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Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1, 1926 –
August 5, 1962) was an American
actress, model, and singer, who became a major sex symbol, starring in a number of
commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s and early 1960s.
After spending much of her childhood in foster homes, Monroe began a career as a model,
which led to a film contract in 1946 with Twentieth Century-Fox.
Her early film appearances were minor, but her performances in
The Asphalt Jungle
and All About Eve
(both 1950), drew attention.
By 1952 she had her first leading role in
Don t Bother to Knock
and 1953 brought a lead in Niagara
, a melodramatic film noir that dwelt on her seductiveness.
Her "dumb blonde" persona was used to comic effect in subsequent films such as
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
How to Marry a Millionaire
and The Seven Year Itch
Limited by typecasting, Monroe studied at the Actors Studio to broaden her range.
Her dramatic performance in Bus Stop
(1956) was hailed by critics
and garnered a Golden Globe
Her production company, Marilyn Monroe Productions, released
The Prince and the Showgirl
(1957), for which she received a BAFTA Award nomination
and won a David di Donatello award.
She received a Golden Globe Award for her performance in
Some Like It Hot
Monroe's last completed film was The Misfits
co-starring Clark Gable
with screenplay by her then-husband, Arthur Miller
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