Saturday marked 55 years since the passing of one of Hollywood’s iconic actresses, Marilyn Monroe.
On August 5, 1962, Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her Brentwood, California home if an apparent drug overdose of sleeping pills. She was 36 years old.
Born Norma Jeane Mortenson (later baptized as Norma Jeane Baker) on June 1, 1926, Monroe had a troubled childhood. After her mother was hospitalized due to being mentally unstable, Monroe spent her early years in foster care and in an orphanage.
A few years after getting married in 1942, Monroe was discovered while working in a munitions factory in Van Nuys, California, and soon had a successful modeling career. However, she dreamt of becoming an actress. In 1946, dyed her hair blonde, signed her first movie contract and changed her name from Norma Jeane Baker to Marilyn Monroe. She was ready to take on Hollywood.
Following appearances in The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and All About Eve (1950), Monroe’s breakthrough role was in Niagara (1953).
She went on to star in films where she portrayed a sexy but “dumb blonde” including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 1953), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), The Seven Year Itch (1955) and Bus Stop (1956). She had become one of tinsel town’s sex symbols, a status that Monroe was uncomfortable being identified as. Despite this, Monroe was on top of the world and it seemed like nothing would stop her. However, by the early 1960s, both Monroe’s personal life and professional career had dwindled.
Her marriages to baseball legend Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller both ended in divorce. Her films Let’s Make Love (1960) and The Misfits (1961) were unsuccessful and she was fired during the production of Something’s Gotta Give (1962). As a result of these mishaps, including dealing with physical ailments, Monroe suffered from mental health issues (depression), insomnia and abused prescription pills, which lead to her downfall.
It’s been 55 years since Marilyn Monroe’s life sadly ended at just 36 years of age and she is just as mesmerizing as she was back then. She was was funny and stylish, tragic but beautiful. She will be forever young and forever missed.