Marilyn Monroe

Article

August 14, 2022

Marilyn Monroe, real name Norma Jeane Mortenson, (June 1, 1926 Los Angeles, California – August 5, 1962 Brentwood, Los Angeles) was an American film actress, model, singer and producer. She spent most of her childhood in foster care and an orphanage, then signed a contract with Twentieth Century Fox in 1946 and began modeling. The role in the film Asphalt Jungle (1950) brought her her first success. This was followed by a lead role in the melodrama Don't Bother Knocking (1952) alongside Richard Widmark and also a lead role in the film noir Niagara. She then became the representative of the classic "silly blondes" whose naive behavior leads to comical situations in How to Marry a Millionaire, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and The Straw Widow. In the following years, she tried to break out of the box of a sex symbol on the screen, as she showed in the film Bus Stop (1956). In her own production, she then created the lead role alongside Laurence Olivier in the film The Prince and the Dancer (1957), for which she received the David di Donatello Award. She won a Golden Globe for her role as Sugar in the comedy Someone Likes Hot (1959). The last completed film was the drama Mustang (1961), based on a screenplay by her then-husband Arthur Miller. In the last years of her private and professional life, she struggled not only with an addiction to tranquilizers, but also with a film studio for a better position and role, but due to her poor health, she gained a bad reputation as an actress. The never-explained circumstances of her untimely death in 1962 then led to a great deal of speculation and theory. In the years since her death at age 36, Marilyn Monroe has become a cultural and film icon, a sex symbol, as evidenced by TV Guide Network, which voted Marilyn Monroe the "Sexiest Actress of All Time" in 2009.

Childhood

She was born Norma Jeane Baker Mortenson on June 1, 1926 at Los Angeles General Hospital. Her mother Gladys had the surname Mortenson entered in the registry office after her boyfriend, who left her before her daughter was born. But it is generally assumed that the father of little Norma was Stanley Gifford, an employee of the Consolidated Film Industry company, where Gladys also worked as a film editor. (Later, in 1944, she tried unsuccessfully to contact him. Seven years later, when her star was on the rise, she hired a private eye and had Gifford tracked down, but unfortunately even this—already the last—contact did not go well, and Gifford and her illegitimate daughter he refused to talk on the phone.) Despite attempts at family life, such as buying a house, Gladys could not take care of the child. An inherited burden of mental disorders such as paranoia and schizophrenia, and probably the physical exhaustion of working double shifts to pay off the mortgage on the house, took a toll on young Gladys' health, and Norma wandered to a foster family, then back to relatives, and then back to orphanage where she spent two years. She herself depicted this period in the darkest colors, but this later turned out to be misleading. Less than two weeks after her sixteenth birthday, at the instigation of her guardian Grace Goddard, a friend of Gladys, she chose to marry the "boy next door" James "Jim" Dougherty so that she would not have to stay in an orphanage until her eighteenth birthday. Grace Goddard wanted to remarry and move out with her husband, so young Norma Jeane would have to go back to the orphanage (Gladys was again hospitalized for serious mental disorders). It was Grace who introduced little Norma Jeane to the world of movies—first with Gladys, later alone as Gladys spent more and more time in the hospitals—taking Norma to the movies and you