Marilyn Monroe, the Hollywood icon whose life and death continue to captivate audiences around the world, is still shrouded in a myriad of fascinating facts and anecdotes. Unveiled here are five intriguing aspects of Monroe’s life that offer fresh insights into her remarkable journey.
1. Childhood and Early Marriage: A treasure trove of personal writings by Monroe—consisting of poems, letters, notes, recipes, and diary entries—provides a poignant look into her early life. Monroe’s childhood was spent moving between foster homes and orphanages. The writings reveal that at the tender age of 16, faced with the prospect of returning to an orphanage due to her guardian’s psychiatric hospitalization, she made the daunting choice to marry her 21-year-old neighbor. This marriage, she confessed, was more of an escape from the orphanage rather than a romantic pursuit.
2. Admiration for Abraham Lincoln: Monroe was known for her open admiration of Abraham Lincoln, who she considered a father figure. Having never known her biological father, Monroe sought someone to look up to and found that in the wise, kind, and good Lincoln. She once confided, “Most people can admire their fathers, but I never had one. I need someone to admire. My father is Abraham Lincoln… I love him.”
3. Priceless Wardrobe: Monroe’s fashion made headlines both in her lifetime and beyond. In 2016, Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum in Hollywood paid a staggering $4.8 million for the dress Monroe donned for her iconic “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” performance at JFK’s 45th birthday celebration. An even pricier garment was the white dress from the famous subway scene in The Seven Year Itch, which fetched $5.6 million at a 2011 auction.
4. Controversy Following Conversion: Monroe‘s personal life was as much in the spotlight as her career. After her conversion to Judaism upon marrying playwright Arthur Miller, Monroe faced an unusual backlash—Egypt banned all of her films. However, the ban was lifted after her divorce from Miller was finalized in 1961.
5. Advocate for Civil Rights: Monroe was known for her progressive views on race, fostered by her upbringing. She used her influence as a Hollywood star to fight for civil rights and against anti-Communist paranoia. She was elected as an alternate delegate to Connecticut’s state Democratic convention, and even attended rallies protesting the violation of civil liberties.
Monroe’s life was more than just glamour and fame; it was a testament to her strength, intelligence, and forward-thinking perspectives. These intriguing insights further underline the extraordinary depth of this immortalized star.