I’ll uncover the most interesting Marilyn Monroe Facts in this article. The famous Marilyn Monroe was quite a sensation on the screens in the 1950s. Her life, like that of all others, was filled with secrets and many still remain unearthed and answers to questions by many lack answers. These secrets are what the lifetime mini-series by the title “The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe” aims at answering.
So here is a look at my most interesting Marilyn Monroe Facts! Please contact me if you have more to share with everyone!
1Marilyn Monroe’s real name is Norma Jeane Mortenson
This is actually what Marilyn Monroe’s birth certificate reads. This last name however was intended to be Mortensen after Martin Mortensen, her mother’s second husband. He however separated from Marilyn’s mother, Gladys, before she got pregnant.
2She has been using the name Norma Jeane Baker
The name Marilyn has been using since then however is Baker which is Gladys’ first married name.
3She never knew for sure who her father was
But who was really the father to Ms. Monroe? This still remained a mystery till the time of her death in 1962. She never met her own father but according to what her mother said her father was her mother’s boss Charles Clifford. The photo she showed to prove it however had a man that looked more like Clark Gable.
4She Grew up in Foster Homes
Norma Jeane’s mother worked at Consolidated Film Industries as a film cutter. As for motherhood however she thought of herself as incapable of living up to the task and opted to let her daughter be raised in foster homes. Among the places Monroe lived include a Los Angeles Orphan’s home and at her mother’s friend by the name Grace McKee with whom she lived more than once. It is not that Gladys did not try; just that she was unable to. For instance when Marilyn was seven years old, Gladys bought a house and lived with her.
5Her Family has a history of Suicidal Depression
Norma Jean lived with her Mom for a little bit. This only lasted a short while before Gladys suffered a mental breakdown. This is a problem that runs in the family history with Gladys’ grandmother and brother having suffered suicidal depression.
6She was Sexually Abused
Monroe states in her memoir that she was sexually abused by several people when she lived in foster care. These include a great aunt’s son and Ervin “Doc” Goddard who was Grace McKee’s husband during one of her stays with her. In 1942, when Goddard got a job in West Virginia and the family could not move with her, they arranged a marriage for Marilyn with James Dougherty, a 21-year old neighbor.
7Helped Assembled Drones during World War II
James Dougherty was serving in Merchant Marine during the Second World War. On the other hand, Norma Jeane worked in Van Nuy’s Radioplane factory. Here she was tasked with coating airplane/ drone parts with fire-resistant sprays and inspecting parachutes for any faults.
8She was first discovered as a “Pin-up” girl
Here are some pretty cool facts about Marilyn Monroe when she was younger… When she was first noticed, she was 18 years old and married to Dougherty in the summer of 1944. Bruno Bernard who is famously known as pin-up pioneer Bernard of Hollywood spotted her on the Sunset Boulevard and gave her his business card and offered to take test shots. How this relationship went on however is not clear. As for her actual venture into the modeling and acting business the one to thank is Ronald Reagan. In 1945 as Reagan (as a captain) and others were shooting the first ever Army’s Motion Picture Unit (U.S. Army Air Forces‘ First Motion Picture Unit) he ordered David Conover, a photographer, to head for the Radioplane factory and take photos of beautiful girls contributing to the war efforts. On reporting back, shots of Jeane Dougherty impressed Reagan. For the next two weeks he taught her how to model and encouraged her to register with Blue Book Modelling Agency. At the agency she was advised to dye her hair from brown to blonde to make her beauty even more appealing. Jeane’s big break was in 1947 (had been a pin-up for a while and signed a contract for her first movie) when she had a session at the Palm Springs Racquet Club where she met Johnny Hyde.
9How she invented the name Marilyn Monroe
This was the name Norma Jeane Dougherty that she had adopted by 1946. The first name Marilyn she borrowed from Marilyn Miller, a 1920s performer, and the second Monroe was her mother’s maiden name. The stage name MM was made up by Ben Lyon who signed this talented girl to studio after seeing her pin-ups. Later, Marilyn’s life would take a paradoxical turn when she got married to Arthur Miller and her legal name became Marilyn Miller. This was after divorcing her husband Dougherty in 1946 while he was still overseas. The reason she gave for filing for divorce was that Fox refused to sign her as long as she was married. They could just not risk having a pregnant starlet.
10She was Married and Divorced 3 Times
11She was Difficult to work with
- Marilyn was usually late or never showed up to set
- She forgot her lines
- She would constantly demand retakes if she was not pleased with her performance.
12She had bad Anxiety and Stage Fright
This is an one of a couple inspiring Marilyn Monroe Facts because for those who have a lot of anxiety (like myself) are not alone. Some of the most successful people like Marilyn Monroe have bad anxiety attacks and stage freight. It’s how you learn how to deal with it and cope with it. Marilyn dealt with it pretty good, however, she became dependent on drugs as another coping mechanism.
13Increased Drug use and later became addicted
Barbiturates, amphetamines, and alcohol (which was normal during this time of Hollywood) would help her anxiety and chronic insomnia.
14She had a Miscarriage and an Ectopic Pregnancy
- She became pregnant in 1957, but it was ectopic meaning that the embryo attaches itself to the inner tubes instead of attaching to the uterus. The pain can be sharp and crampy.
- A year later she suffered a miscarriage.
15Marilyn Monroe Achievements
These are quite many and Monroe always left a lasting impression in all who worked with her. For instance, Joshua Logan the director of “Bus Stop” declares that working with her was the first time he understood that intelligence and brilliance have nothing to do with education. In most shootings, Marilyn Monroe tended to be late and struggle with her lines. She feared that no one would take her seriously as an actress and this took s toll on her. She however was worth waiting for because of the crowds she drew to the screens. Her acting was great and so were her looks. This is according to Billy Wilder who directed two movies she featured in.
16She Gave a Lot to Charity
- She performed for soldiers in Korea
- Performed for St. Jude’s Hospital in 1952
- Modelled for the March of Dimes Fundraiser in 1958
- Rode on a pink painted elephant to help fight arthritis
- She donated her earnings to the Milk FUnd For Babies
- 1952, she visited orphanages and children’s hospitals
- 1962 she wrote a check for $1000 to a Mexican Orphanage and then later ripped it up and wrote a check for $10,000
17She wasn’t “Plus Size” – Her Measurements were:
Marilyn Monroe’s Measurements were:
- Marilyn Monroe Height: 5’5″
- Mariylun Monroe Weight: 118 lbs
- Marilyn Monroe Waist: she measured out to be a 22″ waist
- Marliyn Monroe Dress Size: 2
- Marlilyn Monroe Bra Size: 36D
See Audrey Hepburn Measurements to compare the two
18She’s the 3rd Woman to Start a Production Company
Frustrated with playing the role of the “dumb blonde” and the limited roles that studios assigned her, she started her own production company MMP – Marilyn Monroe Productions.
19She Loved Animals
20She Underwent Plastic Surgery on her Nose and Corrected an Overbite
21Her Favorite Makeup Artist was Alan Snyder aka “Whitey”.
22She Was Not a Dumb Blonde
She read and studied:
Had a personal library of 400 books. Her friend Susan Strasberg said that she was very interested in learning and information.
She also enrolled in art history classes at UCLA and socialized with Truman Capote, Isak Dineson, and Carl Sandburg.
This is one of my favorite Marilyn Monroe facts because a lot of people think that she’s a dumb blonde when in reality she is not… I love surprising people.
23She took acting Seriously
She took acting classes in the world famous Actor’s studio located in New York. She’s quoted saying – “I knew how third rate I was. I could actually feel my lack of talent, as if it were cheap clothes I was wearing inside. But, my God, how I wanted to learn! To change, to improve! I didn’t want anything else. Not men, not money, not love, but the ability to act.”
24She Dated Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando
25Her Dresses have sold for $1.3 Million
Marilyn Monroe’s beauty, acting and modeling were not the only things that made her stand out. Her costumes caught the attention of many. The billowing white dress she wore in “The Seven Year Itch” was loved and famous. Many of her costumes have been sold for lots of money. One such costume is the jeans she wore in “River of No Return” which was purchased by Tommy Hilfiger for $37000 in an auction. One that surprised many is the skin-tight jeans she wore at John F. Kennedy’s birthday in 1962 which was sold for $1.3 million in an auction in 1999.
26Every Room in her Home was “Bugged”
“In 1972, actress Veronica Hamel and her husband became the new owners of Marilyn’s Brentwood home. They hired a contractor to replace the roof and remodel the house, and the contractor discovered a sophisticated eavesdropping and telephone tapping system that covered every room in the house. The components were not commercially available in 1962, but were in the words of a retired Justice Department official, “standard FBI issue.” This discovery lent further support to claims of conspiracy theorists that Marilyn had been under surveillance by the Kennedys and the Mafia. The new owners spent $100,000 to remove the bugging devices from the house.”
27Marilyn Monroe’s Suicide – Murder
Monroe really is not to blame for any suicidal attempts; well, it runs in the family. Some time during the peak of her career, Dougherty told a magazine during an interview that she had threatened to kill herself by jumping off Santa Monica Pier if he left her.
To make matters worse, at the time her marriage to Miller was on the rocks. When she thought she could not take it anymore she attempted to jump out of her apartment window in Manhattan. This led to her being institutionalized at the Payne Whitney clinic in Cornell University-New York Hospital. During this time she rekindled her romance with former husband DiMaggio and the two even planned to rewed. As fate would have it however the plan would not push through. Marilyn Monroe died in August 1962 before the wedding date planned for the same month. Her death is attributed to drug overdose whose motive has never been determined. Was it suicidal or accidental or murder?
Fred Otash, a notorious Hollywood PI admitted that “I listened to Marilyn Die”
IMHO, I believe that she was murdered.
28She felt responsible for Clark Gable’s Death
Monroe’s co-star, Clark Gable, in the film “The Misfits” died of a heart attack (at 59) just after the shoot ended. Marilyn blamed herself for his death saying that her delays might have contributed to this.
29The JFK and Marilyn Monroe Affair
Their affair happened at least once according to Marilyn. For more information supporting the JFK and Marilyn Monroe affair, visit this great Quora forum that discusses the evidence and arguments pretty thoroughly.
After she sung happy birthday to JFK, she would call JFK several times and then stopped after he ignored her calls. Senator Smathers said that “He wanted to stop it, because it got to be a point where it was somewhat embarrassing. She stopped bothering him, because he quit talking to her.” – Also Audrey Hepburn sung Happy Birthday to JFK one year earlier.
It’s been said that Marilyn would attend sex parties and orgies with the Kennedy Brothers.
Later there came out a Sex Orgy Tape of the Kennedy’s and Marilyn that was put up on auction. Nothing has been submitted to the public or the acknowledgment of whether or not it was a fake or not.
ALSO, Hollywood PI confirms that he listened in on JFK and Marilyn Monroe having sex.
30She Died before finishing her movie
The movie she didn’t get to finish was “Somethings Got to Give”.
31Marilyn Monroe Illuminati Involvement
I’m going to add more detail on this later… but this deals with her rumored MK Ultra involvement which is talked about further below.
32Marilyn Monroe MK Ultra Participant
It is no secret that the US Government has had a secret program titled Project MKUltra which is a program revived from the Nazi’s dedicated to mind control. The question still remains if Marilyn Monroe was an MK Ultra participant. The issue is highly rumored and conspiracy theory based. We aren’t positive, but considering the time frame, her drug use, and weird behavior. Vigilant Citizen has a controversial but worth reading article on the subject that is worth checking out. Not all facts that they purport are readily backed up by links, you might have to search a bit to fact check because we are getting into more controversial Marilyn Monroe facts.
Here is an example of CIA Mind Control. You can also youtube MK Ultra Celebrities.
33Anton LaVey & Marliyn Monroe Affair
Anton LaVey’s book “The Secret Life of a Satanist” confesses that he had sexual relations with Marilyn Monroe and that their usual place would be at night in the cemetery.
34She is a Style Icon Who is Still Trending
Marilyn Monroe’s Twitter feed has 228,000 followers whereas her Facebook page has 13 million likes. There are currently fashion lines, Burton snowboards, beauty spas and even phone apps affiliated to Marilyn Monroe.
Am I missing any Marilyn Monroe facts?! Let me know!