MARILYN MONROE BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY :
"I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful, but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else."
Marilyn Monroe was a Hollywood glamour icon and more then just a sex goddess from the 1950's. She was voluptuous and beautiful and was without a doubt, the most famous lady of the 20th century.
Marilyn was born on June, 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, California and her birth name was Norma Jeane Mortenson. Her birth mother, Gladys Baker and birth father (unknown) began raising Norma Jeane in Los Angeles, however her mother was unable to hold a steady job and was forced after under-going psychological evaluation, to live in a mental institution.
Norma Jeane spent most of her childhood years hopping from foster homes and orphanages until the year 1937. At the age of 16, a family friend, Grace Mckee Goddard took Norma Jeane under her wing and let her come live in her home. However, in 1942 Grace's husband got transferred to live on the East coast and financially they could not afford to take Norma Jeane with them. Norma Jeane was left with two options as a young 16 year old girl, return to the orphanage or find a man to marry.
At the young age of only 16, Norma Jeane married her old childhood neighbor, 21 year old, Jimmy Dougherty on June 19th, 1942. They had a happy marriage until Jimmy joined the Merchant Marines in 1944 and was shipped off to the South Pacific.
Norma was lucky enough to find work after Jimmy left working on the assembly line at the Radio Plane Munitions factory located in the city of Burbank, California. Her luck struck when a photographer by the name of David Conover, working for the Yank magazine, spotted her at her place of employment while photographing women who made a contribution to the war effort. She got her first modeling job for this particular shoot and Conover proceeded to send modeling "gigs" Norma's direction. In only 2 short years following her discovery she had worked for many popular magazines and was becoming a well known model.
Her dreams of becoming a star took off at this point. She took it upon herself to enroll in drama classes and began studying women icons, Jean Harlow and Lana Turner. Her career was just taking off when her husband Jimmy returned in 1946. Norma Jeane was at a high point in her life with the tough decision to choose between her marriage to Jimmy or furthering her goal to become a star.
Norma Jeane chose her career and in 1946 she divorced Jimmy. On August 26th, 1946 Norma Jeane signed her first major studio contract with Twentieth Century Fox. Her salary was at that time a weekly pay of $125. Soon after the wannabe star, died her hair a platinum blonde and changed her name to who we know today as Marilyn Monroe (using her grandmothers last name.) However, it was not until February 23rd, 1956 that she legally changed her name to Marilyn Monroe.
Marilyn's first movie role was "The Shocking Miss Pilgrim in 1947". This was just a bit part, but she was already becoming well loved by fans. Marilyn Monroe had her first speaking role, a one line bit part in "Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay!" (1948) starring June Haver, Lon McCallister, Walter Brennan, Anne Revere, Natalie Wood, Henry Hull and Tom Tully.
Marilyn made her her second film appearance as Evie the waitress, in the restaurant scene, in the drama "Dangerous Years" (1947) starring Billy Halop, Ann E. Todd, Scotty Beckett, Darryl Hickman, Gil Stratton, Jerome Cowan and Dickie Moore followed by the musical "Ladies Of The Chorus" (1949) starring Rand Brooks and Adele Jergens, as a dancer who falls in love with a married man.
Up until 1950 she had various small roles such as "Love Happy" (1949) the Marx Brothers, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Groucho Marx, plus Ilona Massey, Vera-Ellen, Paul Valentine, Marion Hutton, Raymond Burr, Bruce Gordon, Eric Blore and a walk-on cameo by Marilyn, " A Ticket to Tomahawk " (1950) starring Dan Dailey, Anne Baxter, Rory Calhoun, Walter Brennan, Connie Gilchrist, Arthur Hunnicutt, Chief Yowlachie, Will Wright and Victor Sen Yung and "Right Cross" (1950) starring alongside June Allyson, Ricardo Montalban, Dick Powell, Lionel Barrymore and Kenneth Tobey, until the thriller "The Asphalt Jungle" with an ensemble cast including Sterling Hayden, Jean Hagen, Sam Jaffe, Louis Calhern and James Whitmore, by famed director John Huston, gave her the opportunity of a more substantial role. The year progressed with Marilyn playing Claudia Caswell in "All About Eve" which also starred Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm, Hugh Marlowe, Barbara Bates, Gregory Ratoff, Gary Merrill and Thelma Ritter. Rounding out 1950 was a film wherein Marilyn had only a minor role "The Fireball" (1950) film starring Mickey Rooney, Pat O'Brien, James Brown and Milburn Stone.
Everything was beginning to fall into place and she was earning praise in her career. in 1951 she was a presenter at the Academy Awards and Marilyn continued to work in film and had roles in films such as "Love Nest" (1951) was a comedy drama film starring June Haver, William Lundigan, Frank Fay, Ray Montgomery and Jack Paar, later of "The Tonight Show" fame, "Let's Make It Legal" also starring Claudette Colbert, Macdonald Carey, Zachary Scott, Barbara Bates and Robert Wagner, "Don't Bother to Knock" co-starring Richard Widmark, Anne Baxter, Donna Corcoran, Willis Bouchey, Lurene Tuttle, Jeanne Cagney, Jim Backus and Elisha Cook Jr., "Home Town Story" (1951) starring Jeffrey Lynn, Donald Crisp, Marjorie Reynolds and Alan Hale Jr.
"Monkey Business" (1952) came next starring with Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, Charles Coburn and Hugh Marlowe and then "As Young As You Feel" starring Monty Woolley, Thelma Ritter, David Wayne, Constance Bennett, Jean Peters, Russ Tamblyn and Albert Dekker.
"O. Henry's Full House" (1952) was an anthology film comprised of five seperate and unique stories narrated by author John Steinbeck, who also had a cameo appearance in each one starring alongside Marilyn Monroe is Anne Baxter, Jeanne Crain, Fred Allen, Charles Laughten, Jean Peters, Dale Robertson, David Wayne, Farley Granger, Richard Widmark, Gregory Ratoff and Oscar Levant, followed by a romantic comedy film "We're Not Married!" (1952) co-starring Ginger Rogers, Fred Allen, Victor Moore, David Wayne, Eve Arden, Paul Douglas, Eddie Bracken, Mitzi Gaynor, Louis Calhern, Zsa Zsa Gabor, James Gleason, Paul Stewart and Jane Darwell.
Her big break and recognition to stardom came in 1953 in the film of "Niagara". Here she played the character of Rose Loomis, a wife who plots to kill the jealous man she is married to, played by Joseph Cotten and also featured Denis O'Dea , Lurene Tuttle and Max Showalter.
Marilyn continued to cast lead roles in films such as "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" which co-starred Jane Russell with Charles Coburn, Elliott Reid, Taylor Holmes, Tommy Noonan and Norma Varden in supporting roles and "How To Marry A Millionaire" co-starring Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall, as three gold diggers along with William Powell, David Wayne, Rory Calhoun, Cameron Mitchell, Alex D'Arcy, Fred Clark and Anne Buydens (wife of actor Kirk Douglas).
At the age of 27 Photoplay magazine voted Marilyn the Best New Actress of 1953. She was without question becoming the adored blonde bombshell in Hollywood.
1954 brought out Marilyn's true drama performance in the adventure western "River of No Return" co-starring Robert Mitchum, Rory Calhoun and Tommy Rettig though she thought this to be her worst. This was soon followed by the light hearted high-budgeted musical film "There's No Business Like Show Business" (1954) featuring Ethel Merman, Dan Dailey, Donald O'Connor, Mitzi Gaynor, Hugh O'Brian, Rhys Williams, Frank McHugh, Richard Eastham and Johnnie Ray.
Marilyn was then cast in the hilarious comedy "The Seven Year Itch" (1955) co-starring Tom Ewell, Evelyn Keyes, Sonny Tufts, Carolyn Jones, Victor Moore, Robert Strauss and Marguerite Chapman. The film contains one of Hollywood's most iconic images, Marilyn Monroe standing over a grate, white dress flying high above her knees, while a train passes by and in 2011 the dress sold at auction for a reported $5.6 million! The image of Marilyn over the grate has been compared to a similar event in the 1901 short film "What Happened on 23rd Street", New York City. Hmmm, history does have a habit of repeating itself!
"Bus Stop" (1956) starring Don Murray, Arthur O'Connell, Betty Field, Eileen Heckart, Robert Bray and Hope Lange has Marilyn singing 'That Old Black Magic' and the film developed into a television series during the (1962-1963) season of the same name, "Bus Stop" starring Marilyn Maxwell as the owner of the bus station and diner. In one segment Tuesday Weld performed the role of Marilyn Monroe, and Gary Lockwood appeared as the Don Murray character.
In 1957 she starred in a British film "The Prince and the Showgirl" co-starring Laurence Olivier who also served as director and producer, along with Sybil Thorndike, Richard Wattis and Jeremy Spenser. Next for Monroe came an Academy Award winner screwball comedy "Some Like It Hot" (1959) with an allstar cast featuring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, George Raft, Joe E. Brown, Pat O'Brien, Joan Shawlee, Mike Mazurki and Nehemiah Persoff.
The decade of the 60's began for Monroe with "Let's Make Love" (1960) as a musical comedy film co-starring Yves Montand, Tony Randall, Frankie Vaughan and Wilfrid Hyde-White and then a serious black-and-white drama film "The Misfits (1961) has Marilyn starring alongside Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift, Thelma Ritter, Kevin McCarthy and Eli Wallach and directed by John Huston. Clark Gable suffered a severe heart attack two days after filming ended and died ten days later.
Joe DiMaggio, the New York Yankees baseball superstar captured her as his wife and on January 14th, 1954 and they were wed at San Francisco's City Hall. Marilyn was unsure of her true feelings for Mr. DiMaggio, but she did know she preferred him to any man she had ever come across. They traveled to Tokyo for their honeymoon and Marilyn chose to perform for the servicemen stationed in Korea. The troops were crazy for Marilyn and it was hard for Joe to hide his feelings of slight jealousy. Her fame and admiration from other men destroyed their marriage and on October 27, 1954 only 9 months after the wed they were divorced. In the public eye they claimed they split due to "career conflicts" and continued to remain good friends.
"Something's Got to Give" is the title of the 1962 movie that Marilyn Monroe was never able to finish, with a cast including Dean Martin, Cyd Charisse, Phil Silvers, Tom Tryon, Wally Cox and Steve Allen, due to her personal troubles and on August 5, 1962 the lady known to the world as 'The Blonde Bombshell' passed away at the young age of thirty six. Fifty years have elapsed since her death and Marilyn Monroe is still revered by her adoring fans.
1947 The Shocking Miss Pilgrim
1948 Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay!
1948 Dangerous Years
1949 Ladies Of The Chorus
1950 A Ticket To Tomahawk
1950 Love Happy
1950 The Fireball
1950 Right Cross
1950 All About Eve
1950 The Asphalt Jungle
1951 Love Nest
1951 Let's Make It Legal
1951 Home Town Story
1951 As Young As You Feel
1952 Monkey Business
1952 Clash By Night
1952 O. Henry's Full House
1952 We're Not Married!
1952 Don't Bother To Knock
1953 Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
1953 How To Marry A Millionaire
1954 There's No Business Like Show Business
1954 River Of No Return
1955 The Seven Year Itch
1956 Bus Stop
1957 The Prince and The Showgirl
1959 Some Like It Hot
1960 Let's Make Love
1961 The Misfits
1962 Something's Got to Give