Are there any other Hollywood stars from the Golden Era quite as iconic as Marilyn Monroe? Even if you’ve never seen any of her movies, you’ll know her iconic look and her name. However, her life was cut tragically short – and to this day, some people still claim that there is a great deal of mystery surrounding the circumstances of her passing.
However, beyond this, there was actually plenty about Ms Monroe which was fascinating and noteworthy – so much so, we’re dedicating a whole fact file to her. If you’re a fan of her movies or simply want to take the time to appreciate a genuine legend of yesteryear, stick around for these interesting facts about Marilyn Monroe…
Marilyn Monroe is a glitzy name – though it wasn’t actually her own. She was born Norma Jean Baker.
The name is thought to have been created by Fox Studios talent manager Ben Lyon. Marilyn was chosen as a first name inspired by musical star Marilyn Miller. Monroe was actually Baker’s grandmother’s name – and the two names were brought together to create the iconic brand!
Though you may not have known from her on-screen performances, Monroe was actually known to stutter – albeit occasionally across her life.
Monroe actually spent much of her childhood in an orphanage. This came around as a result of her father being AWOL, and her mother facing psychiatric hospitalisation. Sadly, her mother would spend much of her life under psychiatric care. Monroe would then eventually stay with family friends.
Monroe was first married when she was just 16 years old, to a man called Jim Dougherty. Dougherty was four years her senior, and their marriage came about as a result of Monroe facing being sent to another orphanage. Long story short, the nuptials came to pass, and they were married for four years.
Dougherty spoke of Monroe, ‘I thought she was awful young, but we talked and we got on pretty good.’
Monroe didn’t actually receive much in the way of a fortune from her acting, at least not to begin with. Compared to her contemporaries at the time, such as Jane Russell, she was earning much less – looking at the pay sheet for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Russell apparently received a pay packet ten times the size of Monroe’s.
Monroe was thought to refer to herself in the third person from time to time – separating the brand from the person, perhaps!
The star was a voracious reader, and proud of the fact. She loved photos taken of her where she was shown to be enjoying a good book, and it’s thought that she had an enormous collection of more than 400 books in her own private library. She was even thought to own a few first editions in her collection, too.
Breakfast At Tiffany’s could have been very different if Truman Capote’s original pick for the lead role would have held firm. Rather than Audrey Hepburn – who would go on to make her performance career-defining – the writer wanted to cast Marilyn Monroe. However, it wasn’t to be, thanks to Monroe’s advisor suggesting it wasn’t the right role for her.
Monroe was married for some time to US baseball legend Joe DiMaggio. He reportedly left roses at her graveside for two decades, and reportedly uttered ‘I’ll finally get to see Marilyn’ as his last words. He’d been waiting a long time – he passed away 36 years after his wife, and never remarried.
Monroe reportedly ensured that Ella Fitzgerald would get regular shots at playing the Mocambo Club. It was supposedly suggested that club owner Charlie Morrison thought Fitzgerald wasn’t glamorous for his regular visitors. Monroe stepped up and said she would attend the club, front row, every night – providing Fitzgerald had her chance. Morrison agreed the deal and Fitzgerald’s career skyrocketed.
‘She was an unusual woman, a little ahead of her time,’ Fitzgerald fondly spoke of Monroe.
Despite her fame and legendary status, Monroe was well-known for fumbling her lines. During a difficult period in the star’s life, she was often prone to breakdowns and, unfortunately, would earn the ire of crew she worked with on Some Like It Hot. You can’t please them all, it seems!
Do you know any fun facts about Marilyn Monroe? Share them here in the comments below!