50 years of Marilyn Monroe mania

In this undated publicity photo courtesy Running Press, Marilyn Monroe is shown in the first photo taken of her in the famous white dress from the "The Seven Year Itch." For a brief scene in "The Seven Year Itch," in September 1954, her character strolls on a Manhattan street on a stifling summer evening. When a subway rattles beneath her, Marilyn stands astride a sidewalk vent to catch a cool breeze that swirls her skirt up around her waist. (AP Photo/Courtesy Running Press)

In this undated file photo, actress Marilyn Monroe is pictured mimicking Betty Grable's famous World War II pin-up pose. (AP Photo, File)

Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe play a scene in "The Misfits" in this undated file photo. It turned out to be the last movie for both in 1961. (AP Photo, file)

In this 7 July, 1958 file photo, actress Marilyn Monroe leaves New York by air for Hollywood, to start work on "Some Like It Hot," her first film in two years. (AP Photo, File)

In this 2 June, 1955 file photo, actress Marilyn Monroe, right, in a glamorous evening gown, with Joe DiMaggio, arrives at the theatre. (AP Photo, File)

In this 1955 publicity photo, actress Marilyn Monroe is shown as the girl upstairs in director Billy Wilder's "The Seven Year Itch." (AP Photo, File)

In this 15 September, 1954 publicity photo courtesy Running Press, Marilyn Monroe is shown during the “subway” scene of "The Seven Year Itch," filmed late in the evening on Lexington Avenue in New York City. It required several retakes in front of over two thousand gawking spectators and reporters. The picture is included in a new 2012 book, "Marilyn in Fashion," published by Running Press. (AP Photo/Courtesy Running Press, File)

In this late October 1956 photo provided by courtesy Running Press, Marilyn Monroe, right, wearing a burnished gold lamé gown meets Queen Elizabeth in London. (AP Photo/Courtesy Running Press)

In this April 1962 file photo, actress Marilyn Monroe is shown on the set of her last movie, "Something's Got To Give," in Los Angeles. (AP Photo, file)

FILE - In this January 1, 1947 file photo, starlet Marilyn Monroe plays at the beach with her dog Ruffles. (AP Photo, File)

In this 1953 publicity photo provided by Running Press, Marilyn Monroe is shown on set in the film, "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." Monroe is probably best remembered for her comic turns in this film. (AP Photo/Courtesy Running Press)

Marilyn Monroe is her stage name: her name given at birth was Norma Jean Mortenson (but her mother changed her name to Baker almost immediately). She had two other siblings.

The publication, The Mirror, quoted Marilyn Monroe’s niece as saying: “Norma Jean told me she was very pleased to meet me and I could tell she really was. She loved children. She would tumble about on the grass with us and the dogs and just loved it."

Marilyn was very shy and had horrible stage fright. 

The famous singer Ella Fitzgerald said of Marilyn: “I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt was because of her that I played the Mocambo, a very popular nightclub in the '50s. She personally called the owner of the club, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night. She told him—and it was true, due to Marilyn's superstar status—that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman—a little ahead of her times. And she didn’t know it.”

Monroe's friend and secretary, Patricia Newcomb quotes her as saying to a reporter: "What I really want to say: That what the world really needs is a real feeling of kinship. Everybody: stars, labourers, Negroes, Jews, Arabs. We are all brothers. Please don’t make me a joke. End the interview with what I believe."

At the height of Marilyn's career, a young, 23-year-old Lawrence Schiller had the privilege of taking professional portraits of her, and noticing that he was nervous, she gave him good starting points within the first five minutes that he says helped him throughout his life.

In 1951, Monroe enrolled at University of California, Los Angeles, where she studied literature and art appreciation.

Monroe left most of her estate to her acting coaches at The Actor’s Studio.


Photos by AP or Running Press.

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