Remembering 'blonde bombshell' Marilyn Monroe on her 51st death anniversary

Monday, 5 August 2013 - 1:17pm IST | Agency: DNA Web Team
From Norma Jeane Mortenson to Marilyn Monroe.

In 1926 a girl was born in the charity ward at the Los Angeles County Hospital who would become one of the most celebrated and enduring icons of all time – Marilyn Monroe.

Norma Jeane Mortenson’s childhood was volatile as she was passed from family members to family friends and frequently stayed in orphanages as a result of her mother’s mental health. To avoid another orphanage stay a family friend orchestrated a marriage proposal when she was sixteen years old. When her husband was sent to the Pacific with the merchant marine, Norma Jeane began working on an assembly line at an aeronautical plant.

In 1945 a photographer took a snapshot of the stunning brunette while at the factory and within months she became a successful model securing dozens of magazine covers and a screen test with 20th Century Fox. Studio executives, directors and photographers immediately recognized her ability to capture and hold the attention of anyone on the opposite end of a camera lens. By the end of 1946 her hair had become a platinum shade of blonde and her name was changed to Marilyn Monroe.

Over a little more than a decade Monroe captivated audiences through a multitude of comedic and dramatic roles. Audiences loved her breathy, blonde bombshell appeal combined with her light comedic approach in How To Marry A Millionaire, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven-Year Itch and Some Like It Hot.

She was serious about her craft and delivered believable, flawed characters in Don’t Bother To Knock and Niagara. She worked closely with Lee Strasberg at The Actor’s Studio who referred to her as one of the two students out of “hundreds and hundreds” that stood out above the rest. The other was Marlon Brando.

In 1956 the New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther reported on her breakthrough role, “HOLD onto your chairs, everybody, and get set for a rattling surprise. Marilyn Monroe has finally proved herself an actress in Bus Stop. She and the picture are swell!” Although it didn’t get good reviews The Misfits is one of Monroe’s most staggering and indelible performances. She received a Golden Globe award for her performance in Some Like It Hot and a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in Bus Stop.

The famous picture of Marilyn Monroe, laughing as her skirt is blown up by the blast from a subway vent, is shot on this day in 1954 during the filming of The Seven Year Itch. The scene infuriated her husband, Joe DiMaggio, who felt it was exhibitionist, and the couple divorced shortly afterward.

The final years of Monroe's life were marked by illness, personal problems, and a reputation for unreliability and being difficult to work with. The circumstances of her death, from an overdose of barbiturates, have been the subject of conjecture. Though officially classified as a "probable suicide", the possibility of an accidental overdose, as well as of homicide, have not been ruled out. In 1999, Monroe was ranked as the sixth-greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute. In the decades following her death, she has often been cited as both a pop and a cultural icon as well as the quintessential American sex symbol. In 2009, TV Guide Network named her No. 1 in Film's Sexiest Women of All Time.

Text from: http://marilynmonroe.com and wikipedia


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