Creator / Marilyn Monroe

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“To have survived, she would have had to be either more cynical or even further from reality than she was. Instead, she was a poet on a street corner trying to recite to a crowd pulling at her clothes."
Arthur Miller, Marilyn's third husband

The most famous of the "Blonde Bombshells".

Marilyn Monroe (June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962) was born Norma Jeane Mortenson to a mentally unstable mother and a missing father, she was placed with foster parents and lived there until she was seven. Her mother was bizarre and once tried to kidnap her from her foster parents by stuffing her in a bag. A few years later her mother bought a house and they lived together, but a few months later her mother had a mental breakdown (the first of many). She was then moved into foster care as a ward of the state and her later guardian Grace McKee was the one who got her into movies. However her guardian got married and she was sent to an orphanage, and then to a string of foster homes (it is unclear how many).

Several families wanted to adopt her but she ended up going back with Grace. Grace's new husband repeatedly attempted to sexually assault her and she was sent to her great-aunt Olive's. This didn't last long either because one of Olive's sons sexually assaulted her. She was moved to her aunt Ana's, who she had a good relationship with, but Ana had health problems and went back to live with Grace. This was also short since Grace's husband found a job elsewhere and wanted to move without her, and they ended up approaching her current boyfriend's mother so she could get married.

At 16 she married, but her husband was a Marine and was shipped to the Pacific, so she moved in with his mother.

Norma Jeane was working in a factory during World War II when someone took a picture of her for a magazine. This small event would eventually lead to her fame as the actress "Marilyn Monroe".

Before then, she took up a successful modeling career after having dyed her brunette hair to blonde. She got some small acting jobs, but nothing big, although she did agree to change her name, which included taking on her grandmother's surname. At one point she posed nude for photos when she had no other jobs. These photos caused a scandal and nearly ruined her career when it ended up on a calendar, and eventually the first issue of Playboy. Marilyn headed off the scandal by admitting she posed, because she had no other way to pay her bills and by her natural charm and innocence winning everyone over.

Her career took off over a number of films, but she also suffered from stage fright which eventually led to taking pills and booze to relax her.

She was briefly married to Baseball star Joe DiMaggio and later to playwright Arthur Miller. Allegedly, she had an affair with John F. Kennedy. Her singing "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" in a slinky dress in 1962 is commonly referenced/parodied. She was also romantic penpals with Portuguese dictator Antonio De Oliveira Salazar.

Behavior aside, she was also noted to be far more intelligent than people gave her credit for, and made sure she learned drama (she studied acting at The Actor's Studio). The Dumb Blonde persona she had on film was, in fact, acting.

During her marriage to Arthur Miller, she converted to Judaism, and may have continued her religious observance after the divorce.

She died in 1962 from an overdose of barbiturates. Her death was officially classified as a "probable suicide", but it would spark Conspiracy Theories for years to come.

See also: actress Jayne Mansfield.

Do NOT confuse her with Marilyn Manson. Although, funny story, he DID actually take his first name from her.


Partial filmography:


"Tropes Are A Girl's Best Friend":

  • Alliterative Name: Invoked. When she was advised to change her name upon becoming an actress, she chose her mother's maiden name of Monroe, and although she wanted to base her first name on her actual first names, Norma Jeane, 20th Century Fox head of production Ben Lyon suggested "Marilyn Monroe", partly in homage to early 20th century Broadway actress Marilyn Miller and partly because he felt an alliterative name was more attention-grabbing.note 
  • Aroused by Their Voice: Marilyn intentionally invoked this in all of her movies, and occasionally mocked at the time as being over the top. Nowadays, when a character speaks in a breathy, low voice, they're mimicking Marilyn whether they know it or not.
  • Nice Girl: She played nice girls in movies, her only villainous role being Niagara and she generally played sweet Innocent Fanservice Girl in films like Some Like it Hot, Let's Make Love, The Misfits.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: The famous "Happy Birthday" dress (you know, the one in the Smithsonian...).
  • Sexy Walk: Her swaying walk was renowned. There's a pretty well-substantiated story that she would sometimes cut a small piece off the tip of one of her high-heeled shoes to accentuate that sexy wobble.
    • There is another story that Monroe and a friend were walking down a street one day in a crowded city and Monroe was going completely unnoticed, despite not being particularly disguised. The friend pointed this out, and Monroe replied with amusement that she could turn it on and off at will — and promptly started to do her Sexy Walk. Cue requests for autographs, etc.
  • Stage Name: Although the name Norma Jeane now has a glamorous connotation because of her.
  • The Woobie: invoked Eli Wallach, her friend for several years, noted that she had this quality about her in her film roles: "As an actress she has lots of imitators - but only Marilyn survives. Why? Because people sense something real and helpless from her on that screen; they want to protect this girl and she makes them ashamed for having thought any dirty thoughts about her."

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