Before Marilyn Monroe became an actress, She was a model, and in her brief career she wore fashion that was the envy of women everywhere. A personified glamour icon, the beautiful yet troubled Hollywood actress known as much for her feminine curves and sex appeal was equally known for her screen presence. Today marks the death anniversary of this fashionista/actress who was found dead lying face down in her bed in 1962 on 5th August.
Here we bring to you 10 things that you probably didn’t know about her:
1. Marilyn was relatively poorly paid.
Jane Russell was paid around 10 times as much as Marilyn when they co-starred in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Her salary for her final unfinished film, Something’s Got to Give, was $100,000 as her co-star Dean Martin was getting five times more.
2. But she died having become a million-dollar movie star.
In 1962 she was fired by Twentieth-Century Fox from the production of Something’s Got to Give because of her chronic lateness and no-shows (she didn’t appear for the first two weeks of filming). But on August 1, four days before her death, she was rehired by Fox on a $1 million, two-picture deal.
3. She found it almost impossible to learn lines, and took 60 takes to deliver the line “It’s me, Sugar”, in Some Like it Hot.
4. Hugh Hefner owns the burial vault next to Marilyn at the Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles.
Hefner bought it in 1992 for £50,000. Monroe was Playboy’s first Sweetheart (later Playmate) of the Month, in 1953. She had been paid $50 to model for the picture in 1949; Hugh Hefner bought it for $500.
5. She went by many names.
On her birth certificate she is Norma Jeane Mortenson; she was baptised Norma Jeane Baker; she modelled under the names Jean Norman and Mona Monroe; her initial idea for a screen name was Jean Adair; she signed into hotels as Zelda Zonk and into a psychiatric clinic as Faye Miller. She only legally changed her name to Marilyn Monroe in March 1956, when she was already a star.
6. She was placed with 11 sets of foster parents after her mother, Gladys, was institutionalised.
She also spent almost a year in the Children’s Aid Society Orphanage in Los Angeles.
7. For 20 years after Marilyn’s death, Joe DiMaggio arranged to have roses sent to her crypt three times a week.
8. Marilyn owned many dogs during her life.
Her last was a Maltese terrier given to her by Frank Sinatra, which she named Maf (short for Mafia Honey). At the Christie’s sale in 1999, two Polaroids of Maf sold for £220,000.
9. Before her marriages to Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller, Marilyn was married to James Dougherty.
She was 16 when they tied the knot. Dougherty, who later became a detective in the LAPD, was forbidden by his second wife from going to see any of Marilyn’s films.
10. Marilyn whitened her skin with hormone cream
One side effect of her hormone cream was to encourage the growth of blonde down on her face; Marilyn would not remove this peach fuzz, believing that it gave her face a soft glow on camera.