An Unauthorized Tribute to Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe is one of the most famous and adored icons of the 20th century. Like no other Hollywood star, she won the hearts of millions around the World. But her journey to become Hollywood's most glamorous and beautiful star - stemmed from a lifetime of neglect. Born Norma Jean Baker, she endured a childhood of poverty, misery and abuse, spending years in foster homes and orphanages, whilst her mother and was institutionalized. She escaped at the age of sixteen with an arranged marriage, but her husband disapproved of her newfound modelling career and the marriage dissolved. Alone again, Norma Jean headed to Hollywood with a dream. It was the Golden Age of Hollywood - when the film industry was extremely affluent and powerful. Winning a one-year contract with Twentieth Century Fox, she changed her name to Marilyn Monroe - Norma Jean and the past was now all behind her. Struggling to get parts in the beginning and broke, she agreed to pose nude in a Playboy calendar for a measly $50 US dollars. These photographs catapulted Marilyn Monroe to superstardom. Her first serious acting role came the following year in The Asphalt Jungle. Roles in All About Eve and Ladies of the Chorus followed, and her publicity photos attracted attention all around the world. They also caught the eye of legendary baseball player Joe DiMaggio. Their courtship was a constant subject of fascination, and the couple married in 1954. Marilyn's career was going from strength to strength. Thanks to the box office success of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Marilyn and Jane Russell placed their prints and signatures in the cement at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Another high point of her career was performing to US troops stationed in Korea. But despite her beautiful and relaxed public persona, Marilyn suffered from great insecurities about her acting abilities, and often held up film shoots, which many considered unprofessional. She demanded more control over her future roles, as well as a better salary from Twentieth Century Fox. After negotiating the lead in The Seven Year Itch, her marriage to Joe DiMaggio fell apart and they divorced. Embroiled in another battle with Fox, she left Hollywood for New York, and started seeing American playwright Arthur Miller. Fox studios met Marilyn's demands, boosted her salary to $100,000 U.S. dollars per film, and allowed her to work with independent producers and other studios. Marilyn's victory not only became a landmark case, but it also proved that Marilyn Monroe was a force to be reckoned with. In high spirits, she returned to Hollywood to star in the films Bus Stop and The Prince and the Showgirl. During this time, she supported her husband Miller during the House Un-American Activities Committee inquest into his communist affiliations. Following this, Marilyn fell into a pattern of chronic insomnia, and Miller assumed the duties of caretaker and manager for his unstable wife. She also suffered a series of miscarriages over the next couple of years. Films Some Like It Hot, Let's Make Love and The Misfits followed, and her instability worsened. Her marriage to Arthur Miller fell apart and she spent some time at a psychiatric hospital out of the limelight. She returned to work on Something's Got to Give but she was clearly ill. With rumors of affairs with both President Kennedy and his brother Robert flying around, she was fired from the film - devastated and depressed. On August 4th, 1962 Marilyn Monroe was found dead at just 36 years of age from a probable suicide. Joe DiMaggio - loyal to the end - arranged her funeral. Since her passing, there has been endless speculation as to the cause of her death, and many conspiracy theories abound. The world's fascination with Marilyn Monroe lives on to this day in the many iconic photographs, films and legends about this quintessential Hollywood Superstar.
[United States] : Shami Media Group : Made available through hoopla, 2010.
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1 online resource (1 video file (ca. 47 min.)) : sd., col.