Marilyn Monroe, 1926 - 1962

portrait of Marilyn Monroe
From trailer for Some Like it Hot, 1959

Born: 1 June 1926, Los Angeles, California
Died: 5 August 1962, Brentwood, Los Angeles, California

Born Norma Jeane Mortenson, her mother Gladys changed their names to Baker when Mortenson divorced her although it's believed that Norma Jeane's father yet another man named Gifford but neither had any role in her life. Her mother suffered from mental illness and Norma Jeane was raised by a series of foster parents and the Los Angeles Orphans Home. When her guardians moved to Virginia in 1942, Norma Jeane married James Dougherty, largely to avoid returning to the orphanage. While Dougherty served in the Merchant Marines, Norma Jeane worked in the Radioplane Munitions Factory where an Army photographer covering American women in defense jobs suggested she take up modeling. Dougherty insisted she give up modeling so they divorced when he returned from service. She had a one-year contract with 20th Century Fox (two films), then six months with Columbia Pictures(one). In 1949 she posed nude for Tom Kelley, because she couldn't pay her rent, they appeared in the first issue of Playboy in 1953. She made a number of well-received movies but developed a reputation for being tardy or absent from the set. She was married to Joe DiMaggio for most of 1954. In 1955 she moved to New York to study with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio, she dated playwright Arthur Miller and they married the next year. In 1956 she changed her name to Marilyn Monroe, the name she had used professionally since 1946. Despite generally approving, and improving, reviews for her acting she was wracked by insecurity. She was found dead at home following an overdose of chloral hydrate and Nembutol, the coroner ruled it "acute barbiturate poisoning" and a "probable suicide".

Biography from Wikipedia and IMDB

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