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“Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.”
- MARILYN MONROE
Marilyn Monroe
Movie Legend, 1926 - 1962

Norma Jeane Mortenson (Marilyn Monroe) was born on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, California. Marilyn's acting career spanned 16 years and 29 films, and a rise from struggling actress to screen legend.

In 1944 Norma Jeane was inspecting parachutes for the army when she was photographed for an army promotion about women contributing to the war effort. Copies of these pictures got around, and by spring of 1945, Norma Jeane was known as a "photographers dream" and had appeared on 33 national magazine covers. Ben Lyon of 20th Century-Fox saw the pictures and signed Norma Jeane to a one year contract. He asked her to change her name, and from that point forward she would be known as Marilyn Monroe to generations of adoring fans.

Alton Cook, movie critic for the New York World-Telegram and Sun wrote of her 1952 performance in "Clash By Night," ... Miss Monroe is ... "a forceful actress, a gifted new star, worthy of all that fantastic press agentry. Her role here is not very big, but she makes it dominant." American film distributors voted Marilyn the top star of 1952.

"Bus Stop" opened in London in October 1956. A London Times review said..."Miss Monroe is a talented comedienne, and her sense of timing never forsake her. She gives a complete portrait, sensitively and sometimes even brilliantly conceived. There is about her a waif-life quality, an underlying note of pathos which can be strangely moving."

Early in 1960, Marilyn was consulting with prominent Hollywood psychoanalyst, Dr. Ralph Greenson. As was common during this period, Greenson relied heavily on drug therapy, routinely prescribing barbiturates and tranquilizers in addition to his psychotherapy. In July of 1960 Marilyn began filming "The Misfits" with Clark Gable. Her health continued to deteriorate due to her increased dependency on drugs. Make-up artist Allan Snyder recalled..."It took so long to get her going in the morning that usually I had to make her up while she lay in her bed." Despite these difficulties Marilyn managed to give an exceptional performance.

On August 5, 1962, Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her Brentwood, California home of an overdose of sleeping pills. There has been much speculation about the events surrounding Marilyn's death. The drug overdose was probably accidental and possibly administered by someone other than Marilyn. Whatever the cause, it is unlikely it was suicide.

If you are aware of books, movies, databases, web sites or other information sources about Marilyn Monroe or related subjects, or if you would like to comment, please contact us.

Resource Menu
Books About Marilyn Monroe

Legend Legend: The Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe
by Fred Lawrence Guiles

A touching, in-depth biography of Marilyn Monroe.

Purchase this Hardcover edition of Legend: The Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Marilyn: Her Life In Her Own Words
by George Barris

In 1962 until her death in August of the same year, George Barris worked with Marilyn Monroe on collecting information for a biography. After thirty years, the conversations and the photographs taken during the last months of her life are published in this book.

Purchase this paperback edition of Marilyn: Her Life In Her Own Words

Marilyn Monroe Marilyn Monroe: The Complete Last Sitting
by Bert Stern

More than 2,500 photographs make up this monumental tribute Marilyn. A beautiful book by renowned fashion photographer Bert Stern.

Purchase this hardcover edition of Marilyn Monroe: The Complete Last Sitting

Marilyn Marilyn
by Eve Arnold (Photographer)

While many photographers captured Monroe's obvious sexuality, Eve Arnold, the only woman to have photographed her extensively, captured some of the most tender images of Marilyn ever seen.

Purchase this hardcover edition of Marilyn

Marilyn Marilyn
by Gloria Steinem, George Barris (Photographer)

A sensitive portrait of Marilyn Monroe that reveals the woman behind the myth. 16 pages of full-color photos.

Purchase this hardcover edition of Marilyn


Marilyn Monroe DVDs

Marilyn Monroe Marilyn Monroe - The Diamond Collection

Bus Stop, How to Marry a Millionaire, There's No Business Like Show Business, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch and The Final Days

Purchase this DVD edition of Marilyn Monroe - The Diamond Collection

Marilyn Monroe Marilyn Monroe - The Diamond Collection II

Don't Bother to Knock, Let's Make Love, Monkey Business, Niagara, River of No Return

Purchase this DVD edition of Marilyn Monroe - The Diamond Collection II

Some Like It Hot Some Like It Hot (Collector's Edition)

Hillarious Billy Wilder film starring, Marilyn, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon.

Purchase this DVD edition of Some Like It Hot

Marilyn's Man Marilyn's Man

This feature documentary debunks the myths about Marilyn Monroe and her legacy. Through the eyes of her first husband, Jim Dougherty, the truth about Marilyn Monroe and her early life as Norma Jeane Baker is revealed.

Purchase this DVD edition of Marilyn's Man

Beyond the Legend Marilyn Monroe: Beyond the Legend

Documentary account of Marilyn Monroe's life narrated by Richard Widmark.

Purchase this DVD edition of Marilyn Monroe: Beyond the Legend


Marilyn Monroe Music

The Very Best of Marilyn Monroe The Very Best of Marilyn Monroe

A great collection of songs sung by Marilyn between 1953 and 1962.

Purchase this audio CD of The Very Best of Marilyn Monroe


Marilyn Monroe Online Videos

Tribute to Marilyn
A tribnute to Marilyn performed by Susan Griffiths to the "Candle in the Wind" by Elton John

Happy Birthday Mr. President

Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend
From "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes."

Marilyn Monroe - Early Screen Test

TV documentary including Marilyn's last interview only weeks before her death in 1962
PART 1/2 - PART 2/2

Marilyn Monroe Hollywood Icon Dies


Related Websites

The Official Marilyn Webpage

Marilyn Monroe's FBI File

Marilyn Monroe—Still Life
PBS's American Masters Series



Marilyn Monroe


Related Figures in the Lucidcafé Library


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© 1995-2014 Robin Chew | Article written June 1996 |  Contact Us