By: Margaret Goree
Norma Jean Mortenson (Marilyn Monroe) was born on June 1, 1926, in Los Angeles, California. Her dad abandoned her family, leaving her mother to take care of her. Her mother’s side of the family, however, had a long history of mental illness, dating back generations. Gladys Mortenson (the mother), had a lot of mental problems, and the worst of them showed in herself through Marilyn’s childhood.
Marilyn’s earliest memory was of her grandmother trying to smother her. The young girl was placed in 12 foster homes, and one orphanage. When she was 16 years old, in 1942, she married a 20 year old man named James Dougherty, and escaped the foster homes.
She started a minor, part-time modeling career, and had a dream of becoming an actress. She bleached her hair, (becoming a blonde :D) divorced James Dougherty, took the stage name Marilyn Monroe, and signed a one year acting contract with Twentieth Century Fox. However, the part she played was cut from the film, so she signed another one year contract with Columbia. But her role in that movie was also cut.
Marilyn posed for nude shots in 1950. Also in 1950, she was featured in the movie “The Asphalt Jungle.” She had a small part, but a lot of people noticed her and sent in a ton of fan mail. Marilyn was starting to get attention for the first time!
Once again, she got a contract with Twentieth Century Fox, but this time, for seven years instead of one. Marilyn starred in two movies: “Niagara” and “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” 1954, she married Joe DiMaggio. But she divorced him after about 8 months of marriage.
Although Marilyn Monroe now was starring in many movies and becoming the star like she had always dreamed, her parts sucked. ALL her parts were just shallow, “dumb blondes.” She never played a deep or interesting character.
Remember how I said the star’s mother had a lot of mental problems? Well, around this time, those illnesses showed in Marilyn. Depression, heavy drinking, and insomnia were just some issues she had. To help her insomnia, she took a LOT of sleeping pills. She started to lose her ability to work.
Marilyn Monroe married once again to a man named Arthur Miller around 1956 (I’m not entirely sure of the year. The movies she played in didn’t get such great reviews as her movies in the past had, and Marilyn’s career started to go downhill.
In 1961, Monroe and Miller divorced.
During the filming of a movie titled “Something’s Got to Give”, Marilyn was put in a mental hospital. She got out of it very quickly.
In her house in Los Angeles, Marilyn Monroe was found dead, by overdose of sleeping pills. It was possibly a suicide, but nobody knows for sure.
Honestly, I love Marilyn Monroe, but I feel bad. Obviously life wasn’t very easy on her, from her terrible, abusive, childhood to her unhappy adult career.
But she had the most gorgeous hair. 😀