Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe - 1926 to 1962

Norma Jean, raised by a single mother who suffered from mental illness, spent her youth in and out of foster care. At the age of 16 she married and began modeling swimsuits with her new look, bleached blond hair. Her photographs made their way to Howard Hughes, head of RKO pictures, and he offered her a screen test.

Turning down his offer, she instead signed a 6 month contract with 20th Century Fox making $125.00 a week. She spent the next several years in minor roles, subsidizing her income with modeling. It wasn't until her roles in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve, both in 1950, that the public began to notice her.

Her roles in the early 1950's cemented her sexy yet innocent persona that became her trademark. Gentlemen Prefer Blonds in 1953 made her a box office draw. By the mid 1950's, Marilyn was gaining the reputation of being hard to work with. Constant tardiness, continuous health complaints and a general unwillingness to corporate resulted in a slow decline of roles.

Her final film, The Misfits, was made in 1961. She took her own life at the age of 36, leaving a legacy of the breathless, voluptuous blond that will never be surpassed.