Long before the screen goddesses that many have come to know today came to the party, there was a lady who paved the way and literally took screen sultriness to unprecedented levels at the time. In her pomp, Marilyn Monroe was not your average actress, she was the ultimate sex symbol in a movie industry that was looking to shake off its conservativeness.
Born as Norma Jeane Mortenson, after a few adjustments, she settled for the name Marilyn Monroe. Her mother, Gladys Pearl Baker didn’t see herself well prepared to cater for a child and placed Marilyn with foster parents – Albert and Ida Bolender. After Gladys got more financially stable, in the summer of 1933 she came back for her daughter. Here are some lesser-known details of Marilyn Monroe’s eventful life.
Lesser Known Facts About Marilyn Monroe
1. In 1953, Monroe was unveiled as Playboy’s first Sweetheart of the month (later called playmate of the month) in the first issue the Playboy magazine. The magazine will go on to become a mainstay in the lifestyle culture of America. She was paid $50 to model for the picture in 1949.
2. During the shooting of the movie The Prince and the Showgirl, Marilyn’s weight varied so much that the costume designer, Beatrice Dawson, had to create dresses in various sizes for her.
3. There is a consensus among modern-day filmmakers that Marilyn Monroe was relatively poorly paid even at the peak of her powers, an instance being that actress Jane Russell earned almost 10 times more than Marilyn when they both co-starred in the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. In another instance, Marilyn Monroe was paid $100,000 for Something’s Got to Give, while a less popular Elizabeth Taylor, was paid a million dollars for Cleopatra.
4. The beaded Jean Louis gown Marylyn wore when she sang Happy Birthday to President John F. Kennedy, was sold for a then-record price of £820,000 in 1999. This record was broken by yet another Marylyn Monroe auctioned item, this time her billowing white Seven Year Itch dress that was sold by Debbie Reynolds in 2011. The dress went for £2.8 million.
5. At 16, she married a neighbor’s son Jim Dougherty on June 19, 1942. This was a strategy to get around child protection laws in California that prevented her from relocating with her guardians to West Virginia. After their divorce, Dougherty was forbidden by his second wife from going to see any of Marilyn Monroe’s films.
6. Marilyn Monroe had a preference for walking around naked anytime she was among female studio employees, stylists, wardrobe mistresses. On some occasions, she gave interviews with little clothes on.
7. She was sent packing by Twentieth-Century Fox from the production of the film Something’s Got to Give because of her chronic lateness. In fact, she didn’t make it to the set for the first two weeks of filming. During the filming of Let’s Make Love, her no-shows (not showing up for shots) added an extra 28 days to the shooting time and meant the budget for the film shot up by $1 million.
8. Her popularity and celebrity status even spills into her graveside – literally. Burial vaults near her resting place have been put up for sale. When the widow of the man buried in the vault above Marilyn, put up for the space for sale on eBay, she received bids as high as £2.8million. Playboy Boss, Hugh Hefner has already purchased the burial vault next to Marilyn Monroe, he paid an astonishing £50,000 in 1992 for it.
9. In death, two men claimed the paternity of Marilyn Monroe. The first, Stanley Gifford who refused to meet with her while she was alive (both Marilyn and her mother believed him to be her father), and Edward Mortensen, who was married to her mother at the time of her birth.
10. In 1999, during the auction of some of her personal belongings, Mariah Carey bought Marylyn’s white grand piano for $662,500. The piano was estimated to be worth around $15,000.
How Did Marilyn Die?
On the night of August 5, 1962, Marilyn’s housekeeper woke up at about 3:00 am after she felt uneasy. She called Marylyn’s personal psychiatrist who broke into her room and found her lying naked on her bed, faced down and with a telephone clutched in her hand. Found littered around the room were empty bottles of prescribed pills meant to treat her depression.
At the end of the investigation, LAPD came to the conclusion that her death was caused by a self-administered overdose of sedative drugs. As the years passed, many of her friends (and at some sections of the American public) believe she was murdered by some powerful individual with close ties to the government or mafia and staged to look like a suicide.