Marilyn Monroe (who is Marilyn Monroe?)

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Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926 (and baptized as Norma Jeane Baker), was an iconic American actress, singer, and model. She became one of the world's most enduring and recognizable symbols of glamour and sexuality during the 1950s and early 1960s.

Early Life and Career: Monroe spent much of her childhood in foster homes and an orphanage, as she never knew her father and her mother, Gladys Pearl Baker, had mental health issues. Her early life was marked by instability and hardship, which contrasted sharply with her later image of glamor and ease.

Monroe's career began as a model, which eventually led to a film contract with 20th Century Fox in 1946. She had minor roles initially, and it took a few years before she gained attention with performances in "The Asphalt Jungle" (1950) and "All About Eve" (1950).

Rise to Fame: During the mid-1950s, Monroe starred in a string of hit films that established her as a major sex symbol and one of the most popular Hollywood stars. Her successful films included "Niagara" (1953), "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (1953), "How to Marry a Millionaire" (1953), and "The Seven Year Itch" (1955). Her breathy voice, voluptuous figure, and signature blonde curls became emblematic of her brand.

Monroe's popularity was also tied to her personal life, which was the subject of much speculation. Her relationships, including marriages to baseball star Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller, were widely publicized and often tumultuous.

Acting Craft and Struggles: Despite being stereotyped as a "dumb blonde," Monroe sought more substantial roles and studied acting under Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in New York City. Her dedication to developing her craft was often overlooked due to her public persona.

She battled with a variety of personal issues, including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. These problems affected her professional life, leading to unreliability on set and difficulty in maintaining working relationships with directors and costars.

Legacy and Untimely Death: Monroe's death on August 5, 1962, at the age of 36, was ruled a probable suicide from an overdose of barbiturates. Her death has been the subject of countless speculations and conspiracy theories.

Despite her untimely passing, Marilyn Monroe remains a cultural icon and has been portrayed in various forms of media throughout the decades. She symbolizes both the glamour and the pitfalls of the Hollywood star system.

Her legacy has significantly influenced other artists, both during her life and posthumously. Monroe has been the subject of numerous books, documentaries, movies, and theatrical productions, including the 2011 film "My Week with Marilyn," starring Michelle Williams, and the acclaimed series "Smash," which featured a fictional Broadway musical based on her life.

For a deep dive into her life and career, the following references provide extensive information: * Biographies such as Donald Spoto's "Marilyn Monroe: The Biography," and "Norma Jeane: The Life of Marilyn Monroe" by Fred Lawrence Guiles. * The Marilyn Monroe Collection (, which offers a comprehensive look at Monroe's life through her personal belongings. * Films and documentaries, like "The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe" and "Marilyn Monroe: The Final Days."

Additionally, Monroe's impact on pop culture and her status as an enduring figure of American history is explored in many museum exhibits and academic studies on celebrity culture.

We've pulled together this article with a mix of research and AI - it's always worth double checking facts.