Marilyn Monroe still one of the world's biggest stars

Marilyn Monroe still one of the world’s biggest stars

Hollywood screen legend Marilyn Monroe remains one of the best-recognized movie stars in the world, 60 years after her death.

One of the most iconic stars of Hollywood’s golden age of cinema, Monroe died of a drug overdose in August 1962, aged 36.

Born Norma Jeane Mortensen, Monroe on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, California, the platinum-blonde bombshell personified 1950s glamor and had a string of high-profile relationships, including marriages to US baseball great Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller.

Monroe started out modeling for magazines, but soon caught the eye of movie producers, and in the 1950s rose to stardom in hits as How to Marry a Millionaire, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Some Like it Hot and The Seven Year Itch.

The final years of Monroe’s life were marred by illness and personal problems. The circumstances of her death are still the subject of much speculation.

The controversy continues as to whether Monroe died by suicide, as reported at the time of her death, or whether she was murdered.

Monroe’s reported relations with then US President John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert and their alleged ties with some organized crime figures still spark rumors today.

The screen and fashion icon also became pop artist Andy Warhol’s muse in at least 23 paintings, the first completed in 1962 shortly after his death entitled Marilyn Diptych. The silkscreen painting contains fifty images of the star, all taken from the 1953 film Niagara.

Warhol’s Red Shot Marilyn was sold by auction house Christie’s in 1994 for over $3.6 million. As recently as May 2022, Christie’s also sold Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn for $195 million in New York.

From postage stamp to 26-ft tall statue, Monroe’s glamor and style still inspires even today’s artists and celebrities, including Billie Eilish, Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian. The latter and social influencer wore the infamous sheer and sequins-adorned “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress that Monroe wore at Madison Square Garden on May 19, 1962 when she sang to President Kennedy.

Buried as ‘Marilyn Monroe 1926-1962’, the American icon’s remains are interred in crypt number 24 in the Corridor of Memories, at the Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park & ​​Mortuary in her birth-town of LA. Her crypt is discolored pink due to lipstick marks left by fans who often hold annual memorial services on 1 June (her birthday) and 5 August (when her body was discovered).

No Time to Die actress Ana de Armas is starring as Norma Jeane in Blonde hair, a fictionalised chronicle of the inner life of Marilyn Monroe, airing on Netflix from 28 September.

Source: Reuters

Video: Discovery Access via Getty

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