In the height of her career, Marilyn Monroe was thought to be the most beautiful woman in the world. Curvy, sexy, blonde, and beautiful, Marilyn was the epitome of Hollywood glamour.
However, before she became Marilyn, little Norma Jeane was a girl with a troubled childhood. In and out of foster care, suffering abusive relationships, and a very young marriage made life for Norma Jeane almost unbearable.
It wasn’t until she started modeling that Norma realized her potential…and, as they say, the rest is history.
Today would have been Marilyn’s 91st birthday. Even today – years after her death – she still remains a pinnacle of elegance and beauty, showing young girls that women can be beautiful AND smart…and that beauty (and sexiness) comes in all shapes and sizes!
26 Fun Facts About Marilyn Monroe
As a child, Norma Jeane Baker (later Marilyn Monroe) lived in an orphanage and had 11 sets of foster parents after her mother was institutionalized.
Her agent, Johnny Hyde, supposedly convinced Marilyn to have two plastic surgeries: reshaping the cartilage at the tip of her nose and a chin implant.
Although she was typecast as a dumb blonde, a persona she hated, she was actually extremely intelligent. She had an IQ of 168.
Although she famously sang “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend”, in reality Marilyn owned only costume jewelry. The only real jewelry she owned was a diamond ring and a strand of pearls given to her by her second husband, Joe DiMaggio.
Marilyn was one of the first women to own her own production company, titled Marilyn Monroe Productions. It only released one film, The Prince and the Showgirl (1957).
After marrying playwright Arthur Miller, Marilyn converted to Judaism.
Miller also wrote Marilyn’s role in The Misfits for her as a Valentine’s Day gift. Though she hated the role, many critics consider it the best performance of her career.
After her breakup with Miller, Frank Sinatra gave Marilyn a Maltese terrier to help her feel better. She named it Maf, short for Mafia Honey.
The flesh-colored dress Marilyn wore while singing “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy was covered with 2,500 rhinestones and was so tight that she had to be sewn into it.
And with a $1.2 million price tag, that famous dress set a world record for the most expensive piece of clothing ever sold.
Marilyn won a Golden Globe for her role as Sugar Kane in Some Like it Hot.
Marilyn made Joe DiMaggio promise to leave flowers on her grave every week if she died before him. He kept his promise, having six red roses delivered to her grave three times a week for 20 years following her death.
DiMaggio was also in charge of planning her funeral and refused to allow anyone from the Hollywood universe to attend, saying, “…if it wasn’t for them, she’d still be here.”
Though her death was ruled a “probable suicide”, many of Marilyn’s friends believe she was murdered. Possible suspects have included Robert Kennedy (with whom she had an affair), John F. Kennedy, Sam Giancana (Mafioso), members of the FBI, the CIA, and her psychiatrist Ralph Greenson.
However, a 1982 review of her death concluded that Marilyn most likely committed suicide or accidentally overdosed and was not murdered.
Marilyn was buried in her pale apple green Pucci sheath dress, a favorite of hers.
Actor Eli Wallach has said that Marilyn had in inner switch to turn “Marilyn Monroe” on or off. Norma Jeane would often refer to Marilyn Monroe in the third person, saying “Marilyn wouldn’t do this, she would do that.”
Marilyn loved to read, and of all the photos taken of her, she loved the ones of her reading the best. At the time of her death, she owned more than 400 volumes, including several first editions. She would often browse bookstores, opening books at random and buying the ones that opened up to interesting pages.
Hugh Hefner purchased the plot next to Marilyn’s and, though she graced the first cover of Playboy, the two never met.
Norma Jeane Baker legally changed her name to Marilyn Monroe in 1956, after already becoming a star. She also modeled under a variety of names, including Jean Norman and Mona Monroe, and signed into hotels as Zelda Zonk.
At a 1999 auction of Marilyn’s effects, her white baby grand piano was bought by Mariah Carey for $662,500.
Before her marriage to Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller, Marilyn was married at age 16 to James Dougherty. Dougherty, who later became a detective with the LAPD, was forbidden by his second wife from going to see any of Marilyn’s films!
Marilyn’s hero was Abraham Lincoln. She said, “he was the only famous American who seemed most like me, at least in his childhood.”
Possibly because of her relationship with the Kennedy’s, Marilyn’s home was found to be bugged. Veronica Hamel bought Marilyn’s home in 1972. She claimed that when she was renovating the house, she discovered an extensive system of wire-taps.
The home Marilyn died in is located at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive, Brentwood CA.
In 1947, Marilyn was crowned Miss California Artichoke Queen. She’d eventually go on to be crowned the Sexiest Woman of the Century by People, Empire, and Playboy.
Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!