Marilyn Monroe, the legendary American movie actress, died of an apparent drug overdose at her Brentwood, California home on August 4, 1962. She was 36 years old.
Born Norma Jean Mortenson (her mother changed it to Baker when her father abandoned them) June 1, 1926, Marilyn’s life is a storybook tale of an unknown model who became one of Hollywood’s elite stars.
Volumes have been written about Monroe, especially the events surrounding her untimely death. Conspiracy theories abound about her alleged affairs with President John F. Kennedy and his Attorney General brother Robert.
Speculation was that Robert Kennedy was at Marilyn’s home the day of her death. According to Hollywood police detective Fred Otash, “Marilyn and Bobby had a violent argument and she told him that she felt used and passed around.” Otash says Marilyn ordered Kennedy out of the house after the argument.
Some say the Kennedys wanted Marilyn dead because she was about to go public about her involvement with the two Kennedy brothers. Others say Marilyn, who had been under psychiatric care, took her own life by overdosing on barbiturates, while others speculate she didn’t mean to kill herself, but just took more pills than she intended.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding her death, Marilyn Monroe’s life and death have taken on legendary status---like those of fellow entertainers Elvis Presley and James Dean. Marilyn had a relatively short film career, spanning just over a decade, but the films she did make certainly made her an American icon.
One of her memorable films was The Seven Year Itch in which Marilyn’s dress flies up as she stands over an air vent. While some critics said she had no talent and merely relied on her good looks, others say she was a gifted actress.
When the movie Bus Stop opened in London in 1956, a London Times reviewer said Marilyn was a talented comedianne whose sense of timing was extraordinary.
Monroe’s last completed film was The Misfits, costarring Clark Gable. She died before finishing work on Something’s Got To Give in 1962.
Monroe was married three times. The first was to Jim Dougherty in 1942, before she became famous. That union lasted four years. Then, after she became a star, she wed Joe Dimaggio, one of baseball’s all-time greatest players. And while their marriage lasted less than a year, they remained friends until her death. Dimaggio visited Marilyn’s grave on an annual basis until his death in 1999. Hollywood playwright Arthur Miller was her last husband. Their five year marriage ended in January 1961. Marilyn had no children.