and age can agree that Marilyn Monroe was an amazing actress. Many people try to play her in movies and pose as her for spreads in magazines but no one will ever compare to her. Thank you.