Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

Her name brings beauty and sensuality, with a note of innocence, to the minds of those who hear it. During her career, Monroe made 30 films and left one, "Something's Got to Give," unfinished. A worldwide sensation in her lifetime, Monroe's popularity made her much more than a star; she became an American icon.Childhood and schoolingMonroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926, in Los Angeles, California, to Gladys Baker. There was a dispute about her father's identity, and she was later baptized Norma Jeane Baker.After her mother was committed to a mental institution, Norma Jeane spent most of her childhood in foster homes and orphanages until 1937, when she moved in with family friend Grace McKee Goddard. While with her, Norma Jeane attended Van Nuys High School and University High School.When Grace's husband was transferred to the East Coast in 1942, the couple could not afford to take 16-year-old Norma Jeane with them. In 1944, Jimmy joined the Merchant Marines and was sent to the South Pacific.A big breakAfter Jimmy left, Norma Jeane took a job on the assembly line at the Radio Plane Munitions factory in Burbank, California. Several months later, "Yank" magazine photographer David Conover saw her while taking pictures of women contributing to the war effort. Within two years, she was a reputable model with numerous popular magazine covers to her credit.Norma Jeane began to study the work of legendary actresses Jean Harlow and Lana Turner, and enrolled in drama classes. Norma Jeane divorced him in June 1946, and signed her first studio contract with Twentieth Century Fox in August.Norma Jeane becomes MarilynSoon after, Norma Jeane dyed her hair blonde and changed her name to Marilyn Monroe, borrowing her grandmother’s last name. Her beauty and bubbly personality won her the title "Miss California Artichoke Queen" in 1947.Monroe's first movie role was a bit part in "The Shocking Miss Pilgrim" (1947). She played a series of supporting characters until 1950, when John Huston's movie, "The Asphalt Jungle," provided her with a small, but influential role.Later that year, Monroe's performance in "All About Eve," which starred Bette Davis, earned her considerable notice. From then on, Monroe worked steadily in such movies as, "Let's Make It Legal," "As Young As You Feel," "Monkey Business," and "Don't Bother to Knock." It was her performance in "Niagara" (1953) that made her a star.Film stardomMonroe's success in "Niagara" was followed with lead roles in such popular movies as "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," co-starring Jane Russell, and "How to Marry a Millionaire," which also starred Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable. In 1953, "Photoplay" magazine voted Monroe the Best New Actress. Also in 1953, Monroe became the first centerfold for "Playboy" magazine.In January 1954, Monroe married baseball star Joe Dimaggio at San Francisco's City Hall. Unfortunately, Monroe's fame and sexual image became a sore spot in their marriage. Nine months later, Marilyn and Joe divorced, but they remained close friends.In 1956, Monroe established her own motion picture company, Marilyn Monroe Productions. The company produced "Bus Stop" and "The Prince and the Showgirl." With those films, Monroe demonstrated her talent and versatility as an actress. She received a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy in 1959 for the movie "Some Like It Hot."In June 1956, Monroe wedded playwright Arthur Miller. Miller wrote the part of Roslyn Taber especially for Monroe, in the 1961 film "The Misfits." The movie co-starred Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift. The marriage ended in divorce in January 1961, and "The Misfits" was to be Monroe's last completed film.In 1962, Monroe was purportedly involved in affairs with President Kennedy and his brother, Robert Kennedy.Also that year, at the Golden Globe Awards, Marilyn was named female "World Film Favorite," proving once and for all that she was worthy of the title "Icon."

Demise of an iconEarly on the morning of August 5, 1962, 36-year-old Marilyn Monroe died in mysterious circumstances at her Brentwood, California home. The world was stunned, and speculation about the cause of death persists. On August 8, 1962, Monroe's remains were laid to rest in the Corridor of Memories, at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles.Shortly following Monroe's death, pop artist Andy Warhol helped to immortalize her with a series of colorful prints, and singer Elton John did his part with "Candle in the Wind," recorded in the early Seventies.


For additional famous women, see Important and Famous Women in America.


Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe ( / ˈ m ɛər ə l ən m ʌ n ˈ r oʊ / born Norma Jeane Mortenson June 1, 1926 – August 4, 1962) was an American actress, model, and singer. Famous for playing comedic "blonde bombshell" characters, she became one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and early 1960s and was emblematic of the era's sexual revolution. She was a top-billed actress for only a decade, but her films grossed $200 million (equivalent to $2 billion in 2020) by the time of her death in 1962. [1] Long after her death, she continues to be a major icon of pop culture. [2] In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Monroe sixth on its list of the greatest female screen legends from the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Monroe spent most of her childhood in foster homes and an orphanage and married at age 16. She was working in a factory during World War II when she met a photographer from the First Motion Picture Unit and began a successful pin-up modeling career, which led to short-lived film contracts with 20th Century Fox and Columbia Pictures. After a series of minor film roles, she signed a new contract with Fox in late 1950. Over the next two years, she became a popular actress with roles in several comedies, including As Young as You Feel and Monkey Business, and in the dramas Clash by Night and Don't Bother to Knock. She faced a scandal when it was revealed that she had posed for nude photos before she became a star, but the story did not damage her career and instead resulted in increased interest in her films.

By 1953, Monroe was one of the most marketable Hollywood stars she had leading roles in the film noir Niagara, which focused on her sex appeal, and the comedies Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire, which established her star image as a "dumb blonde". The same year, her nude images were used as the centerfold and on the cover of the first issue of Playboy. She played a significant role in the creation and management of her public image throughout her career, but she was disappointed when she was typecast and underpaid by the studio. She was briefly suspended in early 1954 for refusing a film project but returned to star in The Seven Year Itch (1955), one of the biggest box office successes of her career.

When the studio was still reluctant to change Monroe's contract, she founded her own film production company in 1954. She dedicated 1955 to building the company and began studying method acting under Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio. Later that year, Fox awarded her a new contract, which gave her more control and a larger salary. Her subsequent roles included a critically acclaimed performance in Bus Stop (1956) and her first independent production in The Prince and the Showgirl (1957). She won a Golden Globe for Best Actress for her work in Some Like It Hot (1959), a critical and commercial success. Her last completed film was the drama The Misfits (1961).

Monroe's troubled private life received much attention. She struggled with addiction and mood disorders. Her marriages to retired baseball star Joe DiMaggio and to playwright Arthur Miller were highly publicized, and both ended in divorce. On August 4, 1962, she died at age 36 from an overdose of barbiturates at her home in Los Angeles. Her death was ruled a probable suicide, although several conspiracy theories have been proposed in the decades following her death.


Marilyn Monroe: Early Victim of Opioid Epidemic

Marylin Monroe's crypt at the Westwood Memorial Park Cemetery (Photo by Douglas Keister/Corbis via Getty Images).

Robert Dorfman, Emily Berquist Soule, and Sukumar Desai, MD
August 2018

Once a Hollywood scourge, drug overdoses now an everyday plague

IN 2017, OPIOID OVERDOSE officially became the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50. More than two million Americans are addicted to opioids, with costs for their care and treatment exceeding $55 billion yearly. Across the United States, more than 64,000 people died from opioid overdose in 2016, according to federal data. Among the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, and friends lost to the plague are celebrities: Heath Ledger in 2008, Michael Jackson in 2009, Philip Seymour Hoffman in 2014, Prince in 2016, Tom Petty in 2017. One of the earliest—and most infamous—celebrity overdoses was Marilyn Monroe’s in 1962. Abuse of prescription drugs has only risen since then. Now anyone can die like Marilyn.

Marilyn at a party January 20, 1962 in Hollywood, the year the actress died (Photo by Arnold Newman/Getty Images).

T oday’s opioid crisis has no precedent, but Americans have been abusing drugs since the Civil War, when wounded soldiers were treated with morphine—an opiate to which many became addicted. As all opiates do, morphine at first generally sickens users. But after exposure euphoria, tolerance, and finally addiction kick in. By 1914, America’s addiction to opium, morphine, and the stimulant cocaine was so widespread that the government enacted the nation’s first federal anti-drug law. The 1914 Harrison Act made it tougher to get these drugs. Many addicts turned to doctors, who were happy to prescribe barbiturates, a new class of drugs that sedated by depressing the central nervous system. Consi dered “miracle drugs” by doctors and patients, barbiturates eased anxiety and depression and helped users sleep. Research later showed these compounds to be addictive, too, and over the long term
to worsen depressive symptoms. By mid-century, drug companies were marketing no fewer than 30 barbiturates, with Amytal, Nembutal, and Seconal the most popular. After World War II, “goofballs” were everywhere—and cheap. A dozen pills went for about $1.

Then, as now, abuse of drugs was nationwide. But if prescription drug abuse had an epicenter in the 1950s, it was in Los Angeles at Schwab’s Pharmacy on Sunset Boulevard, where Orson Welles shopped, Ava Gardner worked the soda fountain, and F. Scott Fitzgerald reportedly had a heart attack buying cigarettes. At the pharmacy counter, celebrities and regular folks could get their prescriptions filled. In 1950s Hollywood, that meant barbiturates for nerves and amphetamines for energy and weight loss. One studio employee claimed that in those days most Hollywood actors were on prescription drugs. While filming The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland, 17, was plied with amphetamines to give her energy and keep her weight down. When uppers caused insomnia, Garland was prescribed barbiturates to counter their effects. Studio doctors handed out pills to countless stars, including Lauren Bacall and Lucille Ball. A 20th Century Fox physician who treated both Garland and Monroe recalled that “pills were seen as another tool to keep the stars working. The doctors were caught in the middle. If one doctor would not prescribe, there was always another who would.” And there were other sources. The illicit drug scene—detailed in Kenneth Anger’s 1965 exposé Hollywood Babylon—was inescapable. Pills were distributed like candy at parties and used as chips in poker games. Stars drank heavily, smoked marijuana, used cocaine, and tried LSD. Everyone had a connection.

When Marilyn Monroe, 20, arrived on the Fox lot as a contract actor in summer 1946, she was intent on a career, not a drug habit. She did all she could to get producers’ attention. She studied actors. She shadowed makeup artists. She befriended publicists. Focus paid off: from 1950’s The Asphalt Jungle to 1961’s The Misfits, she starred in 23 pictures that grossed at least $200 million. Women imitated her bottle-blonde hair, hourglass figure, and signature red lips. She counted as friends Marlon Brando, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra. Yet, on August 5, 1962, Marilyn Monroe was found naked and alone, dead on her bed amid pill bottles, phone at hand. Two days prior, she had filled two prescriptions for Nembutal—a tranquilizer often prescribed for insomnia and anxiety. The coroner declared her death a probable suicide by overdose. Tabloid stories and conspiracy theories swirled, but one thing was sure: Marilyn was an addict, and addiction killed her, intentional or not.

Born Norma Jeane Mortenson in Los Angeles in 1926, Marilyn had a tumultuous girlhood. Her mother, Gladys, turned her over to foster parents before she was a month old. Gladys visited infrequently, and, when she did, showed little affection. “She never kissed me or held me in her arms,” Marilyn recalled. Marilyn was seven when Gladys was institutionalized for a breakdown. As a girl, Marilyn, who never knew her father, daydreamed about a handsome daddy—perhaps dark-haired and looking like Clark Gable—who would pick her up after school. Left largely on her own in foster homes and orphanages, she fell victim to sexual predators. Biographer Lois Banner says “the sexual abuse she endured as a child was formative in molding her adult character,” leaving Monroe an “angry, frightened adult.” Marilyn worried about her family history. Her maternal grandmother died in an asylum after years of manic depression her maternal grandfather was diagnosed with dementia. “I wish I knew why I am so anguished,” Marilyn wrote to a friend. “I think maybe I’m crazy like all the other members of my family.”

Physical problems, notably endometriosis, intensified Marilyn’s menstrual periods and also caused pregnancy complications that led to miscarriages. A doctor suggested she cope with cramps by drinking vodka. Her drink of choice, Champagne—Dom Perignon 1953—failed to dull her emotional pain and performance anxiety. By the early 1950s, she was regularly downing barbiturates to take the edge off and help her sleep. Like many users of Nembutal, Seconal, and their cousin drugs, she often felt lethargic, so she coupled these pills with amphetamines, which also kept her slim. In interviews with screenwriter Ben Hecht at the Hotel Beverly Hills in 1954, Monroe hinted at her despair and even joked, “When you’re young and healthy you can plan on Monday to commit suicide, and by Wednesday you’re laughing again.” More ominously, she referred to herself as “the kind of girl they found dead in a hall bedroom with an empty bottle of sleeping pills in her hands.”

Still, Marilyn found her professional footing, even starring with two of the era’s most famous actresses—Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall—in 1953’s How to Marry a Millionaire. In 1954, she married New York Yankees slugger Joe DiMaggio, who would remain devoted to her all his life, despite their divorce 274 days later. Marilyn moved to New York and began studying at Actors Studio on West 44th Street, where Lee Strasberg trained followers in

1953 publicity still for the 20th Century Fox film “How to Marry a Millionaire” (Photo by Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images).

“method acting.” Method actors drew on experience to bring raw emotion to performances. When students had trouble working through harsh memories, Strasberg might recommend psychoanalysis. At his urging, Marilyn began to see a psychoanalyst. To address pain unearthed excavating her childhood, Marilyn turned to reliable friends—during the day Dexamyl, a stimulant/sedative hybrid, and at night sleeping pills, washed down with booze.

In New York, Marilyn reconnected with old love interest Arthur Miller. The movie star and the playwright married on June 29, 1956. She joined his circles, befriending Truman Capote and Saul Bellow, vacationing in Long Island and
Connecticut. But Marilyn’s habits persisted. She had increasing anxiety over acting that she allayed with drugs. Miller became known among Marilyn’s friends as her “pill monitor.” He doled out capsules and tablets and tried to watch her intake. When his wife overdosed on Nembutal in September 1957, Miller called paramedics, who saved her life. By 1959, Hollywood gossips were suggesting the thermos she held between takes making Some Like It Hot held vodka, not coffee. Another overdose required a stomach-pumping. Monroe wrote of her fear of learning lines: “…maybe [I] won’t be able to learn them, maybe I’ll make mistakes, people will either think I’m no good or laugh or belittle me or think I can’t act.”

At Miller’s suggestion, Marilyn began working with psychoanalyst Marianne Kris. Aided by another prescription for barbiturates, Marilyn muddled through. During this period some said she feared solitude and the dark. On stays in Los Angeles, she began seeing Beverly Hills analyst Dr. Ralph Greenson. She was taking multiple barbiturates, including phenobarbital, Amytal, and Pentothal. Some sources say she was injecting the opiate Demerol. Worried about chemical interactions as well as overdose, Dr. Greenson, who had many stars as clients, tried to get her off the drugs. He failed, and ironically continued to write prescriptions for Marilyn and other stars as well. Greenson later came in for scrutiny and complaints about unethical practices with patients, including Monroe, but he was also a product of his time.

In that era, when psychological treatment was the province of the very privileged or the very ill, pharmaceuticals seemed to hold great promise for treating mental illness. More patients got relief without undergoing lobotomy, previously the recommended treatment. But the medical community knew prescription pharmaceuticals were addictive. Studies in the 1950s showed the best treatment for such addictions to be hospital detox followed by inpatient psychological care. Those convicted under federal drug laws could be forced to undergo such treatment, but Marilyn’s drug use never became a criminal matter. Her treatments were strictly voluntary.

The Monroe-Miller relationship was disintegrating. Even so, the couple collaborated on a star-laden John Huston film, The Misfits. Miller had written the lead role for his spouse, but Marilyn complained that the script favored male co-stars Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift, and Eli Wallach. At the location in the Nevada desert, temperatures regularly reached 108°. Even with an 11 a.m. call time, Marilyn regularly arrived late. She and Miller stopped speaking to each other. She needed her pills more than ever. Should the production company doctor balk at writing prescriptions, Marilyn would see agreeable doctors in Reno. Mid-shoot, the producers sent her to Los Angeles for two weeks to detoxify. “She was doomed,” Huston said later. “She was incapable of rescuing herself or being rescued by anyone else. And it affected her work.”

Shooting ended on November 4, 1960 within days, Gable had a heart attack. On November 11, Marilyn’s press secretary announced her separation from Miller, who later said he had married Marilyn thinking she was “the happy girl that all men loved,” but found that “with all her radiance, she was surrounded by a darkness that perplexed me.” On November 16, Gable died. A devastated Marilyn blamed herself and her on-set antics for her father figure’s demise, a logic also expressed in gossip columns. In interviews with journalist W.J. Weatherby, Monroe’s despondency showed. She talked about wanting to write a will. “Can’t tell you why,” she mused, “but it’s been on my mind.” She talked about her insomnia, and about taking sleeping pills. She mentioned suicide: “I tried it once and I was kinda disappointed it didn’t work.” She isolated herself. When reviewers bashed The MisfitsThe New York Times called Monroe’s performance “blank and unfathomable”—she stayed in bed all day, curtains closed.

Fearing another suicide attempt, analyst Marianne Kris convinced Monroe to sign into New York City’s Payne Whitney clinic for another try at detox. Marilyn quickly saw the place as the psychiatric ward it was, with barred windows, locked doors, and staff eyes always on patients. The halls reverberated with screams. Frantic, Marilyn smashed a window and threatened to slit her wrists with a shard of glass. This got her moved into isolation in a cinderblock cell on what she later called “the dangerous floor.” Desperate, she contacted Lee Strasberg. “I’m sure to end up a nut if I stay in this nightmare,” she wrote. “Please help me Lee, this is the last place I should be.” The acting coach did not come. Nor did Kris. After four days, ex-husband Joe DiMaggio secured Marilyn’s release.

Within weeks, she was in Los Angeles, regularly seeing Greenson. The psychoanalyst had diagnosed his famous patient as a “borderline paranoid schizophrenic.” He arranged for nurses to supervise her daily activities. He tried to wean Monroe off Nembutal. He suggested she buy a house. In tony Brentwood, she purchased a two-bedroom Spanish-style villa. An inscription in Latin at the entry read Cursum Perificio, “I am finishing my journey.” To furnish the house, Marilyn made a shopping trip to Mexico. She began working on a memoir with photographer George Barris.

Monroe was to star with Dean Martin in a comedy, Something’s Got to Give. A sinus infection kept Marilyn from making her first on-set call, a bump that became a pattern. When she was not arriving late, she was having her driver cruise
the lot. Once, before going on camera, she vomited, which producer Henry Weinstein attributed to “sheer, primal terror.” Something’s schedule slid a week behind. Marilyn infuriated studio executives by leaving for New York to sing “Happy Birthday” at Madison Square Garden on May 19 to President John F. Kennedy, a sometime paramour.

On June 1, Monroe turned 36, a milestone marked rudimentarily on set with grocery-store champagne, cake, and crew members singing “Happy Birthday.” That weekend found Marilyn in bed alone, in the dark, with her pills. Monday she called in sick. By Wednesday, the studio had shut down Something’s Got to Give and was suing an inconsolable Monroe for $500,000.

Hoping to cheer up his colleague, Dean Martin planned a party for her that weekend. Marilyn stayed home with her prescriptions, written by Greenson and another doctor: Nembutal and the painkiller Sulfathalidine, as well as chloral hydrate, an insomnia treatment known on the street “Mickey Finn knockout drops.” She may have stockpiled additional controlled substances while in Mexico, where drug laws were laxer than in the United States.

Marilyn and photographer Barris met for a mid-July session. As the sun was setting off Santa Monica on Friday, July 13, 1962, Barris made one last exposure. In their weeks together, his subject seemed disturbed, he said later. “Marilyn would now and then lapse into a blue mood,” the photographer said. “She would cover her face with both hands, lower her head for a moment or two and then, smiling, become her old self again—cheerful and clowning for the camera. But I could see a residual tear or two.”

Later in July, Marilyn returned to Santa Monica for a beach house party that actors Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood also attended. Both performers recalled a despondent, agitated Monroe. The star spent much of the night in a corner. “Thirty-six, thirty-six,” she muttered to herself. “It’s all over.” Marilyn had reached the age at which Betty Grable, her co-star in How to Marry a Millionaire, had been pushed out of Hollywood.

On August 3, Life magazine writer Richard Meryman interviewed Monroe at home in Brentwood. She told the journalist she felt herself to be “one of the world’s most self-conscious people.” Though still beautiful, Marilyn’s face was “pasty and lifeless looking,” Meryman said. A follow-up visit could not end quickly enough for him. “I didn’t like the atmosphere in that house,” he said. “There was something creepy, something sick about it.”

Marilyn deteriorated. Some suggest she was anguished over failed relationships with the Kennedys—first Jack, then Bobby. On August 4 a friend of the political family warned Monroe to leave the Kennedys alone. Marilyn asked Dr. Greenson to make a house call. After a few hours of therapy, the star

Marilyn’s body at the morgue in Los Angeles for autopsy after her death on august 5, 1962 (Photo by Apic/Getty Images)

seemed calmer, but when she proposed to stroll Santa Monica Pier, Greenson advised she have her housekeeper take her for a drive. Around 8, Marilyn decided she was in for the night. In her bedroom she put on Sinatra records and phoned friends. Most were out.

Early on Sunday, the housekeeper, hearing music and seeing her employer’s bedroom lights on, knocked at Monroe’s bedroom door to no response. The door was locked. A call brought Dr. Greenson. Around 3:30 a.m., he broke into Marilyn’s room to find her “face down on the bed, bare shoulders exposed…the phone clutched fiercely in her right hand.” Marilyn was not breathing. About the room were scattered pill bottles, including two labeled for anti-anxiety drug Librium and two for the sedative chloral hydrate, along with containers of analgesic Sulfathalidine and the sedative Nembutal. The death certificate would state that Marilyn had died of “acute barbiturate poisoning,” and was a “probable suicide.” An autopsy found her system to contain 10 times the standard dosage of Nembutal.

It is impossible to know whether Marilyn Monroe took her own life or was self-medicating and miscalculated. Many friends insisted she died by accident. But in her final interview, Marilyn called celebrity “only a temporary and partial happiness,” adding in an aside on her career that “it might be kind of a relief to be finished.” Days later, she was.


Marilyn Monroe - History

Marilyn Monroe is iconic for her blonde curls, red lips, and perfect beauty mark, but the star was shockingly unrecognizable at the time of her death.

According to the two morticians, who prepared Marilyn for burial, the legendary sex symbol had hairy legs, false teeth, and purple blotches all over her face when she was found dead aged 36 in 1962.

The morbid details about Monroe are revealed in famous celebrity mortician, Allan Abbot's new book, "Pardon My Hearse," which comes out June 15.

In one excerpt of the book, Abbot goes into deep detail and says the "Gentleman Prefer Blondes" star was very "average."

"When we removed the sheet covering her, it was almost impossible to believe this was the body of Marilyn Monroe," Abbot said. "She looked like a very average, aging woman who had not been taking very good care of herself."

In the 1960s, Allan Abbot and Ron Hast were the morticians of choice for the rich and famous. In addition to Monroe, the pair prepared the bodies of celebs like Natalie Wood, as well. Abbot details the day they picked up Wood in his book, as well.

And it seems like June is about all things Marilyn. Later this month, Julien's "Hollywood Legends Auction" will be putting some of Monroe's belongings up for bid. Some of these items include the last dress she wore in a film scene before she died, her grave maker, and even a medical X-ray. The dress alone is expected to bring in between $400,000 and $600,000.


She had a family member who was a Civil War veteran

Jacob died soon after that census, at around age 40. While we don’t know what took Jacob’s life at such a young age, we do know that he was a veteran of the Civil War. In July of 1862, Jacob enlisted in the 70th Indiana Regiment, which was mustered in at Indianapolis and led by future U.S. president Colonel Benjamin Harrison. A web database from the Indiana State Archives, which can be searched on Ancestry, reveals that Jacob was injured on May 15, 1864. Research on the 70th Indiana Regiment reveals that on that date they were involved in the Battle of Resaca, which was part of William Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign. Col. Harrison’s report from the field on the engagement can be found in the The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies, which is available on the Making of America website. 

Colonel Benjamin Harrison&aposs report from the Civil War battlefield.

Photo: Courtesy Ancestry.com

In the report, Harrison describes how his regiment successfully charged a Confederate artillery battery under heavy enemy fire. "I would respectfully call your attention to the following points: First, my regiments entered the enemy&aposs works in advance of all others, and my colors, though not planted, were the first to enter the fort second, the enemy&aposs lines were not penetrated at any point other than that where we entered, although assaulted by other troops on the left third, my regiment, being in advance and having to bear the brunt of the assault, accomplished all that could have been required of them in entering the works and driving the enemy out." The casualty list that he attached to his report noted that 29 men were killed in the battle, and 4 officers and 140 men were wounded – among them Jacob Monroe.

This photo from the Matthew Brady Collection on Fold3 shows the earthworks and the Resaca battlefield.

Photo: Courtesy Ancestry.com

A deeper look into Jacob’s life reveals a difficult start for him as well. Jacob’s birth date from census and other records is estimated as 1831, and in October of that same year we also found his father’s will being probated in a Marion County, Indiana, court after he died on September 13. William Monroe’s will had been written just the day before and while we don’t know what caused his death, it appears that he also died at a relatively young age. He left behind his wife, Mary, and six children (all minors) – Sarah, Harriett, George, Louisa, 

William Monroe&aposs last will and testament.

Photo: Courtesy Ancestry.com


That silly little dress

When designer William Travilla first created his infamous “white” dress, he called it “that silly little dress.” Little did he know that his design would become the most replicated dress in fashion history.

Ironically, no one seems to get the copies right. According to Travilla, the dress was bone-colored, not white. Dresses could not be shot in white because the 1950s production lights made them look grey. (Over time, the infamous dress has darkened to an ecru color.)

The fabric was a heavy acetate-crepe and not the cheap, thin fabric you see on most Marilyn Monroe costumes. If you have ever had a Marilyn skirt blowing moment, then you will understand. A heavy fabric billows. A light fabric blows straight up. (Trust me on this one…I have had my share of Marilyn moments.)

It’s possible that Marilyn’s dress was padded. Her designer William Travilla often sewed padding into the bodice of her dresses. This was not to make her breasts appear larger but to reshape them. Supposedly, Marilyn’s breasts were set too far apart and low for the beauty standards of the day. So Travilla would sew buttons into her dresses' bodice to make her nipples appear higher.

In the later part of her career, Marilyn gave herself enemas to manage stomach bloating — a dangerous practice. And no, Marilyn was never fat. Her dimensions when she was the fittest: 36D-23–35.

Aside from the dress design, what is most remembered about that New York minute is Marilyn’s laughter. Marilyn’s greatest gift was to turn the taboo into the titillating. Unfortunately, not everyone appreciated that gift.


Marilyn Monroe - History

Marilyn Monroe: The Final Days

Director : Patty Ivins Specht, Producers : Patty Ivins Specht, Erika Schroeder, Jason Fine, Kevin Burns, Michael D. Stevens, Writer : Monica Bider, Narrated By James Coburn. In The Final Days, Producer-Director Patty Ivins Chronicles Marilyn Monroe’s Final, Aborted Feature Film, Something’s Got to Give, Which Was Ultimately Shut Down After The Star Was Dismissed From The Production. Beyond Monroe’s Fragile Emotional And Physical Health, This Well-Crafted Profile Examines The Financial Crisis Facing Her Studio As Well As The Mounting Frustration Of Meticulous Director George Cukor And His Cast, Including Costar Dean Martin, As Monroe’s Absences Drove The Shoot Over Budget. The 2001 Documentary, Which Was Previously Available Only As Part Of The Diamond Collection, Concludes With A 40-minute Reconstruction Of Footage Completed For The Feature, Which Would Subsequently Be Reshot As A Vehicle For Doris Day And James Garner, Move Over, Darling. –Sam Sutherland.

Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962) was an American actress, model, and singer, who became a major sex symbol, starring in a number of commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s and early 1960s.

After spending much of her childhood in foster homes, Monroe began a career as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946 with Twentieth Century-Fox. Her early film appearances were minor, but her performances in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve (both 1950), drew attention. By 1952 she had her first leading role in Don’t Bother to Knock and 1953 brought a lead in Niagara, a melodramatic film noir that dwelt on her seductiveness. Her “dumb blonde” persona was used to comic effect in subsequent films such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) and The Seven Year Itch (1955). Limited by typecasting, Monroe studied at the Actors Studio to broaden her range. Her dramatic performance in Bus Stop (1956) was hailed by critics and garnered a Golden Globe nomination. Her production company, Marilyn Monroe Productions, released The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), for which she received a BAFTA Award nomination and won a David di Donatello award. She received a Golden Globe Award for her performance in Some Like It Hot (1959). Monroe’s last completed film was The Misfits, co-starring Clark Gable with screenplay by her then-husband, Arthur Miller.

The final years of Monroe’s life were marked by illness, personal problems, and a reputation for unreliability and being difficult to work with. The circumstances of her death, from an overdose of barbiturates, have been the subject of conjecture. Though officially classified as a “probable suicide”, the possibility of an accidental overdose, as well as of homicide, have not been ruled out. In 1999, Monroe was ranked as the sixth greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute. In the decades following her death, she has often been cited as both a pop and a cultural icon as well as the quintessential American sex symbol.

Early work: 1945–1947

Mrs James Dougherty, June 26, 1945

While Dougherty served in the Merchant Marine, his wife began working in the Radioplane Munitions Factory, mainly spraying airplane parts with fire retardant and inspecting parachutes. During that time, David Conover of the U.S. Army Air Forces’ 1st Motion Picture Unit was sent to the factory by his commanding officer, future U.S. president Captain Ronald Reagan to shoot morale-boosting photographs for Yank, the Army Weekly magazine of young women helping the war effort. He noticed her and snapped a series of photographs, none of which appeared inYank magazine, although some still claim this to be the case. He encouraged her to apply to The Blue Book Modeling Agency. She signed with the agency and began researching the work of Jean Harlow and Lana Turner. She was told that they were looking for models with lighter hair, so Norma Jeane bleached her brunette hair a golden blonde.

Norma Jeane became one of Blue Book’s most successful models she appeared on dozens of magazine covers. Her successful modeling career brought her to the attention of Ben Lyon, a 20th Century Fox executive, who arranged a screen test for her. Lyon was impressed and commented, “It’s Jean Harlow all over ag She was offered a standard six-month contract with a starting salary of $125 per week. Lyon did not like the name Norma Jeane and chose “Carole Lind” as a stage name, after Carole Lombard and Jenny Lind, but he soon decided it was not an appropriate choice. Monroe was invited to spend the weekend with Lyon and his wife Bebe Daniels at their home. It was there that they decided to find her a new name. Following her idol Jean Harlow, she decided to choose her mother’s maiden name of Monroe. Several variations such as Norma Jeane Monroe and Norma Monroe were tried and initially “Jeane Monroe” was chosen. Eventually, Lyon decided Jeane and variants were too common, and he decided on a more alliterative sounding name. He suggested “Marilyn”, commenting that she reminded him of Marilyn Miller. Monroe was initially hesitant because Marilyn was the contraction of the name Mary Lynn, a name she did not like. Lyon, however, felt that the name “Marilyn Monroe” was sexy, had a “nice flow,” and would be “lucky” due to the double “M.”

Her first movie role was an uncredited part as a telephone operator in The Shocking Miss Pilgrim in 1947, starring Betty Grable. She won a brief role that same year in Dangerous Years and extra appearances in the western film Green Grass of Wyoming starring Peggy Cummins and the musical film You Were Meant for Me starring Jeanne Crain and Dan Dailey. She also won a three-scene role as Betty in Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay!, starring a young Natalie Wood, but before the film’s release her part was cut-down to a brief one-line scene.

Breakthrough: 1948–1951

In 1948, Monroe signed a six-month contract with Columbia Pictures and was introduced to the studio’s head drama coach Natasha Lytess, who became her acting coach for several years. Monroe was soon cast in a major role in the low-budget musical Ladies of the Chorus (1948). Monroe was capitalized as one of the film’s bright spots, and the film enjoyed only moderate success. During her short stint at Columbia, studio head Harry Cohn softened her appearance somewhat by correcting a slight overbite she had.

After the release of the poorly reviewed Ladies of the Chorus and being dropped by Columbia, Monroe had to struggle to find work. She particularly wanted film work, and when the offers didn’t come, she returned to modeling. In 1949, she caught the eye of photographer Tom Kelley, who convinced her to pose nude. Monroe was laid out on a large fabric of red silk and posed for countless shots. She was paid $50 and signed the model release form as “Mona Monroe.” This was the only time that Monroe was paid for her nude posing.

Soon thereafter she had a small walk-on role in the Marx Brothers film Love Happy (1949). Monroe impressed the producers, who sent her to New York to feature in the film’s promotional campaign. Love Happy brought Monroe to the attention of thetalent agent, Johnny Hyde, who agreed to represent her. After signing on with Hyde, Monroe had brief roles in three films, A Ticket to Tomahawk, Right Cross, and The Fireball, all of which were released in 1950 and brought no attention to her career. Hyde soon thereafter arranged for her to audition for John Huston, who cast her in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer drama The Asphalt Jungle as the young mistress of an aging criminal. Her performance brought strong reviews, and was seen by the writer and director, Joseph Mankiewicz. He accepted Hyde’s suggestion to cast Monroe in a small comedic role in All About Eve as Miss Caswell, an aspiring actress, described by another character, played by George Sanders, as a student of “The Copacabana School of Dramatic Art”. Mankiewicz later commented that he had seen an innocence in her that he found appealing, and that this had confirmed his belief in her suitability for the role. Following Monroe’s success in these roles, Hyde negotiated a seven-year contract for her with 20th Century Fox, shortly before his death in December 1950. It was at some time during this 1949–1950 period that Hyde arranged for her to have a slight bump of cartilage removed from her somewhat bulbous nose which further softened her appearance and accounts for the slight variation in look she had in films after 1950.

In 1951, Monroe enrolled at University of California, Los Angeles, where she studied literature and art appreciation. During this time Monroe had minor parts in four films: the low-budget drama Home Town Story with Jeffrey Lynn and Alan Hale, Jr., and three comedies: As Young as You Feel with Monty Woolley and Thelma Ritter Love Nest with June Haver and William Lundigan and Let’s Make It Legal with Claudette Colbert and Macdonald Carey, all of which were filmed on a moderate budget and only became mildly successful. In March 1951, she appeared as a presenter at the 23rd Academy Awards ceremony. In 1952, Monroe appeared on the cover of Look magazine wearing a Georgia Tech sweater as part of an article celebrating female enrollment to the school’s main campus. In the early 1950s, Monroe unsuccessfully auditioned for the role of Daisy Mae in a proposed Li’l Abner television series based on the Al Capp comic strip, but the effort never materialized.

Leading films: 1952–1955

First issue of Playboy, December 1953

In March 1952, Monroe faced a possible scandal when one of her nude photos from her 1949 session with photographer Tom Kelley was featured in a calendar. The press speculated about the identity of the anonymous model and commented that she closely resembled Monroe. As the studio discussed how to deal with the problem, Monroe suggested that she should simply admit that she had posed for the photograph but emphasize that she had done so only because she had no money to pay her rent She gave an interview in which she discussed the circumstances that led to her posing for the photographs, and the resulting publicity elicited a degree of sympathy for her plight as a struggling actress.

She made her first appearance on the cover of Life magazine in April 1952, where she was described as “The Talk of Hollywood.” The following year, she was photographed by notedLife magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt, considered “The father of photojournalism.” He photographed Monroe on the patio of her Hollywood home. Many of the images from that sitting have been reproduced in numerous subsequent publications and byLife magazine. Monroe was pleased with his images of her, later telling him, “You made a palace out of my patio.”

Stories of her childhood and upbringing portrayed her in a sympathetic light: a cover story for the May 1952 edition of True Experiences magazine showed a smiling and wholesome Monroe beside a caption that read, “Do I look happy? I should—for I was a child nobody wanted. A lonely girl with a dream—who awakened to find that dream come true. I am Marilyn Monroe. Read my Cinderella story.” It was also during this time that she began dating baseball player Joe DiMaggio. A photograph of DiMaggio visiting Monroe at the 20th Century Fox studio was printed in newspapers throughout the United States, and reports of a developing romance between them generated further interest in Monroe.

Four films in which Monroe featured were released beginning in 1952. She had been lent to RKO Studios to appear in a supporting role in Clash by Night, a Barbara Stanwyck drama, directed by Fritz Lang. Released in June 1952, the film was popular with audiences, with much of its success credited to curiosity about Monroe, who received generally favorable reviews from critics.


The sad story of Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926, in Los Angeles California.

Her mother, Gladys worked at Consolidated Film Industries where she met salesman Charles Stanley Gifford who left Gladys when she fell pregnant.

Gladys had severe bouts with mental illness and was unable to care for Norma, so she was placed with foster parents. She spent her childhood in and out of foster homes and state-run care until the age of sixteen when she married James Dougherty, a friend of hers that lived a few houses away. Dougherty joined the military and Norma went to work at a defence plant as well as working as a model.

In 1945 she signed with the Blue Book Model Agency, dyed her hair blonde and began appearing in magazine ads and covers. Norma was an avid reader and spent quite a bit of her modeling salary on books. She also took literature courses and an acting course at the Actors Lab in Hollywood. When she met Ben Lyon, an executive at 20 th Century Fox, he convinced Darryl F. Zanuck to sign her to a six-month contract. It was at this time Lyon changed her name to Marilyn Monroe. She had a bit part as a waitress in the movie Dangerous Years in 1947. Zanuck was not particularly impressed with Monroe and let her contract lapse a year later. By this time she had divorced Dougherty and decided to pursue acting full time.

In 1948 she was signed by Columbia Pictures and appeared in several minor pictures such as Ladies of the Chorus in 1948, A Ticket to Tomahawk, All About Eve and The Asphalt Jungle in 1950 and Niagara in 1953. It was her performances in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire in 1953 that made Monroe a star. In 1954 she married baseball legend Joe DiMaggio. The marriage lasted less than a year because DiMaggio wanted a full-time wife and Marilyn wanted to continue to act. He also had a hard time dealing with Marilyn’s sex symbol image and attention from men.

In 1955 she appeared with Tom Ewell in Billy Wilder’s comedy The Seven Year Itch where the iconic photo of Marilyn standing over a sidewalk grate blowing up her skirt was created. By this time Marilyn was tired of the dumb blonde roles, she was continually being handed and yearned for more dramatic roles. She moved to New York and enrolled in the New York’s Actors Studio studying under the director, Lee Strasberg. She also began psychotherapy, urged on by Strasberg.

Strasberg was one of the movie industry’s elite. He coached such actors as Marlon Brando, James Dean, Anne Bancroft, Shelley Winters, Sidney Poitier and Joanne Woodward in the “Method Acting” technique. Monroe became very attached to Strasberg, and in a sense, he became the father she never had.

In 1956 Marilyn was back in Hollywood to work in Josh Logan’s Bus Stop. She ran into playwright Arthur Miller who she had met years earlier at a party. Miller embodied everything Marilyn wanted in life. He was a serious thinker, well educated and a highly respected writer. She was introduced to his social circle of literary greats such as Truman Capote, Carl Sandburg and Saul Bellow. Marilyn was intelligent and witty and fit right in with Miller’s friends.

She converted to Miller’s religion of Judaism and married him in June of 1956 with Lee Strasberg giving her away at a small wedding.

The newlyweds moved into an apartment on East 57 th Street in New York City and frequently vacationed on Long Island. Monroe had reported that the time spent with Miller in 1957 were the best of her life. She was truly in love she was being given serious acting roles and believed that she had finally found the happiness that had eluded her since childhood.

When she and Miller moved to London so she could work on The Prince and the Showgirl with Laurence Olivier, things began to unravel. Miller had left his diary open, and Marilyn saw an entry where he had written that their marriage was a disappointment and that she had frequently embarrassed him in front of his friends because she was not as smart as he would have liked. Marilyn was devastated, but continued to work to keep the marriage together. She returned to psychoanalysis and began relying on barbiturates and alcohol to sleep.

Monroe at the Actors Studio, where she began studying method acting in 1955

The two returned to the United States and purchased a home in Connecticut. Marilyn stood with Miller while he was attacked by the House Un-American Activities Committee run by Senator Joseph McCarthy, well known for investigating the famous for ties, real or imagined, to the Communist Party.

In 1959 Marilyn appeared in Some Like It Hot with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. The film was a critical and box office success. Marilyn had already been fired from several projects due to habitual lateness and for being difficult to work with on set, and her anguish over her failing marriage only made things worse.

She completed Let’s Make Love in 1960 with Yves Montand and, starved for affection, had become involved in an affair with Montand, further alienating her from her husband. She re-entered psychoanalysis, but it seemed to her that her doctor was more concerned with his infatuation for her than on her mental well-being.

Monroe as a mentally disturbed babysitter in the thriller Don’t Bother to Knock (1952)

Miller had been writing a screenplay for her, The Misfits, with Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift, Thelma Ritter, and Eli Wallach. Filming started in 1960 with Miller on the set every day. During the filming, Miller met Inge Morath, a film archivist, and Marilyn was forced to watch as her husband fell in love with another woman. Three months after filming began Miller and Monroe announced their separation.

Marilyn moved back to California and began filming the movie Something’s Got to Give with Dean Martin and Cyd Charisse but was fired for her inability to show up on time.

On May 19, 1962, Peter Lawford had arranged an appearance with Marilyn at a Democratic Fundraiser at Madison Square Garden. It was there that Marilyn appeared in the now famous skin-tight dress and sang Happy Birthday to President John F. Kennedy.

Three months later Marilyn died. She was discovered by her housekeeper on August 5, 1962, in her Brentwood home, the victim of an overdose of barbiturates. Her link with the Kennedy family has caused many to believe that she was secretly murdered or that she committed suicide.

Her former husband Joe DiMaggio stepped up and took care of the funeral arrangements with Lee Strasburg delivering the eulogy. Marilyn was interred at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles, and DiMaggio made sure that a fresh red rose was placed at her grave every day.


Marilyn Monroe was stereotyped as a dumb blonde

The widely accepted version of Marilyn Monroe's rags-to-riches story is that she took a few pretty photos and immediately became a movie star. But Monroe worked hard to go from parachute factory to Hollywood icon.

As a model, Monroe studied her photos and asked photographers for feedback. For five years, she took every job she was offered without complaint, starting as an extra and climbing to bit parts. At Fox, she deliberately befriended studio reporters, who were happy to give her a publicity boost. She also made an effort to improve her limited formal education, reading challenging classic literature in her car and on set.

Monroe resented being typecast as the dumb blonde or seductress and wanted to prove that she could bring more to a movie than sex appeal. She took many acting classes, first at the Actors Lab in LA and later, as Vanity Fair reports, with famous acting coach Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in New York, where classmates praised her performances.

In 1954, Monroe protested against the demeaning roles Fox kept sending her and its refusal to increase her salary even though she was the studio's biggest star. After walking out on her contract, Monroe became the second woman ever to found her own production studio, named after herself. The rebellion worked: Fox raised her salary and gave her creative control.


Contents

For several years heading into the early 1960s, Monroe had been dependent on amphetamines, barbiturates and alcohol, and she experienced various mental health problems that included depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and chronic insomnia. [2] She had acquired a reputation for being difficult to work with, and she frequently delayed productions by being late to film sets in addition to having trouble remembering her lines. By 1960, this behavior was adversely affecting her career. For example, although she was author Truman Capote's preferred choice to play Holly Golightly in the film adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany's, Paramount Pictures declined to cast her due to fear that she would complicate the film's production. [3] The two films Monroe completed in the 1960s, Let's Make Love (1960) and The Misfits (1961), were both critical and commercial failures. [4] During the filming of the latter she had had to spend a week detoxing in a hospital. [4] Her third marriage, to author Arthur Miller, also ended in divorce in January 1961. [5]

Instead of working, Monroe spent a large part of 1961 preoccupied with health problems and did not work on any new film projects. She underwent surgery for her endometriosis and a cholecystectomy, and spent four weeks in hospital care—including a brief stint in a mental ward—for depression. [6] [a] Later in 1961, she moved back to Los Angeles after six years in Manhattan she purchased a Spanish hacienda-style house at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive in Brentwood. [8] In early 1962, she received a "World Film Favorite" Golden Globe award and began to shoot a new film for 20th Century Fox, Something's Got to Give, a remake of My Favorite Wife (1940). [9]

Days before filming began, Monroe caught sinusitis Fox was advised to postpone the production, but the advice was not heeded and filming began on schedule in late April. [10] Monroe was too ill to work for the majority of the next six weeks, but despite confirmations by multiple doctors, the studio tried to pressure her by publicly alleging that she was faking it. [10] On May 19, she took a break from filming to sing "Happy Birthday" on stage at President John F. Kennedy's birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden in New York ten days before his actual birthday. [11] Monroe and Kennedy had mutual friends and although they sometimes had casual sexual encounters, there is no evidence that their relationship was serious. [12] After Monroe returned to LA from New York City, she resumed filming and celebrated her 36th birthday on the set on June 1. [13] She was again absent for several days, which led 20th Century Fox to fire her on June 7 and sue her for breach of contract, demanding $750,000 in damages. [14] She was replaced by Lee Remick, but after co-star Dean Martin refused to make the film with anyone other than Monroe, Fox sued him as well and shut down the production. [15]

The studio publicly blamed Monroe's drug addiction and alleged lack of professionalism for the demise of the film, even claiming that she was mentally disturbed. [16] [b] To counter the negative publicity, Monroe gave interviews to several high-profile publications, such as Life, Cosmopolitan and Vogue, in her last weeks. [19] After successfully renegotiating her contract with Fox, filming with Monroe was scheduled to resume in September on Something's Got to Give, and Monroe made plans for starring in What a Way to Go! (1964) as well as a biopic about Jean Harlow. [20]

Monroe spent the last day of her life, Saturday, August 4, at her Brentwood home. In the morning, she met with photographer Lawrence Schiller to discuss the possibility of Playboy publishing nude photos taken of her on the set of Something's Got to Give. [21] She also received a massage from her personal massage therapist, talked with friends on the phone, and signed for deliveries. Present at the house in the morning were also her housekeeper, Eunice Murray, and her publicist Patricia Newcomb, who had stayed overnight. According to Newcomb, they had an argument because Monroe had not slept well the night before. [22]

At 4:30 p.m. PDT on Saturday, August 4, Monroe's psychiatrist Ralph Greenson arrived at the house to conduct a therapy session and asked Newcomb to leave. [23] Before Greenson left at around 7 p.m., he asked Murray to stay overnight and keep Monroe company. [24] At approximately 7–7:15, Monroe received a call from Joe DiMaggio Jr., with whom she had stayed close since her divorce from his father. He told her that he had broken up with a girlfriend she did not like, and he detected nothing alarming in Monroe's behavior. [25] At around 7:40–7:45, she telephoned Greenson to tell him the news about the breakup of DiMaggio and his girlfriend. [26]

Monroe retired to her bedroom at approximately 8 p.m. [27] She received a call from actor Peter Lawford, who was hoping to persuade her to attend his party that night. Lawford became alarmed because Monroe sounded like she was under the influence of drugs. She told him to "Say goodbye to Pat, say goodbye to the president (Lawford's brother-in-law), and say goodbye to yourself, because you're a nice guy", before drifting off. Unable to reach Monroe, Lawford called his agent Milton Ebbins, who unsuccessfully tried to reach Greenson, and later called Monroe's lawyer, Milton A. "Mickey" Rudin. Rudin called Monroe's house, and was assured by Eunice Murray that she was fine. [28]

At approximately 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, August 5, Murray woke up "sensing that something was wrong" and saw light from under Monroe's bedroom door, but she was not able to get a response and found the door locked. Murray telephoned Greenson, on whose advice she looked in through a window, and saw Monroe lying facedown on her bed, covered by a sheet and clutching a telephone receiver. Greenson arrived shortly thereafter. He entered the room by breaking a window and found Monroe dead. He called her physician, Hyman Engelberg, who arrived at the house at around 3:50 a.m. and officially confirmed the death. At 4:25 a.m., they notified the Los Angeles Police Department. [29]

Deputy coroner Thomas Noguchi conducted Monroe's autopsy on the same day that she was found dead, Sunday, August 5. The Los Angeles County coroner's office was assisted in the inquest by psychiatrists Norman Farberow, Robert Litman, and Norman Tabachnik from the Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center, who interviewed Monroe's doctors and psychiatrists on her mental state. [30] [31] Based on the advanced state of rigor mortis at the time her body was discovered, it was estimated that she had died between 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. on August 4. [32] The toxicological analysis concluded that the cause of death was acute barbiturate poisoning she had 8 mg% (mg/dl) of chloral hydrate and 4.5 mg% of pentobarbital (Nembutal) in her blood and a further 13 mg% of pentobarbital in her liver. [30] The police found empty bottles of these medicines next to her bed. [30] There were no signs of external wounds or bruises on the body. [33]

The findings of the inquest were published on August 17 Chief Coroner Theodore Curphey classified Monroe's death a "probable suicide". [30] [31] The possibility of an accidental overdose was ruled out because the dosages found in her body were several times over the lethal limit and had been taken "in one gulp or in a few gulps over a minute or so". [31] At the time of her death, Monroe was reported to have been in a "depressed mood", and had been "unkempt" and uninterested in maintaining her appearance. [1] No suicide note was found, but Litman stated that this was not unusual, because statistics show that less than 40 percent of suicide victims leave notes. [1] In their final report, Farberow, Litman, and Tabachnik stated:

Miss Monroe had suffered from psychiatric disturbance for a long time. She experienced severe fears and frequent depressions. Mood changes were abrupt and unpredictable. Among symptoms of disorganization, sleep disturbance was prominent, for which she had been taking sedative drugs for many years. She was thus familiar with and experienced in the use of sedative drugs and well aware of their dangers . In our investigation we have learned that Miss Monroe had often expressed wishes to give up, to withdraw, and even to die. On more than one occasion in the past, she had made a suicide attempt, using sedative drugs. On these occasions, she had called for help and had been rescued. It is our opinion that the same pattern was repeated on the evening of Aug. 4 except for the rescue. It has been our practice with similar information collected in other cases in the past to recommend a certification for such deaths as probable suicide. Additional clues for suicide provided by the physical evidence are the high level of barbiturates and chloral hydrate in the blood which, with other evidence from the autopsy, indicates the probable ingestion of a large amount of drugs within a short period of time: the completely empty bottle of Nembutal, the prescription for which (25 capsules) was filled the day before the ingestion, and the locked door to the bedroom, which was unusual. [31]

In the 1970s, claims surfaced that Monroe's death was a murder and not suicide. Due to these claims, Los Angeles County District Attorney John Van de Kamp assigned his colleague Ronald H. "Mike" Carroll to conduct a 1982 "threshold investigation" to see whether a criminal investigation should be opened. [34] [35] [36] Carroll worked with Alan B. Tomich, an investigator for the district attorney's office, for over three months on an inquiry that resulted in a thirty-page report. [36] They did not find any credible evidence to support the theory that Monroe was murdered. [36] [37] [35]

In 1983, Thomas Noguchi published his memoirs, in which he discussed Monroe's case and the allegations of discrepancies in the autopsy and the coroner's ruling of suicide. [38] These included the claims that Monroe could not have ingested the pills because her stomach was empty that Nembutal capsules should have left yellow residue that she may have been administered an enema and that the autopsy noted no needle marks despite the fact that she routinely received injections from her doctors. [38]

Noguchi explained that hemorrhaging of the stomach lining indicated that the medication had been administered orally, and that because Monroe had been an addict for several years, the pills would have been absorbed more rapidly than in the case of non-addicts. [38] He also denied that Nembutal leaves dye residue. [38] He noted that only very recent needle marks are visible on a body, and that the only bruise he noted on Monroe's body, on her lower back, was superficial and its placement indicated that it was accidental, and not linked to foul play. [38] Noguchi finally concluded that based on his observations, the most probable conclusion is that Monroe committed suicide. [38]

Monroe's unexpected death was front-page news in the United States and Europe. [39] According to biographer Lois Banner, "it's said that the suicide rate in Los Angeles doubled the month after she died the circulation rate of most newspapers expanded that month", [39] and the Chicago Tribune reported that they had received hundreds of phone calls from members of the public requesting information about her death. [40] French artist Jean Cocteau commented that her death "should serve as a terrible lesson to all those, whose chief occupation consists of spying on and tormenting film stars", her former co-star Laurence Olivier deemed her "the complete victim of ballyhoo and sensation", and Bus Stop director Joshua Logan stated that she was "one of the most unappreciated people in the world". [41]

Monroe's funeral was held on August 8 at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, where her foster parents Ana Lower and Grace McKee Goddard had also been buried. The service was arranged by her former husband Joe DiMaggio, her half-sister Berniece Baker Miracle and her business manager Inez Melson, who decided to invite only around thirty of her closest family members and friends, excluding most of Hollywood. Police were present to keep the press away and to control the several hundred spectators who crowded the streets around the cemetery. The funeral service, presided over by a local minister, was conducted at the cemetery's chapel. Monroe was laid out in a green Emilio Pucci dress and held a bouquet of small pink roses her longtime make-up artist and friend, Whitey Snyder, had done her make-up. The eulogy was delivered by Lee Strasberg, and a selection from Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony as well as a record of Judy Garland singing "Over the Rainbow" were played. Monroe was interred at crypt No. 24 at the Corridor of Memories. DiMaggio arranged for red roses to be placed in a vase attached to the crypt three times a week for the next 20 years. [42]

In her will, Monroe left several thousand dollars to her half-sister Berniece Baker Miracle and her secretary May Reis, a share for the education of her friend Norman Rosten's daughter, and established a $100,000 trust fund to cover the costs of the care of her mother, Gladys Pearl Baker, and the widow of her acting teacher Michael Chekhov. [43] From the remaining estate she granted 25 percent to her former psychiatrist Marianne Kris "for the furtherance of the work of such psychiatric institutions or groups as she shall elect", [43] and 75 percent, including her personal effects, film royalties and real estate, to Lee Strasberg, whom she instructed to distribute her effects "among my friends, colleagues and those to whom I am devoted". [44] Due to legal complications, the beneficiaries were not paid until 1971. [44]

When Strasberg died in 1982, his estate was willed to his widow Anna, who claimed Monroe's publicity rights and began to license her image to companies. [44] In 1990, she unsuccessfully sued the Anna Freud Centre, to which Kris had bequeathed her Monroe rights, in an attempt to gain full rights to Monroe's estate. [45] In 1996, Anna Strasberg hired CMG Worldwide, a celebrity-legacy licensing group, to manage the licensing rights. [45] She went on to prevent Odyssey Group, Inc. from auctioning effects that Monroe's business manager Inez Melson, who had also been named Monroe‘s special administrator of estate, handed down to her nephew, Millington Conroy. [46] Between 1996 and 2001 CMG entered into 700 licensing agreements with merchandisers. [45] Against Monroe's wishes, Lee Strasberg had never distributed her effects amongst her friends, and in 1999 Anna Strasberg commissioned Christie's to auction them, netting $13.4 million. [47] In 2000, she founded Marilyn Monroe LLC. [48]

Marilyn Monroe LLC's claim to exclusive ownership of Monroe's publicity rights became subject to a "landmark [legal] case" in 2006, when the heirs of three freelance photographers who had photographed her—Sam Shaw, Milton Greene, and Tom Kelley—successfully challenged the company in courts in California and New York. [45] [48] In May 2007, the courts determined that Monroe could not have passed her publicity rights to her estate, as the first law granting such right, the California Celebrities Rights Act, was not passed until 1985. [45] [c]

The estate terminated their business relationship with CMG Worldwide in 2010, and sold the licensing rights to Authentic Brands Group the following year. [45] [52] Also in 2010, the estate sold Monroe's Brentwood home for $3.8 million, [53] and published a selection of her private notes, diaries and correspondence as a book called Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters. [54]

1960s: Frank A. Capell, Jack Clemmons Edit

During the 1960s, there were no widespread conspiracy theories about Monroe's death. [55] The first allegations that she had been murdered originated in anti-communist activist Frank A. Capell's self-published pamphlet The Strange Death of Marilyn Monroe (1964), in which he claimed that her death was part of a communist conspiracy. He claimed that Monroe and U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy had an affair, which she took too seriously and was threatening to cause a scandal Kennedy therefore ordered her to be assassinated to protect his career. [56] In addition to accusing Kennedy of being a communist sympathizer, Capell also claimed that many other people close to Monroe, such as her doctors and ex-husband Arthur Miller, were communists. [56]

Capell's credibility has been seriously questioned because his only source was columnist Walter Winchell, who in turn had received much of his information from him Capell, therefore, was citing himself. [56] His friend, LAPD Sergeant Jack Clemmons, aided him in developing his pamphlet Clemmons became a central source for conspiracy theorists. [57] He was the first police officer on the scene of Monroe's death and later made claims that he had not mentioned in the official 1962 investigation: he alleged that when he arrived at Monroe's house, Eunice Murray was washing her sheets in the laundry, and he had "a sixth sense" that something was wrong. [57]

Capell and Clemmons' allegations have been linked to their political goals. Capell dedicated his life to revealing an "International Communist Conspiracy" and Clemmons was a member of The Police and Fire Research Organization (FiPo), which sought to expose "subversive activities which threaten our American way of life". [56] FiPo and similar organizations were known for their stance against the Kennedys and for sending the Federal Bureau of Investigation letters incriminating them a 1964 FBI file that speculated on an affair between Monroe and Robert F. Kennedy is likely to have come from them. [56] Furthermore, Capell, Clemmons, and a third person were indicted in 1965 by a California grand jury for "conspiracy to libel by obtaining and distributing a false affidavit" claiming that senator Thomas Kuchel had once been arrested for a homosexual act. [58] They had done this because Kuchel had supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964. [58] Capell pleaded guilty, and charges against Clemmons were dropped after he resigned from the LAPD. [58]

In the 1960s, Monroe's death was also discussed in Charles Hamblett's Who Killed Marilyn Monroe? (1966) and in James A. Hudson's The Mysterious Death of Marilyn Monroe (1968). [59] Neither Capell's, Hamblett's, or Hudson's accounts were widely disseminated. [55]

1970s: Norman Mailer, Robert Slatzer, Anthony Scaduto Edit

The allegations of murder first became part of mainstream discussion with the publication of Norman Mailer's Marilyn: A Biography in 1973. [60] Despite not having any evidence, Mailer repeated the claim that Monroe and Robert F. Kennedy had an affair and speculated that she was killed by either the FBI or CIA, who wished to use the murder as a "point of pressure . against the Kennedys". [61] The book was heavily criticized in reviews, and later that year Mailer recanted his allegations in an interview with Mike Wallace for 60 Minutes, stating that he had made them to ensure commercial success for his book, and that he believes Monroe's death was "ten to one" an "accidental suicide". [61]

Two years later, Robert F. Slatzer published The Life and Curious Death of Marilyn Monroe (1975), based on Capell's pamphlet. [62] In addition to his assertion that Monroe was killed by Robert F. Kennedy, Slatzer also controversially claimed to have been married to Monroe in Mexico for three days in October 1952, and that they had remained close friends until her death. [62] Although his account was not widely circulated at the time, it has remained central to conspiracy theories. [63]

In October 1975, rock journalist Anthony Scaduto published an article about Monroe's death in soft porn magazine Oui, and the following year expanded his account into book form as Who Killed Marilyn Monroe? (1976), published under the pen name Tony Sciacca. His only sources were Slatzer and his private investigator, Milo Speriglio. [64] In addition to repeating Slatzer's claims, Scaduto alleged that Monroe had kept a red diary in which she had written confidential political information she had heard from the Kennedys, and that her house had been wiretapped by surveillance expert Bernard Spindel on the orders of union leader Jimmy Hoffa, who was hoping to obtain incriminating evidence he could use against the Kennedys. [64]

1980s: Milo Speriglio, Anthony Summers Edit

In 1982, Slatzer's private detective Milo Speriglio published Marilyn Monroe: Murder Cover-Up, in which he claimed that Monroe had been murdered by Jimmy Hoffa and mob boss Sam Giancana. [65] Basing his account on Slatzer and Scaduto's books, Speriglio added statements made by Lionel Grandison, who worked at the Los Angeles County coroner's office at the time of Monroe's death. [65] Grandison claimed that Monroe's body had been extensively bruised but this had been omitted from the autopsy report, and that he had seen the "red diary", but it had mysteriously disappeared. [65]

Speriglio and Slatzer demanded that the investigation into Monroe's death be re-opened by authorities, and the Los Angeles District Attorney agreed to review the case. [65] The new investigation could not find any evidence to support the murder claims. [65] Grandison was found not to be a reliable witness as he had been fired from the coroner's office for stealing from corpses. [65] The allegations that Monroe's home was wiretapped by Bernard Spindel were also found to be false. Spindel's apartment had been raided by the Manhattan District Attorney's office in 1966, during which his tapes were seized. [65] He later made a claim that he had wiretapped Monroe's house, but it was not supported by the contents of the tapes, to which the investigators had listened. [65]

The most prominent Monroe conspiracy theorist in the 1980s was British journalist Anthony Summers, who claimed that Monroe's death was an accidental overdose enabled and covered up by Robert F. Kennedy. His book, Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe (1985), became one of the most commercially successful Monroe biographies. [66] Prior to writing on Monroe, he had authored a book on a conspiracy theory of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. His investigation on Monroe began as an assignment for the British tabloid the Sunday Express to cover the Los Angeles District Attorney's 1982 review. [66]

According to Summers, Monroe had severe substance abuse problems and was psychotic in the last months of her life. [67] He alleges that Monroe had affairs with both John F. and Robert F. Kennedy, and that when Robert F. Kennedy ended their affair, she threatened to reveal their association. Kennedy and Peter Lawford attempted to prevent this by enabling her addictions. [67] According to Summers, Monroe became hysterical and accidentally overdosed, dying in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. [67] Kennedy wanted to leave Los Angeles before Monroe's death became public to avoid being associated with it, and therefore her body was returned to Helena Drive and the overdose staged as a suicide by Lawford, the Kennedys and J. Edgar Hoover. [67]

Summers based his account on interviews he had conducted with 650 people connected to Monroe, but his research has been criticized by biographers Donald Spoto and Sarah Churchwell. [66] According to Spoto, Summers contradicts himself, presents false information as fact, and misrepresents what some of Monroe's friends said about her. [68] Churchwell, meanwhile, has stated that while Summers accumulated a large collection of anecdotal material, most of his allegations are speculation many of the people he interviewed could provide only second- or third-hand accounts, and they "relate what they believe, not what they demonstrably know". [69] Summers was also the first major biographer to find Slatzer a credible witness, and relies heavily on testimonies by other controversial witnesses, including Jack Clemmons and Jeanne Carmen, a model-actress whose claim to have been Monroe's close friend has been disputed by Spoto and Lois Banner. [70]

Summers' allegations formed the basis for the BBC documentary Marilyn: Say Goodbye to the President (1985), and for a 26-minute segment produced for ABC's 20/20. [68] The 20/20 segment was never aired, as ABC President Roone Arledge decided that the claims made in it required more evidence to back them up. [68] Summers claimed that Arledge's decision was influenced by pressure from the Kennedys. [71]

1990s: Brown and Barham, Donald H. Wolfe, Donald Spoto Edit

In the 1990s, two new books alleged that Monroe was murdered: Peter Brown and Patte Barham's Marilyn: The Last Take (1992) and Donald H. Wolfe's The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe (1998). Neither presented much new evidence but relied extensively on Capell and Summers as well as on discredited witnesses such as Grandison, Slatzer, Clemmons, and Carmen Wolfe also did not provide any sources for many of his claims, and disregarded many of the findings of the autopsy without explanation. [72]

In his 1993 biography of Monroe, Donald Spoto disputed the previous conspiracy theories but alleged that Monroe's death was an accidental overdose staged as a suicide. [73] According to him, her doctors Greenson (psychiatrist) and Engelberg (personal physician) had been trying to stop her abuse of Nembutal. In order to monitor her drug use, they had agreed to never prescribe her anything without first consulting with each other. [74] Monroe was able to persuade Engelberg to break his promise by lying to him that Greenson had agreed to it. She took several Nembutals on August 4, but did not tell this to Greenson, who prescribed her a chloral hydrate enema the combination of these two drugs killed her. [74] Afraid of the consequences, the doctors and Eunice Murray then staged the death as a suicide. [74]

Spoto argued that Monroe could not have been suicidal because she had reached a new agreement with 20th Century Fox and because she was allegedly going to remarry Joe DiMaggio. [74] He based his theory of her death on alleged discrepancies in the police statements given by Monroe's housekeeper and doctors, a claim made by Monroe's publicist Arthur P. Jacobs's wife that he had been alerted of the death already at 10:30 pm, as well as on claims made by prosecutor John Miner, who was involved in the official investigation. Miner had alleged that her autopsy revealed signs more consistent with an enema than oral ingestion. [74]

2000s: John Miner, Matthew Smith Edit

John Miner's allegations that Monroe's death was not a suicide received more publicity in the 2000s, when he published transcripts that he claimed to have made from audiotapes that Monroe recorded shortly before her death. [75] [76] Miner claimed that Monroe gave the tapes to her psychiatrist Greenson, who invited him to listen to them after her death. On the tapes, Monroe spoke of her plans for the future, which Miner argues is proof that she could not have killed herself. [75] She also discussed her sex life and use of enemas Miner alleged that Monroe was killed by an enema that was administered by Eunice Murray. [77]

Miner's allegations have received criticism. During the official review of the case by the district attorney in 1982, he told the investigators about the tapes, but did not mention that he had transcripts of them. [76] Miner claimed that this was because Greenson had sworn him to silence. [76] The tapes themselves have never been found, and Miner remains the only person to claim they existed. Greenson was already dead before Miner went public with them. [75]

Biographer Lois Banner knew Miner personally because they both worked at the University of Southern California she further challenged the authenticity of the transcripts. [77] Miner had once lost his license to practice law for several years, lied to Banner about having worked for the Kinsey Institute, and had gone bankrupt shortly before selling the alleged transcripts. [77] He had first attempted to sell the transcripts to Vanity Fair, but when the magazine had asked him to show them to Anthony Summers in order to validate them, it had become apparent that he did not have them. [77] The transcripts, which Miner finally sold to British author Matthew Smith, were therefore written several decades after he alleged to have listened to the tapes. [77] Miner's claim that Monroe's housekeeper was in fact her nurse and administered her enemas on a regular basis is also not supported by evidence. [77] Furthermore, Banner wrote that Miner had a personal obsession about enemas and practiced sadomasochism she concluded that his theory about Monroe's death "represented his sexual interests" and was not based on evidence. [77]

Matthew Smith published the transcripts as part of his book Victim: The Secret Tapes of Marilyn Monroe (2003). He asserted that Monroe was murdered by the CIA due to her association with Robert F. Kennedy, as the agency wanted revenge for the Kennedys' handling of the Bay of Pigs Invasion. [75] Smith had already written about the topic in his previous book, The Men Who Murdered Marilyn (1996). [75] Noting that Smith included no footnotes in his 1996 book and only eight in Victim, Churchwell has called his account "a tissue of conjecture, speculation and pure fiction as documentary fact" and "arguably the least factual of all Marilyn lives". [75] The Miner transcripts were also discussed in a 2005 Los Angeles Times article. [76]


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