25 Facts About Marilyn Monroe That You Probably Didn’t Know

Marilyn Monroe, the woman who popularized the stereotypical “dumb blonde” in film and became one of the most famous icons of pop culture, continues to influence the world of fashion and entertainment in the twenty-first century as very few women have throughout history. In addition, her name is synonymous with the phrase “sex symbol,” and many journalists and historians have described her as the one and only “queen of pop culture.”

Unfortunately, as with many other legends and icons of the last century, Marilyn didn’t have the happiest childhood and struggled for the better part of her adulthood with depression, insomnia, and an addiction to sedatives, which eventually led to her death. Her three marriages, her speculated and scandalous relationship with John F. Kennedy, and her tragic death at age thirty-six are some of the most widely known things about her life. The following list, however, of 25 Facts About Marilyn Monroe That You Probably Didn’t Know will stimulate your interest and help you realize why there will never be another sex icon like Marilyn Monroe.

25

Marilyn spent most of her early childhood in foster homes and orphanages because her mother was committed to a mental institution. Later, she lived with her mother’s best friend, Grace McKee, and her family. At sixteen, when McKee could no longer take care of her, Marilyn got married to avoid returning to the orphanage.

Marilyn MonroeSource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: commons.wikimedia.org
24

According to her first husband, James Dougherty, she had a great love for animals and the homeless. Once, she tried to bring a cow into their home to get it out of the rain.

feeding cowsSource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: pixabay.com
23

She was “discovered” by press photographers during a World War II photo shoot at the Radioplane plant in California owned by actor Reginald Denny. She was one of the plant’s employees.

Reginald DennySource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: commons.wikimedia.org
22

When the budding actress Shelley Winters and Marilyn were roommates in the late 1940's in Hollywood, Shelley said that one day she had to leave and had asked Marilyn to wash the lettuce for a salad they were going to share for dinner. When she got back, Marilyn had the lettuce leaves in a small tub of soapy water and was scrubbing them clean. Apparently, Marilyn wasn’t good at cooking.

saladSource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: commons.wikimedia.org
21

Many people might not know this, but Marilyn wasn’t her original name. On Thursday, February 23, 1956, she obtained an order from the City Court of the State of New York to legally change her birth name from Norma Jeane Mortenson to Marilyn Monroe.

courthouseSource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: commons.wikimedia.org
20

In her autobiography, My Story, she recounted that her guardian told her she was a direct descendant of James Monroe. Her mother’s maiden name was Monroe, but there is no evidence she was a descendant of the U.S. president.

James MonroeSource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: Wikipedia
19

Marilyn suffered from endometriosis, a condition in which tissues of the uterus lining leave the uterus, attach themselves to other parts of the body, and grow, causing pain, irregular bleeding, and in severe cases, infertility.

endometriosisSource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: Wikipedia
18

Monroe was also a stutterer, a little known fact that was easily covered thanks to studio vocal coaches who provided her with dictation lessons.

Marilyn MonroeSource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: commons.wikimedia.org
17

She reportedly became pregnant twice, in July 1957 and November 1958, during her marriage to Arthur Miller, but on both occasions she suffered miscarriages.

Marilyn Monroe and Arthur MillerSource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: Wikipedia
16

The very popular version of “Santa Baby” that the majority of people think was sung by her was instead recorded by Cynthia Basinet for Jack Nicholson as a Christmas gift.

Santa babySource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: Wikipedia
15

Something only a few select comic fans probably know is that Batman writer/artist Bob Kane used Marilyn’s likeness as a reference when he drew Vicki Vale.

Batman and Vicki ValeSource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: Wikipedia
14

In 1973, Elton John released a single in tribute to her entitled “Candle in the Wind.” In 1997, it was rerecorded with updated lyrics in memory of Princess Diana, becoming the second best-selling single of all time worldwide behind Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.”

Elton JohnSource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: Wikipedia
13

She appeared on the first cover of Playboy in 1953. Maybe that’s why Hugh Hefner owns the closest burial vault to hers.

Marilyn MonroeSource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: Wikipedia
12

Marilyn wasn’t well educated and didn’t graduate from high school. For the record, she didn’t even know how to spell her name; the first time she signed an autograph as Marilyn Monroe, she had to ask how to spell it. She didn’t know where to put the “i” in “Marilyn.”

Marilyn Monroe autographSource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: Wikipedia
11

However, her personal library contained over four hundred books on topics ranging from art to history, psychology to philosophy, literature to religion, and poetry to gardening. Many of the volumes, auctioned in 1999, bore her pencil notations in the margins.

BooksSource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: Wikipedia
10

She was proposed as a candidate wife for Prince Rainier of Monaco, but he was so taken with the actress Grace Kelly that he chose her to be his wife without a second thought.

Grace KelisSource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: Wikipedia
9

She was discovered dead in her home at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive in Brentwood, California. She was found with a phone in her hand, nude, and face-down on her bed.

houseSource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: Wikipedia
8

Ex-husband and baseball great Joe DiMaggio put fresh roses at her memorial site for numerous years after her death.

Marilyn Monroe and Joe Di MaggioSource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: Wikipedia
7

In her memoir, Monroe claimed several different men had sexually abused her during her time in foster care.

Marilyn MonroeSource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: Wikipedia
6

A 1982 review into the original inquest of Marilyn’s death, conducted on the twentieth anniversary, concluded that the actress most likely committed suicide or accidentally overdosed and was not murdered as some conspiracy theories have often suggested.

NewspaperSource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: Wikipedia
5

She suffered from severe depression and insomnia for the better part of her adult life. Near the end of her life, in order to fall and stay asleep longer, she would often mix champagne with sleeping pills.

pillsSource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: Wikipedia
4

During the filming of Niagara (1953), she was still under contract as a stock actor, so she received a smaller salary than her makeup man. This was also the only film in which her character died.

Marilyn MonroeSource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: commons.wikimedia.org
3

The licensing of Marilyn’s name and likeness, handled worldwide by Curtis Management Group, reportedly nets the Monroe estate about $2 million a year (an estimated $150 million since her death). Keep in mind that her first modeling job paid her only five dollars.

Marilyn MonroeSource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: Wikipedia
2

She became 1947’s Miss California Artichoke Queen, a humble little beauty title in comparison to what would follow. Marilyn would eventually be named the Sexiest Woman of the Century by People, Empire, and Playboy.

artichokeSource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: pixabay.com
1

Her “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress sold for $1,267,500, a world record for the most expensive piece of clothing ever sold. It is also in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Marilyn MonroeSource: Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed, Image: Wikipedia


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