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Actress Marilyn Monroe overcame a difficult childhood to become of the world's biggest and most enduring sex symbols. She died of a drug overdose in 1962.
Marilyn Monroe - Childhood (1:57)
Marilyn Monroe - Death (1:45)
In 1952, Marilyn Monroe was introduced one of the biggest heroes in baseball, Joe DiMaggio. She was drawn to his quiet, conservative nature-- as well as the fact that he wasn't in show business.
On May 19th, Marilyn Monroe made history when she sang "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" provocatively to President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden.
Marilyn Monroe's mother was mentally unstable, causing Marilyn to grow up in foster homes, were she suffered abuse.
Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her home on August 5, 1962. She died of an overdose of barbiturates at the age of 36.
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In her personal life, she had a string of unsuccessful marriages and relationships. Her 1954 marriage to baseball great Joe DiMaggio only lasted nine months (she wed playwright Arthur Miller from 1956 to 1961).
On May 19, 1962,
On August 5, 1962, at only 36 years old, Marilyn Monroe died at her Los Angeles home. An empty bottle of sleeping pills was found by her bed. There has been some speculation over the years that she may have been murdered, but the cause of her death was officially ruled as a drug overdose. There have been rumors that Monroe was involved with President John F. Kennedy and/or his brother Robert around the time of her death.
Monroe was buried in her favorite Emilio Pucci dress, in what was known as a "Cadillac casket"—the most high-end casket available, made of heavy-gauge solid bronze and lined with champagne-colored silk. Lee Strasberg delivered a eulogy before a small group of friends and family. Hugh Hefner bought the crypt directly next to Monroe's, and Monroe's ex-husband, Joe DiMaggio, famously had red roses delivered to her crypt for the next 20 years.
Monroe did not own a house until the last year of her life, and had surprisingly few possessions. One that she prized was an autographed photo of Albert Einstein, which included an inscription: "To Marilyn, with respect and love and thanks."
During her career, Marilyn Monroe's films grossed more than $200 million. Today, she is still considered the world's most popular icon of sex appeal and beauty, and is remembered for her idiosyncratic sense of humor and sly wit; once asked by a reporter what she wore to bed, she replied, "Chanel Number 5." On another occasion, she was asked what she thought of Hollywood. "If I close my eyes and think of Hollywood, all I see is one big varicose vein," she replied. Monroe is also remembered for her romantic relationships with Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Yves Montand and director Elia Kazan, in addition to her three marriages.
Monroe has been imitated over the years by a number of celebrities, including Madonna, Lady Gaga and Gwen Stefani. Actress Michelle Williams portrayed Monroe ina 2011 film, My Week with Marilyn, about Monroe's relationship with Sir Laurence Olivier in 1957's The Prince and the Showgirl.
In 2011, several rarely seen photos of Marilyn Monroe were published in a book of photographs by famed photographer Sam Shaw. August 5, 2012 will mark the 50th anniversary of Monroe's death. A half century later, the world is still fascinated by her beauty and talent.
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See Sam Shaw's iconic Hollywood photos in Sam Shaw by Lorie Karnath.
100 Photos by Sam Shaw for Press Freedom, published in English and French by the non-profit organization Reporters Without Borders, includes Shaw's rare behind-the-scenes movie photography as well as previously unpublished images. Sales of the book support Reporters Without Borders.
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