Happy Birthday Marilyn Monroe: Celebrating the Hollywood Icon

by Brandi Stillings

Happy birthday, Marilyn Monroe!

Nobody can sing “Happy Birthday” as sultry as the iconic sex symbol Marilyn Monroe. But today we celebrate the glamorous Hollywood actress by remembering her past.

Meet Marilyn Monroe

Born on June 1, 1926, in Los Angeles, California, Monroe’s birth name was Norma Jeane Mortenson. According to Biography.com, she was later given her mother’s name when she was baptized Norma Jeane Baker.

Monroe faced a tumultuous childhood. Her mother and grandparents were both committed to mental institutions. She spent most of her time in foster homes and in an orphanage. When she turned 16, Monroe married one of her neighbors, James Dougherty. He eventually joined the Merchant Marines and traveled to the South Pacific for WWII.

Left alone to work at a munitions factory, a photographer captured Monroe’s obvious natural beauty. Shortly after, she found herself propelled into a successful modeling career. In June 1946, she divorced Dougherty and then signed a contract with 20th Century Fox.

Released in 1953, Monroe starred in two classic films: “Gentleman Prefer Blondes” and “How to Marry a Millionaire.” She quickly climbed her way to the top of Hollywood’s A-list.

Monroe also had a famous string of husbands and boyfriends. In addition to Dougherty, she went on to marry a prominent New York Yankees baseball player, Joe DiMaggio, and renowned playwright Arthur Miller. According to History.com, her other memorable romantic relationships include Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Yves Montand and director Elia Kazan.

Eventually, Monroe began to struggle with drug addiction. The popular actress suffered from depression and anxiety. According to History.com, on August 5, 1962, Monroe was found dead from an overdose of barbiturates. She was 36 years old.

Even though Monroe only spent a short time in the spotlight, she left such a huge influential mark on American culture. She will never be forgotten.

Six Unforgettable Moments in Marilyn Monroe’s Life

Most of us remember her hourglass figure, platinum blonde hair, and, of course, her famous smile. However, do you recount some of Marilyn Monroe’s iconic moments in history? Here are the top six of her memorable events, according to LATimes.com:

  1. Marilyn Monroe poses over the updraft of New York subway grating while in character for the filming of “The Seven Year Itch” in Manhattan.
  2. In the 1956 drama “Bus Stop,” based on William Inge’s Broadway hit, Monroe played Cherie, a down-on-her-luck chanteuse who dreams of going to “Hollywood and Vine.” Don Murray played Beau, an exuberant, naïve cowboy who pursues her.
  3. In a 1953 publicity photo, she’s shown on set in the film, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”
  4. Monroe wearing a knife-pleated gold lamé gown made from “one complete circle of fabric.” She wore this dress in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”
  5. When she performed in a scene from the film “There’s No Business Like Show Business” in 1954.
  6. In a 1959 file photo, it shows Monroe in “Some Like It Hot.”