Biography of Marilyn Monroe, American Model and Actress (2023)

Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jean Mortenson; June 1, 1926–Aug. 5, 1962) was an American model-turned-singer/actress whose career spanned the late 1940s to the early 1960s. Monroe appeared in a number of what are now considered classic films prior to her unexpected death at age 36.

Fast Facts: Marilyn Monroe

  • Known For: Model, pinup, actress
  • Also Known As: Norma Jeane Mortenson, Norma Jeane Baker
  • Born: June 1, 1926, in Los Angeles, California
  • Parents: Gladys Baker Mortenson; father unknown
  • Died: Aug. 5, 1962, in Brentwood, California
  • Education: Attended Van Nuys and University High School in Los Angeles, California; dropped out at 15
  • Selected Films: "Some Like It Hot," "The Seven Year Itch," "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," "How to Marry a Millionaire," "Bus Stop," "The Misfits"
  • Awards and Honors: Three Golden Globes, star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • Spouse(s): James Dougherty (m. 1942–1946), Joe DiMaggio (m. 1954–1955),Arthur Miller (m. 1956–1961)
  • Notable Quote:"I don't mind living in a man's world as long as I can be a woman in it."

Early Life

Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson—and later baptized as Norma Jeane Baker—in Los Angeles, California, to Gladys Baker Mortenson (née Monroe). No one knows the identity of Monroe’s biological father, but some biographers speculate it was Gladys’ second husband, Martin Mortenson, although they were separated prior to Monroe’s birth.

Others have suggested Monroe’s father was a co-worker of Gladys’ at RKO Pictures named Charles Stanley Gifford. In any case, Monroe was regarded as an illegitimate child and grew up not knowing her father.

As a single parent, Gladys worked during the day and left her daughter with neighbors. Unfortunately, Gladys was not well; she was in and out of mental hospitals until she was institutionalized at the Norwalk State Hospital for Mental Diseases in 1935.

At age 9, Marilyn was taken in by Gladys’ friend Grace McKee. Within the year, however, McKee was no longer able to care for the girl and took her to the Los Angeles Orphanage. Monroe spent two years there and then lived in a succession of foster homes. It's believed that during this time, Monroe was molested.

In 1937, 11-year-old Monroe found a home with “Aunt” Ana Lower, a relative of McKee’s, where she had a stable home life until Lower developed health problems. Subsequently, McKee arranged a marriage between 16-year-old Monroe and Jim Dougherty, a 21-year-old neighbor. The two were married on June 19, 1942.

From War Bride to Model

In 1943 as America's involvement in World War II gripped the nation, Dougherty joined the Merchant Marines. He shipped out to Shanghai one year later. With her husband overseas, Monroe took a job at the Radio Plane Munitions Factory, where she was discovered by photographer David Conover who was taking pictures of women working for the war effort. Conover’s shots of Monroe appeared in Yank magazine in 1945.

Impressed by what he saw, Conover showed Monroe’s photos to commercial photographer Potter Hueth. Hueth and Monroe struck a deal: Hueth would take pictures of Monroe, however, she'd only be paid if magazines bought her photos. This arrangement allowed Monroe to keep her day job at Radio Plane and model at night.

Hueth’s photos of Monroe piqued the interest of Emmeline Snively, the head of Blue Book Modeling Agency—the largest modeling agency in Los Angeles at the time. Snively offered Monroe a chance at a full-time modeling career, with the proviso that she attend Snively's three-month modeling school classes.

Monroe agreed and was soon working diligently to perfect her new craft. While under contract to Snively, Monroe changed her hair color from light brown to blonde. Dougherty, who was still overseas, wasn't happy to learn about his wife's new line of work.

The Transition From Modeling to Movies to Marilyn

By this time, several photographers were taking pictures of Monroe for pinup magazines, often showcasing her hourglass figure in two-piece bathing suits. Monroe became so popular that her picture could be found on the covers of several pinup magazines in the same month.

In July 1946, her photos attracted the attention of casting director Ben Lyon of 20th Century Fox, and he called Monroe for a screen test. In August, 20th Century Fox offered Monroe a six-month contract with an option to renew every six months.

After Dougherty finished his tour of duty and returned stateside, he became increasingly frustrated by his wife's new career. The situation eventually came to a head and the couple divorced in 1946.

Until that time, Monroe had been using her married name of Norma Jeane Dougherty professionally. It was Lyon who helped her come up with her now legendary screen name by suggesting she take the first name of popular 1920's stage performer Marilyn Miller. Monroe adopted her mother’s maiden name for her surname, and the alliterative Marilyn Monroe was born.

Career Struggles and Scandal

Earning $75 per week, the 20-year-old Monroe attended free acting, dancing, and singing classes at the 20th Century Fox studio. She appeared as an extra in a few movies and had a single line in the highly forgettable "Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay!" (1948). When Monroe's initial six months were up, her contract wasn't renewed.

Monroe began receiving unemployment benefits and continued taking acting classes. Six months later, Columbia Pictures hired her as a $125-a-week contract player. Monroe was given second billing and a featured role in "Ladies of the Chorus" (1948) but despite positive reviews, her contract at Columbia wasn't picked up.

In 1949, Tom Kelley, a photographer who'd worked with Monroe previously, offered her $50 to pose nude for a calendar. Monroe, who was broke, agreed to take the job. Kelley subsequently sold the shots to Western Lithograph Co. for $900. The calendar, "Golden Dreams," made millions.

In 1952, word of Monroe's nude photos surfaced, threatening to ruin her career. To combat the negative publicity, Monroe told the press about her troubled childhood. She revealed that she'd posed for the photos when she was destitute, and never received as much as a thank-you note from the people who made so much money off her $50 humiliation. (In 1953, Hugh Hefner bought one of the photos for $500 and published it in his first issue of Playboy magazine.)

Big Break

When Monroe got wind that the Marx brothers needed a blonde for their new movie, "Love Happy" (1949), she auditioned and got the part. The role called for Monroe to sashay by Groucho Marx in a sultry manner and say, “I want you to help me. Some men are following me.” Although she was only on screen for 60 seconds and was paid, according to Marx, $100, Monroe’s performance caught the eye of the producer, Lester Cowan, who decided that Monroe should go on the five-week publicity tour for the film.

Her bit part was also noted by major talent agent Johnny Hyde, who wrangled an audition for her at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for a small part in "Asphalt Jungle" (1950). The film, directed by Oscar-winning actor/director/screenwriter John Huston, was nominated for four Academy Awards.Although Monroe had only a minor role, it was a memorable one.

Monroe’s performances, including a small but juicy turn in the Bette Davis classic "All About Eve" (1950), led studio executive Darryl Zanuck to offer her a contract to return to 20th Century Fox. When studio publicist Roy Craft capitalized on Monroe's image as a pinup girl, the studio received thousands of fan letters, many eagerly wanting to know what Monroe's next film appearance would be.

Sensing a potential box-office goldmine, Zanuck ordered producers to find parts for her. She played her first leading role as a mentally unbalanced babysitter in "Don't Bother to Knock" (1952). Over the next two years, Monroe made some of her most memorable movies: "Niagara" (1953), "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (1953), "How to Marry a Millionaire" (1953), "River of No Return" (1954), and "There’s No Business Like Show Business" (1954).

Marriage to Joe DiMaggio

On January 14, 1954, legendary New York Yankees baseball player Joe DiMaggio and Monroe tied the knot. As two rags-to-riches kids, their marriage made headlines. DiMaggio was ready to settle down, but Monroe, who was set on a career and also had professional commitments, planned to continue acting while fulfilling a recording contract with RCA Victor Records.

DiMaggio and Monroe’s troubled marriage reached a boiling point in September 1954 during the filming of "TheSeven Year Itch,"which was released the following year. Monroe, who had top billing, was standing over a subway grate when a gust blew the skirt of her white dress into the air while excited onlookers whistled and clapped.

Director Billy Wilder turned it into a publicity stunt and shot the legendary scene again. DiMaggio, who was on the set, flew into a rage. The couple separated and were divorced after only nine months of marriage.

Career Transition and The Actors Studio

Monroe was now a major movie star, but with the exception of "Niagara," in which she'd played a cunning murderess harkening back to classic noir films such as "The Postman Always Rings Twice" (1946) and "Double Indemnity" (1944), she was beginning to chafe at the limited range of roles she was being offered by the studio.

Not content to be seen as merely a pretty face attached to a voluptuous figure, Monroe set her sights on becoming a serious actress. In 1954, at odds with her studio contract and seeking more control of her career, Monroe formed her own production company. The following year, she moved to New York City and enrolled at the prestigious Actors Studio run by Method Acting guru Lee Strasberg and his wife, Paula. The three formed a strong bond and a sometimes troubling symbiotic relationship that endured for the remainder of Monroe's life.

On the plus side, Monroe's acting talents were honed and refined under Strasberg's tutelage. Critics generally agree that her performances were more powerful and nuanced thanks to the training she received.

On the downside, Lee Strasberg was accused of playing on Monroe's insecurities and exerting a Svengali-like influence over her both personally and professionally. For a time, Monroe actually moved into the Strasbergs' Manhattan apartment, and when she did return to her film career, Paula notoriously accompanied her on every movie set—much to the dismay of directors including Laurence Olivier and George Cukor, whose artistic sensibilities did not mesh with Method Acting.

Marriage to Arthur Miller

Monroe's third marriage took place on June 29, 1956, when she wed noted American playwright Arthur Miller. Monroe converted to Judaism in order to marry Miller, who was of Polish-Jewish descent. (Monroe’s 1922 edition of the prayerbook, “The Form of Daily Prayers: According to the Custom of the German and Polish Jews" sold at auction in 2018 for a total of $26,250. In 1999, a copy of “A Union Prayer Book for Jewish Worship” with the name “Marilyn Monroe Miller”inscribed on its cover sold for $19,250.)

During her marriage to Miller, Monroe suffered two miscarriages and once again turned to sleeping pills to cope with her emotional turmoil. She also starred in two of her most legendary movies: "Bus Stop" (1956) and "Some Like it Hot" (1959). The latter netted her a Golden Globe Award for best comedy actress.

Miller wrote the screenplay for "The Misfits" (1961) as a vehicle for Monroe. The film re-teamed Monroe with director John Huston and co-starred legendary leading man Clark Gable and fellow Actors Studio alum Montgomery Clift. ("The Misfits" marked the final screen appearances for Monroe and Gable; Clift died of a heart attack five years later in 1966 at age 45.)

During filming in Nevada, Monroe's frequent illnesses held up production. Monroe's condition was exacerbated by the consumption of sleeping pills and alcohol. She was eventually hospitalized for what was then termed a "nervous breakdown." Monroe and Miller ended their five-year marriage after the completion of the film.

Downward Spiral

On February 2, 1961, Monroe was admitted to Payne Whitney Psychiatric Hospital in New York. DiMaggio flew to her side and had her moved to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, where in addition to psychiatric treatment, she also underwent gallbladder surgery and lost a substantial amount of weight as a result. DiMaggio's attentiveness to Monroe during her illnesses triggered rumors that the couple might reconcile.

Near the end of April 1962, Monroe was scheduled to begin shooting "Something’s Got to Give," a film comedy helmed by veteran director George Cukor and co-starring Dean Martin and Wally Cox. Due to a serious sinus infection, Monroe was unable to report for work, so Cukor was forced to shoot around her as much as he could.

Despite her illnesses, on May 19, 1962, Monroe, wearing a sheer, flesh-colored, rhinestone-studded dress, sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” at a Madison Square Garden Gala for President John F. Kennedy. Her sultry performance sparked rumors that the two were having an affair, followed by a subsequent rumor that Monroe was also having an affair with the President’s brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy.

When Monroe returned to California to resume shooting "Something's Got to Give," her health had not improved. Further prolonged absences from the set led 20th Century Fox to fire her and file suit for breach of contract. While she was eventually rehired, the film was never finished.


Monroe's reliance on sleeping pills and alcohol has been documented, yet it was still shocking when the 36-year-old was found dead in her Brentwood, California, home on August 5, 1962.

The coroner's death certificate lists Monroe's cause of death as "acute barbiturate poisoning, ingestion of overdose" (later determined to be a combination of Nembutal and chloral hydrate, a knockout drug commonly known as a Mickey Finn). After an autopsy, Monroe's body was released to DiMaggio and a private funeral was held.

Conspiracy Theories

The death of Marilyn Monroe has spawned its own fertile mythology. While the coroner labeled her death a “probable suicide” and closed the case, there was no definitive proof that Monroe took her own life. Some sources close to the actress contested the finding.

The question of whether or not the actress ingested the drugs has been a topic of debate since, according to the autopsy report, no trace evidence of Nembutal was found in her urine. (Had she swallowed a sufficient number of pills to result in an overdose, it's argued that the coloring from the capsules should have been evident.)

According to John W. Miner, one of the members of the autopsy team, relevant evidence including Monroe's stomach contents, organ samples, and pertinent smear materials went missing and were never found. He concluded, however, that the high concentration of narcotics in Monroe's liver suggested that the fatal dosage had been delivered via suppository rather than ingestion. So while some speculate Monroe died from an accidental overdose, others believe she was murdered.

One scenario suggests Monroe was silenced to stop her from revealing intimate information on her alleged liaisons with President Kennedy and his brother Robert; another posits her death was an organized hit by the mob. In this version, Robert Kennedy was said to have been with Monroe in the hours prior to her death. Framing him for her murder would derail the escalating war against organized crime the Attorney General was waging, however, the scene was supposedly sanitized by government-sanctioned cleaners before RFK could be implicated.

While several sources have "confessed" to participating in the hit, there's no conclusive proof to support such claims. The events of Monroe's final hours will likely remain a mystery, however, those who believe she was murdered say the missing autopsy evidence points to a well-choreographed coverup.


Decades after her death, Marilyn Monroe's incandescent performances along with her personal backstory continue to captivate the public's imagination. The iconic picture of Monroe standing over the subway grate in "The Seven Year Itch"—ironically the last straw in her troubled marriage to Joe DiMaggio—is easily one of the most recognizable images in the landscape of modern popular culture.

Along with Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and Elizabeth Taylor, Monroe is one of the world's most prominent "delebs"—a term coined by the entertainment industry in connection with deceased celebrities whose estates continue to generate substantial revenues after the celebrity has passed away.

With the aid of computer-generated imagery, Monroe appeared in a 2011 ad alongside Grace Kelly, Marlene Deitrich, and Charlize Theron for Christian Dior's perfume J'Adore. Three years later, Chanel No. 5 tapped Monroe as their celebrity spokesperson—this time, thanks to archival footage, and more accurately, since Chanel No. 5 was Monroe's signature scent—five decades after her death.

But there's more to Monroe's legacy than just the licensing of her image and a catalog of classic films. One of a cadre of mid-century zaftig screen sirens that included Jayne Mansfield and Mamie Van Doren, as she matured, only Monroe was able to shatter the stereotype of "dumb blonde" by reinventing the trope as something more complex and three-dimensional—a human being worth knowing.

Monroe's humanity and vulnerability are two traits cited by film historians that clearly come across in a number of her most memorable film portrayals. In addition to her undeniable allure, the "little girl lost" quality she never fully outgrew onscreen is ultimately what many believe makes Monroe's performances magnetic, irresistible, and ultimately enduring.

"Goodbye, Norma Jeane
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
They crawled out of the woodwork
And they whispered into your brain
They set you on the treadmill
And they made you change your name
"And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would've liked to known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did"
—From "Candle in the Wind" by Elton John, 1973



Was Marilyn Monroe an American actress singer and model? ›

Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jeane Mortenson, but baptized Norma Jeane Baker, was an American actress, singer and model. After spending much of her childhood in foster homes, Monroe began a career as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946.

Who is Marilyn Monroe biography? ›

Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, comedienne, singer, and model. She became one of the world's most enduring iconic figures and is remembered both for her winsome embodiment of the Hollywood sex symbol and her tragic personal and professional struggles within the film industry.

What was Marilyn Monroe's last words? ›

Lawford says that in "slurred" speech Monroe told him she was "tired and would not be coming" to dinner. Then, as her voice became less audible, she told him, "Say goodbye to Pat. Say goodbye to Jack [President Kennedy]. And say goodbye to yourself, because you're a nice guy."

What did Marilyn Monroe died of? ›

After a brief investigation, Los Angeles police concluded that her death was “caused by a self-administered overdose of sedative drugs and that the mode of death is probable suicide.”

Is Marilyn Monroe American or Mexican? ›

By birthright, Marilyn was Mexican American through her mother. While some might say that this was in name only, and one could make a successful case for that, Marilyn took the time to learn Spanish (becoming conversational) and as she gained more power in the industry, she started to embrace her Mexican roots.

Was Marilyn Monroe Miss America? ›

On September 2, 1952, Marilyn took part in her one and only Miss America beauty pageant, as “Grand Marshal,” the first woman to fulfill this honorary role.

Who inherited Marilyn Monroe? ›

75 percent of Monroe's intellectual property and estate were left to her acting coach, Lee Strasberg, and the remaining 25 percent was given to her New York psychiatrist Dr. Marianne Kris.

How old would Marilyn Monroe be if she never died? ›

If she had lived, Monroe would have been 86 this year.

Who was Marilyn's greatest love? ›

Arthur Miller

Monroe would later say it was love at first sight when she met the author and playwright in 1950 on the set of As Young As You Feel. The duo did not reconnect until 1955 after she had divorced DiMaggio and moved from Hollywood to New York City. They began secretly dating and were married in 1956.

Was Marilyn Monroe happy with her life? ›

She was a very, very deeply unhappy person,” Casillo explains during the episode. According to the podcast, the cultural icon also struggled with her love life. Just days before she was found dead in 1962 at age 36, Monroe was allegedly left heartbroken because both President John F.

Was Marilyn Monroe on a diet? ›

Well, you'd be surprised to find out the bombshell's diet was nothing like that of Hollywood actresses today. No raw juice diets or special meals delivered. Marilyn ate plenty of meat and vegetables and was fond of raw eggs.

What disease was Marilyn Monroe suffering from? ›

Synopsis. Actor Marilyn Monroe captivated people beyond her period. While talking about the actor's life and her sufferings, Marilyn Monroe's Endometriosis is often ignored even though the disorder and its suferrings were a vital part of her life.

Did Marilyn Monroe have teeth when she died? ›

False teeth

It's said that Marilyn Monroe originally had an overbite (that was fixed during her time at Columbia pictures) as well as false teeth, which were noted at the time of her death. Sadly, Marilyn Monroe died at the young age of 36 from an overdose of barbituates in 1962.

Who was the father of Marilyn Monroe's son? ›

What religion was Marilyn Monroe? ›

After her marriage to Miller ended in 1961, Monroe is believed to have maintained her Jewish identity. She kept in her possession the prayer book and a menorah, which played the Israeli national anthem, until she died a year later. Mr.

What color eyes did Marilyn have? ›

Monroe's natural eye color was most likely to be blue, as recorded in her sister's autobiography (48) – “but our eyes were different … Norma Jeane's were blue like our mother's” – and on her autopsy report (49), in addition to Capote's description of her “blue-grey eyes” while wearing glasses (46).

What races is Marilyn Monroe? ›

But the fact that her mother had been born in Mexico meant that, by heritage, Marilyn Monroe was a Latina. Hollywood would have none of it. The United States was — and remains — a white-majority nation, with most people tracing heir ancestry to Europe.

What nationality is Marilyn Monroe? ›

Who was the black woman Marilyn Monroe helped? ›

Background. On March 15, 1955 Ella Fitzgerald opened her initial engagement at the Mocambo nightclub in Hollywood, after Marilyn Monroe lobbied the owner for the booking. The booking was instrumental in Fitzgerald's career.

Where was Marilyn Monroe before she died? ›

On the evening of August 4, 1962, Marilyn Monroe, an American actress and sex symbol, died at age 36 of a barbiturate overdose inside her home at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California.

What food did Marilyn Monroe like? ›

Monroe had a protein-rich diet that included lots of steak and other red meats. To truly mimic Marilyn, munch on a handful of raw carrots, her preferred vegetable side.

What is Marilyn Monroe most famous quote? ›

"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring."

What is an unknown fact about Marilyn Monroe? ›

She went by many names. On her birth certificate she is Norma Jeane Mortenson; she was baptised Norma Jeane Baker; she modelled under the names Jean Norman and Mona Monroe; her initial idea for a screen name was Jean Adair; she signed into hotels as Zelda Zonk and into a psychiatric clinic as Faye Miller.

How much would Marilyn Monroe be worth today? ›

When Monroe died, she was single and childless. She had a net worth of $800,000, approximately $7 million today. Monroe lived lavishly and spent her money freely on clothing, jewelry and her home.

Do they know who Marilyn Monroe's father was? ›

How old would Marilyn Monroe be now? ›

Marilyn Monroe would be 96-years-old if she were alive today.

How old was Marilyn Monroe when died? ›

5 -- Marilyn Monroe, one of the most famous stars in Hollywood's history, was found dead early today in the bedroom of her home in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles. She was 36 years old.

Did Marilyn Monroe's mother know she was famous? ›

Image of Did Marilyn Monroe's mother know she was famous?
Gladys Pearl Baker, also known as Gladys Pearl Monroe Mortensen Eley, was the mother of American actress Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jeane Mortenson. Born in Mexico, Baker grew up in the Los Angeles metro area. After suffering from mental illness and alcoholism, her father died in 1908.

Why was Marilyn's life hard? ›

Crippled by stage fright, low self-esteem and a lack of agency, Marilyn became reliant on barbiturates and alcohol in the 50s, but her addiction became more severe as the decade progressed and her stature in the industry became more formidable.

Why was Marilyn so special? ›

She fought not only for her own rights, but the rights of others too. She was not scared to be friends with minorities and people considered to be 'different. ' She was tolerant, she was brave and she was strong.

Why was Marilyn considered beautiful? ›

Marilyn had long eyelashes, a long eyeliner-winged-look, volumsciuos red lips, and glowing skin. It is rumored that Monroe's beauty routine took a great deal of time to complete, including several detailed steps to achieve her overall, drop-dead-gorgeous, look.

What good things did Marilyn Monroe do? ›

Monroe became the second woman in U.S. history to own her own production company. “She broke the mold and challenged the authoritarian structure of Hollywood studios, which dictated what films their stars would make,” Layton writes. She was an outspoken advocate for equality and talent.

What was Marilyn Monroe's personality type? ›

As an ISFP, Marilyn tends to be creative, unconventional, and empathetic. Marilyn generally has a strong grasp of their senses and often has very vivid memories.

What did Marilyn Monroe eat daily? ›

“Every night I stop at the market near my hotel and pick up a steak, lamb chops or some liver, which I broil in the electric oven in my room. I usually eat four or five raw carrots with my meat, and that is all. I must be part rabbit; I never get bored with raw carrots…

What did Marilyn Monroe weigh at her heaviest? ›

As it was handmade for Marilyn, this dress certainly provides an exact representation of Marilyn's physical form. At this point in her life, Marilyn was at her heaviest, with some speculating she weighed nearly 140lbs. Even still, when displayed on the dress form, her waist measured an astonishing 28.5 inches.

Does Marilyn Monroe have kids? ›

No. Although Marilyn was married three times (first to James Dougherty, followed by baseball star Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller), she did not have any children before her death in 1962. However, she really wanted to have a family and did have multiple documented pregnancies.

What happened to Marilyn Monroe when she was a child? ›

Monroe spent her childhood in various orphanages and foster homes, where she allegedly faced sexual abuse and emotional distress. Moving in with family friend Grace McKee Goddard at age 11 changed her fate.

Why did Marilyn Monroe have sleepy eyes? ›

Monroe's famous sleepy bedroom eyes are actually a makeup trick, using eye shadow and white eyeliner to elongate the lower lash line to help eyes appear bigger and brighter.

How many times did Marilyn Monroe marry? ›

During her short life, the star was married three different times, with each marriage ending in divorce. Marilyn was also linked to lots of steamy love affairs—some real and others concocted by the public imagination. Here's everything to know about Marilyn's husbands and boyfriends.

Was Marilyn Monroe's mother a model? ›

Image of Was Marilyn Monroe's mother a model?
Gladys Pearl Baker, also known as Gladys Pearl Monroe Mortensen Eley, was the mother of American actress Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jeane Mortenson. Born in Mexico, Baker grew up in the Los Angeles metro area. After suffering from mental illness and alcoholism, her father died in 1908.

Was Marilyn Monroe born in America? ›

Norma Jeane Mortenson—who will become better known around the world as the glamorous actress and sex symbol Marilyn Monroe—is born on June 1, 1926, in Los Angeles, California. She was later given her mother's name, and baptized Norma Jeane Baker.

Who inherited Marilyn Monroe's estate? ›

75 percent of Monroe's intellectual property and estate were left to her acting coach, Lee Strasberg, and the remaining 25 percent was given to her New York psychiatrist Dr. Marianne Kris.

What ethnicity was Marilyn Monroe? ›

Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926, at the Los Angeles General Hospital in Los Angeles, California. Her mother, Gladys Pearl Baker (née Monroe; 1902–1984), was born in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico to a poor Midwestern family who migrated to California at the turn of the century.

Was Marilyn Monroe's mother mixed? ›

Marilyn's mother, Gladys Pearl, was born in Mexico in 1902, therefore by birthright, Marilyn Monroe was a Latina. Unlike some famous celebrities of that time, like Hall of Fame slugger, Ted Williams, whose mother was a Mexican and who denied his Latino heritage all his life, Marilyn never disavowed her Mexican origins.

What color were Marilyn Monroe's eyes? ›

Monroe's natural eye color was most likely to be blue, as recorded in her sister's autobiography (48) – “but our eyes were different … Norma Jeane's were blue like our mother's” – and on her autopsy report (49), in addition to Capote's description of her “blue-grey eyes” while wearing glasses (46).

What age would Marilyn Monroe be? ›

How old was Marilyn Monroe when she got married? ›

LAPD policeman James Dougherty was Monroe's first husband. On June 19, 1942, Monroe married Dougherty, then 21, when she was 16 years old.

Who owns Marilyn Monroe dress? ›

Estimated to go for about $2 million, it ultimately sold for $4.8 million to Ripley's Believe It or Not!, which later advertised it as “the world's most expensive dress!” and kept it in a vault in its museum in Orlando, Fla.

Who got all Marilyn Monroe's money? ›

75 percent of Monroe's intellectual property and estate were left to her acting coach, Lee Strasberg, and the remaining 25 percent was given to her New York psychiatrist Dr. Marianne Kris.

Did Marilyn Monroe have any money when she died? ›

When Monroe died, she was single and childless. She had a net worth of $800,000, approximately $7 million today. Monroe lived lavishly and spent her money freely on clothing, jewelry and her home. She was also extremely generous to her friends and employees.

Did Marilyn Monroe's father ever see her? ›

Call my lawyer," per Showbiz CheatSheet. Charles's granddaughter, Francine Gifford Deir, claims that Marilyn tried to meet up with her father. "In the 1950s, when she was already famous, Marilyn went to see my grandfather in Hemet, California, but he refused to see her,” she said, per Distractify.

Where does Marilyn Monroe live? ›


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