Did You know These 30 Interesting Facts About Marilyn Monroe?

HomeCelebrityDid You know These 30 Interesting Facts About Marilyn Monroe?

Marilyn Monroe was born on June 1, 1926, and passed away in 1962 at the age of 36. If she were alive today, we might wonder what she would be doing. Would she continue acting, marry Joe DiMaggio again, or have an Oscar-winning career? These are mysteries, much like Marilyn herself, but here are some things we do know.

#1 Arranged First Marriage:

Marilyn Monroe

When Marilyn, then known as Norma Jeane Baker, was 15, she had to get married. She had been moving between foster homes and family friends’ care. Since she couldn’t stay with one family friend, she had to marry 20-year-old James Dougherty. They got married 18 days after she turned 16.

#2 Named After a Movie Star:

Marilyn’s mother named her after actress Norma Talmadge because she wanted her to be famous.

#3 Different Stage Name:

Marilyn initially wanted to be called “Jean Adair” instead of Marilyn Monroe.

#4 Choosing the Name “Monroe”:

Marilyn picked “Monroe” as her last name because it was her mother’s maiden name. She thought she might be related to President James Monroe, but there’s no proof of that. “Marilyn” came from an executive who thought she looked like Marilyn Miller, an actress who died young.

#5 Mother’s Struggles:

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe in June 1949. / Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Marilyn’s mother, Gladys Baker, had a hard time convincing people that Marilyn was her daughter. Gladys had bipolar disorder and spent time in psychiatric care. She had to give Marilyn to foster care when she was a baby, so they didn’t have a close relationship. When Marilyn became famous, people didn’t believe Gladys when she said Marilyn was her daughter.

#6 Marilyn Monroe and Her Persona:

People often talk about Marilyn Monroe as if she were a different person. Actor Eli Wallach remembered how she could switch between being herself and being “Marilyn” whenever she wanted. She could be unnoticed one moment and then suddenly be the center of attention, saying, “I just felt like being Marilyn for a minute.”

#7 Breakfast at Tiffany’s Role:

Truman Capote, the writer, wanted Marilyn Monroe to play the main character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. She even performed some scenes for him, and he thought she was excellent. But she didn’t take the part because her advisor didn’t think it was right for her. Capote wasn’t happy with the studio’s choice of Audrey Hepburn for the role.

#8 Marilyn’s Discomfort in Front of the Camera:

Despite being a talented actress, Marilyn Monroe was never entirely comfortable in front of the camera. After working with her on Bus Stop, actor Don Murray noted that she often forgot technical details and would be out of focus or in the wrong light. He believed it was because she lacked confidence.

#9 Marilyn’s On-Camera Glow:

Before putting on makeup, Marilyn would apply Nivea Creme or Vaseline, thinking it made her look more radiant on film. She also avoided the sun, believing that a deep tan wasn’t attractive or healthy.

#10 Marilyn’s Preference for Intellectual Men:

Marilyn Monroe
Marylin Monroe waves to the camera with husband Arthur Miller on her arm in 1958. / Votava/Imagno/Getty Images

Marilyn Monroe was married to writer Arthur Miller, showing her interest in intellectual men. She once made a fun list of men she wanted to sleep with, and none of them were under 50. The list included Albert Einstein, and there was a photo of him on her piano after she passed away.

#11 Marilyn’s Loyalty to Arthur Miller:

Marilyn Monroe was loyal to her future husband, Arthur Miller when he was called to testify before a committee. This committee wanted people, especially celebrities, to reveal names related to Communist activities. Miller refused, and Marilyn’s support likely helped him avoid prison.

#12 FBI’s File on Marilyn:

The FBI had a file on Marilyn Monroe, possibly because of her relationship with Miller and her interest in visiting the Soviet Union. You can find this file online.

#13 Bugged House:

Marilyn’s only house in California was bugged with a phone-tapping system. This was discovered during a renovation years after she passed away.

#14 Marilyn Monroe’s Cooking Skills:

According to actress Shelley Winters, Marilyn wasn’t good at cooking. Once, when asked to wash lettuce for a salad, Marilyn washed each leaf with a Brillo pad.

#15 Improvement in the Kitchen:

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe circa 1954. / Baron/Getty Images

Despite her initial struggles, some of Marilyn’s recipes were found after her death. In 2010, The New York Times tried her stuffing recipe and found it surprisingly good.

#16 Marilyn’s Love for Reading:

Marilyn Monroe had an impressive bookshelf with over 400 books, including many first editions. She enjoyed being photographed while reading and picked books randomly at bookstores.

#17 Marilyn’s Help to Ella Fitzgerald:

Marilyn helped singer Ella Fitzgerald get a booking at a nightclub by promising to be in the front row every night. This helped Fitzgerald gain press and popularity.

#18 Difficulty Memorizing Lines:

Marilyn had a hard time memorizing lines, with some attributing it to nerves rather than a lack of professionalism.

#19 Valuable Wardrobe:

Marilyn Monroe
DAN CALLISTER Online USA, Inc./Hulton Archive

Marilyn’s wardrobe items are valuable. The dress she wore to sing “Happy Birthday” to JFK sold for a record $1,267,500, and her famous Seven Year Itch dress sold for $4.6 million in 2011.

#20 Frank Sinatra’s Gift:

Frank Sinatra gave Marilyn a dog named Maf, short for “Mafia Honey.” After Marilyn’s death, Maf went to Sinatra’s secretary, Gloria Lovell.

#21 Maf the Dog “Writes” a Book:

In 2010, a fictional book called “The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe” was written by author Andrew O’Hagan. It was written from the perspective of Marilyn’s dog, Maf.

#22 Joe DiMaggio and Frank Sinatra’s Misadventure:

In 1954, Joe DiMaggio and Frank Sinatra tried to catch Marilyn Monroe with another man based on a tip from a private investigator. However, they ended up breaking into the wrong house, leading to legal trouble and a lawsuit.

#23 Short Marriage to Joe DiMaggio:

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe stars in The Seven Year Itch (1955). / 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Marilyn Monroe was only married to Joe DiMaggio for 8 months. Their famous “subway scene” and disagreements over it were among the reasons for their divorce.

#24 Divorce Over “Mental Cruelty”:

Marilyn filed for divorce from Joe DiMaggio, citing “mental cruelty.” The incident related to the “subway scene” wasn’t necessary, as the footage was unusable, and she had to reshoot it.

#25 Joe DiMaggio’s Continued Devotion:

Despite their divorce, Joe DiMaggio remained devoted to Marilyn. He helped her during tough times, and after her death, he arranged her funeral and sent roses to her grave twice a week for 20 years.

#26 Marilyn’s Plan for a Jean Harlow Biopic:

Marilyn Monroe and her friend Sidney Skolsky had plans for a biopic about Jean Harlow, one of Marilyn’s idols. The idea was for Marilyn to star in the film, but it never materialized.

#27 Shared Tradition with Jean Harlow:

The tradition of delivering roses to Marilyn’s grave, started by DiMaggio, was inspired by Jean Harlow’s fiance, who did the same after her death.

#28 Warren Beatty’s Encounter:

Warren Beatty was one of the last people to see Marilyn alive. They took a walk along the beach during a party at Peter Lawford’s house.

#29 Marilyn Monroe’s Estate Earnings:

Marilyn’s estate earned much more money after her death. While she was worth about $20 million at the time of her passing, her estate now makes $30 million annually.

#30 Unique Burial Situation:

Marilyn Monroe
Mel Bouzad/Getty Images

Marilyn Monroe was buried in Los Angeles. Joe DiMaggio originally owned the crypt above hers but sold it. The new owner, Richard Poncher, wanted to be buried face down on top of Monroe. The plot was later sold for $4.6 million on eBay.

Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy, bought the plot next to Marilyn Monroe’s burial site. Even though Marilyn was the first cover model for Playboy, the two never met. Hefner felt a special connection to Marilyn as she played a crucial role in Playboy’s beginning. When Hugh Hefner passed away in 2017, he was buried in the plot he had purchased for $75,000 back in 1992.

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