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Marilyn Monroe was born on June 1, 1926. If she hadn’t died at the age of 36 in 1962, what could she do now? Would she have continued to play? Will you be Ms. Joe DiMaggio for the second time as he claimed? Made an Oscar-winning career for yourself? What might have been remains a mystery, much like Monroe himself. But here are some facts we know.

1. Norma Jeane Baker’s first marriage was arranged.

As a child, Norma Jean Baker (originally written as Norma Jeane) was in nursing homes, state nursing and guardianship of various family friends. She never knew her father and her mother had been sent to a psychiatric facility. A 1

5-year-old Baker had stayed with Grace Goddard, a friend of the family, but they decided to move to West Virginia and couldn’t take Baker with them. If she hadn’t married, the teenager would have been returned to an orphanage. So they turned to 20-year-old James Dougherty next door and proposed a marriage. “I thought she was terribly young,” he said later, “but we talked and understood each other pretty well.” They were married only 18 days after they turned 16.

2. Norma Jean Baker was named after a movie star.

Norma Jean Baker’s mother was famous for her daughter early on. She chose “Norma” as her first name after the actress Norma Talmadge.

3. “Marilyn Monroe” was not her first choice for a stage name.

If Norma Jean Baker had left with her first choice of artist name, “Jean Adair” would be the familiar name today. According to Baker’s sister, Baker’s original stage name was Norma Jeane, her real name.

4. “Monroe” was the maiden name of Marilyn Monroe’s mother.

Baker chose Monroe as her last name because it was her mother’s maiden name. In her ghostly autobiography, Monroe said she was told she was somehow related to President James Monroe, but no evidence was ever found. “Marilyn” came from a studio manager who thought she looked like Marilyn Miller, an actress who died at the age of 37 (Monroe was 36 when she died).

5. When Gladys Baker told people she was Marilyn Monroe’s mother, no one believed her.

When Gladys Baker, Marilyn’s mother, told people that Marilyn Monroe was her daughter, nobody believed her. Gladys, once a film cutter at RKO, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and has been in and outside psychiatric care for years. Gladys brought Norma Jean to a foster family at just two weeks of age, which led to a number of orphanages and nursing homes for the rest of her childhood – so she had no close relationship with her mother. When Marilyn hit it big and told Glady’s friends and coworkers that her daughter was Marilyn Monroe, they dismissed it as one of their paranoid schizophrenic delusions.

6. Marilyn Monroe often referred to “Marilyn Monroe” in the third person.

Actor Eli Wallach once recalled that Monroe seemed to operate an internal switch and “Marilyn” seemed to turn on and off. He had walked completely incognito with her on Broadway one evening and the next minute she was full of attention. “‘I just felt like I was Marilyn for a minute,” Wallach recalls her saying. Photographer Sam Shaw often heard her criticize and comment on “Marilyn’s” appearances in films or photo shoots, saying, “She wouldn’t do that. Marilyn would say that.”

7. Marilyn Monroe was Truman Capote’s first choice to play Holly Golightly Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Truman Capote had Monroe in the lead role Breakfast at Tiffany’s– and she even performed two scenes for him. “It was incredibly good,” said Capote later. In the end, she didn’t take part because her advisor and acting coach didn’t think it was the kind of character she was supposed to play. Either way, Capote was not at all enthusiastic about the studio’s choice of Audrey Hepburn and said, “Paramount crossed me in every way and cast Audrey.”

8. Marilyn Monroe reportedly hated being in front of the camera.

After working with Monroe on Bus stopOscar-nominated actor Don Murray noted that while her talent was undeniable, she never felt entirely comfortable in front of the camera. “She was a very experienced film actress, but she could forget so many mechanical techniques. She would constantly miss her tracks, so she would be out of focus or foolish or in the shadows, ”said Murray. “I think it was a lack of trust. For someone the camera loved, she was still afraid to step in front of the camera and there was a rash all over her body. “

9. Marilyn Monroe’s glow in front of the camera was not entirely natural.

Before applying her makeup, Marilyn applied a layer of Nivea cream or Vaseline, believing that it made her look brighter on the film. And she tried to stay away from the sun. “Despite his big fashion in California, I don’t think sun-tanned skin is more attractive or healthier,” Monroe once said. “Personally, I’m against a deep tan because I like to feel.” blonde everywhere. “

10. Marilyn Monroe was for intellectual men.

Monroe’s marriage to the writer Arthur Miller probably tells you that, but there is more evidence. Monroe was once a roommate of actress Shelley Winters, who said they made a list of men they wanted to sleep with, just for fun. “There was no one under 50 with her,” Winters later reported. “I never had to ask her how much of her list she had achieved before she died, but Albert Einstein was on her list, and after her death I noticed that there was a silver-framed photo of him on her white piano.”

11. Marilyn Monroe was loyal to Arthur Miller, although she thought it would endanger her career.

In 1956, Marilyn’s future husband –The Crucible playwright Arthur Miller – was called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. When this happened, celebrities were supposed to name people who were allegedly involved in communist activities. Miller refused what could have put him in jail. Marilyn’s unwavering commitment to Miller likely prevented the playwright from being convicted. (It probably didn’t hurt that he announced their wedding plans in the middle of his testimony.)

12. The FBI had a file on Marilyn Monroe.

The FBI’s file on Monroe was probably opened because of its relationship with Miller and his “un-American” activities, along with a request to visit the Soviet Union in 1955. (She never actually made the trip.) If you are so inclined, you can read the file online.

13. Marilyn Monroe’s house was bugged.

The only house Monroe ever owned, a humble hacienda in Brentwood, California, was bought by married actors Michael Irving and Veronica Hamel in the early 1970s, about a decade after Marilyn had died there. During a remodeling, the couple discovered a sophisticated government-grade telephone interception system that spanned the entire house.

14. According to Shelley Winters, Marilyn Monroe was not a great cook.

Winters says she once asked the actress to wash salad so that she could eat salad for dinner. When she went into the kitchen, Winters found Monroe, who washed every single leaf of lettuce “with a Brillo pad”.

15. But Marilyn Monroe finally found her stand in the kitchen.

Several of Monroe’s recipes were discovered after her death and in 2010 The New York Times tried to make her filling recipe for Thanksgiving. They found it surprisingly complex and put forward the theory that “she not only cooked, but also cooked confidently and with flair”.

16. Marilyn Monroe was read well.

Monroe’s bookcase was extremely impressive. At the time of her death she had more than 400 volumes, including several first editions. Of the thousands of photos she took, she particularly liked those who showed her reading. As a director she once read R.M. Rilkes Letters to a young poethe asked her how she chose it. “”[On] In the evening, if I have nothing else to do, I go to the Pickwick bookstore on Hollywood Boulevard, “she said to him.” And I open books at random – or when I get to a page or paragraph that I like, I buy the book. So I bought it last night. Is that wrong?”

17. Marilyn Monroe helped Ella Fitzgerald book the Mocambo Club.

Rumor has long been circulating that Ella Fitzgerald was initially rejected for her race, but according to a biographer, the race was not a deterrent to nightclub owner Charlie Morrison. Eartha Kitt and Dorothy Dandridge had already played there. The problem was that Morrison didn’t think Fitzgerald was glamorous enough for his patrons. Monroe, a big Fitzgerald fan, promised to be in the front row every night when Morrison would book them, and guaranteed the club an enormous amount of press. He agreed and Monroe stayed true to her word. “After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again,” said Fitzgerald. “She was an unusual woman – a little ahead of her time. And she didn’t know it.”

18. Marilyn Monroe found it difficult to remember lines.

“The joke was she couldn’t hit two sentences,” said Don Murray, an actor who starred in the film with Monroe in 1956 Bus stop. Although some attributed it to a lack of professionalism, others – including Murray – believed it was nervous.

19. Marilyn Monroe’s closet is worth a fortune.

At $ 1,267,500, the sheer dress Monroe wore in 1962 to sing JFK “Happy Birthday” set the world record for the most expensive garment ever sold. A collector company bought it. The famous Seven years of itching The dress also set a record at $ 4.6 million in 2011. Casual clothes cost less, but still get more than an average pair of Levi’s: Tommy Hilfiger bought her jeans from Otto Preminger River of no return for $ 37,000 – and gave it to Britney Spears as a gift.

20. Frank Sinatra gave Marilyn Monroe a dog named Maf.

The Maltese Terrier was a gift from Frank Sinatra, and the dog’s full name was “Mafia Honey”, which apparently alluded to Sinatra’s alleged criminal ties. After Monroe’s death, Maf was taken in by Sinatra’s secretary Gloria Lovell.

21. Maf the dog “wrote” a book in 2010.

In 2010, the author Andrew O’Hagan wrote The life and opinions of Maf the Dog and his girlfriend Marilyn Monroe– a fiction from Maf’s point of view.

22. Joe DiMaggio and Frank Sinatra once tried to catch Marilyn Monroe cheating with another man.

In 1954, Joltin ‘Joe and Ol’ Blue Eyes had dinner together when a private investigator hired by DiMaggio advised them that Marilyn was in a house with another man at that very moment. They gathered a lot – yes, a crowd– and broke into the house where she supposedly had her tryst.

Only when they opened the lock on the door and took pictures did they realize that it was the wrong house. The whole thing went up in the air when the homeowner complained; Sinatra had to testify before the California State Senate two years later. The home owner, Secretary Florence Kotz, received $ 7,500 for her trauma.

23. Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were only married for 8 months.

Their romance is notorious, but Monroe was married to second husband Joe DiMaggio for only 274 days. Although many things have contributed to her divorce, the infamous “subway scene” is in The darn seventh year– where the skirt of Marilyn’s white dress rises – is said to have been the last straw. The scene was filmed in front of a large crowd of media and viewers, and DiMaggio got angry at how much it exposed itself. They fought over it and according to some reports, DiMaggio became physical.

24. Marilyn Monroe divorced Joe DiMaggio for “mental cruelty”.

Regardless of whether DiMaggio came into contact with Monroe or not, their marriage ended shortly afterwards The darn seventh year Incident. Monroe filed for divorce for “mental cruelty” not long after.

The kicker? This particular struggle was completely unnecessary. The crowd made enough noise that the footage shot that day was completely unusable, so Monroe had to re-shoot her scenes on a closed sound stage.

25. Joe DiMaggio remained devoted to Marilyn Monroe after her divorce.

DiMaggio was still there when Monroe needed him and brought her to spring training so she could get away from Hollywood for a while. Shortly before her death, DiMaggio had told friends that they would marry again. When she died, he was responsible for the funeral and refused to allow almost anyone from Hollywood to attend. “Tell them if they weren’t, they’d still be here,” he said. After her death, he had roses brought to his grave twice a week for 20 years.

26. Marilyn Monroe has been in discussions for years to act in a biopic about Jean Harlow, one of her heroes.

Marilyn and her friend Sidney Skolsky had long drawn up plans for a Jean Harlow biopic in which Marilyn would play and produce Skolsky. Harlow, another blonde bombshell, and a Hollywood star who died young was one of Marilyn’s idols – so self-casting would have been poetic.

27. Even in death, Marilyn Monroe and Jean Harlow had a lot in common.

About DiMaggio, who had been given roses to Monroe’s grave several times a week for 20 years after her death? The tradition was taken from Jean Harlow’s early death: when she died, fiancé William Powell had flowers brought to her grave every week for years. A report says that Monroe DiMaggio actually asked to fulfill the same pathological promise on her wedding day.

28. Warren Beatty was one of the last to see Marilyn Monroe alive.

A 25-year-old Warren Beatty attended a party at the house of actor (and JFK’s brother-in-law) Peter Lawford when he first met Monroe. She asked him to walk along the beach with her; He later recalled that “it was more soulful than romantic.” Her death was announced the next day.

29. Marilyn Monroe’s legacy made a lot more money after Monroe’s death.

At the height of her career, Marilyn had a million dollar contract for two films. During the same period, Elizabeth Taylor received a million dollars for her role in Cleopatra alone. It is estimated that Marilyn was worth about $ 20 million at the time of her death, which is no reason to sneeze – but her estate now earns $ 30 million a year.

30. Being buried near Marilyn Monroe is a big deal.

After her death, Monroe was buried in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. DiMaggio originally owned the crypt over hers, but sold it when they divorced. The buyer was Richard Poncher, a fan who asked that he be turned over at his funeral so that he could lie face down on Monroe for eternity. Charming. Although his wife complied with the request, she changed her mind in 2009 and put the property up for sale on eBay. It brought in a whopping $ 4.6 million, but the buyer later resigned.

Hugh Hefner bought the property next to hers. Although she graced the first cover of playboyThe two never met. “I feel a double connection to her because she was the starting key for the beginning of playboy“He said. When Hefner died in 2017, he was buried on the property he bought for $ 75,000 in 1992.

This story was updated in 2020.

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