FAMILY AND EARLY LIFE
Marilyn Monroe was born on June 1, 1926, in the Los Angeles County
Hospital as Norma Jeane Mortenson (soon after changed to Baker), the third
child born to Gladys Pearl Baker.
Monroe's birth certificate names the father as Martin Edward Mortensen with
his residence stated as "unknown". The name Mortenson is listed as her
surname on the birth certificate, although Gladys immediately had it changed
to Baker, the surname of her first husband and which she still used. Martin's
surname was misspelled on the birth certificate leading to more confusion on
who her actual father was. Gladys Baker had married a Martin E. Mortensen
in 1924, but they had separated before Gladys' pregnancy.
Gladys was mentally unstable and financially unable to care for the young Norma
Jeane, so she placed her with foster parents Albert and Ida Bolender of
Hawthorne, California, where she lived until she was seven. One day, Gladys
visited and demanded that the Bolenders return Norma Jeane to her. Ida refused,
as she knew Gladys was unstable and the situation would not benefit her young
daughter. Gladys pulled Ida into the yard, then quickly ran back to the house and
locked herself in. Several minutes later, she walked out with one of Albert
Bolender's military duffel bags. To Ida's horror, Gladys had stuffed a screaming
Norma Jeane into the bag, zipped it up, and was carrying it right out with her. Ida
charged toward her, and their struggle split the bag apart, dumping out Norma
Jeane, who wept loudly as Ida grabbed her and pulled her back inside the house,
away from Gladys. In 1933, Gladys bought a house and brought Norma Jeane to
live with her. A few months later, Gladys began a series of mental episodes that
would plague her for the rest of her life.
Biographers and psychologists have questioned whether at least some of
Norma Jeane's later behavior ( hypersexuality, sleep disturbances, substance
abuse, disturbed interpersonal relationships), was a manifestation of the
effects of childhood sexual abuse in the context of her already problematic
relationships with her psychiatrically ill mother and subsequent caregivers.
Later, she was married with James Dougherty , when she was 16 years old
EARLY WORK: 1945–1947
While Dougherty served in the Merchant Marine, his wife began working in
the Radioplane Munitions Factory, mainly spraying airplane parts with fire
retardant and inspecting parachutes .
During that time, David Conover of the U.S. Army Air Forces' 1st Motion Picture Unit
was sent to the factory by his commanding officer, future U.S. president Captain
Ronald Reagan to shoot morale-boosting photographs for Yank, the Army Weekly
magazine of young women helping the war effort. He noticed her and snapped a series
of photographs, none of which appeared in Yank magazine,although some still claim
this to be the case. He encouraged her to apply to The Blue Book Modeling Agency.
She signed with the agency and began researching the work of Jean Harlow and Lana
Turner. She was told that they were looking for models with lighter hair, so Norma
Jeane bleached her brunette hair a golden blonde.
Norma Jeane became one of Blue Book's most successful models; she
appeared on dozens of magazine covers. Her successful modeling career
brought her to the attention of Ben Lyon, a 20th Century Fox executive and
Movies that she acted:
Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay!
Ladies of the Chorus
A Ticket To Tomahawk
The Asphalt Jungle
All About Eve
Clash by Night
River of No Return
The Seven Year Itch
Some Like It Hot
Something's Got to Give
DEATH AND AFTERMATH
The crypt of Marilyn Monroe (2005)
On August 5, 1962, at 4:25 a.m., LAPD sergeant Jack Clemmons received a call
from Dr. Ralph Greenson, Monroe's psychiatrist, saying that Monroe was found
dead at her home in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California. She was 36 years
old. At the subsequent autopsy, eight mg/dL of chloral hydrate and 4.5 mg/dL of
Nembutal were found in her system, and Dr. Thomas Noguchi of the Los
Angeles County Coroners office recorded cause of death as "acute barbiturate
poisoning", resulting from a "probable suicide". Many theories, including
murder, circulated about the circumstances of her death and the timeline after the
body was found. Some conspiracy theories involved John and Robert Kennedy,
while other theories suggested CIA or Mafia complicity. It was reported that
President Kennedy was the last person Monroe called.
Monroe was interred on August 8, 1962, in a crypt at Corridor of Memories No.
24, at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. Joe
DiMaggio took control of the funeral arrangements which consisted of only 31
close family and friends, excluding Hollywood's elite.