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Marilyn Monroe began life as Norma Jean Baker on June 1, 1926. She was born in L.A. to an unmarried mother, Gladys Pearl Monroe Baker. Her father, Charles Stanley Gifford wanted no part of being a father and left Gladys when he was told of her pregnancy. Charles was a salesman for the same movie studio that Gladys worked at as a film-cutter. Gladys was not a stable person and gave Norma Jean up and the baby was declared a ward of the state. She lived with differant relatives from time to time and went through the California foster care program, spending some time in the Los Angles orphanage. She attended two high schools, Emerson Junior High in L.A., and Van Nuys High School but never graduated from ether. She was under-age when she married James E. Dougherty in Navada who was away at war. Norma Jean worked at a defense plant in Burbank. Her picture appeared in the plant magazine and she quit her job to try to become a model. Her image began appearing on pinup posters for the GI's. She shot to instant fame when her picture appeared in the premier issue of Playboy Magazine. She began a film career but was being traded between studios. In 1954, under her stage name, Marilyn Monroe, she signed with 20th Century Fox and made a film named, "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", then, "How to Married a Millionaire" and "There's No Business Like Show Business". She got tired of playing the "dumb blonde" roles and broke her Fox contract and began studying acting in New York. She returned to Hollywood, started her own production company and made the film, "The Seven Year Itch". Fox Studios re-signed her to a new contract that gave her more control with the option to make one film a year. Marilyn's first marriage had endded in divorce. Her second marriage was to baseball great, Joe DiMaggio, but this relationship endded 274 days later in divorce. Another marriage to playwright, Arthur Miller lasted five years but included an abortion and a miscarriage and soon after they were divorced. Fox Studios finely fired her for repeatedly being a no-show on the set. Marilyn had started "acting strange" and seemed tired all the time. She finished filming, "The Misfits", which turned out to be her last film. It was the last film also for her co-star, Clark Gable. Her final appearance was at Dodger Stadium for a Muscular Dystrophy benefit on June 1, 1962. On August 5, 1962, Marilyn's housekeeper found her dead in her bedroom in her newly bought home in Brentwood, California. She was 36 years old. Cause of death was stated as "overdose of barbiturates". (Overdose of Nembutal and Chloral Hydrate) Many conspiracy theories have revolved around Marilyn's death, mostly due to her affairs with President John F. Kennedy and his brother, Bobby Kennedy.
Marilyn Monroe! The name will never be forgotten, nor will the face. She lived fast, died young, and will always be remembered. In her time she was called a no-talent, a no-good, even a whore. But the fact is, she did have talent. She could sing, she could dance and she could act. She made countless movies for Hollywood, starred with some of the biggest names in the business and made a lot of money for a lot of people. Some women may have called her a tramp but the fact was Marilyn was an entertainer and no where was that clearer then in her trips to the battle zone of Korea to entertain the troops there. Marilyn was used by a lot of people including President John F. Kennedy and his brother, Bobby. She had problems with booze and drugs and was going to have a press conference to "tell all" about her affairs with the Kennedy brothers. Two days before the meeting with the press, Marilyn was found dead of a drug overdose. To this day there are many that firmly believe that the overdose was no accident and that the Kennedys were involved.