Marilyn Monroe would have been 90 years old today. Never has there been a celebrity who so captured the imagination and hearts of so many people. From a very troubled childhood where she was bounced around many homes, she found stardom, albeit peace and happiness seemed to forever elude her.
She appeared on the cover and as centerfold in the first issue of Playboy in December of 1953. The nude pictures published of her would usually have marked the end of a legitimate Hollywood career, but she made it work for her and it helped her become a sex symbol and bonafide star. In her first supporting role in All About Eve, she left audiences wondering, "Who’s that girl?”
She would go onto star in classics like Niagara, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, The Seven Year Itch, Bus Stop, The Misfits and possibly the greatest comedy of all time, Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot.
Marilyn desperately wanted to be taken seriously as an actor and was constantly studying and training with coaches like Lee Strasburg to improve herself. Still she was regarded as a joke, and her talent was greatly underrated, even though in reality she seemed to be nothing like the “dumb blonde” she was known to portray.
The tragedy, if that is not too strong a word, is that few took her seriously, even at her zenith. People who adored her movies discounted her gifts. She could sing, dance, act, was sexy and uniquely talented.
She only lit up the marquee as a headliner for ten years, but her movies yielded $200 million by the time for her death.
She remains a pop cultural icon and she is still very much en vogue even 54 years after her death. Check out one of Marilyn's most iconic performances singing "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend":
And from the Marilyn Monroe History, rare, raw, unedited, unreleased Something's Got To Give outtakes footage: