Marilyn Monroe was one of the most iconic actresses of the 20th century. She was known for her beauty, her charisma. But there was more to Marilyn than meets the eye. Here are 15 secrets about Marilyn Monroe that you may not know.
1. Monroe was not her real name
Marilyn Monroe was actually born Norma Jeane Mortenson in 1926. She only started using the name Marilyn Monroe in 1946, when she signed a contract with Twentieth Century Fox.
2. Monroe was orphaned at a young age
Monroe’s mother, Gladys, was institutionalized for mental illness when Monroe was just a child. As a result, Monroe spent much of her childhood in foster homes and orphanages.
3. Monroe married at 16
In order to avoid being sent back to an orphanage, Monroe married 21-year-old James Dougherty in 1942. The marriage only lasted four years, but it did give Monroe her start in Hollywood – Dougherty taught her how to model!
4. Monroe was a pin-up girl during WWII
Monroe became one of the most popular pin-up girls during WWII. Her image was printed on countless soldiers’ lockers and bunk beds.
5. Monroe had an affair with President John F. Kennedy
Monroe is rumored to have had an affair with President John F. Kennedy. The two allegedly met at a party in 1962, and their relationship continued until Kennedy’s death in 1963.
6. Monroe struggled with mental illness
Throughout her life, Monroe battled depression and anxiety. She even underwent electroshock therapy in an attempt to treat her mental illness.
7. Monroe was fired from several movies
Despite being one of the most popular actresses of her time, Monroe was actually fired from several movies. This was due to her chronic lateness and difficulties remembering her lines.
8. Monroe suffered from stage fright
Monroe often struggled with stage fright, which caused her to freeze up during live performances. As a result, she was only able to sing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” in one take.
9. Monroe was sued for breach of promise
In 1952, Monroe was sued for $500,000 by playwright Arthur Miller. Miller accused Monroe of breaking their engagement and refusing to marry him. The case was eventually settled out of court.
10. Monroe had an estranged relationship with her father
Monroe’s father, Stanley Mortenson, abandoned the family when Monroe was just a child. The two never reconciled, and Monroe always felt rejected by her father.
11. Monroe was a self-taught actress
Monroe did not receive any formal training as an actress. Instead, she taught herself by studying other actresses and observing their techniques.
12. Monroe was considered a “sex symbol”
Monroe was one of the first actresses to be considered a “sex symbol.” Her iconic image has been imitated by countless other actresses and celebrities.
13. Monroe struggled with substance abuse
Throughout her life, Monroe struggled with addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs. She even attempted to overdose on barbiturates in 1961.
14. Monroe was found dead in her home
On August 5, 1962, Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her home. The official cause of death was “probable suicide”, but many conspiracy theories have circulated about her death.
15. Monroe remains an icon today
Even 50 years after her death, Marilyn Monroe remains one of the most iconic actresses of all time. Her image and legacy continue to inspire artists and entertainers all over the world.