June 1, 1926, in Los Angeles, California
Norma Jeane Mortenson later changed to Baker by her mother.
How did she get her name then?
There are many stories about where her name came from, but the most likely is from Fox talent scout Ben Lyon, who got Marilyn her first screen test. The name is a derivative of two names, one from stage actress Marilyn Miller (being the first part) and her mother’s maiden name, Monroe. She legally changed her name to Marilyn Monroe in 1956.
How many films was she in?
Twenty-nine. Although you would have a hard time finding her in the earliest films. Her last film, which was never finished, Something’s Got To Give, would have been her thirtieth film.
Did she really have six toes?
In 1946 a photograph was taken of Norma Jeane that appears to show a sixth toe on her right foot. Some claim she had the sixth toe surgically removed shortly thereafter. However, first husband James Dougherty has firmly stated that Marilyn had five toes on each foot.
37-23-34 (Studio claim)
35-22-35 (Dressmaker’s claim)
Other reported measurements:
36-24-24 to 38-23-36
Reported ranges from 117 – 128
7 – 7-1/2
Spouses / Lovers (real and rumoured)
John F. Kennedy
Dom Perignon 1953
Delphiniums and roses
Cecil Beaton’s photo of Marilyn Monroe in her white dress
Chanel No. 5
A Streetcar Named Desire
Death of a Salesman
Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams Poets: John Keats and Walt Whitman
August 5th, 1962
acute barbiturate poisoning – combination of Nembutal and Chloral Hydrate, both prescribed for insomnia.
Controversies about her death
Probable suicide was listed on the official death certificate. Was she depressed over being fired from her last film and her failed romantic relationships? She may have well downed a bottle of sleeping pills with the intention of ending her life.
Accidental overdose (self)
She could have possibly took the fatal overdose without realizing how many she had taken, or had taken so many over the course of several days that a lethal buildup occurred in her system, making her final dosage fatal.
Accidental overdose (administered by someone else)
Marilyn was given the fatal dose through either an enema or an injection administered by someone else; most commonly named are Dr. Ralph Greenson and Marilyn’s housekeeper, Eunice Murray.
Marilyn may have been given a fatal dose with the intention to kill her either by injection, or by enema. The main suspects (directly or indirectly) are the Kennedy’s (John and Robert) with whom she both had affairs with and “knew too much.” The Mafia has also been suspected, Sam Giancana, specifically.
Each theory presented has its own believers, but most commonly believed is that the events that took place on August 4th, 1962, was not suicide.
There is an overwhelming amount of evidence suggesting that Marilyn did not die by orally ingesting sleeping pills. The scene of death appeared to have been tampered with, reported ambulance calls to her house earlier the evening before her death and important tissue samples from the autopsy mysteriously disappeared. Also, when Marilyn retired for bed that evening she took the phone in her room with her. There she made phone calls, which were mysteriously clipped from the phone bill for that date, however there were charges of over $209.00 after the fact.
One of Marilyn’s last photographers/interviewers was George Barris. He firmly states in his book, Marilyn: Her Life In Her Own Words, that although he has no proof, he strongly feels she was murdered. He believes that in the conversations they had less than a month before her death, she was at a point in her life that she was incredibly happy.
Regardless of the theories surrounding her early death, there seems to be a preponderance of evidence suggesting there was some sort of cover-up. No definitive answer has ever been made (or probably will be).
Marilyn formed her own production company in 1956, Marilyn Monroe Productions (MMP), along with photographer, Milton Greene. She produced two of her own films, Bus Stop and The Prince & The Showgirl. Both are uncredited.
In 1972 Time reported that between the years 1953 and then that she had been featured on the cover nine times. Just slightly less than Elizabeth Taylor (10).
Jane Russell always held Marilyn in high regard and said of her co-star that she was, “like a little sister, often misunderstood, and very fragile.”