During her tragic creative life she was able to overcome the image of and dumb and seductive blonde and became a world-famous cultural icon. Her life seems like the desire and attempts of sensitive and insecure woman to protect inner self and deep feelings her real image from the pressures of Hollywood.
Her vulnerability and sensuousness combined with lisp, breathless voice, platinum blonde hair and perfect shape made her a major sex symbol,
love goddess, icon of beauty in the modern culture.
Her early roles were minor, but her performances were well received. In 1950 Monroe played a small uncredited roles won her another contract from Fox and much recognition.
Later she embarked on the films that would consolidate her place in the history of American popular culture. She was noted for her seductive film roles and distinctively breathy singing style.
With performances in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), and There’s No Business Like Show Business (1954), her fame grew steadily and spread throughout the world.
Her dramatic performance in William Inge's Bus Stop was hailed by critics, and she won a Golden Globe Award for her performance in Some Like it Hot. Her last role, in The Misfits (1961), was written by Miller.
In their first runs, Monroe’s 23 movies grossed a total of more than $200 million, and her fame surpassed that of any other entertainer of her time.
While her husband Dougherty was in the Merchant Marine, Norma Jeane found employment in the Radioplane Munitions Factory. During this time, Army photographer David Conover snapped a photograph of her for a Yank magazine article.
She became a popular photographer’s model and in 1946 signed her first short-term contract with Twentieth Century Fox, taking as her screen name Marilyn Monroe. She divorcing James Dougherty in 1946.
Her nude photograph on a calendar brought her a role in the film Scudda-Hoo! Scudda-Hay! (1948), which was followed by other minor roles.
In 1948 Monroe signed a six-month contract with Columbia Pictures, and was introduced to the studio's head drama coach, Natasha Lytess, who became her acting coach for several years.
First Major Screen Credit: The Fireball (1950)
Career Highlights: The Seven Year Itch (1955), Bus Stop (1956), Some Like It Hot (1959), and The Misfits (1960).
She did not complete high school, marrying James Dougherty in 1942 at 16 years old (m. 1942, div. 1946). Later she married retired baseball hero Joe DiMaggio in January 1954. (m. 14-Jan-1954, div. 27-Oct-1954). In 1956 she married playwright Arthur Miller and had divorced he in 24-Jan-1961.
The final years of Monroe's life were marked by illness, personal problems. She was apparently unable to reconcile her image as sex goddess "Marilyn Monroe" with her own identity.
The typecasting of Monroe's "dumb blonde" persona limited her career prospects, so she deliberately broadened her creative range. But It is known that her personal library contained over 400 books on topics ranging from art to history, psychology, philosophy, literature, religion, poetry, and gardening. Many of the volumes, auctioned in 1999, bore her pencil notations in the margins.
Her death at age 36, only increased her mystique.
Though officially classified as a "probable suicide," the possibility of an accidental barbituate overdose, as well as the possibility of homicide, have not been ruled out.
There are five versions of the cause of her death, including medical errors.
Remains: Buried, Westwood Memorial Park, Los Angeles, CA.