MONEY IS A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND
You may think that Marilyn was one of the best paid actresses of her time, but that's not entirely true. For example, she was paid only 100,000 dollars for her role in Something's Gotta Give, while at the same time Elizabeth Taylor was paid one million for her role in Cleopatra.
In 1962 she was fired by Fox because she was being a pain in the ass. She was showing up late to work or not showing up at all (she disappeared for two weeks).
Eventually, Fox reconsidered it and rehired Marilyn, making her sign a contract of one million dollars for two movies, the highest contract she ever got. She died four days later.
She tried her best, but she wasn't very good at delivering lines. For example, it took her sixty takes to say the line "It's me, Sugar" correctly in the movie Some Like it Hot.
Marilyn loved children, but because she suffered from endometriosis, she could never be a mother. She had several miscarriages. Instead, she was able to develop a great relationship with her stepchildren.
Marilyn's grave is in Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles. It is visited by tons of fans everyday, and the vaults around Marilyn's have been sold for millions of dollars.
Actually, Hugh Hefner was buried recently in the vault next to Marilyn's. They were close friends and she was the first star in the cover of Playboy, so it's quite fair.
NORMA JEANE IS GONE
Her real name was Norma Jeane Mortenson, but she was baptized as Norma Jean Baker instead. When she started modelling, she used either Jean Norman or Mona Monroe. Marilyn came after.
Her initial idea for a screen name was Jean Adair. She signed into hotels as Zelda Zonk and into a psychiatric clinic as Faye Miller. There were still no news about Marilyn Monroe.
Finally, she became Marilyn Monroe. She changed it legally in 1956, when she was already world famous. She wasn't so familiarized with the name though. Around that time someone asked for an autograph and she asked how to spell her own name.
Her mother was Gladys Pearl Barker and she had to give Marilyn to several foster families and even to an orphanage because she was not quite good, and had to be internalised a few times.
When Marilyn was 12 years old, she discovered that she had a big sister called Berenice. They started writing each other and then eventually met. They kept a very close contact till Marilyn's death.
When she was 16 she was going to be sent again to an orphanage, so she had to make a choice, and she married a pilot called james Dougherty, who went on to fight in World War II.
The reasons of the divorce are not clear. Some say that it was because the Twentieth Century Fox required Marilyn to be single. Others say that James just couldn't handle having an actress as a wife.
DON’T TALK ABOUT HER
James then became a policeman and decided not to talk about Marilyn. Till 1976, when he wrote "The Secret Happiness of Marilyn Monroe". In 1997 he wrote "To Norma Jean with Love, Jimmy".
She has always been seen and treated as the dumb blonde. She was not dumb at all. It was probably all an act, because it has been proven that Marilyn had an IQ of 168, way high than the average.
THE PRINCE AND THE SHOWGIRL
When she was filming The Prince and the Showgirl she was a complete nightmare for the costume designers. Because of her drastically changing weight, they needed to have several dresses in different sizes.
She had an acting coach named Paula Strasberg, who began working with her in The Prince and the Showgirl. Paula was paid way more than the actors featured in the movie.
Joe DiMaggio was one of the three men Marilyn married in her lifetime. And she definitely left a mark on her heart, since he sent roses to Marilyn's tomb three times a week for twenty years.
Before her mother suffered the breakdown, she gave Marilyn a White Baby Grand Piano. She then had to sell it when she was internalised, but Marilyn tracked it down and bought it again.
In 1999 the Auction House Christie's sold a lot of items belonging to Marilyn. Among them was her beloved piano, who was bought by Mariah Carey for over 600,000 dollars.
JOE AND MARILYN
Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn were planning to remarry when she died. The first marriage failed, but then he quit drinking alcohol and went to therapy. They spent her final days reading poetry.
QUITE A DRESS
The dress Marilyn wore when she sang Happy Birthday Mr. President to John Fitzgerald Kennedy was sold in the 1999 Christie's auction for 820,000 pounds. This way it became the most expensive clothing item ever sold.
This record was broken by Marilyn herself, when in 2011 someone bought for over two million pounds the white dress she wore in one of the most popular scenes in pop culture, from the movie The Seven Year Itch.
Marilyn used creams with hormones to whitened her skin. The treatment had one side effect, that was the growing of blonde peach fuzz on her face. She never removed it, because she said that it gave her a certain glow.
In 1950 her agent made her have two plastic surgeries: A tip rhinoplasty (reshaping the soft cartilage at the end of her nose) and a chin implant. The records of these surgeries were also auctioned.
The last dog owned by Marilyn was a maltese called Maf (short for Mafia Honey) that was a gift from Frank Sinatra. She took some polaroids of Maf that were auctioned for A FORTUNE.
When she died she "was worth" about one and a half million dollars. She left three quarters of this to her acting coach, and a quarter to her psychoanalyst. Her mother received a trust fund of 5,000 dollars a year.
She was a fan of Yoga. She had been taught by Indra Devi, a Bollywood Star that was the one who took Yoga to America, and was also the instructor of Greta Garbo and Gloria Swanson.
She loved being naked, so she preferred being around female crew members so she could walk in the nude. She often covered herself with a black mink that Joe DiMaggio gave to her, wearing nothing under it.
According to Marilyn's birth certificate her father was Edward Mortensen, the guy Gladys was married to at that time, but both she and her mother believed that Edward wasn't her real father.
Both Marilyn and her mother believed that her real father was a man called C. Stanley Gifford. She tried to reach him out but Gifford refused to meet her. When he was on his deathbed, he said she was his daughter. But I guess we'll never know.
Fox wanted her to be "The Girl Next Door" but when she signed with Columbia Pictures, they modeled her after Rita Hayworth, including surgeries and hair changes, like having her hairline lifted with electrolysis.
NO CONTRACT NO MORE
She only filmed one movie with Columbia Pictures: "Ladies of the Chorus", about a wealthy man that falls in love with a chorist. It was a flop and her contract was no renewed.
In 1951 Marilyn's life changed completely. It was the second year of her second contract with Fox and she became a smash. That year she did seven movies, presented an Oscar and was featured in several magazines.
I WANT TO ACT
Marilyn was known for her roles almost as "a sexy ornament" but she wanted to show her acting skills. So she did a few dramatic movies and the first one was Clashed By Night.
CLASH BY NIGHT
In this movie she played a fish cannery worker. In order to do her job right, she spend time in a real fish cannery in Monterey. Her acting received very good critics.
When she was a young girl in the forties she studied weight lifting with an ex Olympic champion called Howard Corrington, and she loved going tandem surfing with his boyfriend.
Tired of not being treated by producers the way she deserved, in 1954, after finishing "The Seven Years Itch" she established a production company called Marilyn Monroe Productions with photographer Milton Greene.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy wasn't the only president close to Marilyn. Someone told her that she was a descendant of James Monroe. Monroe was her grandmother's last name, but There's no proof of her relation with the president.
The dress she wore to serenade president John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1962 was so tight they had to sew it onto her. That's the same dress that has been sold for thousands.
She died on August 5, 1962 when she was just 36 and her death was ruled as "probable suicide". It could never be proven that it was a suicide, but they couldn't prove it was a homicide neither.
The most popular conspiracy theory about Marilyn's death is the one that claims that she was having an affair with both Bobby and J.F. Kennedy, and she was about to come clean about that, so the Kennedys had her killed.
Though these claims were never proven, there were a lot of clues that made the scene quite strange. For example, she was completely naked with a phone in her hand and there were no bottles of alcohol or pills around her.
The 12305 Fifth Helena Drive house was a witness of whatever happened that day, and when someone bought it in 1972 discovered that the house had some kind of wire system used by the FBI to spy.
Marilyn had bought her house in Brentwood, Los Angeles earlier that year and paid 77,500 dollars for it, half in cash, half with a mortgage. It is a 1929 house.
The Helena Drive house had many owners throughout the years, the last one bought it in 2017. The 4 room house was sold for 7.25 million dollars in june.
Before you enter the house you see a tiles design that reads "Cursum Perficio" which means "My journey here is over" in latin. It is a curious phrase for such a place, but we can't know if Marilyn was the one that put it or if it previous.
LET’S MAKE LOVE
The filming of Let's Make Love was a complete disaster. She was fighting alcohol and drug problems and her no-shows added 28 days to the schedule and one million dollars to the budget.