Name at birth: Norma Jeane Mortenson
Marilyn Monroe's sex appeal, talent and untimely death combined to make her one of Hollywood's most recognizable icons and possibly the world's most famous blonde. Early in her film career she played cheerful but not-too-smart objects of desire in movies like How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) and The Seven Year Itch (1955). Her va-va-voom curves made her a global celebrity, and she went on to win acclaim as a talented actress in the films Bus Stop (1956) and Some Like It Hot (1959, with Jack Lemmon). Her personal life was famously untidy; her husbands included baseball star Joe DiMaggio (1954) and playwright Arthur Miller (1956-61). Her last film was Miller's drama The Misfits (1961, co-starring Clark Gable). She was found dead in 1962 of an overdose of sleeping pills, and her death was officially ruled a probable suicide.
Marilyn Monroe was married three times in all: to Jimmy Dougherty (1942-1946), whom she married when she was 16; to Joe DiMaggio (1954), and to Arthur Miller (1956-1961)… Elton John’s memorial tribute to Princess Diana, “Candle in the Wind,” was originally written for Marilyn… Her birth name is often given as Norma Jeane Baker. But according to the official site of her estate, the name on her birth certificate was Norma Jean Mortenson, but she was later baptized as Norma Jeane Baker… She is sometimes compared to Jayne Mansfield, another big blonde of the era who was promoted as “the next Monroe.”
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