Life and Times of Marilyn Monroe

Among all the actresses that have glittered in the cinema world, Marilyn Monroe is one of the most celebrated names. In her short life of 36years, Monroe took the world of glamour to a new level and is considered as most mesmerizing women of all time by people all over.  Her demise is also considered as one of the most talked about conspiracy theory that has enough evidence for both suicide and homicide. Born in the year 1926 as Norma Jeane Mortenson, Marilyn had quite an eventful life. Let’s find out the rise and fall of a lady that was no less than a revolution.

 Marilyn Monroe


Marilyn Monroe childhoodBorn to Gladys Pearl Baker, a mentally ill mother, Norma was soon taken up by her foster parents. Suffering from psychological disorders, Gladys even tried to steal her daughter from the foster home. She did that by stuffing Norma into a small duffel bag which almost caused the 2year old girl to choke to death. Understanding the sensitivity, the local court declared Norma as ward of the state and gave her custody to Grace McKee, her mother’s closest friend. This was taken as a temporary arrangement till Gladys was ready to get her daughter adopted. Not that there were less applications for adoptions, but it was her mother’s decision to put down them all and keep her daughter as close as she could.  Norma couldn’t live with her aunt for a long time and as soon as Grace got married, Norma was sent to an orphanage from where she went to a series of foster homes.


As her mother was not ready to agree to any of the adoption offers, Norma was sent to live at her great-aunt, Olive Brunings’s place. Just a 9 year old, Norma had one of the worst times of her life spent here. She spent 3 years at her aunt’s place and faced physical assault by one of her aunt’s son.  The torture that she faced at such a young age is blamed to create future problems of insomnia, drug addiction etc. In 1938, Norma moved to other aunt of hers, Ana Lower. She lived in Los Angeles and loved Norma a lot. She spent another 4 years at her Ana’s place where she could enjoy the few years of her childhood.


In 1942, Grace called Norma back to live with her. An adolescent now, Norma started dating James Dougherty who lived in the neighborhood.  In the same year when Grace’ husband got a new job in Virginia, Norma got married to James as she didn’t wanted to go with them. This was her first marriage out of the three she had. James then left the house for a long time as he went to fight for his country in World War II.  Norma lived with her mother-in-law for a few years and then moved out so as to make money and fame. This is where the journey of Marilyn Monroe starts.



Norma’s guardian, Grace has told her she can become an actress as she was amazingly beautiful girl. She used to go to movies with Grace and even used to put make up or accessorize herself like movie stars did. However, the real transition from a strange to the world of cinema was after she left James. She started by doing modeling for the Yank, an army weekly magazine for models.  For this assignment, she had to dye her color to blonde. She was then hired by a prestigious modeling agency, Blue Book, and was soon their blue eyed girl. In no time, she caught attention of big movie firm, 20th Century Fox. Its executive, Ben Lyon, was highly impressed by the mesmerizing beauty of Norma. She was hired at $125/week and was given the name “Carole Lind” by Lyon and his wife but it was found to be less appealing.  In the process of suggesting new stage names, the one that makes us know her came out eventually.  Norma took her mother’s maiden name “Monroe” and after several modifications to her first name, Lyon came up with the double M combination, naming her “Marilyn Monroe”.



After 20th Century Fox, it was Columbia Pictures that recognized the talent in Monroe. She was casted as the lead in the film Ladies of the Chorus. Unfortunately, the movie was trashed by critics as well as the audience and Marilyn was released from her contract. She tried her best to regain her position in the glam world by posing bare for a magazine. A $50 job, the photographs caught spark in the media and Monroe was back to movie world. She did a small role in the movie Love Happy but was majorly involved in the promotion of the film. Later on a series of small roles in some big followed that gave a pace to her career.


It was in 1952 that she was again chosen for a lead role in the film “We’re Not Married” which was a thorough comic entertainer. In 1954, Monroe married Joe DiMaggio, a popular baseball player for New York Yankees. Monroe was slowly and steadily reaching the fame that she deserved.  Till 1955, she did like 10 films that made sure that she was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. In 1955, she did the famous scene of her skirt getting blown away by subway grating for the film “The Seven Year Itch”. This pose is still considered to be the best pose that any actress has ever given. The popularity of this pose can be seen as it is still copied by movie industries all over the world.  The pose was unpleasant for Monroe’s personal life as her baffled husband didn’t like the exposure and it ultimately led to their divorce.


Apart from creating a great following in the USA, Marilyn also started to get recognized internationally.  For the short span of time that she had spent in her second marriage, Marilyn went to Japan for honeymoon.  From there, she went to Korea to perform for soldiers out there. This not only fetched her immense popularity but also made her more confident.  After 1955, Monroe started to do fewer films as she had become an established name all over. She did some selected scripts and was involved with only big banners, mostly with 20th Century Fox.


In 1956, Monroe married for the third time. She married Arthur Miller, a popular playwright who won a Pulitzer in the year 1949. Marriage with Arthur was followed by a hiatus and a disturbing phase where Marilyn had a miscarriage. She suffered a lot of trauma because of this incident but was thoroughly supported by her husband. She re-entered into movies in the year 1958 by starring as the lead in “Some Like it Hot”. Marilyn’s re-entry didn’t mark end to her sorrow but she started to act hostile and often restrained from promotional works or even shootings. “Some Like it Hot” fetched Monroe a Golden Globe Award for best actress and was a big commercial hit. She however couldn’t keep with herself, leading to several issues with her supportive husband and eventually got divorced again in 1961. She was a popular name in cinema but was getting more disturbed and depressed as a person.



Marilyn MonroeMonroe kept her pace of doing one film in a year but became addicted to drugs and alcohol. This resulted in degradation of her being and in the morning of 5th August, 1962, Monroe took her last breath, alone. She was found dead in her room by her psychiatrist. The autopsy revealed poisonous chemicals in her body and the circumstances declared her death to be a suicide. Even her death was not spared from coming to the limelight as several conspiracy theories had generated claiming her death to be murder that was smartly designed as suicide. However, no concrete proofs could be presented but the theories are still considered and researched by media. Her funeral was conducted by her second husband, Joe DiMaggio.



Marilyn became a popular name in industry as the actress was on her peak phase and just 36 years old when she died. Lots of books were published on her and still the print media loves to cover her. Some of the finest movies Hollywood are made on Marilyn Monroe with actresses such as Nicole Kidman and Anna Nicole Smith trying to portray her.


Marilyn can be regarded as a perfect case of how beauty can hide the pain that resides in the emotions and is regarded as an example that exposed the black zone behind the extra bright world of cinema and glamour.